Documenter: Ramiro Merino

Here’s what you need to know

  • The City Council approved to move forward with the lease agreement between the City and Sierra Golf Management (SGM, Inc). Currently, the golf course has a debt of $779,000. The lease agreement means that the golf course will be operated at no expense to the City, and eventually be able to pay it off. 

  • The Council approved approximately $14 million for the 2021/22 fiscal year budget for the City. 

  • The Council approved the changes proposed for the Lemoore Zoning Ordinance, which would allow the City to issue permits for certain commercial cannabis operations within the identified zone. The Zoning Ordinance describes where the different types of commercial cannabis uses can be located. 

  • In general, residents of Lemoore expressed concern about where their money was going, specifically regarding the golf course, water rates being high, and a lack of maintenance of greenery near neighborhoods. 

Purpose of Agency

The five City Council members are elected at large to serve four-year, overlapping terms. Municipal elections are held in November of even-numbered years. Council selects one of its members to serve as the Mayor, who presides at meetings and represents the City in all official matters and at official functions. Council Members do not spend all day at City Hall; they have regular jobs like everyone else. The variety of experience they bring to meetings helps them as a group to make wise decisions. 

Lemoore City Council Board Member Duties

The City Council is responsible for approving all legislation and formulating City policies. The Council’s objectives are broad and include translating public attitudes and service requirements into policies and programs, so that desired levels of service can be provided efficiently and economically. The Council keeps abreast of current State and Federal legislation. By participation in the League of California Cities, Council members are able to compare policies, techniques and procedures with other cities throughout the state. Close liaison is maintained with other Kings County elected officials to ensure that Lemoore’s policies and programs are coordinated with other public agencies. 

Lemoore City Council Members

  • Stuart Lyons, Mayor and Council Member for District A

  • Patricia Matthews, Mayor Pro Tem and Council Member for District E

  • Jim Chaney, Council Member for District B

  • Frank Gornick, Council Member for District C

  • David Orth, Council Member for District D

The Scene

The Lemoore City Council meeting was called to order at 7:28 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 by Mayor Stuart Lyons. The meeting was streamed live virtually through Zoom, where a total of four participants showed up throughout the night. The in-person meeting consisted of all five council members, which included Mayor Stuart Lyons, Mayor Pro Tem and Council Member Patricia Matthews, Council Members Jim Chaney, Frank Gornick and David Orth. City Staff and contract employees also present included City Manager Olson, Assistant City Manager Speer, Police Chief Kendall, City Attorney Lerner, Community Development Director Holwell, and City Clerk Avalos. Due to the global pandemic, physical attendance by the public cannot be accommodated given the current circumstances and the need to ensure the health and safety of the City Council, City staff, and the public as a whole. The Zoom camera was directed towards the Council, where City Council Members were visible. The Council all wore masks for the duration of the meeting. 

Closed Session Report

There was no closed session report. 

Public Comment

  • Resident Jennifer Solis promoted the Rockin the Arbor downtown concert series. She stated the event will take place this Friday from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. The event will feature live music, food and craft vendors, informational booths, and a beer and wine garden. This event is free to enter and open to the community.    

  • A Lemoore resident asked for an update regarding improvements to the sidewalk in his neighborhood. “I saw that a new BMX track was recently built at 19th Avenue, but I keep hearing no money. I addressed this last year and I have not heard anything. 6 years ago I signed up to take a mental health class and I graduated, but was told by an employee that I did not deserve to pass. I followed up with the Chancellor’s office and had the employee fired. I do not play around. Either give me the information… I know it’s not relevant here. I am not a patient person.”

  • Resident Lauren Doter submitted a public comment that read “Why are our water rates outrageously high? We have a lot of big industries who use a lot of water, why can’t we pass this to them? Where was the other $15 million spent on? I ask the Council if a future public meeting can address this as an agenda item.” 

  • Resident Melvin Olson asked the Council where his fees were going since the greenery near his home is dead and he maintains it. “What is the City doing to maintain the plants? The plants are dying.” 

  • The Council thanked the residents for submitting and speaking during public comment. 

