By Oscar Rios, Watsonville Mayor
The Watsonville Police Department is proud to announce that Officer Juan Bribiesca is the new downtown officer. Officer Bribiesca is assigned to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). He will provide community oriented, pro-active police enforcement efforts in the downtown area. Some of Officer Bribiesca’s goals are to develop a strong working relationship with other city departments; community based organizations, the downtown library and businesses owners. Officer Bribiesca will be overtly visible and available to the downtown community and may work on foot or on a bicycle.
Open Streets Watsonville – Huge Success!
Open Streets Watsonville was a huge success! It was an amazing event, full of biking, rolling, walking, dancing, yoga, visiting with neighbors and celebrating community. Thank you to Open Street Santa Cruz County and all the sponsors and volunteers that made this event possible! To stay informed about future Open Streets events and developments, join their e-mail list: www.scopenstreets.org/contact-subscribe/.
Mayors 4 Climate
Mayor Rios and 278 other mayors across the United States made a commitment to adopt, honor and uphold the goals included in the Paris Agreement. Mayor Rios and the City of Watsonville will continue their commitment to fighting climate change.
The Value of Our Water
The City of Watsonville is proud to provide safe drinking water to our customers at the lowest prices in the region. You are paying less than a penny per gallon of clean potable water. Your tap water is tested every step of the way, from our groundwater wells and creeks to the pipes leading into your home. Our water is regulated by the State and Federal government to ensure that your potable water meets all the standards for drinking water safety. For your safety, a minimal amount of chlorine is added (and nothing else) into our water before distribution to disinfect our water pipes that deliver drinking water from its source to your home. Your full Water Quality Report is ready to view at watsonvilleutilities.org or request it be mailed to your home by calling 768-3133 or emailing [email protected].
Volunteers Needed – Fire in the Sky
We are in need of volunteers for the upcoming Fire in the Sky event on July 4. Please consider donating an hour of your time to help make this new annual event a grand success. Opportunities include setting up, tearing-down, hosting the information booth and selling event shirts and other items are available. Free runway parking is available for those who volunteer. Bring your family along to enjoy this festival with you. Please call Doug Mattos at 768-3092 for more information.
Proactive Code Enforcement of Commercial and Residential Properties
As part of our ongoing efforts to revitalize the city’s commercial areas and downtown, the city is moving forward with improvements to our Code Enforcement structure and operation. Code Enforcement services are currently provided within the Community Development Department. Due to economic factors and staffing levels within the Community Development Department over the past several years, code enforcement efforts were reduced to compliance-based enforcement only. These code officers were also tasked with assessing, tracking and enforcing foreclosure properties during the same time. Now that economic recovery has begun and we are seeing business and residential activity thrive, there is a need to provide proactive code enforcement. Recently, we have hired a third code enforcement officer which will facilitate the implementation of this new proposed action. Visit our website to learn more about the Code Enforcement Priorities at www.cityofwatsonville.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=113.
Be Safe and Sane with Fireworks
The City of Watsonville has a zero tolerance on the misuse of fireworks within the city limits of Watsonville.
Here is a list of some common violations:
• Allowing someone under 18 years to light the fireworks
• Lighting illegal fireworks
• Lighting fireworks within 10 feet of any residence
• Using fireworks outside the approved time (midnight June 30 to midnight July 5)
The fine for each violation is $1,000 and fines cannot be waived.
Keeping Up With Watsonville
• Spirit of Watsonville Parade & Fire in the Sky Open House — Don’t miss the Fourth of July parade which will take place at 1 p.m. on Main Street. After the parade join us for the Fire in the Sky Airport Open House at 5 p.m. There will be a variety of food trucks, flyovers, airplane display and fireworks. Visit our website for more information: www.cityofwatsonville.org.
• Music In the Plaza – We will have six concerts at the City Plaza this summer on Thursday starting on June 22-Sept. 14.
Amazing Local Athletic Talent
Congratulations to all of the talented and hardworking local athletes! I’m thrilled to see all the amazing local talent we have here in Watsonville. Here are just a few of the athletes recently honored:
• Jessica Rodriguez — sophomore at Watsonville High School named the Monterey Bay League Gabilan division’s Pitcher of the Year.
• Rafael Betancourt — senior at Pajaro Valley High School earned the first MVP, Monterey Bay League Pacific division top honor.
• Watsonville High School Softball Team — Congratulations on winning the Central Coast Section Division Championship!
• Ariana Azevedo — freshman at Saint Francis High School named the league’s top freshman by coaches from around the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League.
I love to hear from our community, so please feel free to email me directly at: [email protected].
Oscar Rios is the mayor of Watsonville. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of the Pajaronian.