Documenter: Ramiro Merino


  • Items on the onset agenda that were approved by the Council include appointments to the City’s Madera Transit Advisory Commission, the Airport Advisory Commission, the Airport Advisory Commission, and the Beautification Committee. 

  • The City of Madera was approved to receive the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) COVID-19 Round 3 funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the amount of $402,643. Ivette Iraheta, the Grants Administrator for the City, stated that two-thirds of the funds would go to the Madera Coalition for Community Justice – Madera Eviction and Utility Shutoff Prevention Program in the amount of $280,320.81 and one-thirds will go to the Community Action Partnership of Madera County (CAPMC) Housing Stabilization Program in the amount of $122,322.19. The Council will open this for public comment and vote on the final allocations at the June 16th, 2021 meeting. 

  • Arnoldo Rodriguez, the City Manager, provided an update on the Code of Conduct for the Madera City Council, Boards, Commissions, and Committees with added verbiage to reflect the changes. Rodriguez stated “In the spirit of continuous improvement, we are always looking at the standard protocol and procedures to ensure that if any issues do arise, we can address it early on.” The Council expressed their gratitude to Rodriguez and the staff for working hard on the Code of Conduct and for providing guidelines for them to follow. 

  • Roger Sanchez, the Financial Director for the City, provided an overview of the 2021/2022 fiscal year budget, which includes: $15.5 million from the special revenue, $32.2 million from the general revenue, $43 million from the enterprise revenue, and $23.5 million from the American Rescue Plan. Sanchez stated that there are 45 days left in this current fiscal year, at which the City will know what the actual budget will look like. 

Purpose of Agency

The Madera City Council, a board of seven Council Members, is the elected legislative body of the City of Madera. Members of the City Council are elected by district, and the Mayor is elected at large. There are six (6) Council districts. Members of the City Council, including the Mayor, serve four-year terms.

Madera City Council Members

  • Santos Garcia, Mayor

  • Cece Gallegos, Councilmember for District 1

  • Jose Rodriguez, Council Member for District 2

  • Steve Montes, Council Member for District 3

  • Anita Evans, Council Member for District 4

  • Vacant, District 5

  • Artemio Villegas, Mayor Pro Tem and Council Member for District 6

The Scene

The Madera City Council meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 by Mayor Santos Garcia. The meeting was streamed live virtually through the City of Madera’s website at, the City’s Youtube channel and conference call. The meeting consisted of the six council members, including Mayor Santos Garcia, Councilmembers Cece Gallegos, Jose Rodriguez, Steve Montes, Anita Evans, and Artemio Villegas. All of the Council Members participated in the meeting at home so they did not wear masks. 


Sara Bosse, the Public Health Director for the Madera County Public Health Department, gave an update regarding Covid-19 and the status for the county. “The tier system will go away as of June 15. Area A and Area C, which includes the City of Madera. Recently children ages 12-15 became eligible. We are doing lots of outreach in unusual ways. We are promoting at the school board meetings. All of the schools who hosted vaccination clinics will receive funds for helping with this. The CDC has stated that people who have been vaccinated do not need to wear masks in public spaces. The CDC did not give us a heads up of this notice. This can get tricky for lots of public spaces. We encourage businesses to put out the information, but we encourage them to not engage with those that do not wear masks. We want to encourage people to still wear masks as it is proven to keep people safe.” 


No workshops were presented. 

Consent Calendar

The Council unanimously approved the items on the Consent Calendar. 

  • Minutes – 02/03/21

  • Informational Report on Register of Audited Demands for April 24, 2021 to May 7, 2021

  • Informational Report on Personnel Activity

  • Consultant Services Agreement with Madera Unified School District

  • Appointment to the City’s Beautification Committee

  • Amendment to the Management and Operations of Madera Transit Services Agreement between the City of Madera and MV Public Transportation, Inc.

  • Appointment to the City’s Madera Transit Advisory Board

  • Appointment to the City’s Airport Advisory Commission

  • Appointment to the City’s Airport Advisory Commission

  • Third Amendment to CA Pacific Investments, LLC Lease Agreement

  • Host Agency Agreement with SER National for Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Public Hearing