Ceremonial Presentations

There were no ceremonial presentations. 

Department and City Manager Reports 

Frank Rivera, the Public Works Director for the City, stated that dumpsters will be set in various locations throughout the city. He also stated night reflectors would be added to the streets per Caltrans standards. 

Consent Calendar

Initially, Councilmembers Gornick, Matthews, and Orth asked to remove agenda items 3-3, 3-4, and 3-5 from the consent calendar. However, after further discussion and once additional information was provided, the Council unanimously voted to approve all five items on the consent calendar. 

  • Approval – Minutes – Special Meeting – June 1, 2021

  • Approval – Minutes – Regular Meeting – June 1, 2021

  • Approval – Lease Agreement between the City of Lemoore and SGM, Inc. dba Sierra Golf Management, for Real Property located at 350 Iona Avenue in Lemoore 

    • Councilmember Gornick stated he wanted the process for the agreement to be explained to the community. City Manager Nathan Olson stated that “currently, the golf course is operated under a hybrid model where the City hires a worker from a third party company to oversee the day-to-day operations.” They performed a Request for Qualifications and accepted proposals for the management, operations, and maintenance of the golf course, pro shop and kitchen. Four proposals were received, but only three were reviewed and ranked by community members and staff. The two proposers were invited to an interview with the City Manager and Police Captain. After the interviews, the staff recommends the City enter into a lease agreement with Sierra Golf Management, which lasts for 15 years. Currently, the golf course has a projected negative fund balance of $779,000. According to the City Manager, the golf course will be operated at no expense to the City. During public comment, one resident stated “If this passes, can the squirrels be taken care of, they are always in my backyard since I live on the golf course.” He also asked if the slope by the 7th hole can be fixed since he “doesn’t think it’s fair for any of the players.” Another resident asked “Where is our money going too? Why does the city still have the golf course?” City Manager Olson replied that Tachi was not interested in purchasing the golf course, even though they put in two bids. A representative for Sierra Golf Management stated that if the lease agreement were to pass, they would not fire any current employees and hire more Lemoore residents. 

  • Approval – Resolution 2021-08 – Adopting a List of Projects for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Funded by SB 1: The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017

    • Councilmember Matthews asked how D Street from Lemoore Avenue to Smith Street was selected as the project for repair. According to the staff report, “In order to be eligible for funding, cities and counties are required to provide basic annual RMRA project reporting to the California Transportation Commission (CTC). Per the program’s requirements, jurisdictions are required to submit to the CTC by July, a resolution documenting the City Council’s approval of a project list with locations, schedule, and estimated useful life of the project before they can receive RMRA funds. The City of Lemoore staff utilized the pavement management program to identify the city’s roads in greatest need of rehabilitation and compared them to budget restrictions.”

  • Approval – Contract for Financial Consulting Services with Price Paige and Company for Fiscal Year 2021-2022

    • Councilmember Orth asked if the consulting service company knows about the golf course lease agreement. Assistant City Manager Michelle Speer stated that “they are aware, have helped with the process, and are supportive.”  

Public Hearings

  • Public Hearing – Resolution 2021-09 – Adopting the Budget for Fiscal Year July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, Providing For the Appropriation and Expenditure of all Sums Set Forth in said Budget, Providing for the Transfers and Additional Appropriations and Repealing all Resolutions and Parts of Resolutions in Conflict Herewith 

Assistant City Manager Michelle Speer reported on the fiscal year 2021/22 budget: 

  • General Fund deficit of approximately $1.2 million dollars

  • General Fund revenues of approximately $13.9 million dollars 

  • General Fund expenditures of approximately $15.1 million dollars

    • Personnel and Operating expenses of $14.6 million dollars 

    • Capital projects of $420,000

    • Asset replacement costs of $156,390 

  • Water Fund Ending balance of $3.7 million 

  • Wastewater Fund Ending balance of $6.1 million 

  • Refuse Fund Ending balance of $275,000

Speer stated that “There are 12 funds that are operating with negative funds. The general deficit seems larger, but the overall general reserve will be healthier for FY 2022.” Councilmember Gornick recommended that the Council do an assessment from their districts to identify if the residents want any repairs in their neighborhoods, such as sidewalks. A resident stated “This is the most transparent budget we have seen in the last two years. Michelle had a budget Q&A for me last week and that helped a lot.” 

