Documenter: Lorissa Rankin

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Council has yet to open Madera City Hall because of concerns from Mayor Santos Garcia and Council member Anita Evans who are worried about Covid-19. Public comments were made at the meeting through phone with concerns about the council’s lack of transparency, and Mayor Garcia and Council member Evans were both called “hypocritical” based on their social media posts which show them at in-person social gatherings and events. 

  • Council members Cecilia Gallegos and Steve Montes both attended the meeting at Madera City Hall and stated that they felt safe enough to return to City Hall and work with the public.

Lemoore City Council Board Members

More information about the Madera City Council Members can be found here

  • Santos Garcia, Mayor 

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

  • Cecilia (Cece) Gallegos, Council Member for District 1

  • Jose Rodriquez, Council Member for District 2

  • Steve Montes, Council Member for District 3

  • Anita Evans, Council Member for District 4

  • Vacant, District 5 

The Scene

The Madera City Council meeting was to order at 6:00 p.m. on July 21, 2021 by Mayor Santos Garcia. The meeting was streamed live virtually through the city of Madera’s website Present for the meeting was Mayor Santos Garcia, Mayor Pro Tem Artemio Villegas, Council Member Cece Gallegos, and Council Member Steve Montes. Absent from the meeting was Council Member Jose Rodriguez, and Council Member Anita Evans. Madera City staff present for the meeting was City Clerk Alicia Gonzalez, Grant Administrator Ivette Iraheta, Finance Director Roger Sanchez, City Attorney Hilda Montoy, and City Manager Arnoldo Rogriguez. Sara Bosse – the Director of Madera County Public Health Department joined the meeting as well. The City Clerk called roll and introduced the callers and emails for public comment. 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 Council Members who attended the meeting from home had their own individual camera – this included Mayor Garcia, and Mayor Pro Tem Villegas. The other two Council Members who attended the meeting decided to attend from their seats at City Hall, they shared one camera during the meeting. Neither of the two Council Members who were present at City Hall wore masks. Invocation was performed by Mayor Pro Tem Villegas, reciting “The Lord’s Prayer.”   

Closed Session Report

City Attorney Hilda Montoy returned from the closed session to report that there would be no litigation pursued at this time for the closed session agenda item.

  • G-1: Conference with legal counsel — Anticipated litigation City of Madera v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System  

Public Comment

Several public comments were made by phone without names given. The public was able to call into the live streamed meeting using phone number (669) 900-6833. 

1 – No name given: “I’m very disappointed because the whole reason that, from watching it back, that Evans, Santos, and Villegas don’t want to meet in person is because they don’t want to be around anybody because they’re afraid of getting Covid. So I went on Facebook, and you can see Councilwoman Evans posing cheek to cheek with somebody days before this meeting. You can see Santos attending an event days before the meeting.” – the public comment expressed concern over Mayor Santos persuading the other Council members to vote to not meet in person, the caller accused Mayor Santos of texting during the last council meeting. The caller also stated that the Mayor has photos at a quinceanera without a mask on his Facebook page

2 – Rico Salvador calling on behalf of Mainstream Medicinal for Madera: Caller is concerned with his business comments and concerns not being addressed by the Council. Mainstream Medicinals plan to apply for Cannabis License and would like to see more equity licenses available for businesses such as his. 

3 – Gabriel Hernandez – Commented on the Council’s decision to not meet in person, placed blame directly on Mayor Garcia stating, “Your actions and direction are unwise.”

Emails are also read as public comment during the meeting.

1 – Rafaela Ruiz: Email expresses concern over grant funds that Madera received to revitalize downtown in 2020. The email stated, “Madera is stalled in growth, we do not have adequate jobs that pay a liveable wage. Downtown is a rotted shell of potential, and more low income housing is built than higher income homes. Madera needs action now.”

No comments or answers were provided to the callers and emails who made a public comment at this time.


Key Takeaways from presentation:

  1. The increase in positive Covid cases is due to traveling and social gatherings. 

  2. Based on those who are eligible for the vaccine (excludes children under the age of 12 years old) 49.7% have received at least one dose, 42.7% are fully vaccinated. 

  3. Out of 16 positive cases 14 of them were in people who were not vaccinated, 1 had one dose of the vaccine, and 1 was fully vaccinated.

  4. Pfizer and Moderna are the most effective vaccines at 88% effectiveness.

  5. “You can assume unvaccinated people will eventually get the virus, masking and distancing only flattens the curve.”

  6. More information can be found through the Department of Public health – at this time mask wearing is encouraged, in-person meetings are safe in ventilated areas, plexiglass is not protective in areas where hours of time are spent at large gatherings. 

