Julie Winter, City Council Candidate: ‘Redding is the Best Place in the World’

Julie Winter, Redding City Council candidate.

Julie Winter, Redding City Council candidate.

Welcome to A News Cafe.com, Julie. Thank you for taking the time to talk about your run for a seat on the Redding City Council in the November election. First, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I grew up in Southern California.  My husband and I moved to Redding with two little boys in 1989 for my husband’s work as a Nuclear Med Tech at Mercy.  I have a BS in Genetics from UC Davis, a BS in Nursing from CSU, Sacramento, and a Masters in Nursing from the UCLA Nurse Practitioner program. I’ve worked as a nurse practitioner in several settings, including the under-served and at-risk populations.  For the last 15 years I’ve worked in private family practice with Andre Van Mol, MD.  I’ve been married to my husband Mike for 33 years and we have two sons, three grandchildren and another on the way.

How would your medical training affect your decision making on city council?

The critical thinking skills that go into the analysis of underlying root problems — as opposed to treating symptoms — triage of priorities, and value for evidenced-based decisions as opposed to emotional decision-making are of extreme value to our city.  Additionally, my training helps me to think big picture so that I look at the wholeness of an entire system.  These are some of my greatest strengths, and of extreme value to city council decision-making.  We have to continually ask the question why? until we get to the primary root of a problem.

I will give you an example of this principle. Why do we have an increase in crime?  Some people want to jump immediately to solutions that don’t address the root causes.  When a patient comes to see me with a fever, I don’t just give them Tylenol.  There are a variety of potential causes for fever, and my treatment needs to be oriented to the cause.  There are a variety of contributing factors to increased crime which include substance abuse, mental illness, lack of jail bed space, prison realignment, homelessness, Prop 47, etc., all of which are contributing to crime.

Again, we have to look at the big picture, and the wholeness of the system.  In an era of limited resources we need to work strategically with the county and all community organizations to formulate sustainable solutions, not band-aids.

How have you been involved in the city, and what is your leadership experience?

I am a founding member of my local nurse practitioner professional organization and have served on that board since its inception in 1994.  I’ve also served at the state level for the California Association of NP’s on the board of directors.

Locally, I serve on the board of Advance Redding as well as the City of Redding Community Development Advisory Committee.  I am a graduate of Leadership Redding and am a member of Redding Rotary, Turtle Bay, Friends of the Library, Shasta Living Streets, Women’s Fund, Shasta Historical Society, Shasta County Arts Council, League of Women Voters and the Redding Republican Women Federated.  I was very involved with Measure B from the beginning, speaking on behalf of Turtle Bay as well as heading up precinct walking with Rocky Slaughter for Yes on B.

What motivated you to run for city council?

Honestly, it was the furthest thing from my mind, until I was challenged to run by three people whom I deeply respect back in 2010.  It took me about a year to evaluate two things.  First, was I willing to personally pay the price, and second, could I make a difference for the future of our city?

The underlying reason that drives the core of why I want to run is the future of my children and grandchildren.  My oldest son and his wife live in Portland because of the lack of employment opportunities in Redding.  My youngest son is a Nuclear Med Tech like his father, but works four different jobs that require him to travel to Mt. Shasta, Susanville, Chico and Yuba City – all this so he can stay in Redding.  I want my children and grandchildren to have a future in Redding and I believe that this is possible.

If you are elected to a seat on the city council, what would be your priorities?

The priority of city council — and in fact, every city department — should be jobs.  James Clifton, the CEO of Gallup, said that city leaders who do not make jobs their number one priority put their cities at risk.  We should all ask ourselves: Does this decision ultimately produce good jobs in our city?  Secondly, and very much related to jobs, is public safety and its intersection with issues like mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, restorative justice and poverty that require a community-wide collective impact approach with the county, NPOs, and other community organizations.

I will ask these questions: Does this decision help move the 18% of our population who live below the poverty level out of dependency?  Is this decision sustainable long term and does it reward desired behaviors?  Does this decision create a community that is desirable for young entrepreneurs, and does it help or hinder job growth?  Does this decision bring a solution the root cause of a problem or it just treating a symptom?  Does this decision promote overall community health and wholeness?

All good questions. You’ve already partially answer this, but why is economic development your top priority?

As I look at our community systemically, again, I have to ask the question why.

