(A Community Connection)
October 26, 2011
(A Community Connection)
Highway 12 Double Fine Zone Evaluated
Caltrans sought and received approval from the City Council to seek legislation to continue Highway 12 as a Safety Enhancement-Double Fine Zone. The current double fine zone designation is scheduled to expire January 1, 2012. According to the staff report, Caltrans conducted an analysis on the number of accidents that occurred within the area and determined that this stretch of the highway still meets the criteria for the double fine zone. The zoning comes up for renewal every two years. Highway 12 was first designated as a double fine zone as result of the numerous traffic collisions and fatalities that occurred on Highway 12 between 2000 and 2006.
Comcast Reports to City Council
In response to the numerous complaints lodged by residents about receiving poor service from Comcast, the Council asked Comcast to appear and explain the issues concerning television cable outages, tiling, picture freezing, and inconsistent Internet service. Ken Maxey, director of government affairs for Comcast appeared before the Council during the October 20, meeting and informed the Council that Comcast is working hard to improve the quality of service it provides in Rio Vista. Unfortunately, Mr. Maxey could not explain the reasons for the outages and poor picture quality. Nor could he provide a reason for the intermittent Internet service. During the Council meeting, several residents expressed their dissatisfaction with Comcast’s service. Mr. Auslin told the Comcast representative, “Basically, your service sucks.” Former Chief of Police Bill Bowen informed Mr. Maxey that he is almost ready to change Internet carriers because of the repeated interruptions in service and poor quality television viewing. Mr. Bowen stated he pays a good price for service he doesn’t think is good quality.
In an effort to bring clarity and resolution to the situation, I asked Mr. Maxey to prepare and submit a written report to the City Council which outlines the reasons for the problems and a detailed plan of action for resolving them. Mr. Maxey is to submit the report prior to the next City Council meeting scheduled for November 3.
Alzheimer’s Support Group
If you are a caregiver and have an interest in establishing an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group in Rio Vista, please come to the fact finding meeting on November 8, 2011 at 11:30 at city hall. Sandra Perez of NorthBay Alzheimer’s Services will help us get the support group going. I hope to see you there!
Senior Summit – A Success!
I thank all of you who attended the Senior Summit on October 14, for your participation and positive feedback. Over a hundred of you completed and submitted the anonymous surveys. According to your reporting, the Summit was a great success. You expressed tremendous appreciation for the information you received from the presenters and the 26 businesses and organization that were present at the event. Many of you expressed a desire to have another Summit next year. Please know that I have taken your suggestions to heart and will be begin planning the next event soon. On behalf of the Senior Summit Committee, I want to publicly recognize and thank the Trilogy staff for going above and beyond the call of duty to help us make Rio Vista’s first Senior Summit a success. Debbie Dorn, Gary Beatty and their support staff donated countless hours to ensure that things went smoothly. During the Council meeting when I mentioned that Mr. Beatty should receive the Employee of the Year Award, someone in the audience chimed in “he already has.” Well, I see why. To put it simply, Mr. Beatty is an outstanding professional and I am honored to have had the pleasure of working closely with him over the past several months. The Committee is also grateful to Lira’s Supermarket and Rio Vista Floral Designs for their donations and to Trilogy’s HOA for allowing us to hold the event at the Vista Club.
In closing, I again thank my Senior Summit Committee members Margaret Anderson, Sharon Monck, Barbara Rodriguez, Rochelle Sherlock, and Carol Turgeon for their assistance, support, friendship, and for a job well done. The theme of the Summit was aging in place. Rio Vista, I cannot think of a better place to age than here.
Your comments are always welcomed at www.JanithNorman.com. Send emails to [email protected] or call 374-6451. Schedule an appointment or stop by city hall on Tuesdays between 1:30 and 3:30 to chat.
