Documenter: Hannah Galindo

The Scene

This meeting was called into order on January 26th 2021, 10:00AM; meetings of the Fresno Board of Supervisors take place every two weeks on Wednesday, with the next meeting occurring on January 29th. All Supervisors were in attendance, with Vince Quintero participating via internet connection. For the duration of the meeting, no supervisor wore a mask; save for a brief moment in which one member, Nathan Magsig, donned a mask for the sake of a photo honoring volunteer Shaver Lake Fire Department Chief Thomas Warner. Preceding the meeting’s opening, prayer was led by Supervisor Quintero’s Chief of Staff and was followed by Pledge of Allegiance. 


  1. Approve Agenda

  2. Approve Consent Agenda

  • 2.1 Letter to Governor Newsom Urgent Request for Additional Vaccine

  1. Salary Resolution Amendment

  • 3.1 Update on the COVID-19 Equity Project by the Public Health Department and Community Based Organizations

  1. Initial Study Application No. 7014, AMendment Application No. 3812 (Applicant: CFX Trucking; Gary Toor)

  2. Appeal of VA 4084

  3. Partial Cancellation of ALCC No. 3342 (RLCC No. 1009)

  4. Unclassified Conditional Use Permit Application No. 3626 and Initial Study No. 7556 (Applicant/Appellant: John Emmett)

  5. Board of Supervisors’ Committee Reports and Comments

  6. Board Appointments

  7. Public Presentations

    1. Leslie Martinez 

    2. Rick Sandberg 

    3. William Risley 

    4. Jacob Christopherson

  8. Closed Session

1.  Approve Agenda

  • The meeting’s agenda was approved by the Board with a 5-0 vote.

2. Approve Consent Calendar

  • The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously by the Board (5-0), with Supervisor Magsig pulling item 17, which recognizes volunteer Shaver Lake Fire Department Chief Thomas Warner. 

  • In light of his recent retirement, Chief Thomas Warner was recognized by the Board for his years of service to the volunteer Shaver Lake Fire Department, particularly for his notable acts in responding to his community’s needs as well as for the critical role he played in deterring the Central Valley forest fires. Supervisor Magsig and Mendes took time to personally thank Chief Warner for his years of exceptional service.

2.1 20-1622 Authorize the Board of Supervisors to sign a letter to Governor Newsom with Urgent Request for Additional Vaccine

  • The letter was sponsored by Chairman Brandau and Vice Chairman Pacheco; due to the “extremely important” nature of the letter, this motion requests that all members of the board sign this letter.

  • The letter will be sent to “every representative that touches a slice of Fresno County” in order to request urgent and increased access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

  • While expressing support for this motion, Supervisor Mendes expressed critical sentiments towards Governor Newsom and higher government being “out of touch” with reality; expressed that the state government does “not know what is going on” and should “let the counties…run (the vaccine distribution)”.

  • After sentiments of support for the letter were shared by all other members of the council, the motion sign and send this letter passed 5-0.

3. 20-1463 Approve Amendment to the Salary Resolution

  • Item 3 would add one Care Manager position, one Program Manager position, two Health Education Specialist positions and ten Licensed Vocational Nurse I/II/III positions to the Public Health’s Org 5620.

  • In the words of this item’s public advocate, this item would help to create some “permanency” to the positions created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to bolster funding for “stable systems of care”.

  • Supervisor Magsig expressed a level of concern as to where the funding would come from to support this item’s longevity. According to the public advocate, the item would propose no such problem as it taps into multi-year funding provided by the CARES Act.

  • The motion to approve this amendment passed 5-0.

3.1 Update on the COVID-19 Equity Project by the Public Health Department and Community-Based Organizations

  • Item 3.1 in the meeting’s agenda was used to provide an update on the Covid equity project; a status report on the contracts used to leverage services in Fresno County.

  • The COVID-19 Equity Project centered around “collaboration between the City and County”, and focuses on reaching the needs of “diverse and vulnerable racial/ethnic populations”.

  • Through this effort, the extent of the Public Health Department furthered its reach by cooperating with community-based organizations such as the African American Coalition, Immigrant Refugee Coalition, and the Disability and Equity Coalition.