Crime, substance abuse, and homelessness are symptoms of the underlying diseases of poverty, hopelessness and untreated mental health problems.  Our unemployment rates are higher than the national average.  Our median income is $44,000, and almost 1 in 5 people live below the poverty level.  This not only causes hopelessness and mental health issues, but reduces the stream of revenue that helps the city bring solutions to these issues.

If our community can increase jobs, then we provide hope and a ladder out of poverty.  If our citizens have good jobs they are less likely to substance abuse and commit crimes.  If our city has good jobs, we increase sales tax and property tax revenue to provide services and solutions for the problems we face as a community.  Public safety is also a top priority, and one of the core responsibilities of government.  It’s not just one or the other.  We must do both, but while we’re at it, let’s start looking for solutions that focus on changing the underlying disease.

Speaking of solutions, what is your plan to increase jobs?

Currently Redding’s main employment sectors are in government, healthcare, education and retail.  There are many good jobs in these sectors, and I am grateful for each one, but our economy needs diversification and growth in areas that have a higher economic output so that we can break our long history of boom and bust cycles.

The role of government is not to create jobs, but to remove barriers that hinder growth, create needed infrastructure for businesses to prosper, and create a desirable community that has a vision for the future.  Here are some practical steps we can take:

  • Establish quarterly town hall meetings and survey business owners to find out what they need to grow their business.
  • Continue to update zoning ordinances to meet the changing needs of our community, increasing mixed use and eliminating outdated codes.
  • Enhance the culture of the building and planning department so that it becomes known as collaborative, helpful and business friendly.
  • Increase community connection with safe bike lanes.  Support activities that promote the historical buildings downtown, pop-up businesses and a revitalized downtown with a regular farmers market that draws pedestrians on a regular basis.
  • Increase vendor and community access to the riverfront areas.
  • Redding will continue to be strong in the service and retail industries, particularly healthcare.  Beyond this, we need to brand and market the areas where Redding has distinctive assets.  The incredible natural beauty of our area in our mountains, lakes, rivers and trails make Redding distinctive and gives us the potential to become a destination city.  Our relatively low cost of living, quality of life, educational system, proximity to I-5 and the Bay Area make Redding an excellent place for niche tech and advanced manufacturing.  Another great asset are the talented and creative people who’ve made Redding home.  We have an increasing number of inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs who are starting businesses here.  I also see creative arts as another huge potential area for growth.  Our location in the north state, natural inspiration and the creative people who are drawn to our location make Redding a natural place to become the hub for creative arts in the north state.

As we look at the areas where Redding can prosper and create jobs, I would:

  1. Gather data to identify the barriers from those in the business community.
  2. Where the COR has authority, remove barriers and create needed infrastructure.  An example would be to look at the feasibility of expanding fiber to help businesses prosper.
  3. Continue to make air flight service a priority
  4. Dedicate resources to branding and marketing our community.  This will not only attract businesses and investors to our area, but bring in needed highly skilled workers and professionals for the areas we are expanding.
  5. View economic development strategically, similarly to what is happening with the Homeless Coalition Project.  We need an assessment of our current services, strengths and gaps and then we need to develop a community wide strategic plan that targets identified areas of good job growth for the future.

Earlier you mentioned crime. What can the city council do about issues related to crime?

Public safety is one of the primary responsibilities of city government and is of serious concern to everyone in our community and rightfully so.  There are several factors that play into the increase in crime, including the economy, the loss of police officers, AB109 – which has increased the number of felons on our streets, many of whom do not have needed job skills – Prop 47, which has reduced felonies to misdemeanors and hampered the ability of the justice system to leverage offenders into rehabilitation, lack of jail space which allows offenders to continue to commit crime without consequences, an increase in heroin, and lack of mental health services, and a rise in homelessness.

I have tremendous value for the recent public safety assessment done by Matrix.  I greatly appreciate their evaluation that looks at our issues in a systematic manner.  Crime is a community-wide problem and I am encouraged that we are starting to look at this strategically, realizing that it will take a community-wide approach involving law enforcement, the justice system, mental health, substance abuse treatment centers, churches, NPOs, businesses, community groups and neighborhoods.  We can have a safer, healthier community if we are willing to step up and get involved.

You serve on the board of Advance Redding, and are a member of Bethel Church.  How would those positions influence your decision-making on on the city council?