On Tuesday, June 7, the special election on Measure A will take place. For many readers of this column, this will be old news as the paper is generally circulated on Tuesdays. From a bigger picture perspective, I see the special election as a symptom of failed communication between the city government and the residents it serves. On many levels, it appears that each side lacks empathy for the other. It is clear that not only is the City of Rio Vista searching for ways to survive the downturn in the economy, so are our residents. With the loss of revenue, the City must operate with fewer personnel and continue to meet the needs of the public. With loss of income, residents must find ways to pay rents and mortgages and meet the needs of their families. Many have lost jobs and homes, and for some the financial stress has led to broken families. Needless to say, the economic crisis has left many angered, frustrated, and afraid. Some have chosen to vent their feeling through submittals in the local newspapers, online editorials and through the election process.
What kind of city are we becoming? We have weekly newspaper cartoons of the city manager, an increase in frequency of grand jury investigations and reports, and a ridiculous amount of hurtful articles in the paper aimed at people on either side of the water and sewer rate issue with both sides touting “Save our city!” People, we are the city and we cannot be saved by divisive tactics. The special election will decide the fate of the water and sewer rates. It is up to us to decide how we will live together in this community. Our lives and the quality and enjoyment thereof are bigger than this one issue. This City will grow to be what we make it to be – a good place to live, work, and play or a community where people pit neighbor against neighbor, cast blame, take no accountability, and fail to seek compromise. I call on each of us to redirect our focus toward seeking creative ways to bring businesses to town, and toward making Rio Vista more relevant in our county by creating partnerships with our neighboring cities to help facilitate access to resources and services. The vote on Tuesday will decide the rates, we will decide our future.
City Council Meeting
Harvey Felt, Living Legacy Award recipient, received recognition from the City Council for his outstanding commitment to the community. The Solano County Senior Coalition in partnership with the county, cities and other senior focus groups presented the Living Legacy Awards on May 24. It was an honor to watch as Mr. Felt, along with 28 others, received recognition for the outstanding life-long volunteer service they have provided. Last year’s award winner, Mr. Richard Brann, was also honored during the Council meeting and received a Living Legacy Awards pin.
The City Council approved the Annual Report for the Landscape and Lighting District No. 95-2 (Summerset Rio Vista) pertaining to Trilogy. By resolution the Council declared the City’s intention to levy and collect a $75.70 assessment for each residence in the District. A public hearing is scheduled for July 7 at 7 p.m.
Rio Vista Sanitation Service, Inc.’s franchise agreement with the City was amended to allow for an incremental yearly increase of the franchise for a total of 10% over the course of five years. The contract will expire on October 31, 2016. The Council also amended the Solid Waste Collection Ordinance allowing the Council to put a cap on the maximum amount of fees that a sanitation service provider can charge. The proposed provision in the ordinance to allow self-hauling of garbage was rejected by the Council. In April the matter raised some concerns over the “opt out” clause. On May 19, the franchise agreement was approved without inclusion of the clause. This time around, the city manager presented the Council with a matrix depicting that all cities within the county allow for self-hauling. He also included the self-hauling provision in the proposed new ordinance. After undertaking a more extensive investigation into the matter, I learned by reading the ordinances of each city that self-hauling was allowed by obtaining a permit to self-haul or by going through a hearing process to show cause why a permit to self-haul should be allowed. I strongly believe that allowing residents to opt out of garbage collection service would pose health and safety risks to the community. Some local landowners spoke during the meeting to urge the Council not to allow people to self-haul garbage. I am grateful that my colleagues supported our requests to not allow self-hauling of garbage in Rio Vista.
In the coming months, I look forward to telling you about Rio Vista’s first Senior Summit. Many of you know that I attend the Solano County Senior Coalition meetings, the Citizens for Seniors meetings, as well as participate in other activities that help improve the quality of life for our seniors and their families. Hosting a Senior Summit in Rio Vista is just another step toward connecting our seniors to resources and services that are available to them locally, county-wide and nationally. Next month I will be able to share with you more details about the location, sponsors and numerous partners that are working with me to make Rio Vista’s Senior Summit a success.
Your comments are always welcomed at www.JanithNorman.com. Send emails to [email protected] or call 374-6451. Stop by city hall on Tuesdays between 1:30 and 3:30 to chat.