Ivette Iraheta, the Grants Administrator for the City of Madera, presented on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Covid-19 Round 3 funds allocation in the amount of $402,643. “During the previous council meeting on May 6, staff brought this item to the council in regards to how the Covid-19 grant will be used. This includes rent/mortgage assistance, food assistance, utility billing assistance, and small business assistance.” The city was informed that they were eligible to apply for the round 3 allocation letter of $402,643 on September 11, 2020. The Block Grant Commission met to discuss and evaluate the two submitted applications on May 3rd, 2021 for consideration and recommendation for the council. “We did not think we had enough time to ask for applicants, but we’re glad that we did receive two applications. We believe that we would split the funds, two-thirds would go to the Madera Coalition for Community Justice in the amount of $280, 320.81 and one-thirds will go to the Community Action Partnership of Madera County (CAPMC) in the amount of $122,322.19. “A 5 day-public review and comment period begins on May 20th, 2021. All interested parties are invited to provide comments for the City to consider before finalizing allocations. The public review and comment period will expire at 5 p.m. on  May 26, 2021. The next steps include for the Council to meet to approve the final CDBG Covid-19 Round 3 allocations planned during the June 16th, 2021 meeting. Staff will submit Substantial Amendment(s) to the 2019/2020 Annual Action Plan, with finalized Covid-19 activities included for HUD’s review. Any questions or concerns HUD requests regarding the Substantial Amendment submitted need to be addressed. There was no public comment on this agenda item and the Council approved it unanimously. 

Petitions, Bids, Resolutions, Ordinances, and Agreements

  • Update to the Code of Conduct for the Madera City Council, Boards, Commissions and Committees Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Approving Amending and Restating the Code of Conduct, Adopted September 18, 2019 

Arnoldo Rodriguez, the City Manager for the City of Madera, stated “In the spirit of continuous improvement, we are always looking at the standard protocol and procedures to ensure that if any issues do arise, we can address it early on.” The following are the changes made: 

  • The Code of Conduct is self-enforcing. The key recommended updates include: comply with both the letter and spirit of the laws and policies; be independent, impartial, and fair in judgement and actions; use their public office for the public good, not for personal gain; and conduct public deliberation and processes openly, unless legally confidential, in an atmosphere of respect and civility.

  • For ethics, the key recommended updates include: clarification of the Code of Conduct applies to members of the City Council, Boards, Commissions and Committees; term “member” shall mean any member of the Council, any Board, Commission, or Committee of the City; inclusive terms of “elected officials” and “appointed officials.” “What we attempted to do is to add clarifying language” stated Rodriguez. 

  • For acts in the public interest, there were no changes. 

  • For Compliance with the Law, clarification of compliance with Federal, State, and City laws, Political Reform Act, and the Brown Act were addressed. 

  • For conduct of members, there were no changes. 

  • For decisions based on merit, there were no changes.  

  • For communication, a section was added regarding members who share substantive information relevant to matters being considered from sources outside of the public decision-making process. 

  • For conflict of interest, verbiage was added regarding voluntary recusal and disclosure in accordance to the Brown Act. 

  • For gifts and favors, verbiage was added regarding acceptance of gifts, favors, or promises of future benefits. 

  • For confidential information, verbiage was added for members to respect confidentiality regarding closed session matters. 

  • For advocacy, there were no changes added. 

  • For the policy roles of members of the City Council, verbiage was added regarding the role of the City Manager and City Manager’s responsibility to the City Council as a body rather than individual councilmembers. 

For conduct guidelines, these are the added verbiage: 

  • Elected and Appointed Officials’ Conduct with one another in Public Meetings: practice civility and decorum in discussion and debate; avoid personal comment that could offend other members’; demonstrate effective problem-solving approaches; be welcoming to speakers and treat them with care and respect; practice active listening; maintain an open mind; ask for clarification, but avoid debate and argument with the public; treat all staff as professionals; if attending a Board or commission meeting, be careful to only express personal opinions; limit contact with Board and Commission members to questions of clarification; respect the Board and Commissions and members; be respectful of diverse opinions; keep political support away from public forums. Clarifying language was added regarding the responsibility of members with the usage of social media, to be cognizant of the Brown Act and limitations on matters within the jurisdiction of their respective board, commission, and committee. 

For implementation, these are the verbiage added: 

  • Enforcement: verbiage added clarifying members’ responsibility to read the Code, become familiar with the Code and embrace its provision. 

  • Sanctions: inclusion of “elected officials” terms

  • Review and updates: Recommendation to have Code of Conduct reviewed annually. “We want to treat this as a living document. We want to put language in the document to prevent things from happening as a form of guideline. The City of Madera does not have these issues, but they are issues in other communities so we want to make sure we have a thorough document that represents the best practices for the City” stated Hilda Montoy, the City Attorney. 

“Nothing here goes beyond the law. This is not to limit conversations, this is a guide for you all” stated Montoy. Councilmember Gallegos stated “I would like to thank Hilda and Arnoldo for working on this. As a Council, we asked for this. We had no structure, so thank you for your time.” Councilmember Jose Rodriguez said “This stems out of the grand jury report. It’s important for us to have guidelines so we can conduct ourselves in public and out of public. This guideline will certainly help us do better at what we do.” Councilmember Steve Montes said “Being up here, we do not know the rules. Hearing the horror stories has made me realize that we need good guidance and use this as a reference. Thank you staff and Hilda for working on this.” Councilmember Anita Evans stated “Thank you to everyone who worked on this. Thank you for protecting us and making us aware of the lines not to cross.” 

