I’d like to start my update by thanking residents for their patience as our Public Works Department continues to clear the streets and sidewalks after the recent winter storm. Public Works continues to experience staffing shortages and are working to clear up the remainder of the snow. If you have questions about this process, please reach out to our Director of Public Works, Jon Rauscher: 802 655 6410 / firstname.lastname@example.org. During our last City Council meeting, we authorized staff to use some funds to incentivize hiring and retention in the Public Works Department, to try to fill persistent vacancies, and reward existing staff that are working extra to keep up. To see our current employment opportunities, please visit winooskivt.gov/jobs.
Other business at the meeting included extending the city-wide COVID-19 mask mandate another 30 days, appointing two new commissioners to the Municipal Infrastructure Commission, and a deep dive into potential updates related to our land-use regulations. The Winooski Planning Commission has spent many months finding ways to improve the zoning process, and after some Council input, we'll hold public hearings for residents to weigh in too.
As for the City Manager hiring process, our recruiter is receiving strong applications and that the search committee will review later this month, followed shortly by first-round interviews and opportunities for the public to meet the candidates. We're also working on the recruitment process for a new HR director and look forward to finding the right candidate.
Last Friday, we held our first American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) listening session to get community input on how we should prioritize the $2.2 million in funds for pandemic relief. Many thanks to those who attended and offered great insight on impacts and issues. We're planning for additional outreach opportunities that will inform a community survey and will continue to focus on direct outreach to engage as many community members as possible. Full details on the ARPA process can be found at winooskivt.gov/arpa.
Town Meeting Day is right around the corner and our info page is live: winooskivt.gov/townmeetingday. You'll find budget/ballot/election info and everything you need to prepare to vote on March 1st. Remember, starting this year, all residents, regardless of citizenship status, can vote in Winooski's (local only/municipal/school) elections. In addition to the direct outreach we're doing with our community partners to educate new voters on this process, we hosted an All-Resident Voting meeting that was well attended. I also encourage you to join us for our Annual City/School budget presentation meeting on Feb. 17 - those details are here.
Lastly, we've just announced our Centennial Celebration info! Discover how you can celebrate Winooski's 100th municipal birthday at legacy.winooskivt.gov.
As always, feel free to reach out any time.
Mayor Kristine Lott - email@example.com / 802 766 1988