Thank you so much for joining us during our City Council meeting this month. There were many important updates! You can view the agenda, minutes, and meeting recording via the agenda center.
To recap, Council approved amendments to our Unified Land Use and Development Regulations which will incentivize builders to create more housing that meets community priorities of Affordability and more bedrooms for larger families. Land use regulations are the primary area of local control on our housing landscape, and thanks to months of work by our Planning Commission and lots of public input, this change can help create new housing that meets gaps in our community. WCAX covered this topic right before the meeting, click here to view.
Also on the topic of housing, Council discussed the need for additional citywide policies. We want to listen to residents, tenants, landlords, and housing providers to understand what the highest priority concerns are. We could consider asking the State Legislature for access to policies preventing no-cause evictions or other policies that focus on rent, security deposits, and other related issues. I encourage you to attend our City Council, Planning Commission, and Housing Commission meetings or to reach out directly to share your thoughts.
During the meeting, we also reviewed a Traffic Calming Manual and Policy that would inform a process for staff to evaluate streets that residents say need safety improvements by using objective criteria to select physical changes that would improve safety by design. We hope to adopt the final version in September - click here to view the manual.
Speaking of policy, the Winooski Police Department presented a 3-year update to our Community Policing Strategic Plan. We've seen significant improvements in recruitment and are looking at increasing community engagement opportunities. There are many interesting and informative sections of this plan - click here to view.
The meeting continued with items covering COVID-19 Business Recovery Grant awards and a review of draft guidelines for a similar program designed for non-profits. Related, we also saw a presentation and request for ARPA funds that would provide free push carts to residents who need them for trips to the grocery store, laundromat, and other daily needs.
Summer in Winooski continues with special events! We approved permits for a W. Spring Street block party on August 28 and a Winooski Pride event in Rotary Park on September 17. There are two more Winooski Wednesdays events this summer, be sure to check out Myra Flynn Band and Josh Panda! Click here for details.
The meeting concluded with the 90-day review of our new City Manager, Elaine Wang. Elaine is off to a great start in this role and has demonstrated a strong commitment to our residents. If you haven't had the chance to meet her yet, please reach out.
My latest episode of In The World of Winooski features an interview with Kayla Loving, Restorative Justice Coordinator at Spectrum Youth & Family Services. She’s been working with the City and School, leading the way with restorative justice work in Winooski by providing community workshops on topics like conflict resolution and power dynamics. Watch the episode to learn more. To learn more about restorative justice work in Winooski and how you can volunteer, visit winooskivt.gov/297/Community-Justice-Services.
Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone for participating in the Statewide Primary Election. It is always refreshing to see our residents engaging in the public process and I'm grateful for the service our elected officials provide. To view the election results, please visit electionresults.vermont.gov.
As always, feel free to reach out any time.
Mayor Kristine Lott - email@example.com