The greatest area of influence is on how to think.  The leadership of Bethel has created a culture that empowers people to have faith, take risks, be excellent, and serve people in every area of society.  An example of this principle is what founded Advance Redding originally.  In 2010, due to an annual loss of $700,000, the city was strongly considering closing the Civic Auditorium.  I was personally grieved by this thought and proposed the idea of leasing and managing the Civic to the Bethel leadership team.  This would not only keep the Civic Auditorium available to the community, but would provide the needed space for the Bethel school.  This became a win-win solution with the creation of Advance Redding, a separate 501c3.  Instead of costing the city $700,000 annually, or $7 million over 10 years, the city will make about $2 million in rent from the Civic Auditorium over the course of its 10 year lease.  In addition, Advance Redding has spent more than $500,000 to improve the Civic Auditorium.  What appeared to be an insoluble problem, was actually a brilliant opportunity, to quote John Gardiner.

As we look at the problems our city faces, we need to be looking for the disguised opportunities.  Perhaps as a city, we will discover a solution for homelessness that will not just benefit us, but other cities as well.  We need leaders who have vision and can see beyond the problem.  Because of my connection to Advance Redding and Bethel Church, I would abstain from voting on any decisions related to these organizations.

What do you see as Redding’s biggest untapped potential?

There is an ancient story of a businessman who gave varying amounts of money to three of his employees and asked them to invest the money.  He then then went away on  a long journey.  When he returned he required an accounting of the investments. Two of the employees doubled what they’ve been given. The third, out of fear, buried his money.  He was severely reprimanded, and what he’d been given was taken from him and given to those who had taken a risk.  We too, as a city need to multiply what we’ve been given.  Instead of grousing about what we don’t have, we need to be faithful with what we’ve been given.  Our greatest underutilized assets include our the Sacramento River and a lack of recognition of the incredibly creative and skilled people who’ve made Redding home.  Our riverfront property, along with the abundant natural beauty and outdoor activities in the area, could actually make Redding a destination city.  Other cities have done much more with much less.

Is there a city somewhere that you see as Redding’s possible role model, and why?

Depending on the issue, I can think of several cities as role models.  Bend, Oregon, has a similar economic history.  However, the leaders of Bend had a vision and created branding and marketing around mountain biking and tourism.  When you think of Bend, you immediately think of mountain activities.  Because Redding lacks vision, we can’t tell our story well and others tell it for us. Outside our community Redding is primarily known for being hot or a place to get gas while headed north.  We have some of the most spectacular riverfront property in the state, but this is unknown.  Another example is San Antonio, Texas.  When you think of San Antonio, you think of the Riverwalk.  The San Antonio city leaders took an ugly little waterway and turned into an attractive economic driver. The state of Utah has reduced their homelessness by 90 percent by implementing housing first with case management.  Each of these cities have successes from which Redding can learn.

On a related note, how do you describe Redding to a stranger?

Redding is a perfectly sized city, surrounded by mountains in every direction, with a wild and scenic river that runs through it.  Every kind of outdoor activity you can imagine is available, and sunshine and wildlife are plentiful. The trail system and fishing are world-class and the educational system is outstanding.  Most of all, the people are hard-working, and generous. There is something to grow in my garden all year long and my commute is a mere 10 minutes. I’ve been all over the world and when I return I breathe a sigh of pleasure as I drive over the grade in Anderson that gives you that first view of our city. Redding is the best place in the world to me.

Beautifully expressed, Julie. Thank you for this opportunity to get to know you better. Best of luck with your campaign.

(By the way, to those who had planned to attend Winter’s Jan. 13 campaign kick-off, it’s been cancelled because of weather forecasts. The event will be rescheduled for a later dater.) 

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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30 Responses

  1. Randall R. Smith Randall R. Smith says:

    Many rightfully decry the lack of sound candidates for public office.  Where are the leaders with vision, character, intelligence and compassion?  What happened to Lincoln, Roosevelt, Stevenson, Founding Father types once taken for granted as coming up like bulbs in the spring?  No trouble like this in Redding!  Don’t ask why anyone would want such a job.  Just be eternally grateful we are so blessed.  Redding truly wins with Winter!

  2. Avatar Ken Murray says:

    I’m impressed.

    • Avatar James says:

      As am I…Quite impressed by Julie’s vision. Would love to meet her at a future event. Anything on the calendar?

