Winters City Council news briefs: Feb 18, 2020 meeting

Notable actions from the Feb. 18 Winters City Council meeting.

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Kepi and Duvall recognized It’s a dog’s life—long hours, tough working conditions and no pay. And, Kepi, the Winters Police Department crises intervention dog would have it no other way.

However, Kepi’s handler, Chaplain Robert Duvall, was happy to get some recognition at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting in the form of a $1,500 check from Ron Turner, president of The 100 Club of Solano and Yolo Counties.

Kepi serves as the department’s crises intervention dog. This means the sweet-natured black Labrador provides emotional support to first responders after a trauma or crisis event.

The 100 Club provides financial help to families of officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty, Turner said. The second mission of the club is to address community needs. 

Turner explained the check was in recognition of the pair’s work caring for first responders.

That is when Kepi took center stage, and Duvall accepted the money the Club received from the Kaiser Permanente Foundation.

During fire season, it is not uncommon for the pair to put in 14-hour days serving the emotional needs of firefighters and emergency personnel, Duvall said.

Because Kepi and Duvall are volunteers, any snacks slipped to Kepi for a job comes out of Duvall’s pocket.

Putah Creek Committee requests more work Kurt Balasek, chairman of the Winters Putah Creek Committee, asked the Council to give the committee more work—or any work for that matter.

Balasek explained to the council the committee has successfully executed the stream modifications and established a world class upper-bank trail on the north bank of Putah Creek. And, now they are looking for more challenges.

Rather than retire the committee and its talented, dedicated, members, Balasek asked the council to think about what the group can do next for the city and its famous waterway.

“We’ve got a great thing going,” council member Jesse Loren said regarding the committee.

“Put us to work,” Balasek responded.

Committee member Kate Laddish seconded Balasek’s call to action, “There is a lot of enthusiasm to keep going forward.”

The council agreed to find work for the committee and the group.

Planning Commission resignation Planing Commission member Lisa Baker resigned, effective March 31, from the Winters Planning Commission. City Council members began to discuss the procedure for filling her pending vacancy.

Baker resigned to focus on her new role overseeing the affordable housing program between the City of Winters and Yolo County Housing. The job begins April 1.

“Words cannot fully express how humbling and how much of an honor it has been for me [to serve on the planning commission],” Baker said in her resignation letter. “I owe many thanks to the city staff, Winters residents, the City Manager, the Planning Commission Chairs, and colleagues with whom I’ve had the privilege to serve.”

The public engaged City Manager John W. Donlevy, Jr. presented the council with a host of ideas to get the public involved in future city endeavors.

Donlevy presented the ideas in a Powerpoint summarizing the Jan. 21 joint public workshop on community engagement.

The bottom line: “We are going to get different eyes on plans,” Donlevy said. “Not just city staff.”

Options to achieve the goal include advisory committees, small focus groups and surveys.

Mayor Bill Biasi agreed more is better: “[We need to] get as much input as possible from people in town.”

Loren said people need to be heard and made a part of the decision process.

Community member Kate Laddish addressed the board to affirm she liked the idea of small groups and said a key piece of future engagement is making sure people who participate know their input is going to be used.

In that spirit of public input, Donlevy put the draft of the Community Engagement summary on Facebook and asked for input.

He thanked Sally Brown and Debra (LoGuercio) DeAngelo for their help with the final Community Engagement product he presented.

Selecting Climate Action Plan board City intern Chris Flores addressed the council seeking help in hiring.

Flores, who is helping the city form a Climate Action Plan Development Board, asked the council for two volunteers to review 11 applications for the board. With the board scheduled to have their first meeting March 19, pressure is on to review, interview and select the board members.

Council members Loren and Pierre Neu volunteered to help.


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