The next agreement that was brought up to Council is the:

  • Approval of Employee Health and Welfare Benefit Providers for Fiscal Year 2021/2022 

    • Recommendation: Adopt a Minute Order 1) Approving the Fiscal Year 2021/22 Employee Health and Welfare Benefit Providers; and 2) Authorizing the City Manager to Execute any Agreements or Related Documents (Report by Wendy Silva)

Silva Wendy, the Director of Human Services for the City of Madera, stated “the City currently purchases a high deductible PPO and self-insures the deductible layer. The City would be able to offer multiple carriers and multiple plans with each carrier. A pool such as PRISM will likely provide less volatility in rates over time than a stand-alone City plan. PRISM medical is a January 1 plan year, whereas the City is currently on a July 1 plan year, which supports the 18 month proposal. “The recommendations include moving medical insurance plans to PRISM effective July 1, which offers two Anthem plans and Kaiser plans as noted in Attachment 1 of the staff report. This would require us to join the PRISM pool. We would select PRISM as the dental provider with the Anthem and Kaiser plan designs, renew the existing vision plan with Superior Vision, select PRISM as the life and long term disability insurance provider with the same Lincoln plan designs the City currently contracts directly for, renew the existing EAP and Wellness benefits through Halcyon Behavioral, and authorize the City Manager to execute any agreements and related documents.” Councilmember Gallegos said “We sometimes have a hard time with change, it’s hard to switch. When we switch, I am going to hear kicking and screaming. I would like to thank my colleagues and staff for hanging in there as we are unsure. Our community is paying for the health insurance for the city employees.” 

Administrative Reports

Roger Sanchez, the Financial Director for the City of Madera, presented an overview of the fiscal year budget for 2021/2022. Sanchez stated “We discussed projected revenues for the next fiscal year.” 

This is a breakdown of the budget: 

  • Special Revenue: $15.5 M

  • General Revenue: $32.2 M – a majority of the funds is through property taxes, sales taxes, measure K taxes, hotel taxes

  • Enterprise Revenue: $43 M – golf, drain, airport, transit, solid waste, sewer, and water

  • Rescue Plan: $23.5 M

“With the American Rescue Plan, we still need to study the guidelines and provide the Council with a more meaningful guideline. We have 45 days left in the fiscal year so we won’t know how we will end since we are not there yet” stated Sanchez. 

Matt Watson, the Fire Chief for the City of Madera, gave an update on the River Fire Activity. He stated “We are about a month early with when things typically burn and how. Over the last 10 years, fires in the City of Madera have increased by over 160%. In 2020, we had 406 fires, a huge jump from 2019. With the increase of the homeless population, comes increased fire activity and medical emergencies for the fire department. The fire department has been given the necessary tools from the City Council to combat these emergencies. Our firefighters are using the safest strategies and tactics to combat these fires. This will also help prevent future fires and give control points for future fires. The fire yesterday at the river started on one side and moved to the other side. The City Council and County BOS are taking active measures on addressing the vegetation in the river.” Councilmember Rodriguez stated “I wish we could collaborate with the State to mitigate these issues.” Councilmember Evans thanked the chief and the Mayor. “It’s easy to talk about it, but when you experience it, that’s a different story. As soon as we can get the permit passed, then we can help remove the greenery to prevent future fires. I thank the individuals who helped clean up in regards to the homeless areas.”  

Councilmember Reports/Announcements/Future Agenda Items

  • Council Member Gallegos: “It is Bike to Work Week. I want to challenge everyone to bike to a place safely at least once.” 

  • Council Member Rodriguez: I want to congratulate the City for partnering with the Madera Irrigation District. Through the Madera County of Transportation, they are putting Ave 13 online. I also want to wish everyone a safe night.”

  • Council Member Montes:  “Thank you to all the staff for keeping us in line and for all of your hard work.” 

  • Council Member Evans: “Thank you to everyone. I had a Town Hall event, Coffee with Councilwoman. It was a great turnout. There were about 25 constituents at the Jack in the Box. Each of the individuals enlightened us with what they were doing. This past Monday, we had a Senior Lives Matter march.”

  • Council Member Villegas:  “There seemed to be a graffiti issue when I went on my daily walk. The neighborhood is brand new so it seems like this will be an issue.” 

  • Mayor Garcia: “I wanted to apologize for my goat joke.” 

Closed Session

The Council went to Closed Session at 7:50 p.m. 


With no further discussion, Mayor Garcia adjourned the City Council meeting at 9:27 p.m.

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