  7. The most recent report for back to school K-12 


  1. New staff member Joseph “Joe” Hebert introduced himself as a new Program Manager for the Grants Department/Finance. 

  • Workshop – Item A-1: Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021

Public Hearing for this item will be on August 4, 2021 (next scheduled meeting) – where the public can voice their opinion on how the money should be spent. Madera received $23 million dollars from the federal government, which needs to be spent by 2026. 

Department and City Manager Reports 

  • E-1: Retail Sales Tax Update by Roger Sanchez

Consent Calendar

The Council members unanimously voted to approve all consent calendar items.

B-1 Minutes – 03/03/21 Recommendation: Approve the City Council Minutes of March 3, 2021 

B-2 Informational Report on Register of Audited Demands for June 26, 2021 to July 9, 2021 Recommendation: No Action Required (Report by Roger Sanchez) 

B-3 Informational Report on Personnel Activity Recommendation: No Action Required (Report by Wendy Silva) 

B-4 Agreement for Continued Participation in the Central Valley Employment Relations Consortium (CVERC) Recommendation: Adopt a Minute Order Approving the Agreement for Special Services with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore in the amount of $2,548 and authorize the City Manager to execute the Agreement (Report by Wendy Silva) 

B-5 Consideration of a Request by Maria I. Garcia de Molina for Connection to the City’s Water System Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Approving an Agreement for Outside City Water Service for Property located at 13633 Road 28, Approving Covenant to Annex, and Directing Staff to Record the Agreement and Covenant (Report by Keith Helmuth) Update 7/16/2021 at 5:50 p.m. Madera City Council Agenda Page 3 of 6 July 21, 2021 

B-6 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Fiscal Year 2021/2022 Local Solicitation Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Authorizing Submission of an Application to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Programming in the Amount of $27,829 (Report by Ivette Iraheta) 

B-7 Appropriations Limit (Gann Limit) for Fiscal Year 2021/2022 Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Establishing an Appropriations Limit for Fiscal Year 2021/2022 in the amount of $49,444,246 (Report by Roger Sanchez) 

B-8 Consideration of California Conservation Corps (CCC) Sponsor Agreement Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution Approving a Sponsor Agreement with California Conservation Corps (CCC) for Performance of Work Projects (Report by Daniel Foss) 

The following items were announced removed from the consent calendar:

B-9 Agreement with Hawkins, Delafield & Wood for the Preparation of Bond Debt Arbitrage Analysis Reports for the City, Madera Public Financing Authority, and Madera Successor Agency for Five Bonds Recommendation: Adopt a Joint Resolution Approving an Agreement with Hawkins, Delafield & Wood to Prepare the Arbitrage Analysis Rebate Reports for the Fiscal Years 2021/22 through 2023/24 for the City of Madera, Madera Public Financing Authority, and the Successor Agency (Report by Roger Sanchez) 

B-10 Agreement with Thales Consulting, Inc. to Prepare and File the City Financial Transaction Report, the Financing Authority Special District Report, and the Annual Transit Report Recommendation: Adopt a Joint Resolution Approving a Special Services Agreement between the City of Madera, Madera Public Financing Authority, and Successor Agency and Thales Consulting, Inc. for Three Fiscal Years Totaling $13,500 (Report by Roger Sanchez)

Public Hearings

The council members unanimously voted to approve the item C-1 and C-2.

  • C-1: Public Hearing to Approve the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2021/2022 Action Plan Final Funding Allocations, including Reprogrammed Funds ($1,312,192) and Approve Subrecipient Agreements 

  • C-2 (formerly item D-1 in the agenda): Confirm Diagram and Assessments for Citywide Landscape and Lighting Assessment District Zones of Benefit for Annual Levy for Fiscal Year 2021/2022

Petitions, Bids, Resolutions, and Agreements

The council members unanimously voted to approve the following

  • Award of Street Project Contract: 2020-21 City St. 3R & ADA Project, State Project No. SB1- LLPL 5157 (120), City Project No. R-71

  • Memorandum of Understanding with the General Bargaining Unit (GBU), represented by the Madera Affiliated City Employees’ Association

Brief City Council Reports and Request

  • Mayor Santos Garcia – “I was honored to be able to present the retirement of staff and some promotions, thank you for the invitation.”

  • Mayor Pro Tem Artemio Villegas – Nothing to report

  • Cece Gallegos – Thanked the staff at Madera City Hall for allowing herself and Council member Montes to show up in-person for the meeting today. She thanked the staff for accommodating them and expressed hope for returning in-person soon.

  • Jose Rodriguez – Absent

  • Steve Montes – Thanked the staff

  • Anita Evans – Absent 

  • Vacant, District 5


  • The meeting adjourned at 8:08 PM. 

  • The next scheduled Madera City Council meeting will be on August 4, 2021 at 6:00 PM.

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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