Documenter: Ramiro Merino

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Manuel Cunha Jr., president of the Nisei Farmers League, asked the Council to support the letters regarding updating the definition of agriculture and stance with the Dreamers. The Council voted to send two letters each to Senators Feinstein and Padilla to show their support. 

  • The Council agreed to assign Councilmember Orth as the primary delegate for the League of California Cities Annual Conference. Mayor Pro Tem Matthews was assigned as the alternate delegate. 

  • Council members expressed positive feedback regarding the “Pops with Cops” event and the 100th Anniversary of the Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department.

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. Councilmembers 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 Board 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 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 by Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Matthews. The meeting was streamed live virtually through Zoom, where four other participants joined the meeting virtually. The in-person meeting consisted of four of the five council members, which included Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Matthews, Council Members Jim Chaney, Frank Gornick and David Orth. Mayor Stuart Lyons was absent. City Staff and contract employees also present included City Manager Olson, Assistant City Manager Speer, Police Chief Kendall, City Attorney Lerner, Public Works Director Rivera, and City Clerk Avalos. The Zoom camera was directed towards the Council, where City Council Members were visible. Due to the new Covid-19 mask guidelines, the Councilmembers did not have to wear masks during the meeting. 

Public Comment

Resident Jeniffer Solis thanked the City staff regarding the water incident. “I know everyone is pulling the reins. Even though it is not affecting the public anymore, we can sometimes lose sight of how much work it takes. Just because we don’t see it anymore in the newspaper, does not mean that it is not happening behind closed doors so thank you. Also, I attended the ‘Ice Pops with Cops’ and it was very well attended. It was interesting to talk to the cops about their different jobs. Thank you for putting that on, I appreciate it.” 


No ceremonial/presentations.

Department and City Manager Reports

City Manager Nathan Olson  “I attended the ‘Ice Pops with Cops’ event, and I can say there is a young man in the city of Lemoore that can throw 65 mph. Thank you to the Police Officers for putting this on. My two girls went out there for a little while and they enjoyed it. It was nice seeing the community come together.” 

Consent Calendar

The Council unanimously voted to approve the first agenda item (3-1) on the consent calendar:

  • 3-1: Approval – Minutes – Regular Meeting – July 20, 2021

  • 3-2: Approval – Joint Use Agreement between the Lemoore Union High School District and the City of Lemoore 

    • Councilmember Gornick said “I would like to see an amended agreement. What facilities do we have available for the school district and what times are available for the residents? We basically missed the whole summer where residents could swim so I would like for us to work on a schedule.”

The Council also unanimously voted to approve the second agenda item (3-2) on the consent calendar after the overview. 

Public Hearing

Management Analyst Amanda Champion presented on the public hearing for Confirming the Diagram and Assessment of Annual Levy for Fiscal Year 2021-22 for Landscape and Lighting Maintenance District Number 1 (LLMD) Zones 1 through 13 – Resolution 2021-14 – and Public Facilities Maintenance District Number 1 (PFMD) Zones 1 through 10 – Resolution 2021-15. She said “As previously stated, this is the second part for the LLMD assessments. You adopted the intent at the July 6th meeting, so the purpose of this is to hold a public hearing and then we will ask to adopt the resolution that accepts the engineer reports and allows us to file the assessments. The LLMDs, there was only a slight increase for Zones 8A and 8B. For PFMDs, Zones 1 through 3 decreased, 4 through 10 increased, the maximum where one of them increased is $130 annually, roughly $10 a month.” 

Resident Jeniffer Solis said “Thank you for doing the study sessions, it has been very helpful to learn about. Amanda explained the methodology and I wanted to see if you can go into a little more detail about this.” Amanda Champion stated “What she is referring to is the PFMDs. Previously when the report was issued on July 6, there was not much fluctuation in the assessments. But recently the City has acquired a new street saver program, which did an update on all the status of all our streets and so with that we wanted to take the extra time to reevaluate reserves. The amount that we have is reserved for the PMFDs for that particular purpose. So the City created a revised 30-year maintenance plan and when we did that, we pulled in consultants and engineers and used average pricing for certain treatments that we plan to do over 30 years. That’s why the reserve balances, the assessments have fluctuated due to the amount we need in the reserves for those zones.” The Council hosted the public hearing and unanimously voted and approved this item. 

