City hires new fire chief, approves Main Street seasonal road closure

Senior Accountant Shery Enos and Fire Chief Jack Snyder were sworn into office at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting. Their official first day was Feb. 6. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

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The Winters City Council welcomed new staff members and approved a seasonal road closure at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting.

New city staff
After months of searching, City Manager Kathleen Salguero Trepa announced that a new fire chief and senior accountant had been identified.

“We are thrilled to announce the arrival of two new staff members; our Fire Chief Jack Snyder and Senior Accountant Shery Enos. Both will be valuable additions to the team,” Trepa told the Express.

Trepa swore in Snyder and Enos. Snyder previously served as the Fire Chief in Elko, Nev. He was hired as Elko’s Deputy Chief in 2017 and promoted to the role of Fire Chief in 2021. Prior to his position in Elki, Snyder worked for the City of Vacaville. Enos also comes to Winters with experience working for the City of Vacaville.

Seasonal road closure
Chris Turkovich, Downtown Business Association President and owner of Turkovich Family Wines, was on site to answer questions councilmembers had regarding the WDBA’s request for the seasonal Main Street closure, and for an extension to Close down Railroad Avenue for its Spring Festival at the end of March.

Trepa informed Councilmembers the staff recommendation was to approve the schedule just for 2023 since the City is in the process of the Downtown Visioning Project. The WDBA’s request had asked for Councilmembers to consider a rolling annual seasonal closure to determine a consistent closure to communicate to the community.

One of the bigger discussions in the street closure request revolved around whether to close down Railroad Avenue at Main Street. Turkovich said WDBA was looking into utilizing a crossing guard program out of Vacaville to help control traffic for pedestrians across Railroad Avenue, Police Chief John P. Miller told Councilmembers there had not been many traffic collisions during events, but closing the Railroad Avenue intersection would lend to a safety event.

Sighting the 2016 Earthquake Festival as an example, Miller said only having crossing guards at the intersection “was potential for disaster. Closing Railroad lowered the tension level.” Trepa said closing Railroad to traffic would guarantee a more safe environment.

Councilmember Jesse Loren mentioned that many residents on Russel Avenue are impacted by the closing of Railroad Avenue and surrounding street closures saying “I think we need to value the resident.” Loren followed up by saying she does support the street closure but suggested having a later close date to account for the Sunday breakfast crowd.

Turkovich told Councilmembers that WDBA put intentional thought into the request to close Railroad and expand to East Main Street in front of Steady Eddy’s and Hooby’s Brewing.

“We recognize closing Railroad is a big deal and we don’t take it lightly,” Turkovich said. “We should expect growth” in the event as they continue to host more of them in alignment with the traditional Fourth Friday celebrations.

After discussion surrounding street closures, a desire to create a plan for events like Spring Festival and unanimous agreement across Council, City staff and DBA representatives that safety is of the utmost importance, a 2023 seasonal closure plan was approved.

Councilmembers detailed: Main Street would be closed from the Railroad Avenue intersection to the crosswalk at Paseo Park from the last weekend in March through the last weekend in October from Friday to Sunday afternoon (before Noon). Trepa said the city has staff scheduled to work until Noon on Sundays and the reopening of the street would need to be aligned with the schedule.

The WDBA’s Spring Festival details include:

  • Friday, March 24: Main Street will be closed from Main to First Street);
  • Saturday, March 25: Main Street will be closed from Second to Elliot Street, including the intersection for a craft show);
  • Sunday, March 26: details for the event and closure will be shared once they have been finalized.

Councilmembers required that signage for a detour from Russell Street to Abbey Street be noted and communicated through marketing efforts on behalf of DBA and Holden Events (who was hired to run the event).

Councilmembers Richard Casavecchia asked staff to bring data back from the event in May to help determine what types of limits would need to be created for future events.

Meeting recording
The audio feed of the Feb. 7 City Council meeting did not record.

Trepa confirmed the  City was unable to retrieve the audio from the recording.

The meeting packet is available on the City Council page on the City of Winters website,

Upcoming meetings
Trepa confirmed the City Council Goal-Setting workshop date was rescheduled for Wednesday, March 22 from 9 a.m. –2 p.m. in the City Hall large conference room (Abbey Street entrance).

The meeting is in-person only and will not be recorded.

The goal of the public meeting is for Councilmembers to establish project priorities.

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