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Mayor’s Update

January 2015


Dear Residents,

The City of Watsonville strives to provide excellent customer service. We are committed to providing programs and services that will create a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly community.

Here is a short list of the many exciting things happening in Watsonville:

Street Sweeping Services

The City is working hard to increase its street sweeping services. The Solid Waste Division has recently purchased a second street sweeper. In the coming year staff will be adding additional parking restriction signs to clear the streets on sweeping day, which will allow more complete and consistent sweeping coverage throughout the City. This will further increase the effectiveness of the sweeping program.

Cesar E. Chávez Awards

Seven local community members will be recognized at an awards dinner on March 19, 2015. All seven exemplify and promote community involvement, volunteerism and non-violent conflict resolution; these are all values espoused by Cesar E. Chavez. The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Plaza Community Room at 275 Main St., 4th Floor.

If you know an individual who has made a difference in our community, and who you would like to nominate for recognition, you can pick up the application at the Parks and Community Services Office at 231 Union Street. Deadline for submittal of applications along with photo of the nominee is Thursday, February 19th. For more information, call Customer Service at 768-3240.

Measure G

In June of 2014, City voters approved Measure G, a sales tax that is dedicated to support police, fire and emergency services.  The Watsonville Police Department (“WPD”) is committed to reducing gang violence by focusing on youth “prevention” and “intervention” programs that reduce the escalation of negative behavior and prevent youth from joining gangs, programs such as the Police Activities League, the Caminos Program and the Adelante Program. Below is a description of the programs:

The Caminos Program: Caminos is an evidence-based alternative to detention. The program targets first time offenders between the age of 10 -17 years old and holds youth accountable for their actions through restorative justice. The family is offered case management, cognitive behavior therapy, counseling, mentoring, pro-social activities as well as the evidence based program, Guiding Good Choices.

Watsonville Police Activities League (PAL) Program: The Watsonville Police Activities League (PAL) is a program that helps create the bond between police and youth through recreational and educational activities.  In the past year, Watsonville PAL has served over 400 youth in our community. PAL provides activities through these programs that include martial arts, mentoring, day trips, college explorations and art programs. Such activities aim at enhancing childrens’ self-confidence and interpersonal skills. For more information call 763-4146.

Adelante Program: The “Adelante” initiative focuses on gang prevention and intervention. Its Guiding Good Choices program provides case management, cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling and mentoring for at- risk youth and their families. For more information call 763-4146.

The Board of State and Community Corrections awarded the WPD with a grant for the past three (3) years to support the Caminos Program and pro-social activities administered by the Police Activities League. That grant expired on December 31, 2014.  During the three (3) years, the WPD referred 239 youth; of those who agreed to participate, over 90% successfully completed the program. As part of the police services, Measure G will help sustain the Caminos Program and the Police Activities League now that the grant has expired.   The WPD is grateful to the Watsonville Community for continuing to support these successful programs that have become a vital tool in the prevention of youth gang violence. For more information, please call the Watsonville Police Department at (831) 768-3300.

Keeping Up With Watsonville

Gallons Pledged – As of December 15, 2014 Watsonville residents have pledged to save a total of 820,155 gallons of water. Your diligence in water conservation is greatly appreciated. Please continue to conserve water, as current rain fall amounts are helpful but have not gotten us out of the drought situation.

2015 Earth Day/Day of the Child – If you’re interested in sponsoring this annual family event to be held on April 26th please call 768-3107.

World Wetlands Day – Come celebrate World Wetlands Day with City staff and  Watsonville Wetlands Watch on January 31st.  For information call the City Nature Center at 768-1622.

Water Main Replacement Program The College Road Water Main Project will be scheduled, weather permitting, throughout the next 3-months.

I love to hear from our community, so please feel free to email me directly at: nancy.bilicich@cityofwatsonville.org.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nancy Bilicich

Mayor