New Business

City Clerk Marisa Avalos introduced Manuel Cunha Jr. who discussed the Nisei Farmers League Request for Letters of Support. Cunha Jr. said “The Senate is debating and discussing the immirgation bill before them. The bill is called the Farm Worker Modernization Act and it passed with 234 votes, 33 Republicans and the rest Democrats. The only issue in the discussion was that their definition of agriculture was not complete so they said we can make the change on the senate side. Both Senator Feintein and Padilla have agreed that they are going to make this a very important point, which is why I am going to all cities to get support. I have 48 cities, where I have visited 19 already. We would like agriculture to include packing houses, processing facilities like cotton gins and all of them because that’s part of agriculture. There’s no way to separate both because farm workers will work in the fields and the wife may work in the packing house or vice versa. To exclude that just did not make any sense and the only time agriculture doesn’t become agriculture as a product is when we change its identity. Those would be included because we no longer can separate these families. This is not an amnesty issue, these workers have to be working in agriculture. Senator Feinstien is working on the blue card, which will be blended with the Farm Worker Modernization Act and will be sent to the White House. Also, the letter will go to support Dreamers who use DACA. From 2012 to 2018 they would be given a resident alien card. 2018 to 2020, the Texas justice ruled that no new dreamers can be granted cards. There are two separate letters but we’re asking you to support both items in your letters and our letters that we sent you as samples.” Councilmember Gornick said “I intend to vote yes on this item and I want to thank you for all the work you’ve done on behalf of the valley cities and the valley communities and in our ag industry, including our growers and our workers. It’s very commendable and the action you’re taking both personally and professionally is to be commended and I want to thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention. Councilmember Orth said “In the letter, we are supporting DACA and the farm definition change. My two cents on this is there are two different things and they are two important aspects, but I think one defining packing houses, to me that is all ag industry. To lump a Dreamer’s argument into farming, that is apples and oranges. My suggestion is to support the farming side of it and wait to see the federal argument on the legality of Dreamers.” Councilmember Chaney also agreed with Councilmember Orth and stated that the Council should vote and approve on supporting two different letters to send to the two Senators. There will be a total of four letters. 

Marisa Avalos also presented on the Appointment of Voting Delegate to League of California Cities Annual Conference. “The annual conference is being held in person this year in Sacramento. It starts Wednesday, September 22nd and runs through Friday, September 24th. As part of the conference there’s an annual business meeting where membership takes action on legislative and policy issues so the league requires that each city designate their voting delegate and an alternate for the annual business meeting prior to the conference. We need a primary and alternate name to send to the League of California Cities and right now, we already have four Councilmembers registered for the conference.” Mayor Pro Tem Matthews asked the Council if all four members were still planning on going, at which Councilmember Gornick said he will not be and asked right before the meeting if he can get a refund. The Council were told that the delegate would have to stay until the very end of the conference, Friday from 12 to 2 p.m. Councilmember Orth volunteered to be the primary delegate and he recommended Mayor Pro Tem Matthews be the alternate delegate. 

Brief City Council Reports and Request

  • Council Member Orth: “I met last week with the Kings Area Rural Transit (KART). They had their biggest riderdership. At one point they said they were up 339% from last year by doing it this way so it sounds like we will be doing that again in the fall and winter. We also authorized the initial design center for the downtown Hanford’s facility, it’s old and across the street from Chevrolet. Caltrans told us they are installing the k rail down the 41 from Excelsior to Elkhorn.” 

  • Council Member Gornick: “I also attended the 100th year anniversary with my granddaughter and we had a great time. I think there was business helping out with the barbeque so that was nice to see. Just continue the good work. As Councilmember Orth said to bounce back from the water catastrophe that was tough and I think we’re moving in a good direction.” 

  • Councilmember Chaney: “I want to thank Ms. Champion for a great presentation. My vote did not have anything to do with the work. I want to thank the Police Department, I sleep well at night knowing they are out there.” 

  • Mayor Pro Tem Matthews: “I also attended ‘Pops with Cops’ with my granddaughter. It was a great event. I do appreciate the water features to help cool us off during the day as well as the popsicles. Lots of great stuff from the police department and fire department. I also attended the 100 year anniversary for the volunteer fire department. If anyone is interested in the fany t-shirts, they are doing a fundraiser so I would direct you to contact them.” 


With no further discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Matthews adjourned the City Council meeting at 8:40 p.m.

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