Documenter: Ben Irizarry

The Scene

The Lemoore City Council met for its first meeting of the month on February 2nd, 2021 at 7:35 PM via zoom. The council meeting was very small and intimate with the majority of the participants on zoom being made up of Council Members and City Staff. Some of the council members and staff present included: Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Matthews, Councilman Frank Gornick, Councilman Jim Chaney, councilman David Orth, City Manager Nathan Olson, Asst. City Manager Michelle Speer, City Clerk Marisa Avalos, City Attorney Mary Lerner, and Public Works Director Frank Rivera. In total, there were 15 participants at the beginning of the Lemoore City Council meeting. 

Board Meeting Agenda

1. Regular Session

  1. Call to order

  2. Invocation

  3. Pledge of allegiance

  4. Roll call

  5. Closed session report

  6. Agenda approval, additions, and/or deletions

Closed Session Reports 

  • City Attorney Ms. Lerner indicated that there was a motion made by Councilman Gornick with a second by Councilman Orth to use Waste Water Enterprise funds to purchase the properties with APN024080076 and APN024080074 for the cities run treated wastewater on. Each member voted as follows: 

    • Councilman Gornick Yes

    • Councilman Orth Yes

    • Councilman Chaney Yes

    • Mayor Pro Tem Matthews Yes

    • Mayor Lyons Absent

Public Comment

  • Mr. Dey public comment:

    • Mr. Dey’s presented the city council with an update and report on some of the recent community initiatives from the Lemoore Rotary Club. Mr. Dey indicated that the Rotary Club recently had a crab feed, and although the event was different from past events, it was successful. Mr. Dey expressed gratitude for everyone who bought tickets, volunteered, partners, local business, members of the Interact Club and sponsors the event. Mr. Dey stated that with the proceeds the Rotary Club will be able to do a lot for the community with the funds raised. 

Ceremonial Presentation

  • No ceremonial presentations

Department and City Reports

  • Mrs. Speers-Audit Update

    • Ms. Speers provided the council with a brief update and indicated that at the next council meeting scheduled for February 16, 2021, Brian Henderson an auditor from Hudson & Henderson will present the council with some information regarding the 2020 fiscal year audit. The audit has been completed and uncovered some important information regarding the anticipated deficit from the 2020 budget. Initially, the City of Lemoore expected a $3.9 Million deficit, and the audit revealed a deficit of only $1.1 Million. Ms. Speers indicated that much of this is “largely due to the city receiving more sales tax and property taxes than was originally estimated and a significant reduction in force in general fund departments last year which saved a considerable amount of money.” Ms. Speers also reported that the final numbers will be in next week and that the city’s position for the next fiscal year is better than anticipated. Finally, Ms. Speers reported that after doing an analysis of the revenues so far this year, “it looks like we are going to be, at a minimum, $550,000 to the good.” The main factors contributing to the financial outlook for the city of Lemoore include sales taxes, property taxes, and the biggest contributor according to Ms. Speers is the cannabis revenue from the dispensaries (Originally projected $200,000 and now expecting $500,000). 

      • These are fluid numbers and can change

      • Have not done an analysis on expenditures

      • Hoping that the end of this year will not end up in a $2.9 Million deficit.

  • Frank Rivera-Public Works Director

    • Mr. Rivera reported about a building on the Heinlen and E Street

    • At the end of last year, the building on the corner of Heinlen and E Street was brought to the council to begin the abatement process. The building had some structural issues that caused the alley behind it to be shut down. At the last meeting, the previous council had given the owners time to come up with some option on whether to repair the building or demolish it. Mr. Rivera met with one of the owners and the owner’s direction is currently to demolish the building. According to Mr. Rivera, the building will be demolished down to the concrete slab beginning within the next 2-4 weeks. 

    • Mr. Rivera also updated the council about one of the city wells. Well #10 is one of the workhorses and has been down for 2.5 years. Originally needing some general maintenance, the well eventually succumbed to more extensive repairs in the offseason. The project kept growing in terms of problems and expenses. What was expected to cost about $100,000 ended up costing the city $550,000 to fix. Nevertheless, Well #10 is back up and running and pumps out about 2,200 gallons of water per minute. 

    • Mr. Rivera also expressed gratitude to the sewer department for their work during the recent storm.

  • Mr. Olson (City Manager)

    • This weekend at West Hills College they held a vaccination clinic for individuals 65 years and older and they were able to vaccinate about 537 seniors.

Consent Calendar 

  • (3-1) Approval of Minutes for Regular Meeting January 19th, 2021

    • Motion by Gornick

    • Second by Chaney

    • Gornick Aye

    • Chaney Aye

    • Orth Aye

    • Patricia Mathews Aye

    • Motion passes with a 4-0 Vote

Public Hearing

  • No Public Hearing

New Business

  • (5-1) City Council Meeting Schedule

    • Mr. Olson updated the City Council on the council’s request to start the meetings earlier in the day. Due to the fact that Council members must attend other meetings in the area, the meetings must be selected carefully to avoid schedule conflicts. 

