Town Council Meeting Notes – March 21, 2023

NOTE: there are two ways to stream the Council meetings. First, go to the main page of Meetings and Agendas, find the date you want to watch, and click the play button under the Video section. Secondly, you can open the HTML version of the agenda and scroll down to find the link via the Town’s Streaming Media Player. Lastly, it can be watched on Local Channel 28. (I have included the links for streaming at the end of the article). Of course, there is a new website being rolled out soon, and this is the way to do it for now.

Thank you to all who have emailed me or stopped me on the street to ask or question my notes from the Monday Council Retreat. I appreciate hearing from all of you, especially those who have questioned some of my points and ideas. I am happy to see the conversation going and get other viewpoints from outside my experiences.

Not all meetings are about confrontation and redlining. Tuesday’s Council meeting was about celebrating and then collaborating to make the Town’s facilities accessible and work within the aesthetic of the Washington Park Neighborhood.

The meeting started with a Proclamation for Town Manager Steve Rogers, as it was his last scheduled Town Council meeting after 15 years of service to our community, 2007 – 2023. Mayor Margie Mohler read the proclamation covering Steve’s lifetime of work in the public sector. Read the proclamation. Never at a loss for words, Rogers commented that he has worked with over 15 Council members and gave a big shout-out to his staff. Steve will remain in Yountville, so be sure to congratulate him and THANK him for all his work for us.

They even recessed for a party with food and drink. Yet another reason to show up in person for a Town Council meeting (I can’t promise they will have snacks at the next meeting).

As the meeting started, there were two Public Comments: one from Allen Tenscher thanking the Council for their work on getting a grant for software to implement solar more expeditious. The other Public Comment was a rant against the Council’s Retreat on Monday and how that meeting played out… it was from me. Here is a more extended version of that Public Comment I posted yesterday on The Yountvillian.

Council approved the Consent Calendar. Notably, all the requirements for the Yountville Community Church that must be fulfilled to remove the dead oak tree on their property. The interesting point is that Vice Mayor Knight had to recuse himself from the vote on this item because of the proximity conflict. However, he actively participated in the conversation and deliberations at the March 7 meeting on this agenda item.

The new Yountville Sun team was introduced and gave a short overview of its direction. Marc Hand of Highway 29 Publishing stated, “… we are at the crawling stage”. They will continue printing and are very close to having a website running. They will also be opening listening sessions in the future for feedback from the community. Hwy 29 member and local Larry Kamer stressed the importance of community support on a financial level. The Napa Valley Community Foundation has a Media & Democracy Fund to support Highway 29 Publishing. Check it out and support local journalism! There will also be an April 20 event about saving local journalism sponsored by the Foundation. Keep an eye out for more details.

Kim Beltran is the new Editor, and Julie Mitchell reports on Yountville.

Most of the meeting was taken up with agenda item 10 A with the Council, and residents received a presentation from Deputy Public Works Director Rosalba Ramirez. Staff requested direction from Town Council regarding final designs for ADA Accessibility Improvements for Public Lands located at Forrester Park and Three Weirs Park in Washington Park. Deputy Director Ramirez did a great job with the presentation, so I have included it. This process has been going on for quite some time, starting with the Town Transition Plan to bring the public agency into ADA compliance.

ADA is the driving force here, so there are many comments from Town Attorney Gary Bell. The deadline for these two locations with grants and keeping compliant is August 2024. This ADA issue and has many moving parts and so much buracracy behind it. A few residents made Public Comments, and Will Hayes highlighted a few interesting points about “community ideas prior to development of any design concept” and “effectiveness more than efficiency.” Some thoughtful ideas and concepts for moving forward with projects in Yountville.

Based on the design ideas and public feedback, the Council voted to direct staff to add a landscape architect to engage with community members and staff to develop a landscape plan for each park regarding the preferred design options. The design options Council would like to include are Option 4 at Three Weirs Park and Option 2 at Forrester Park. See the presentation for the design options that were chosen.

And as always you can watch the meeting.

Yes, the agenda included more items, but it was 6:15 pm, and I did not partake of any snacks from the celebration at 3:10 pm, so I headed home to eat. I hear not much was missed.

Read the agenda. Watch the meeting. Watch the meeting from the main page.

ADA Presentation for Forrester Park and Three Weirs Park.

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