Tag Archives: county

Mike McGowan to step down as supervisor, accept governor’s appointment

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 13, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Michael McGowan, one of West Sacramento’s preeminent ‘pols’ since becoming the city’s first mayor in 1987, will leave elected office next month.

He has been appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as deputy director of strategic planning and policy at the state department of motor vehicles.

MICHAEL McGOWAN: Currently a Yolo County Supervisor, he has served as West Sacramento's first mayor and is now immediate past president of the California State Association of Counties (courtesy photo)

MICHAEL McGOWAN: Currently a Yolo County Supervisor, he has served as West Sacramento’s first mayor and is now immediate past president of the California State Association of Counties (courtesy photo)

“My last board of supervisors meeting is December third and my first day at the new job is the fourth,” McGowan told the News-Ledger.

After serving on West Sacramento’s first city council starting in 1987, McGowan was elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in 1993. He has served the 1st District (Clarksburg and most of West Sacramento) since.

He believes the county to be in “sound” shape with a great staff.

What will he do at the new job?

“My role is probably more akin to being a special assistant to the director,” he told the News-Ledger. “One of the things I know I’ll be doing right away involves the ‘undocumented drivers’ legislation that the governor approved into law. That will undoubtedly require some programming challenges. How is it going to work in different parts of the state, or with local sheriff’s departments?”

The new post pays about $125,000 annually. The remainder of McGowan’s board term (which ends in January, 2017) will be filled by an appointment by the governor.

McGowan told the News-Ledger he does not yet know if Governor Brown will seek his input on filling the new vacancy on the board of supervisors.

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What do you do with an old courthouse?

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 6, 2013 —

News-Ledger Staff

What would you do with this landmark courthouse building erected in 1917? Would you convert it to office space? A museum? A school? Some sort of public market?

Now that Yolo County is constructing a replacement court, the old structure in Woodland will lose its original purpose. So county officials are looking to “consider alternative and innovative approaches to the reuse of the facility,” reports spokesperson Beth Gabor.

Yolo County Courthouse, finished in 1917 and seen here in 2011 (public domain photo/Wikipedia Commons)

Yolo County Courthouse, finished in 1917 and seen here in 2011 (public domain photo/Wikipedia Commons)

So, just what will you have to work with?

You get a building on the National Registry of Historic Places that was designed with Greek and Roman influences, encompasses 50,000 square feet and sits on 2.75 acres along Court Street, a block away from Woodland’s main drag.

“Yolo County’s objective is to consider this property in its suburban context as a fully utilized and valued asset that invites innovative design,” said Gabor. “Potential use could involve a lease of the property from the county. Any future use would need to take into account historic preservation restrictions and environmental conditions.”

Gabor quotes Mindi Nunez, deputy county administrator:

“We intend to use the ideas received from citizens, developers and others for planning purposes to make strategic decisions regarding future use of this property.”

Interested parties can arrange a tour by calling (530) 666-8426.

Ideas may be submitted by email (mindi.nunes@yolocounty.org) or mail (Office of the Yolo County Administrator, Attn: Mindi Nunes, 625 Court St., Suite 202, Woodland CA 95695).

For more information on submitting ideas, visit www.yolocounty.org.

Ideas are due by November 25.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

New park is part of health outreach for northern West Sacramento

Kids on the playground at the August 20 opening of Westfield Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser)

Kids on the playground at the August 20 opening of Westfield Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 28, 2013 —

  Information in this report comes chiefly from Edwin Garcia, Media Relations Specialist for Kaiser Permanente.

On Tuesday of last week (August 20), local civic leaders and local families celebrated the opening of West Sacramento’s newest city park. Westfield Park — adjacent to Westfield Village Elementary School — resulted from a “grassroots effort led by parents, a unique partnership between a coalition of stakeholders – including the city of West Sacramento, and Washington Unified School District – and a $150,000 Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit grant awarded to Yolo County Children’s Alliance (YCCA),” reports Edwin Garcia, a Kaiser Permanente spokesman.

“This is an amazing day for all of us,” said Katie Villegas, executive director of the YCCA, in a press release from Kaiser. Villegas is a West Sacramento resident and local school board member. She leads the YCCA, a Davis-based organization that worked with parents, city officials, county representatives, school board members and local organizations to create the park.

Visitors at the park’s inauguration included Robert Azevedo, M.D., the physician-in-chief of Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento; West Sacramento City Councilman Oscar Villegas and other city officials; Washington Unified School District Superintendent Dayton Gilleland; school district board President Mary Leland; Westfield Village School Principal Ryan Gonzales; and Yolo County Supervisors Mike McGowan and Don Saylor.

