Documenter: Ben Irrizarry

The Scene

The Lemoore City Council meeting was called to order at 7:31 PM by Mayor Stuart Lyons. The meeting was very small and intimate with only 18 participants in the zoom session including the Mayor (Stuart Lyons), Mayor Pro Tem (Patricia Matthews), three city council members (Chaney, Gornick, and Orth), the City Manager (Nathan Olson), Assistant City Manager (Michelle Spear), and City Clerk (Marissa Avalos). Pastor Frank Caudell led a prayer at the beginning of the meeting that was followed up by the pledge of allegiance. After a brief roll call, the Mayor stated that there was nothing from the closed session to be reported and moved forward to public comment. 


Public Comment via email: 

  • “Hello, I’ve left voicemails and emails with various people but can’t get an answer from anyone regarding the water treatment plant. Could you please let me know what the status update is on that project? We were told that it would be completed by mid to late 2020. If you are unsure, could you please ask about it at the next city council meeting? I would also like to have you ask at the next meeting if it would be possible to either get brighter street lights or more street lights to increase visibility and potentially help decrease crime. In addition, a  number of street signs are positioned rather far from corners and have little to no reflective qualities anymore. Can we get the signed moved or at least make it so the writing is more reflective and visible at night? Lastly, there are a number of intersections around Lemoore Elementary and the post office area that have no stop signs or yield signs, I used to walk my daughter to school and on many occasions, I felt in danger with her since it is not clear who has the right of way. I know we have a budget shortfall but stop signs and yield signs, brighter LED bulbs for street lights and new reflective letters on street signs all seem like reasonable requests. Thank you.”

Department and City Manager Reports

  • City employees are still working even though the COVID pandemic continues

  • There have been quite a few employees that have been impacted by the pandemic

  • A couple of the divisions are working under the essential worker orders so the city is able to maintain services

  • City Managers Response to Waste Water Comment: 

    • The project is a little behind schedule due to COVID and shortfalls in getting equipment

    • There is a dialogue between the city of Lemoore and the state of California, currently done and are getting to load media to start the testing with the state to put them online

    • Expecting comments back from the state department of water resources any day now

    • Once they get the recommendation from them they’ll start testing and putting the new water plant online

    • In response to the signs, the city of Lemoore website has a resident request form that residents can fill out. That ticket will inform staff, also makes an electronic record of the issue, and when it will be fixed, or why it can’t be fixed.

Consent Calendar

  • (3-1) Approval of Minutes-Regular Meeting-Dec 15th, 2020

  • (3-2) Approval of Denial of Claim for the Law Offices of Dale K. Galipo on behalf of Mr. Able Garnica

    • Motion to accept 3-1 and 3-2 by CM Matthews and seconded by CM Orth 

      • Mathews Aye

      • Orth Aye

      • Chaney Aye

      • Gornick Aye

      • Lyons Aye

      • Motion passes

  • (3-3) Approval of Resolution 2021-01-Establishing Additional City Manager Authority during COVID Pandemic

    • The rules regarding COVID for employers are constantly changing

    • Cal-OSHA regulations just took effect on Dec 1st, 2020

    • AB-685 took effect on Jan 1st, 2021 (Reporting requirements)

    • The new laws impact the city of Lemoore from a budgetary standpoint

      • Require that the city pay for COVID testing for employees

      • Also requires that the city provide paid leave for employees who test positive for COVID or have been exposed to COVID

      • The new laws and regulations have not been addressed in aunty MOU’s with the Bargaining Units

      • When reviewing the powers of authority with the city manager it was not very clear if the city manager could make budgetary changes or decisions that would affect the budget in light of an emergency

      • Oftentimes, the variables change so quickly that the city doesn’t have the option to bring items to the council and as a result, the assistant city manager is asking for this resolution.

        • The limited scope of authority

        • Only related to COVID

        • If there is a decision that needs to be made from an operational standpoint that could possibly make a modification to an MOU, that it can be made at the city managers discretion in order to stay compliant with new laws and regulations

    • CM Gornick inquired about the cost of vaccinations for employees

    • M. Speer indicated that all vaccinations are being made available by King’s County for first responders and there is no cost for that.

      • There is no law that requires employers to mandate vaccinations for employees

    • CM Gornick again inquires about the cost of the vaccine and then asks if there has been preliminary discussion about the vaccine or if there is any information from the insurance carrier

      • CM Gornick would like to engage in dialogue about the cost of vaccinations with the insurance carrier

      • “If we let them know that the vaccines are at no cost for them, then I would think most people would want to get vaccinated, particularly first responders as well as essential workers so that the city could get back to normal.”

