By Dan Wolk
In honor of our poet laureate and Shakespeare aficionado Dr. Andy Jones, I thought I would begin this column with a quote from the Bard of Avon: “April, dressed in all his trim, hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
And between open houses at our schools, Easter egg hunts and Picnic Day, that has certainly been the case in our community.
But a “spirit of renewal,” in addition to a “spirit of youth,” also has remained strong this month and will only gain steam in the next.
* Warm Remembrance Play Area dedication. Earlier this month, the community dedicated the new play area in memory of John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves — the “sweetheart murders” victims in the early 1980s — at Redwood Park. Special thanks to Bob Bowen and Beth Gabor for all their efforts in making this happen.
* Universal access ordinance. Last week, for the first time, the City Council introduced an ordinance to require universal access in all new single-family homes. Coupled with The Cannery being the first new home project of its scale in the nation to achieve universal design, our community is making sure we are properly planning for the aging of our population.
* “Paint A Box” Project. On Tuesday, the City Council approved the final design concepts for five artists to paint various utility boxes in our downtown. One of them will be done by Heidi Bekebrede, a Davis High School grad and composer of “The Davis Song.”
* Environmental Recognition Awards. This month the city presented the 2015 Environmental Recognition Awards to Neighborhood Partners, LLC (Luke Watkins and David Thompson) and The Bike Campaign (Maria Contreras Tebbutt) for their environmental contributions to the Davis community. Congratulations and thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our community.
May will be a busy one for our community. Here’s what’s in store:
* Big Day of Giving (May 5). Consider participating in the regional Big Day of Giving, a 24-hour online challenge to donate to local nonprofit organizations. More than 60 Yolo County nonprofits are included in the challenge, so check out the list at www.bigdayofgiving.org and support the important work of our local service providers.
* Drought/water conservation. At its first meeting in May, the City Council will receive an update on the governor’s executive order regarding the unprecedented drought and discuss staff’s plan for achieving the conservation requirement of 28 percent compared with 2013.
* Mid-year budget update. On May 5, the City Council will receive its mid-year budget update on the state of our finances through December, a prelude to the fiscal year 2015-16 budget discussions that will occur in June.
* Eco-classes. The city is hosting a series of eco-classes in May. Please join us as we explore water conservation, urban wildlife, environmentally conscious pest management, composting and more. All classes will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Game Room at the Veterans’ Memorial Center, 203 E. 14th St., and will run one to 1½ hours. For more information, please contact Jennifer Gilbert, the city’s outstanding conservation coordinator, at 530-757-5688.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of the Mayor’s Corner. To contact me for any reason, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 530-574-4360. The city’s website is cityofdavis.org.