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Mayor's Monthly Update

January 2014

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. We do it with pride and we do it with less!

 There are a lot of exciting things happening in Watsonville:

 World Wetlands Day in Watsonville!

Come celebrate World Wetlands Day in Watsonville on February 1, 2014 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Be part of a world-wide event by joining the efforts to restore and protect this unique and valuable habitat. Learn about the wonders of our own fresh water wetland, its native plants and animals; and how they benefit us. Community Service credits available. Snacks and tools provided. For more information please contact John Moreno at 247-1609 or Cristy Cassel at 768.1622 or visit our website: http://cityofwatsonville.org/city-of-watsonville/world-wetlands-day-2.

Citywide Fiber Optic Project is Underway

New infrastructure for fiber optics is underway.   The Project will involve running new fiber optic lines to locations throughout the City of Watsonville. This can be completed using a combination of existing conduits and utility boxes and new conduits installed by directional boring terminating in either existing utility boxes or new boxes.   The main routes for the proposed fiber optic lines will be installed along Union St., Brennan St., Freedom Blvd. , Airport Blvd., Maple Avenue and Marchant St.

To read more about the project, please visit our website: http://cityofwatsonville.org/city-of-watsonville/citywide-fiber-optic-project-is-underway.

G.H.W.R. Youth Center Youth Perform at Hip Hop for Hope Event

People of all ages and from as far as Texas came out to enjoy the 3rd annual Hip Hop for Hope event on Friday, December 13th. Hip Hop for Hope is an all-ages food and toy drive concert benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County and Toys for Tots. The amount of canned food collected and the cash donated by the event co-organizer equaled 2,278 meals. In addition, 118 toys were collected.

To read more about our Hip Hop for Hope event, please visit our website: http://cityofwatsonville.org/city-of-watsonville/g-h-w-r-youth-center-youth-perform-at-hip-hop-for-hope-event.

Notice of Commission and Board Vacancies

The City Council is seeking applications for the City of Watsonville:

Library Commission

Term Expiration: 11/30/14

Personnel Commission

Term Expiration: 11/30/16

Applicants must be qualified registered voters in the City of Watsonville. The appointments will be made by the City Council for a term concurrent to that of the Council Member making the recommendation. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until appointment is made. Applicants may apply in person, by mail in the City Clerk’s Office, Civic Plaza Building, 275 Main Street, Suite 400, Watsonville, CA 95076, or email to beatriz.flores@cityofwatsonville.org. To read more about the vacancies, please visit our website: http://cityofwatsonville.org/city-of-watsonville/notice-of-commissionboard-vacancies.