  3. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Julie’s suggestion that we use Bend as a model is appealing, as is her proposal to focus on making developed stretches of the Sacramento River corridor more alluring.  (I would hope the model for riverfront development is Bend’s Mirror Pond parkways and its Mill District.  San Antonio took a ditch and turned it into something that works for San Antonio, but would be an abomination on our Sacramento River.)  Most ripe for transformation is the moribund riverfront development adjacent to Park Marina Drive—oh, to have just one decent open-air riverfront dining opportunity in this town!  So my question to Julie would be:  How do you convince the private owners of that land to play ball, when they have an established history of recoiling from the City’s overtures?

    Another appeal of Julie’s platform is her emphasis on analytics.   However, in a recent pair of articles on A News Cafe, Julie stated that 80% of start-ups in Redding are in the tech sector.  When I pointed out in a comment that the figure was hard to accept given that it flies in the face of national statistics as well as a general feel for local economic activity, Julie responded that the statistic was provided by our Economic Development Corporation (http://goo.gl/hWZIen).   I subsequently contacted EDC, but they were unable (or unwilling) to take ownership of the statistic.  I certainly want evidence-based decision-making on City Council, but that entails something other than uncritically embracing dubious numbers provided by biased sources because the figures prop up a particular worldview—as a reality check, read the Fictitious Business Name Statements in the local fish-wrap for a couple of weeks and try to make 80% of those names into tech start-ups.  I’m not just quibbling—this is important because we don’t want to neglect potential economic growth in non-tech areas by convincing ourselves that we’re already something that we’re not.

    As for Julie’s Bethel Affiliation:  I long ago conceded that in the wake of our failure to land the 10th UC campus, Bethel has been a pretty damned good consolation prize.  I coined the phrase “The Bethel Effect” in recognition of the benefits that Redding has reaped—it’s easy to conclude that most of the cool small business start-ups around town are founded by Bethelites and supported by Bethelites.  In fact, so strong is The Bethel Effect that it’s become something of an economic diversity issue.  What if Bethel decides in 2016 that some other place—let’s say, Bend—is the place for future growth, and the whole concern pulls up stakes and leaves us behind?

    Man, I don’t even want to think about what that would do to Redding’s livability, not to mention our real estate values.


    • Doni Chamberlain Doni Chamberlain says:

      (Steve, I will forever give you credit as the originator of “The Bethel Effect”, as long as I get credit, when the city comes to its senses and changes — wait … does it have one? –its slogan, that I get credit for “Redding, a City of Trails and Bridges” – which would go nicely with Julie’s vision of capitalizing on some of Redding’s greatest assets.)

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I did hear a rumor that someone at Bethel was taking credit for coining “The Bethel Effect.”  If that’s true, I cannot say with 100% certainty that co-claimant is purposefully trying to steal my thunder.  There’s a process called “convergent evolution” whereby two taxa hit upon the same solution—the independent evolution of wings in birds and bats, for example.  (Julie knows what I’m talking about with that degree in genetics from UCD.)  Same independent origin can happen with cultural memes, I suppose.

        Great slogan!  When Marc B. held his contest for COR slogans about 5 years ago, my contribution was regrettably arch:  Redding: Where faith healing meets drug dealing.  Is that snarky attitude helpful?  No, it’s not.

    • Avatar Julie Winter says:

      Steve, I’m with you on the riverfront development.  We truly need something that complements the beauty of our riverfront area and speaks to our natural history.  Like you, I’d love to have  a place I could stroll and sit to enjoy a meal along the waterfront in a setting that fits.  I think it’s important that  the city leaders continue to reach out to the Kutras family and find out what their vision is for this property, especially as many of the leases at Park Marina end in 2020.  Somehow we need to work together to both preserve and better utilize one of the most strategic properties in our city.  So tell me what you would like to see happen with the Park Marina property?  Personally, I’d very much appreciate a design that both honored and reminded us of the Native Americans who settled in our area centuries ago.  I may be sticking my neck out on this, but it ‘s not the first and probably won’t be the last time I do so!