Several of the speakers at Tuesday’s ceremony recalled how a group of neighborhood parents several years ago lobbied the city council, parks and recreation staff, and school district representatives, for a park in a neighborhood that never had one.

The neighborhood might be called an “underserved” community, with few local recreation assets.

Eventually, city and school district officials came up with a plan, reported Kaiser spokesman Garcia: the district would transfer to the city part of a grassy field at Westfield Village School, and the city would design and build a park. Funding, however, was a major obstacle.

In the meantime, YCCA, a non-profit, was working on projects to improve the health of children and adults in West Sacramento – and some of the parents involved in its programs were the same ones who, years earlier, had lobbied the city for a park.

The effort to create the park, and the neighborhood initiatives headed by YCCA – such as the desire to reduce childhood obesity, increasing nutrition awareness, and offering Zumba classes to parents – found to be in alignment with Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating Active Living initiative.

The Kaiser Permanente grant in late 2011 added momentum to the effort to build the park.

Dr. Robert Azevedo Physician in Chief for Kaiser Permanente in the region, addresses the West Sacramento crowd (photo courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser Permanente)

Dr. Robert Azevedo
Physician in Chief for Kaiser Permanente in the region, addresses the West Sacramento crowd
(photo courtesy of Edwin Garcia/Kaiser Permanente)

“This really fits well with what Kaiser Permanente is about, in promoting good health and disease prevention,” said Dr. Azevedo. “We’re very pleased to be part of this program. It is wonderful to see these families out here being active and part of the community.”

As Dr. Azevedo spoke, several children were already climbing, jumping and running at the park’s new play structure.

“I am very happy because now we have a place to bring our children to play; we know how important it is for them to exercise,” said Lourdes Maya, a mother of a 9-year-old girl, and boys ages 7 and 5, who live within a 10 minute walk of the new park.

West Sacramento’s park master plan calls for a play structure for older kids, a covered barbecue area, a drinking fountain, a 6-foot-wide walking path, an exercise par course, and connections to a bike/pedestrian trail located at the western edge of the park.

The park is located on Poplar Avenue just across a newly built fence from Westfield Village School, between West Capitol and Sacramento avenues.

Councilman Oscar Villegas thanked the parents for their efforts. Some of them have since taken the role of promotoras – lay people who are trained to be neighborhood health advocates through YCCA and funded by the Kaiser Permanente grant. “I really want to thank the promotoras,” Councilman Villegas said. “Without their initiative and their stick-to-it-iveness this would not have happened. As you can see, many of them are enjoying the park right now, with their children.”

The Kaiser HEAL grant also has helped fund the implementation of “Playworks: Make Recess Count,” a school-based program that trains adult volunteers to lead out in physical activities during recess at Westfield Village.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

More business news from West Sac

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — AUG 28, 2013 —

Festivities around the opening of the Japan-based Nippon Shokken food seasonings plant in Southport weren’t the only thing in West Sacramento business news this month.

According to various media reports:

—  Petco opened one of two new Sacramento-area stores on Aug. 19 near Ikea in West Sacramento. The pet-supply store operates from 11,500 square feet in the RiverPoint Marketplace, near Reed Avenue and I-80.  And:

—  A Norway-based French fry processing firm announced plans to build a 60,000-square foot facility on Embarcadero Drive in the Riverside Commerce Center of West Sacramento, also near I-80 and Reed Avenue.

TOMRA Sorting USA hopes to open in March, with a 12-year lease from Harsch Investment Properties. West Sacramento’s Brown Construction Inc. is the builder in this build-to-suit deal. TOMRA expects to expand from about 45 to 70 employees upon this expansion.

—  Yolo County’s landfill recently announced a program designed to save local farmers money – an estimated $45,000 annually for every thousand acres farmed, reports county spokeswoman Beth Gabor.

Instead of disposing of plastic ag waste by paying fees to drop it in the landfill, farmers have a new option. The county has partnered with Encore Farming Solutions to create a recycling program. Items such as irrigation drip tape, almond film plastic, mulch film plastic, greenhouse plastic and strawberry fumigation tarp can now be recycled into plastic bags, at no cost to the farmer.  The farms do have to roll or bale the material before it goes to Encore.

For more information, ag firms may call Yolo County Recycling Coordinator Pamela Hedrick at (530) 666-8856, or email her at phedrick@yolocounty.org.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013