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

Sincerely,

Mayor Karina Cervantez

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David H. Perez January 23, 2014 at 12:19 AM
So, Mayor Cervantez, all of this stuff is nice. But I want to know where you stand on the rights of the voters of Watsonville to elect their own district representatives - and the way the mayor is appointed. But I guess if you were in favor of fair government, you would not be mayor. Please prove me wrong, and give me a response better than "every citizen has a right to petition their government."
Isaac January 23, 2014 at 04:57 AM
This is a great year for Watsonville. There is so much to look forward to. There is great work being done by our limited city staff and All the council members to ensure the future for our community. There is much positive collaboration taking place between community members and the city. Watsonville is rich with culture and spirit which others outside the community envy. Mayor Cervantez is a strong, Educated, dedicated Latina Women that has nothing but the best interest in mind for the city of Watsonville. She is only the second Latina Women to serve as Mayor for the city which puts her in a very small margin, which she should be very proud! There is Much ugly history that we went through to be at this point in time, which some seem to forget. There will be some negative talk and many miss-informed fingers flying around. But as long as we all focus on the real issues we face together, we all can achieve a positive outcome. Real issues like 23% unemployment, Water drought, Education, Homelessness, Crime, the levy system, Generation of revenue for city purposes and upkeep, etc. Thank you Mayor Cervantez and all the city council and staff for your hard work and dedication.
sweetcakes January 23, 2014 at 09:40 AM
No matter what sugar coated comments you make, we still will not vote for a new sales tax. City management including the current majority council have no business acumen and we will not vote for more money for them to blow. Police and other services could have been paid for with all the millions spend on out of town lawyers defending stupid attempts to build more slum low income housing at the airport. Until we get better council members and a new slate of city managers and their posse, NO to all new sales tax increases. Spending 676-5 Thousand dollars on measure T (special election) is another example of waste we want to see stop.
David H. Perez January 23, 2014 at 11:12 AM
Ah, Isaac, just another one of your typical histrionic bloviations. Why must you and your friends always bring race into the conversation, like making reference to the currently annointed mayor being Latina? What difference does it make what racial or ethnic background she is? And speaking of ugly history, you guys are creating your own new ugly history by what your brand of politics is doing to Watsonville. One thing you and I agree on is that we need to work together to solve the many problems that plague Watsonville. But as I have stated countless times before, until you guys quit practicing your racially-divisive politics, nothing meaningful will get done because only a small number of people in the community will be behind you. Real progress takes 100% public support, and I can tell you from comments I have heard from hundreds of voters that the support is just not there. And come on now, we all know why Karina was REALLY selected as mayor. And I don't see any of you supporting our campaign for good and fair local government (Dr. Bilicich is the only one on the cc who has publicly expressed support). But of course not, you might lose your monopoly on city council seats! And the comments from sweetcakes about not supporting any new tax increase is very representative of the comments I heard from hundreds of registered voters while I was out collecting signatures. Until you guys bust up your little club and we start getting some qualified, business-savvy people on the city council, none of us will give you more money. And I think the over 11,000 signatures we received from registered voters on our petitions makes a strong statement that the people with the voting power are ready for a major change in city government. Voters are ready to see this tax measure go down like Measure T unless we start seeing some changes. Just sharing some talk around town.
Cathy P. January 23, 2014 at 01:26 PM
I have to agree with Isaac about one thing: this is a great year for Watsonville, but I have to paraphrase a bit and say COULD be a great year for Watsonville. With the signatures turned in for all three initiatives: Mayor rotation, how vacancies are filled, and naming of public places, our community may finally get the "clique" out of city government and into the hands of the people where it belongs. All three initiatives are color blind, race blind, gender blind, age blind and political party blind. All three seek to build a foundation of fairness and to promote civic participation so that the citizens of Watsonville have the opportunity to take on the serious problems facing our city. There are 4 city council seats up for re-election (hopefully not re-selection) in November. I hope residents in each of these districts step up and throw their hats into the ring. Let's get rid of the stale, selfish, useless current majority and replace them with fresh faces and fresh original ideas on the council.
Let the People Vote January 23, 2014 at 01:29 PM
More of the same cheerleading by Isaac Rodriguez I see. Some things never change...
Isaac January 23, 2014 at 04:48 PM
Lets not forget that Dr. Belicich was first appointed to the council. She benefits from the seat being handed to her. I support the process. I have nothing bad to say about what you are doing. I commend you for your efforts. We all can benefit from what you are doing. ;) But If these initiatives pass, Then we can look forward to thousands of dollars that it will take to process them in this election and then thousands more in the future for each election, just saying.. But now we still have real issues at hand to take care of. Increased unemployment. The police and fire dept need our support to sustain productivity. Its a scary thought to think that one day if you need to call emergency services for something, they will be late or not show at all because there is a budget issue to sustain a certain number of on-call emergency personal. How come you don't support your local fire and police dept regardless of politics? Also, I think its offensive and racist within itself to try and shame someone for being proud of there heritage and culture. I know some here would take great offense if another national were to down grade you for being American. We are all proud of who we are. Each one of us have our own struggles. Some more than others. Being a women is a struggle by itself. Can you imagine being a Latina Women? Now that is struggle that some here can never imagine. We support and celebrate such accomplishments. And yes, I am very proud of our Community and its success in overcoming divers struggles.
David H. Perez January 23, 2014 at 05:20 PM