      Speaking of tech startups, Tim Marinello (Simpson graduate) started a Catavolt branch here in Redding about 9 months ago.  They’ve grown from 5 to 10 employees during that time and expect to grow to 20-30 employees in the next 2 years.  Garret Viggers of Limelight Health, along with 3 other people launched their startup 2 years ago and have grown to 32 employees.  They also expect to nearly double their workforce in 2 years if they can attract more developers.  These are just a couple of examples of what is currently emerging and really speak to the creativity and entrepreneurship that is present in our city.  I celebrate all of the start-ups (not just tech).  I suspect that we will continue to see more startups related to our lifestyle and outdoor activities as that is a natural fit for our area.  Another area I anticipate growth is in the performing arts due to the natural beauty of the area and the quality of talented  people who live or who have relocated here.  We can’t do everything, but we should be looking at what has momentum, what fits both the land and the talents we’ve been given.  It’s always easier to move something that has forward momentum, Bethel or otherwise!


      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Julie — What I would like to see happen* at Park Marina doesn’t matter a whit unless the Kutras family is open to collaboration with stakeholders, or a sale.  That was the point of my question:  How, specifically, would you intend to make that happen?  The City continuing to “reach out to the Kutras family” doesn’t sound like much of a plan.  What do you have in mind as potential carrots and sticks?  I see development of Park Marina as potentially being Redding’s next leap forward—a crucial piece to the City’s economic growth—and I don’t think impotent hand-waving overtures to the Kutras clan can go on forever.  I’m not asking anyone to embrace eminent domain, but I am asking for a proposal for pushing the beached whale back into the water, rather than the rope-pushing that’s been going on for a long time.

        *In general, what I’d like to see along the Sacramento River as a first priority is preservation and enhancement of riparian habitat where it’s still intact.  Just spit-balling regarding Park Marina:  I’d like to it redeveloped as pedestrian- and bike-friendly mixed-use area with restaurants, coffee houses, a brewpub or taproom, a wine shop—with an emphasis on indoor/outdoor seating facing the river.  Boutique and specialty retail, and enough open space to accommodate the farmer’s market.  Maybe some second-story work/live space, but no more Class A office buildings overlooking the river—we have enough, thank you.  I’d retain the aquatic driving range, but spruce it up considerably and add some other recreational opportunities at that site.

        I haven’t looked at the conceptual plan prepared by Cal Poly SLO’s Department of Architecture and Environmental Design since it was birthed about a decade ago, so I’ve forgotten the details, but I very much doubt that it would be a horrific blunder to start with that plan.  Even so, I understand that the plan chafed the Kutras clan’s nether regions, so I probably wouldn’t start the negotiations by dropping that on the table.

  4. A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

    WHAT A GREAT INTERVIEW . . . . WHAT GREAT IDEAS . . . . now, let’s roll up our sleeves (or pant legs) and get to work.

    Thanks, Doni, for publishing this interview. And thanks to Steve for his inimitable comments!

  5. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    Mrs. Winter has some wonderful and well stated ideas.  How could we not agree?  However, I’m going to be accused of being a contrarian here.  Several years ago, the gynecologist I had been seeing for years left town, and I was searching for an OB/GYN or NP, and Julie Winter was recommended.  I called her office and had my first experience with age discrimination.  The receptionist said that the office did not accept patients who had Medicare — even with supplemental insurance.  So if she is elected and there are any issues for people over 65, will she reject a solution that could help seniors?  Am I being petty?  Perhaps.  But Redding has a large senior population, and being refused medical care because of the type of insurance one has is certainly is food for thought.

    • Avatar K. Beck says:

      Many MDs do not take Medicare patients. It has nothing to do with age and everything to do with reimbursement from Medicare. Medicare keeps cutting back the amount of money it will pay for medical procedures of all types. First thing I ask when getting in contact with a new medical provider is: “Do you take Medicare patients?” The whole medical “industry” is messed up. I don’t necessarily hold that against individual MDs. Aside from that, Mrs. Winter is a Nurse Practitioner, NOT an MD. It is the MD running the office who makes the decisions about what insurance carriers s/he will take. It helps to understand how things work.

      I know nothing about Mrs. Winter, other than what was written in this article. I just don’t like people being blamed for things for which they are not responsible.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I agree that having your Medicare insurance rejected by Dr. Van Mol isn’t age discrimination—his practice likely would have gladly accepted Eastern as a patient in exchange for cash payments at his going rates.  However, if Julie works for a doctor who refuses to take “socialized medicine” insurance payments—not only for self-serving financial reasons, but perhaps also owing to the embrace of certain core political principals—it’s fair to ask Julie the extent to which she shares her employer’s beliefs.  After all, there are other practices and hospitals in the area that employ nurse practitioners.  She’s not an indentured servant.