  • Representatives of each community-based organization spoke during this portion of the meeting, testifying to the efficacy of the COVID-19 Equity Project. Primarily expressed a joint sentiment of satisfaction in the project’s ability to reach marginalized communities with testing events, personal protective equipment, and direct support (e.g. rent, food, childcare, etc.) during the pandemic.

4. Initial Study Application No. 7014, Amendment Application No. 3812 (Applicant: CFX Trucking; Gary Toor)

  • Relevant to District 4, item 4 was brought to the Board in order to consider and adopt Mitigated Negative Declaration prepared for the project based on Initial Study No. 7014; to find that proposed rezone of a 6.58-acre parcel from the AL-20 Zone District to an M-1(c) Zone District to allow a limited number of light industrial uses as requested by the Applicant is consistent with the County’s General Plan, including the Housing element and the Roosevelt Community Plan; to adopt ordinance pertaining to Amendment Application No. 3812 thereby rezoning the subject 6.58-acre site from the AL-20 Zone District to an M-1(c) Zone District; and to designate County Counsel to prepare a fair and adequate summary of proposed Ordinance and direct the Clerk of the Board to post and publish required summary in accordance with Government Code, Section 25124(b)1 (E. North Avenue and S. Willow Avenue, near City of Fresno) 

  • With little discussion occurring among the Board members and no comment being made from the public, the motion to approve this measure passed 5-0.

5. Appeal of VA 4084

  • Item 5 was brought to the meeting in request for the council to consider an appeal of Planning Commission’s denial of Variance Application No. 4084 which proposed to allow the creation of a 1.18-acre parcel from an existing 40.00-acre parcel in the AE-20 (Exclusive Agricultural, 20-acre minimum parcel size) Zone District (located on South Rolinda Avenue, between Jensen Avenue and North Avenue, west of the City of Fresno) 

  • By request of the Chairman to disclose any ex parte communication relevant to this motion, Supervisors Magsig, Mendes, and Quintero disclosed that they had had contact with the appellant’s attorney, Jeff Roberts. 

  • After arguments were made by both the Planning Commission and the appellant (C&A Farms, LLC) the motion passed 4-1, with Vice Chairman Pacheco voting no.

6. Partial Cancellation of ALCC No. 3342 (RLCC No. 1009)

  • Pursuant to the approval of item 5, item 6 was brought to the Board of Supervisors as a relevant addition to the concerns of C & A Farms, LLC. 

  • Item 6 considers a petition for partial Cancellation of Agricultural Land Conservation Contract No. 3342 filed on behalf of C & A Farms, LLC. (located on South Rolinda Avenue, between Jensen Avenue and North Avenue, west of the City of Fresno Super. Dist. 1 APN 25-041-37s); also adopts a resolution authorizing the  partial Cancellation of Agricultural Land Conservation Contract No. 3342 based on the five Consistency Findings listed under Government Code, Section 51282(b); and finally, authorizes the Chairman to sign the Certificate of Tentative Cancellation and approve recordation of the Certificate of Cancellation when all conditions included in the Certificate of Tentative Cancellation have been satisfied.

  • After members of the public denied to comment on this motion, the motion to approve item 6 carried with a vote of 5-0.

7. Unclassified Conditional Use Permit Application No. 3626 and Initial Study No. 7556 (Applicant/Appellant: John Emmett)

  • Item 7 was brought to the meeting to consider another appeal of a Planning Commission’s unanimous decision to deny an Unclassified Conditional Use Permit Application No. 3626, which proposed to allow a solid waste processing facility (“asphalt and concrete crushing with on-site material storage and off-site delivery”) on a 22.44-acre parcel in the AE-20 (Exclusive Agricultural, 20-acre minimum parcel size) Zone District.

  • By request of the Chairman to disclose any ex parte communication relevant to this motion, Chairman Brandau, as well as Supervisors Mendes, Magsig, and Quintero each disclosed that they spoke to the appellant’s attorney, Larry Westerlen. Supervisor Magsig also disclosed that he had been in contact with neighbors of the appellant that favored and opposed this measure.

  • Larry Westerlen spoke on behalf of the applenant, John Emmett, to make the case that Emmett’s Excavation should be allowed to build a solid waste processing facility in the specified area. The facility, Westerlen argued, would provide a necessary service to Fresno County while also taking precautions to mitigate burdens on the neighbors who inhabit the largely agricultural area.