  • Public Hearing – First Reading – Ordinance 2021-04 – Adopting Zoning Text Amendment 2021

    • City Planner Steve Brandt brought up the proposal to make changes to the Lemoore Zoning Ordinance. “The proposal would allow the City to issue permits for certain commercial cannabis operations within the identified zones. Permits would be issued after the City Council and the operator agree to a Project Development Agreement. The proposed ordinance change would additionally allow commercial cannabis cultivation in the Agriculture (AG) zone and the Heavy Industrial (MH) zone, would allow commercial cannabis dispensaries in the MH zone, and would allow commercial cannabis manufacturing , distribution, and/or testing in the Professional Office (PO) zone and the MH zone. The City of Lemoore has a Commercial Cannabis Ordinance, which allows commercial cannabis businesses that cultivate, deliver, distribute, test, or dispense cannabis products. Each type of business is specifically categorized and licensed by the State, similar to how the State categorizes the different types of alcohol sales through ABC licenses. The City Council has the authority to approve project development agreements that would allow these uses. These project development agreements can only be approved in zones where the specific type of commercial operation is permitted.” Councilmember Gornick asked if the Council can have more control over the process of the cannabis business. Councilmember Orth stated “A particular neighborhood said they did not want any dispanesires on their block. If we go against them and put a dispensary there, we are not doing our due diligence.”

The Council agreed unanimously to table items 4-3 and 4-4 for the next City Council meeting. 

  • Public Hearing – Project Development Agreement and Cannabis Regulatory Permit between the City of Lemoore and Flavor Fusion, LLC. (Olson)

  • Public Hearing – Project Development Agreement and Cannabis Regulatory Permit between the City of Lemoore and Hold My Beer, LLC. (Olson)

New Business

The City Council were told by the City Attorney that they can vote to approve the new business items altogether. With no public comment, they unanimously voted to approve these items: 

  • Report and Recommendation – Memorandum of Understanding with General Association of Service Employees (GASE) beginning July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 (Speer)

  • Report and Recommendation – Memorandum of Understanding with Lemoore Police Officers Association (LPOA) beginning July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 (Speer)

  • Report and Recommendation – Memorandum of Understanding with Lemoore Police Sergeants Bargaining Unit (LPSBU) beginning July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 (Speer)

  • Report and Recommendation – Memorandum of Understanding with Police Professional Services Bargaining Unit (PPSBU) beginning July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 (Speer)

  • Report and Recommendation – Resolution 2021-10 Approving Changes in Benefits for the Unrepresented Employees of the City (Speer)

Brief City Council Reports and Request

  • Council Member Orth: “I am dittoing my fellow Councilmembers for dealing with the budget, all of the department heads, and all of the staff. I asked at the last meeting about the status of parking downtown.” At this, City Manager Olson said additional signs have been ordered. Councilmember Orth also asked if there is a homeless ordinance for the city that the Council can review, which would be looked into. 

  • Council Member Gornick: No report. 

  • Council Chaney: “I went to the one year anniversary for Lemoore for the service. The businesses The Hype and Baja Fresh have opened so please check them out.” 

  • Mayor Pro Tem Matthews: Promoted the Arbor in Rockin event. She asked if during holidays, if the City can look into getting flags that can be added downtown. She also asked if shades can be added to the skate park. 

  • City Manager: Announced that the City had been awarded $187,000 from Prop 68 Per Capita Grant Program 

  • Mayor Lyons: “Join us for the July 24th event at Lemoore Park. The anniversary event is from 10am – 2pm, which will have hot dogs, hamburgers, and drinks. It will be a fun event. We will have barrel fights. Along with the City Staff, thank you for your work.” 


With no further discussion, Mayor Lyons adjourned the City Council meeting at 9:30 p.m.  

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