        She’s running for public office, so her political perspectives are on the table.  She speaks in the interview of mental health and substance abuse treatment centers as part of the solution to our public safety issues.  Those programs would be worthless if they were only open to those who either have excellent private insurance policies or can afford to pay cash—so it’s worth knowing just how opposed to socialized medicine the candidate is.

        • Avatar K. Beck says:

          Hmmm. I have had over 20 jobs in my life. NEVER have I questioned my employer as to his/her political opinions, and neither have they asked me mine. This is a good thing. People who own businesses, MDs, or not, are in business to make money. This MD is in private practice. S/he can do as s/he wants. There is nothing illegal in not accepting Medicare insurance, or any other insurance. There are some MDs who do not care for anyone with ANY insurance. Especially in Redding, you are lucky to have a job. I don’t think it is fair that an employee is branded by their employers work policies.

          It is fair to ask candidates their beliefs, but to base those questions on their employers actions seems odd to me.

          Aside from all that, why are you assuming Mrs. Winter is “opposed to socialized medicine”. We don’t even know if the MD who employs her is “opposed to socialized medicine”. Too many assumptions going on here.


          • Avatar EasternCounty says:

            Back to being devil’s advocate:  as Mr. Towers so ably states, there are numerous other practices in Redding where Mrs. Winter could work if she disagrees with her employer’s beliefs.  Since she continues to work for this physician, his beliefs must not be objectionable to her.  And K. Beck is correct:  many MD’s don’t accept Medicare patients.  But just where does that leave those of us who no longer have the platinum policies we had while working?  It’s daunting to have once had red carpet treatment only to have retired and now face closed doors.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            K. Beck — Hey, want to build a straw man?   I didn’t assume anything–I only said that it’s fair to ask.  And I never suggested that it’s illegal or improper for her employer to refuse Medicare.  I agree that he’s free to run his business as he pleases.

            Dr. Van Mol has been an outspoken and somewhat strident political creature over the years, and he’s one of Julie’s endorsers on her website.  You presume that her experience is similar to yours–that they never discuss politics.  I’ll make my first overt assumption regarding that: I assume that they do.  I didn’t put either one of them in the political spotlight–they did that of their own volition.  I’m curious to know the degree to which their worldviews align.

            I’m a voter, and I’m trying to make up my mind about Julie–that’s all.  I like many of her positions.  Some of her statements give me pause (obviously), so I’m airing them out.  That’s how it works.

    • Avatar Julie Winter says:

      Dear Eastern, I apologize that you were not able to establish in Dr. Van Mol’s practice a few years ago. You are correct, for several years Dr. Van Mol declined taking new patients with Medicare insurance because of the annual looming 20% cut in Medicare reimbursement.  Every year, we held our breath to see if Congress would vote to postpone this automatic cut for another year.  K. Beck is correct.  This has nothing to do with age discrimination.  A high percentage of our patients currently have Medicare and a 20% cut in reimbursement would have been catastrophic.   Since a fairly recent act of Congress permanently fixed this issue, we have opened up the practice to new Medicare patients again.  Unfortunately, our practice is very full and as there are only the two of us so we have to limit the number of new patients we can take.  Access to care is a huge issue throughout our entire community and you are not alone in your frustration.  Due to increased regulation, decreased reimbursement and increased reporting requirements (I have to input 9 additional codes for every Medicare patient at every visit) many physicians have left the community or work for a large organization that will do this for them, without requiring  them to work 60 hour weeks.  Dr. Van Mol and I are both very committed to our patients and our staff and we want to keep our doors open, which means we have to pay the bills.  This has become more and more difficult with a profit margin that is getting frighteningly lean.  Unfortunately, unless there are changes within the insurance industry, the current private practice model that we know will disappear into large entities like Kaiser or Sutter.  This is not a statement about socialized medicine, access to care or age discrimination, but about the reality of economic viability.

