City Beat September 2022

By Don Reynolds, City Manager
As published in the August issue of the Mission Village Voice

The 2022 Election season has been launched with five candidates filing paper work for three City Council seats. The deadline to file for the November ballot was August 17, 2022.   Thank you to those brave residents offering their time and energy to lead the City to a stronger more resilient place.  The City’s ballot also includes consideration of two Measures that if approved, will change the method by which the City Treasurer and City Clerk is appointed, rather than elected.  Over the years the City has struggled to find qualified candidates to run for these two offices. The City officially does not have a Clerk now, and this is staffed by the new Deputy City Clerk Melissa Lee, who started her job August 1, 2022.  The Treasurer Michelle Sabathia was appointed when no-one stepped up to run for office.  She continues to do an excellent job for the City.  If both Measures pass, the City Council will appoint the next Clerk (“Measure V”) and Treasurer (“Measure W”).

The City posts status reports on its web-site by the 10th of each month.  The City Manager’s July status report can be found there to include 11 slides describing the events from July.  A water rate increase was approved in July, combined with a sewer rate increase approved last fall. Both of the City’s water projects are funded and moving forward with anticipated completion dates in 2024.  The City’s Street improvement project went out to bid in July.  This million-dollar project will improve thirteen different downtown streets, and install or replace 5,000 linear feet of sidewalks. The contract will be awarded in October.

At the August 16, 2022 Council meeting, the City Council considered a set of guidelines intended to guide the work of re-defining the City’s “sphere of influence.”  The overriding objective is to re-define the area that surrounds the City limits (“Sphere of Influence”) that balances some growth but emphasizes preservation and conservation.  All of these guidelines are derived from the City’s General Plan, and look more than 10-years into the future.  The staff report and draft guidelines can be found on the City’s web-site for the August 16, 2022 City Council meeting, and will be reconsidered for adoption at the September 20, 2022 Council meeting.  This is perhaps the City’s most critical policy decision right now.  It will take a well-informed public and strong city leadership to get this right.

The City and Aromas-San Juan Bautista Unified School District are planning a ribbon cutting September 2, 2022.  The new Joint Use Agreement between the District and City has resulted in the shared use of the San Juan School playground when school is not in session.  Over 1,000 linear feet of fencing has been installed on the play-ground and the gates on the Alameda will be opened to allow access to the basketball courts, turf area and children’s’ playground.  This fall it is anticipated that the new track and field will be under construction.

That is all for now!