Watsonville city council
Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville City Council met Saturday to get an update on the current Strategic Plan, which was adopted in June 2021.  

The council adopts a new plan every two years and the 2021-23 plan outlines seven long-range priorities, which are housing, infrastructure and the environment, public safety, efficient government, economic development, community engagement, and fiscal health.  

As with just about every municipality across the state, Watsonville is focusing on affordable housing through further developing the downtown area and adding high-density, vertical housing; expanding rental housing, and a community awareness campaign about rental assistance, home buyer programs and accessory-dwelling unit (ADU) regulations.  

Farmworker housing initiatives are also part of the plan. Eighty-three percent of the farmworkers in Santa Cruz County are undocumented, thereby not offered the protections of working citizens, according to the nonprofit advocate Center for Farmworker Families.  

Roads, parks and fiber technology are the focus of the council’s infrastructure and environment goals. The city is working on beefing up its cyber security measures and providing public internet access in local parks. The council also set a goal of developing a public art program. Parks, recreation centers and public spaces will also be evaluated for their accessibility for people with disabilities or mobility challenges.  

Environmentally, Watsonville is working toward a city climate action and adaptation plan to tackle climate change. This includes increasing the city’s electric vehicle infrastructure, phasing out natural gas in city buildings, reducing food waste, and carbon sequestration, such as simply planting more trees. 

Public safety includes a pedestrian safety education and awareness campaign targeting both motorists and pedestrians. The Vision Zero work plan is an effort to reduce traffic fatalities. Full reconstruction of Freedom Boulevard, Airport Boulevard and Green Valley Road are also in the plan.  

The council has included youth development in its public safety plan to prevent gangs, violence and drug and alcohol use by providing young people with programs that “build confidence, connection, and support the socioemotional health” of youth and families, according to the Strategic Plan.  

In January the council appointed youth representatives to the Watsonville Library Board of Trustees and the Parks and Recreation Commission in an effort to put younger voices in decision-making processes. 

Mayor Eduardo Montesino touted the city’s Youth Action Council, which is a peer-led group of residents between the ages of 13 and 18 that sets kids up for a “successful future,” according to the city.  

Economically speaking, the council is focused on the word “sustainability.” Growing pension costs, city debt and capital improvements are high on the list of priorities.  

Finally, the council wants to add more bike lanes and trails, control needle and syringe litter, replace sewer and water infrastructure, work with both the county and state for additional mental health and homelessness services, revamp the city’s website, and promote and recruit more women in law enforcement.

Copyright © 2023 Bay City News, Inc.

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  1. all worthwhile goals. i would also add:
    1. a sharps collector that is safe for those who use intravenous drugs. we have needed this for decades.
    2. the continuing need for low cost housing that is environmentally friendly. NOT CRUSTVIEW ACRES.
    3. a bird refuge in Ramsay Park. we need a safe home for our 206 species of birds, many of them endangered by morons who enjoy shooting them with BB guns.
    4. a youth city council and mayor , so students understand city government and do not grow up using the Pajaronian with anonymous names for the purpose of libeling city officials.
    5. the elimination of single use plastics in restaurants, drive throughs and supermarkets. this was promised 3 years ago !
    6. installing electric car recharging stations on both the Community college campus in the Ville and elsewhere in our city.
    7. more parks, including the Freedom blvd. corridor.
    8. more bike lanes.
    9. slowing traffic in downtown.
    10. placing a ballot initiative to rename our city . WHY?
    Charles Watson was a drunk, a real estate crook ( like trump), wanted CA to become a confederate state, brought a slave with him from Texas, got appointed to the state legislature and then thrown out for getting into drunken brawls on the state Capitol floor for denouncing Lincoln.. he lost in court when the court ruled that the Rodriguez family REALLY did own 400 acres and Watson had no right to them.
    then he went to Nevada to mine silver. he died alone, in a shack, with no family, no heirs, virtually penniless.
    and there is much more. if you want to defend this 19 century trumpdump figure, go ahead.. But I KNOW , and so do YOU, that we can and should do BETTER.

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  2. Item 11: Remove Trujillo from the Cabrillo Board of Trustees.

    Oh and yep, he is not satisfied with a Cabrillo name change, he wants to change the name of Watsonville. He has no idea how costly and inane is his proposal, way more costly than changing the name of Cabrillo College.

    Trujillo is a clown on the order of Santos, Boebert and MTG. He wants a bird sanctuary in Ramsay Park! OMG, how precious.

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    • you are a vicious troll . the pajaronian removed your remarks against me elsewhere. few , if any , take you seriously or read your posts.
      i will be voting Monday to replace Felipe Hernandez on the board of trustees. he meeting will be held on the Watsonville campus, room C 107.
      you can express your opinion here. so will I . get used to it.
      yes, the time has come to think about a new name for the city.
      nameless , anonymous trolls do not have anything to say of value. just hate and ignorance.

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    • Hilarious. Your posts clearly show how much you adore Vladimir Putin and communism. You cannot figure out that Democracy is best. What a fool you are.

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  3. yes, a bird sanctuary. and how appropriate is the remark: “how precious”. yes , our bird life is precious.
    yes, a city name change is needed. this is EXACTLY the time to consider it.
    the only clown on this thread is YOU , WHAT. and you are neither entertaining or amusing. just ignorant.

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  4. No I am not ignorant, you are ignorant. That’s about all the reply you understand.

    That said, you are both entertaining and amusing. So for that, a tip of the cap.

    Would you please punctuate properly? No? How weird. How is it that you use all caps randomly, but cannot seem to capitalize the first word in a sentence? Really sad wannabe mr. ee cummings. Psychiatrists would have a field day analyzing your odd personality.

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  5. Just like Rockem Sockem robots remember that game boys and girls? Ill knock ur block off hehehehehe
    Hey Steve there was a shooting in your hood last night. So let’s see……. floods, snow, toxic chemicals in the ground + agriculture fields oh and yes ore gun violence in the schools and even in your back yard. New homes going up in Texas every day but the Texans would never stand for you in their neighborhood. 10% sales tax as well as sky high income tax.

    Have a great Monday You All


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