  • Several of the citizens who live nearest the Emmett’s desired location for the solid waste processing facility utilized the opportunity to speak against this facility during the public comment portion of the item. These citizens expressed sentiments of distress and annoyance with the burdens that this facility had placed on their lives, with most complaints being geared towards the intolerable noise produced by the machinery, as well as the dust that plagued the area as a result of this facility’s operations.

  • After arguments were made by the appellant and a representative of the Planning Commission, a motion was brought to the council by Supervisor Magsig to uphold the findings of the Planning Commission. With Vice Chairman Pacheco seconding the motion, the Planning Commission’s denial was upholded through a vote of 5-0.

8. Board of Supervisors’ Committee Reports and Comments

  • The board made no comments at this time.

9. Board Appointments

  • Supervisor Mendes reappointed Reggie McCoy to the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission. 

  • Supervisor Magsig reappointed Diana Kendarian to the District 5 seat of the In-Home Supportive Services Advisory Committee; and Megan Tupper to the District 2 seat of the Childcare and Development Local Planning Council.

  • Supervisor Quintero reappointed Frank Flores to the Civil Service Commission; Sandra miller to the Foster Care Standards and Oversight Committee; John Valtiera to the Historical Landmarks and Records Commission; Cecilia McDay to the Housing and Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee; and Kevin Reynolds to the Emergency Medical Care Committee.

  • Chairman Brandau appointed Austin Yule to replace John Lawson on the Planning Commission.

  • Each of these appointments was approved 5-0 by the Board of Supervisors.

10. Public Presentations

  • Presented with the opportunity to address the Board on any matter not on the agenda, four members of the public addressed the Board on various matters.

  • Julie Martinez addressed the Board on behalf of the Leadership Council for Justice and Community to express concerns regarding equitable distributions of the COVID-19 vaccine. In particular, while recognizing that efforts to reach marginalized communities have certainly been made, Martinez expressed that Fresno County has the ability to improve in the way they reach unincorporated communities. Martinez ultimately conveyed a wish to see these circumstances improve as well as a willingness to cooperate with the Board to make this a reality however possible.

  • Agricultural pest control advisor Rick Sandberg approached the Board with a wish to see more leadership be provided by the Supervisors as opposed to Governor Newsom, who Sandberg felt has acted “politically, hypocritically, unscientifically, and unconstitutionally”. Sandberg asked that the Board adopt a resolution that “reflects science” and not Governor Newsom’s policies which “favor Hollywood” over Fresno County. To Sandberg, this resolution would remove the mandate on “lockdowns and masks” in service to “all kinds of people who are not vulnerable”. While Supervisor Magsig acknowledged Sandberg’s dissatisfaction with the shutdowns of schools, professional sports, and restaurants, he ultimately denied the feasibility of this resolution in an affirmation to his commitment to law and order; the passage of such a resolution, according to Magsig, would simply be a “false protection” which would not operate under the authority allocated to Fresno County under law.

  • Ex-deputy and former employee of Wasco State PrisonWilliam Risley approached the Board to express a general dissatisfaction with the efficacy of the local government as well as the conduct of the Fresno Police Department.

  • Dr. Jason Christopherson addressed the Board with concerns of the long-term closure of public schools in Fresno County. Christopherson expressed “frustration and anger” with the “neglect” of public officials to act in the “social and emotional needs” of children in the community. Citing numerous studies which outlined the detriments of school closures as well as the limited risks of re-opening schools, Christopherson asked the Board to take action to “allow the re-opening of K-12 schools for modified and safe in-person instruction within the next seven days”.

11. Closed Session

  • The Board agreed to the adjournment of this week’s meeting following the end of their closed session. With this, the meeting adjourned just after entering it’s third hour at 1:01 PM.


Bringing forth a number of measures, the January 26th meeting of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors showcased a Board in agreement, with all but one measure receiving unanimous approval. While the majority of the meeting was spent discussing matters of public health and planning, a general level of grievance with Governor Gavin Newsom and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic loomed over the meeting. Given today’s approval of item 2 as well as continued financial support for the COVID-19 Equity Project, it is certain that efforts are being made by the Board to address the challenges that all members of Fresno County are facing during the pandemic. Still, members of the public — and even within the Board — expressed dissatisfaction with increased COVID-19 safety measures, and are requesting great pressure be put on the state government to assist Fresno County in “returning to normal”, pre-COVID life.

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