      • Avatar EasternCounty says:

        Thank you for your comprehensive response.  My retired pharmacist husband was delighted to be shed of Medicare requirements.  With the dearth of medical care in Redding — four physicians that I, in my limited circle, know of have left the area, and just try to make an appointment with a local dermatologist — there may be an opportunity for a startup that inputs all the required Medicare information for health care providers, freeing them to do just that:  provide health care.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        See?  One of my concerns has largely evaporated because Julie followed up with candor and thoughtfulness.  I absolutely understand.  Like Julie and Dr. Van Mol, I provide professional services, and my firm’s gross income and profit margin are largely constrained by how many work hours there are in the day.  If you’re doing much of your work at a discount, there’s an opportunity cost (if you could have performed that same work at a higher price).  It takes something like a sense of duty (or loyalty, or charity) to continue to serve those who can’t pay that higher price, because it erodes your profit margin.  Dr. Van Mol is in business to make money—he and Julie should be applauded for seeing patients at Medicare rates, especially if they’ve got alternatives (i.e., frequent inquiries from would-be patients whose insurance companies pay more).

        Julie and I probably differ by a mile on the ultimate solution to the quandary of health care costs relative to quality of services provided, but we’re not as far apart as I might have worried.

  6. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Thank you Doni for this informative interview with Julie Winter.   She covered a lot of ground with her answers, but was always consistent to what she feels are the priorities of a healthy community.  One more comment…I almost laughed when I read

    Enhance the culture of the building and planning department so that it becomes known as collaborative, helpful and business friendly.

    Nothing says “get out of town, we don’t want you here” faster then disrespect and obfuscation when you have a plan!

  7. Avatar Doug Christian says:

    Very smart lady. Outstanding Interview. Mrs. Winters gave very impressive answers and more. The future for our community has huge potential. I believe Mrs. Winters believes this and wants this for our community and she has the smarts needed to help us get there.

  8. Avatar Mimi Moseley says:

    This is a FABULOUS article. Thanks for printing it, Doni! I read “Rising Strong” by Brene’ Brown and I see this a step toward Redding Rising Strong! One cannot rise if one has not fallen. Our city has fallen from what it once was and I believe Julie has the experience and vision to help us stand back up healthier than ever before.

    Once we have fallen, there are critical results from our fall. The “body” of Redding was hurt in the fall and in need of someone to diagnose our injuries and develop and prescribe a plan to bring us to full health.

    There is a fear mentality growing in our city that speaks hopelessness. I believe Julie Winter is determined to break that fear identity off of us and breath hope and vitality into us.  Her position as a Nurse-Practioner and her leadership experience is the ticket to our future. I am excited to stand behind Julie as she leads the charge to healthy change.

  9. Avatar Teuchter says:

    “The priority of city council — and in fact, every city department — should be jobs.”


    Reading this political tripe provides no answers or viable solutions to any issue.  Just the same old tired speech that takes the middle of the road to get votes.  This doesn’t sound proactive to me or anyone looking for substance.  Merely saying she’ll talk to various groups provides no solutions to immediate problems, of which we have many here in Redding.

    A whole lot of buzzwords without attacking the things that really matter in the community is wasted breath.

    If that’s the Bethel Effect, I want no part of it.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I understand your aversion to what might read as recycled rhetorical Republispeak—it’s all about jerbs!—and I agree that the statement is something of a head-scratcher.  (Really?  The priority of COR’s Parks and Recreation Department should be jobs?  I don’t think fixing the shattered and leaking street in front of my home brought us any jobs, but I was glad when the Department of Public Works finally took it on.)

      If I’m reading between your lines, I take it you don’t agree that addressing our drug and crime problems except through the lens of job creation makes much sense—or worse, that it might be a recipe for doing nothing about those problems.

      But it’s true that it’s difficult for a municipality to accomplish much of anything without revenue.  And revenue is hard to come by when a high fraction of your population is perennially underemployed and unemployed.  It’s also true that it’s hard to lift people out of their cycles of failure if you can’t offer opportunity.  It’s hardly crazy-talk for Julie to take the position that we need to strongly emphasize developing more and better-paying jobs.  Some people may have rational reasons to disagree (e.g., those who want to keep Redding a cheap place to slack), but I agree with her on this one.

  10. Avatar Adrian Winter says:

    Great article Doni! We need more positive attitudes towards facing our city issues. Without a vision for our city we will just be running around putting out fires and any policies we issue will all be reactionary. Julie is right, we can’t gripe about what we don’t have we need to steward what we do have. I love Redding it has been an incredible place to grow up and I think everyone can get involved to make a difference.