Isaac - Once again you can't even make a statement without bringing race into the picture. This must be an obsession for you. Yes, I agree everyone should be proud of who they are. But when it gets to the point where one group creates a corrupt system to benefit its members while disenfranchising everyone else, then that is wrong - just like it was wrong in the days when the Latinos were disenfranchised and could not get elected to public office. A person's race is really irrelevant to what we are trying to do with the initiatives. We just want fairness in government for everyone so no group is disenfranchised. If you think fair government is not a good thing, then please present an intelligent argument against it. Also, I support our police and fire and would gladly vote for a tax increase if we had competent people in the city handling our money. Until some housecleaning takes place on the city level, I and many other registered voters in town say, NO NEW TAXES.
Cathy P. January 23, 2014 at 06:51 PM
Dr. Nancy Bilicich was appointed to the District 7 council seat due to the untimely death of Councilmen Dale Skillicorn. She was seated according to the rules of the City Charter and has not benefited "from the seat being handed to her." Like Mr. Skillicorn, Dr. Bilicich has been kept from being elected Mayor by your clique even though she is far and above more qualified than anyone else who has served in the past 8 years. So Epic Fail Isaac. And now you say you support the three initiatives? Did you sign the petitions? Is that why YOU filed the complaint with the FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission)? I'm a proponent and have a copy of the complaint in my hand (interesting residence address you listed btw). Our "Let the People Vote" group is a true grassroots organization and were unaware of the FPPC law regarding making or receiving contributions, which we did not. Fortunately your complaint was dismissed for "lack of evidence" but we learned our lesson the hard way. You'll be relieved to hear I'm sure that we are all official now and have a committee ID number and everything! So thanks for your support Isaac and for proving once again that you and your Measure T buddies don't play well with others, especially those with other political views. And please explain how passing these initiatives is going to cost thousands of dollars? We aren't proposing a special election like your Measure T and any future elections will be strictly by mail and in the case of a council vacancy for example, only in the district where the vacancy occurs. As for supporting our police and fire depts, I absolutely do. I'm not the one who mismanages taxpayer money and then comes crying, using scare tactics to bilk the taxpayers even more. As for the struggles of women, I'm hoping to have an all female city council and city leadership one day ;) Wow, imagine that!
Let the People Vote January 23, 2014 at 07:18 PM
If anyone has "benefited" from serving on the city council it's Louie Alejo who used it as a stepping stone to Mayor and then on to the State Assembly. Thank god he terms out soon and we'll be rid of him (heard he plans to ruin Salinas next). As for an all female city council and leadership, you have my vote!!!
David H. Perez January 23, 2014 at 09:04 PM
@Cathy P. and Let The People Vote - all I can say is, BAZINGA! Will be interesting to see Isaac's response.
Sylvia Lazo January 23, 2014 at 09:22 PM
Just a quick side note: Latina/Latino may be a race, but American is not. American is a citizenship. Not all Caucasians are American, and not all Americans are caucasian. :)
David H. Perez January 23, 2014 at 09:30 PM
@Sylvia Lazo - I have to agree with everything you just stated. I don't understand the relevance to this conversation. We are talking about fairness for everyone. So, explain???
Sylvia Lazo January 23, 2014 at 10:05 PM
@David Perez- My comment regarding American being a citizenship not a race was actually in response to Isaac's comments ; I apologize for not making that clear. Isaac wrote"....I think its offensive and racist within itself to try and shame someone for being proud of there heritage and culture. I know some here would take great offense if another national were to down grade you for being American." To me it sounded like he was confused about American being a race. Believe it or not, David, I'm not trying to cause problems; I do agree that if we just leave out any/all references to race, gender, age, color, political preference, and sexual orientation, and anything else that is divisive and distracting form the real issue(s), that we will be able to move ahead.
roynsann1 January 23, 2014 at 11:10 PM
@Isaac Rodriquez... " Mayor Cervantez is a strong, Educated, dedicated Latina Women that has nothing but the best interest in mind for the city of Watsonville" If it was a white woman or a Japanes woman, would your statement read IS A STRONG, EDUCATED, DEDICATED WHITE WOMAN (JAPANESE WOMAN, ETC). I call that racial. And another question.. You said Nancy had the seat handed to her. Can you name the OTHERS in the past 10 years that had their seats handed to them (no pun intended). Hummm. For example... ALEJO, Luis Angel. How long did he faithfully serve the community??? and his wife.. are we to see the same fate with her? CONT'D. There should be ONE RACE.. and that is the HUMAN RACE. Isn't it odd that the ones making such an issue with RACE are usually the latino/latina themself. Race is always brought in. My opinion and I stand by it.
David H. Perez January 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM
@Sylvia Lazo and roynsann1 - What you both said is right on. The "Let the People Vote" folks (who themselves by the way are a very diverse group in all respects) are striving for political fairness for EVERYONE in Watsonville. It is a shame that folks like Isaac have to racialize everything. We even hear this stuff publicly during city council meetings. Both inappropriate and unprofessional. Thanks for your comments.
Isaac January 24, 2014 at 03:22 PM
Wow... The straight up disrespect and people bashing here is amazing and a real eye opener on how the people on this blog really think! Thank you all for your up lifting words. I really feel inspired. To the readers, What and Who ever you are, be proud and don't let these types of comments bring negative thoughts to you. Yes, we all are human. I have many mix's within my own DNA. But It feels good to be recognized for all your glory, it feels bad when someone brings you down.. I know you all here on this blog are smart and dedicated people, I applaud and commend you on your interest and work in Our community. There is much more work to do, to make all our lives a bit better. Hopefully one day we can all sit around a nice dinner and have a good laugh about all this. Till then, Good luck with everything and god bless.. ;)
Let the People Vote January 24, 2014 at 06:05 PM
Musta hit a nerve...
sweetcakes January 28, 2014 at 01:47 AM
I urge those that are interested in how the current city management manages the resources they receive from sales tax and property taxes to read the newest Watsonville Fishing Report. It's quite interesting. I hope the Grand Jury looks again into how the current city management seems to be kiting funds from one account to another to pay the bills. Is it legal? Perhaps the Grand Jury will inform us .

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