Priorities

Public Safety

  • As a former Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney and criminal prosecutor, public safety continues to be one of Vice Mayor Esther Lemus’ top priorities.  In 2020, she along with her Council colleagues approved a 5-year contract for the continued provision of first-rate law enforcement and crime prevention services to Windsor residents through the Windsor Police Department - services that will continue to provide for the safety and health of Windsor’s neighborhoods and schools.

  • During her entire term on the Windsor Town Council, Windsor has continued to enjoy the lowest crime rate of all Sonoma County cities, including a 14% decrease in reports of serious felonies in 2020.

  • Vice Mayor Lemus understands the importance of being fiscally responsible with public monies allocated to public safety, while maintaining a high level of service.  While the cost of police services comprises 38% of Windsor’s budget, Windsor’s per resident cost is the lowest when compared to the County average, a win for all of Windsor’s residents.

  • 2020 was a challenging year of public reckoning for our entire country on the issues of racial injustice and inequality, after the police killing of George Floyd.  During this time, Vice Mayor Lemus heard from many residents about concerns over police accountability.  She listened and took action.  Vice Mayor Lemus, along with her Council colleagues, implemented changes to increase police accountability and transparency, including a new requirement that provides for an annual, public, detailed audit on use of force incidents by Windsor police officers, including demographic data on the individuals involved in those incidents.  She was also a strong proponent for a new requirement that Windsor police officers receive annual implicit bias trainings to reduce implicit bias, a requirement that was supported by her colleagues and that exceeds California and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office requirements. 

  • As gun violence continues to plague our communities and schools, Vice Mayor Lemus understands how important it is for parents to know that their children are safe in their learning environments.  As Windsor’s former School Board President, she has a deep-rooted understanding of the unique challenges of keeping our kids safe in school, and is a strong supporter of maintaining funding for School Resource Officers in Windsor schools to provide for the safety and security of all our children and students.

  • If elected Mayor, Vice Mayor Esther Lemus will continue to support full funding of the Windsor Police Department’s budget while ensuring that valuable police resources are used wisely in order to keep costs down for every Windsor resident.  She will also work to ensure that Windsor residents continue to enjoy first-rate law enforcement services in order to maintain the safety of our neighborhoods and families.

 
 

Wildfire Prevention & Safety

  • After having served in leadership roles during both the Tubbs and Kincade fires, Vice Mayor Esther Lemus has the hands-on experience needed to lead during a natural disaster, while maintaining her calm to make the important decisions required to help preserve life and property.  In 2019, when the entire Town of Windsor was evacuated as it was projected that the Kincade fire’s path would cross through Windsor, burning down homes and buildings in the downtown area, Vice Mayor Lemus worked tirelessly with Town officials to help set up the Emergency Operations Center, which was also evacuated several times, requiring the set-up and break down of the center.  She also worked closely with Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Fire District, and CalFire officials to ensure that Windsor residents were informed and that their diverse needs and concerns were met and addressed during this time of evacuation and emergency.  

  • Vice Mayor Lemus was also involved in the post-wildfire recovery process, including working to prioritize the restoration of energy and gas services for Windsor’s most vulnerable residents.

  • Given that many residents were without electricity and gas for several days following re-entry into the previously evacuated zones, Vice Mayor Lemus was active in helping to bring hot meals to Windsor residents, including personally delivering meals to residents’ homes.

  • Vice Mayor Lemus also served in a leadership role during the Tubbs Fire, while President of the Windsor School Board.  In that role, she led during a time of natural disaster and crisis and was involved in working with district leadership and county officials to set up an evacuation center in Windsor for those who were evacuated or whose homes had burned down.  She also worked to ensure that hot meals were provided to the evacuees at the site by partnering with local restaurants and businesses.  Post-fire, she worked with school and state officials to ensure the environmental safety of the school buildings prior to student’s re-entry onto their school campuses.

  • While Vice Mayor Lemus is proven and tested as a leader during natural disasters and wildfires, she also understands the importance of wildfire prevention.  As such, she has supported the following initiatives:

    • She voted to approve a new fire impact fee to provide funding to support the cost of expanding the Sonoma County Fire District’s facilities, apparatus, and equipment needs 

    • She voted to approve the Windsor Annex & Sonoma County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (which included implemented mitigation measures including the creation of Evacuation Zones and an Evacuation Zone map, the purchase of backup generators, the adding of requirements for building hardening to the Building Code, the addition of an Emergency Information page to the Town website, the preparation of a Riparian Corridor Wildfire Fuel Management Plan, and the preparation of a Climate Adaptation Plan)

    • Providing residents with resources during Public Safety Shutoff Outages (PSPS), including cooling stations for vulnerable residents

  • Vice Mayor Lemus will continue to prioritize focusing on wildfire hazard mitigation measures in order to prevent wildfires from happening in the first place.  She will also continue to work on efforts that will reduce any potential loss of life, personal injury, or property damage that can result from a wildfire, including providing support and funding to future initiatives to prevent and prepare for the next wildfire or natural disaster.  Through her diverse and proven leadership on this matter, there’s no question: Vice Mayor Esther Lemus is strongly committed to the safety of all of Windsor’s residents and families.

 

Public Health

  • From the start of the pandemic, Vice Mayor Esther Lemus was an early leader in the fight against COVID-19.  She worked with the County and the Town of Windsor to get a COVID-19 testing site up and running at the Bluebird Center.  She was also a proponent of making COVID-19 vaccinations available to the public at Windsor’s Summer Nights on the Green in 2021.  Through a pop-up tent that was set up on the Green during the first year that the popular summer music series returned to Windsor, community members were able to get vaccinated.

  • She was also instrumental in helping to educate residents about the COVID-19 virus, the importance of testing, the availability of resources, and vaccination efforts and locations throughout the County.  As part of this work, she helped create a video series for the Town in both English and Spanish in order to maximize these outreach efforts and to reach as many residents as possible.

  • Vice Mayor Lemus has been a key player in the safe re-opening of the Town and in helping us get back to a pre-pandemic Windsor.  She supported the COVID “return to work” policies, and has advocated for a safe return of the family events that Windsor residents love and enjoy – bringing our community together in the process.  In 2021, she supported an abridged version of Summer Nights on the Green during a time when vaccines were being rolled out to the general public.  This year, she felt confident it was safe and time to bring back the first full summer schedule of Windsor’s Summer Nights on the Green music series, along with Windsor’s Family Movie Nights.

  • As your next Mayor, Vice Mayor Esther Lemus  will continue to work hard to bring back the Windsor we all love and enjoy, while ensuring that we continue to be safe and healthy.