    Thankfully Julie isn’t just spouting hope-filled rhetoric but her platform has great practical ideas and solutions. We have the resources we just need people like Julie to show us how!

  11. Avatar Julie Winter says:

    Ahh, Steve…I was hoping someone would question my statement that the ultimate priority of every city department should be jobs.  It’s obvious that the Development Services (Building, Planning) Department should make jobs a priority, but what about RPD, Parks, or Public Works?  If you step back and think about the big picture, I believe the statement is true.  Take public safety for instance.  The authors of an executive report by IBM said  Public safety plays a critical role in supporting economic growth and vitality by reducing the cost of crime and enhancing the desirability of communities as places to live and locate businesses.  You mentioned repairs of streets (Public Works).  Streets that are repaired, widened, and have bike lanes make for a desirable community. Same thing with parks.  If we want to attract skilled workers/professionals to our area we need good roads.  I’m a huge fan of connecting the river trail system to downtown.  Many young professionals want to be able to bike to work.  The quality of life provided by public works, reasonable utility rates, and a well-maintained park system helps attract and keep the talented, skilled and creative people we need in our community.  This directly affects local businesses.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said it’s difficult for a municipality to accomplish much without a revenue stream.  In an era where needs far surpass available resources, the question becomes where do we spend (invest) our money strategically to increase our revenue stream for the future?  That is why I would ask the city manager and all department heads to look at their department goals through the lens of  Will this decision hinder or help job growth?  Sometimes the answer may be job neutral.  If we can make decisions that help job growth first, we will increase our revenue for additional needs in the future.

    • Avatar Teuchter says:

      “Will this decision hinder or help job growth?”    Let’s get a glimpse of specifics.  Does protecting the environment hinder job growth for loggers or help create service jobs for tourists?  Does reducing zoning requirements hinder liveability or can this be sacrificed for temporary construction jobs that are paid to the lowest bidder?  Is the revenue from medical marijuana worth the concommitant repercussions?

      Boiling down decissions to whether it will create jobs shows a serious lack of insight and reduces the content of this seemingly canned “interview”to vague pandering.  Consider proposing specific solutions that you feel strongly about and see how they hold up to genuine scrutiny instead of merely offering platitudes.  That way voters can discern your true intentions for the community and your commitment to your intended new-found career.

  12. Avatar Fjm says:

    Good thoughts. Good ideas. Will be interesting to follow her campaign. Wondering though…if she’s running for City Council, why the pic in front of a County building??

  13. Avatar Grant says:

    Excellent thoughts – Fun to read such a declarative stance on some of our community’s issues.

    I love what Im reading and I just have a few more questions before I can really align myself with any candidate. Aside from tech, what are some other industries you would want to see growth/change in?

  14. Avatar Judy Saltet says:

    I agree with the comments  that we need to protect and develop our riverfront in a way that benefits the entire community and protects the river. This is why I opposed the Dignity proposal to build clinics  on the River behind the old Raley’s.  In the short run, this project will bring construction got jobs, but it also takes fair amount of property off the tax rolls and, I believe, limits public access to our river. Dignity is putting in a 600 spot parking lot, and this does  nothing to enhance the river. We have made so many mistakes along the river by blocking both visual and actual access to the river. I just don’t want to see this happen again. Dignity has considerable Acerage out by their Mercy Oaks property and I much prefer to see their clinics move out there, leaving the river open for the whole community. In the long run, developing beautiful river opportunities will provide far more jobs then Dignity’s proposed campus. I’d be interested to know where Julie is on this.

  15. Avatar Deborah says:

    Dear Julie,

    Excellent vision, love it.  Please let me know the next time you appear in public!

    I moved to Redding from Maine 3 years ago.   It was unexpected and unplanned.  Redding has God’s heart, I feel His heart all over Redding.

    We can also learn from Maine’s extraordinary eye for architecture that enhances views of the Atlantic and mountains.   It is very surprising that coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, the mall here in Redding were built without thinking of showing off views of mountains.   It’s as if their walls shut out what Redding can offer us buyers and tourists.   In order to draw money into Redding, come up with some kind of website for architects and builders to *always* include windows and outdoor patios that show the beauty of the mountains.    The airport in Hawaii was built to draw the warm air of the outdoors by simply leave out the roof of the airport.   The airport here, thank goodness, somebody was smart enough to build the airport with the mountain scenery in the horizon.   I wish you a lot success in everything you do!