      • According to Mr. Olson, Tuesdays would be an option on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, however the Lemoore City Council would be required to move the study session to 3 PM and the regular meetings to 5:30. 

      • Thursdays are also available if the meetings are on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month. 

    • Councilman Gornick commented on the update and initially asked for the request and commented, “I liked the idea of a 3:30 study session, and a regular meeting after that.” 

    • According to City Attorney, changing the meeting schedule would require an ordinance change, council would give direction, and ordinance would come back to the city manager based on that direction for an introduction and first reading, and then there would be a second reading with 5 days in between with a requirement that the second reading take place at a regular meeting and then wait 30 days to implement. 

      • If the council wanted to start the new meeting schedule earlier, it could happen, however the meetings would have to be noted as special meetings.

    • Councilman Orth stated that he liked “where it’s at” referring to the meeting schedule but also indicated he was open to the idea of changing the meeting schedule but that didn’t want to interfere with any families having dinner. Councilman Orth stated I understand Councilman  Gornick’s request, it is late but for the public, it’s better for it to be later so that they can take care of family responsibilities so they can join the city council meetings free of conflict.  

    • Councilman Chaney indicated ”I agree with Councilman Orth and agree with all the comments he made.”

    • Mayor Pro Tem Matthews: The public isn’t really feeling that because it is difficult to make it work until 5PM and don’t have time to make it to the meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Matthews was also curious if it would be an issue for the public.

    • When Councilman Gornick inquired about how many members of the public were currently in the zoom session, Mr. Olson determined that 5 members of the public were watching the meeting. 

    • When the item was opened up for the public comment, Ms. Solis stated “I was thinking about this kind of process because we have changed to zoom with the meetings and have also allowed public comment to be written in, and so I think it would be prudent if the council just picked a time that was good for them and the city staff. There should also be a limit to the length of meetings and I don’t know if that’s something that can be implemented because even when the meetings are at 7:30 and go to 11:30 PM that’s really hard for the people of the public, and hard for the city council to listen at that point.”

    • Mayor Pro Tem Matthews: “One of the things that Ms. Solis had mentioned because it’s on zoom if we’re going change our ordinance, it doesn’t just affect zoom because eventually, we will have in public meetings where people can attend, so we have to keep that in mind so were not potentially doing another ordinance change because its not working for the public in person, so keep that in mind as well.”

    • Councilman Gornick asked, “We would still televise these meetings on zoom, my only thought is there might be a compromise for both, if we did a time frame, because we can advertise the meeting day, if you have a question and can’t get to the meeting, they submit the question by 12 o’clock and the … meeting two times a month we get a lot done, I don’t think we need to have met until 11 o’clock, I’d be happy to do whatever you’d like… those are my thoughts. 

    • CM Orth Motion to this time leave it the way it is and consider the idea in the future

      • CMChaney seconds the motion

      • CM Orth Aye

      • CM Chaney Aye

      • CM Gornick Aye

      • Mayor Pro Tem Matthews Aye

    • Mr. Olson suggested releasing a survey to bring back input from the public before making any decisions.

Brief City Council Reports/Request

  • Orth: “I like to take the opportunity to thank Mrs. Taylor from the rec department for giving me information to adopt a plantar process. My family adopted one and it looks really nice, there is still a lot left for everyone out there, I’d like to challenge our city unions to get our city looking great, Thank the police and fire for what they do, the city workers out there on Thursday pumping a lot of water. I was allowed to be a part of the league of cities academy and was very very educational and at times a little overwhelming. I also want to thank Nathan for getting us with the IT people and we had great training. Thank you very much and move forward, happy city.”

  • Chaney: “Thank Chief Kendall and Frank Rivera for the excellent presentations and recognizing Officer Kurts and it’s well deserved, I know how hard he has worked for the Police Department and the community. Sheila from Parks and Recreation… I adopted 2 plantars and she was very informative and she has taken a role of putting that in the public and she’s made the process very enjoyable and commend her for her hard work. I had the opportunity to attend KCO meetings and was going through orientation getting my feet wet, there’s a lot of good things that they do, and look forward to attending those meetings and bringing back reports to the city council meeting…”

  • Gornick: “I also want to thank Nathan for putting together the report today and Frank from public works and Chief Kendall. It gave me a good idea of the process and I also attended the South Kings River Water and it was very interesting in the work that is being done in the South Kings River, there’s a lot of work that is being done out there looking forward to providing more input in the next meeting.”

  • Matthews: “I did attend a KWRA board meeting in the process of an efficiency study and look forward to AB 1383 and you’ll be hearing more from Nathan and staff. The San Joaquin Valley Air Board is scheduled for next week…. I also wanted to mention that Dutch Bros is going to have a Dutch Love Day on February 13th and $1 for every drink will help feed members of the community.”

The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 PM

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