As we entered the second week of March, we once again prepared for storms and another atmospheric river event that was expected to bring heavy rains and flooding. The City is working tirelessly with many partners to prepare and be ready to assist our community. As before, I urge you to be prepared and have a plan. Emergency notifications will be made through CodeRED, an emergency phone notification system. Residents must register to receive information at scr911.org or text SCR911 to 99411. You can also receive notifications by downloading the Watsonville Police Department mobile app or the CodeRED app.
While the storm is top of mind, there are many exciting events and activities underway in Watsonville.
Our Library continues to develop and bring many exciting opportunities for our community and youth. If poetry is your interest and you are a youth between the ages of 12-19, nominations are being accepted for our 2023-2025 Watsonville Youth Poet Laureate. The program’s primary goal is to recognize a youth under the age of 20 for their literary achievements with a commitment to and a passion for promoting awareness of poetry and whose work (literary or otherwise) demonstrates a commitment to social justice, equity and diversity.
We are also very excited to feature teacher Magdalena Montagne as she leads a poetry workshop for poets at all levels. This is a chance to write and share your poetry in a supportive environment with an experienced poet as your guide.
If building and working with your hands is more your speed, please check out our Library Lego Club and be a Master Builder. The Club meets the first Tuesday of the month from 4-5pm at the Main Library, Children’s Play Space Area.
Our Parks department is in full swing with many sports and activities like the free family-friendly Egg Hunt, Eggstravaganza at Pinto Lake Park on April 8, from 1-4pm.
Enjoy a fun-filled day with arts and crafts, games, live performances, food trucks, and so much more. And don’t forget to snap a picture with the Easter Bunny. Kids ages 3 to 13 years old are invited to participate in the egg hunt. Please bring your own basket (or container) for the egg hunt.
Continuing efforts to strengthen our collaborative efforts with county, state and federal officials, City leaders will be traveling to Washington D.C. to participate in the National League of Cities annual conference and meet with our Congressional delegation. In addition, plans are underway to host a joint meeting between the City Council and County Board of Supervisors.
Plans are also underway to host a business roundtable, whose goal is to deepen the understanding of the challenges facing businesses in 2023, hear their plans for the future, and work jointly to begin the development of partnerships and initiatives necessary to enhance our economy and create more jobs and opportunities for all.
Finally, I would like to thank Watsonville for the passage of Measure R, which is an unprecedented level of local investment in our community. This measure will provide the flexibility and more importantly capacity to continue to move the city forward. It is estimated that Measure R will generate over $5 million annually and tens of millions over its life for infrastructure improvements to our parks and streets, investment in new and expansion of library, youth and senior programs, expansion of library hours and access, and many other opportunities to continue to enhance the quality of life, opportunity for all, and a sense of place for the community to thrive. Please be on the lookout for opportunities to participate in the Measure R Advisory Committee and provide your ideas and thoughts on the use of these funds.
Until next time, Watsonville.
Mayor’s Update is a recurring column from Watsonville’s mayor.