    • CM Gornick asked to send an end-date for the city managers emergency powers

    • Public Comment (C. Lewis) – Appreciated the information regarding employee leave, testing, and potential vaccinations

    • Public Comment (J. Solis) – Was wondering if the authority given to the city manager would lead to information being brought to the council to be ratified?

      • The resolution gives the city manager the authority and it doesn’t require ratification in the council.

      • The current ordinance already gives the city manager or the emergency service director the authority to make decisions that would then need to be ratified by the council

      • If the city manager had to wait until the following meeting than employees could see a reduction in benefits

      • The CARES Act authorized 80 hours of COVID sick leave for every employee, it exempted public safety employees but the council decided to include them but that law expired on December 31st, 2020 and the city has had various employees that have been affected by COVID since then that are in limbo and unsure if benefits will be provided to them

      • The resolution is not trying to take any authority away council the whole goal is to make sure that the city employees are not negatively affected by COVID more than they already have been

      • 38 employees have been affected by COVID in the last 6 weeks

      • The City of Lemoore currently has 120 full-time employees

      • The city manager needs to be able to authorized COVID related emergencies without needing the council to convene

    • CM Gornick motioned to amend the resolution end date for April 20th, 2021 

    • CM Gornick also motioned for a resolution to include regular updates via email from the city managers office to the council members 

      • CM Gornick motioned to approve Item (3-3), CM Chaney seconded the motion

      • CM Gornick Yes

      • CM Chaney Aye

      • CM Orth Yes

      • CM Matthews Aye

      • Mayor Lyons Aye

      • (3-3) Passes

New Business

  • Kings County Association of Governments (KCAG)

  • Mrs. Terri King provided a thorough overview of KCAG 

    • Independent agency that functions as a metropolitan planning organization, a regional transportation planning agency, organized as a council of government

    • Governed by a commission

    • Transportation Agency is governed by the Transportation Policy Committee

  • Annual activities: Create an overall work plan and budget

    • Annual Budget: $2.5 Million for consulting projects

    • 5 full-time staff and two vacant position

    • Administer federal transportation funds from the FAST Act

      • Regional Service Transportation Program

        • Started out as Federal funds but we exchanged for State funds because State funds offer more flexibility

        • Lemoore’s share of this $183,000

      • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program

        • Funds are used for a project that reduces vehicle emissions

        • Funding for alternative fuel vehicles, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, 

      • Federal Transit 53-10 for Elderly and Disabled Non-Profits

        • Reviews applications and then sends them to CalTrans

        • Competitive Program

      • Section 53-11

        • Public transit for rural areas

        • $394,000 for the latest fiscal year

        • Allocated to Kings Country Area Public Transit Agency and City of Corcoran Transit Services

      • 53-11 F

        • A statewide competitive program that provides transit between rural and urban areas

      • 53-07

        • Urban operators 

        • $3 Million

    • Regional Transporation Plan

      • 20 Year Plan

      • Prioritized list for state highway projects, local road projects, transit and  active transportation, aviation, and freight projects

      • Must be prepared every 4 years, next update is 2022

      • Sustainable Community Strategy

        • Required from Senate Bill 375

        • Identify a project that would meet the target  or reduce vehicle emissions from passenger vehicles

Reports and Recommendation-Council Member Liaison Appointments to Regional Boards and Committees 

  • South Fork Kings: Principle CM Gornick, Alternate CM Matthews

  • KCAO: Principle CM Chaney, Alternate City Manager Olson

  • KCAG: Principle CM Orth, Alternate CM Chaney

  • Kings County Commission on Aging: Principle Lyons, Alternate Matthews

  • EDC: Principle City Manager Olson, Alternate CM Gornick

  • Mosquito Abatement: Principle Orth, Alternate Mayor Lyons

  • King Waste and Principle CM Matthews, Alternate Mayor Lyons

  • SJ Valley Air: Principle CM Matthews, Alternate CM Matthews

City council reports and requests

  • CM Chaney: Nothing

  • CM Gornick: Like to have a discussion about meeting times because meetings are late in the evenings and would like for students to come to observe meetings. 

  • CM Orth: Nothing

  • CM Matthews: Thanked the fire department for the Xmas tree downtown

  • Mayor Lyons: Thank you for downtown, the downtown area looked great, thank Pastor Frank, and the Police department, Fire Department

Meeting adjourned at 8:41 PM

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