Documenter: Joeanna Lopez
Here’s what you need to know:
The Council of the City of Mendota adopted Resolution 21-75, adopting the City of Mendota’s Injury Illness Prevention Plan, complying with the latest requirements established by Cal OSHA.
Council of the City of Mendota authorizes the City Manager to approve and execute the proposal and Consultant Services Agreement with Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group for the development of an online mapping system.
Approved the authorization of City Manager to nominate Mendota Community Corporation for Small Town America Civic Volunteer Award Program.
City Council adopted Resolution 21-74 approving the application for Outdoor Equity Grants Program Grant Fund.
The Meeting (in full)
Mendota is a general law city governed by an at-large elected five-member City Council and operates under the council-manager form of local government, according to the City’s website.
The Mendota City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at 643 Quince Street, Mendota, CA 93640 and via Zoom.
The Zoom audio and video were connected through and iPad. The transmission was generally poor.
Mendota City Council Board Members
Rolando Castro, Mayor
Jesus Mendoza, Mayor Pro Tempore
Jose Alonso, Council member
Joseph R. Riofrio, Council member
Oscar Rosales, Council member
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 p.m. and roll call was taken with all council members present at the City Council Chambers with the exception of Mayor Castro who attended remotely and occasionally participated via the chat section of Zoom.
The single view of the dais featured mayor pro tempore Mendoza and two other council members however, there were others present that took to the podium and spoke even though they didn’t always introduce themselves.
City engineer, Michael Osborn joined remotely for a total of 5 connected through Zoom including the Mayor and the meeting’s Host.
Brandon Turbin took to the podium representing Congressman Valadao’s office, invited by council member Alonso to recognize the recently promoted Assistant City Manager and Event Coordinator with certificate awards. Another award was presented but it is unintelligible to whom and for what with the celebrations and congratulations making it difficult.
Mayor pro tempore Mendoza asks for pictures to be taken and for a 5 minute recess. The iPad is paused at 6:12 p.m. and the audio returns at 6:14 p.m. although the view of the chamber is not visible on the screen until I ask in the chat at 6:17 p.m.
No members of the public choose to address the council on matters not on the agenda.
Mayor pro tempore Mendoza motions for the approval of minutes of Regular City Meeting on September 14, 2021 and notice of waving of reading of all resolutions and/or ordinances introduced and/or adopted under this agenda.
Motion carries 5-0.
Consent Calendar Items 1-6 are all enacted with the exception of Item 4 which is pulled for discussion.
Motion carries 5-0.
Item #4 – Proposed adoption of Resolution No. 21-74, approving the application for Outdoor Equity Grants Program grant funds.
The item is discussed in its opening stages with interns collaborating within the community to get ideas as to what the community is interested in the grant funding specifically to promote the outdoors. Council members speak at length about golf and snowboarding after Yosemite is briefly mentioned.
Motion carries 5-0.
Council discussion on the City’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funding.
Finance Director Banda reports that the City has expended $439,972.49 leaving a balance of $936,865.51 that the City must expend by 2026.
Banda wrote a proposal to expand the Rojas-Pierce Park Project with the funds from the ARPA funds and is recommending that the city council provide direction to staff regarding a strategy to expend ARPA funding, according to the Staff Report, page 96 in the agenda.
“If the City Council approves to expend $271,836.08 to install new lighting at the soccer field / new baseball diamond, retrofit the existing baseball diamond lights, build new restrooms / concession building and utilities, the remaining funds would be $665,029.43 from the first installment. The second installment would be sent directly to the City in May 2022, bringing a total of $2,041,867.43.”
A council member made the proposed discussion about using some of the funds towards “more cops on the streets.”
Mayor Castro commented in the chat “another well,” as the conversation carried further into the four categories that the funding can be used towards, sparking mentions of wastewater funding.
Discussion becomes unintelligible and eventually hiring an architect for the Mayor’s well idea begins and branches off into many random discussions including the features of the restrooms at Yosemite Park.
The Mayor posted two more comments in the chat, “tow truck” and “we have the prison to send volunteers,” about the help needed with the Pool Park Project.
It is said that CalTrans is requiring the City to add an overlay to the airport runway when one of the council members randomly brings up the neglect the airport receives and says if they wish to keep the airport improvements must be made.
The item continues to drag on until it is finally said that no action is needed.
Council discussion and consideration of Resolution No. 21-77, authorizing the execution of a licensing agreement with GovInvest Software for Transparent Solutions for Pension, Labor Costing, and Financial Modeling.
The council members do not seem to understand / value the benefit of the proposed software and ask whether this item can be tabled. Council members ask to know if COVID funding can be used towards the $39,000 total service fees.
Mayor pro tempore Mendoza opens the item for discussion and once again the uncertainty in the software and whether “it’s like the iPhone where now they got the 13 but I have the 11, are we going to have to go to a new program?”
Motion to table the discussion eventually carries, 5-0.
Department Reports and Informational Items
Code Enforcement – fully staffed, with a new officer to start on Oct. 11, 2021. 148 calls in August with 60 citations issued. 15 vehicles towed in August, more than double in July.
Animal Control – 25 calls regarding complaints. Apprehended 12 dogs which are up from July. 3 deceased disposed of, 5 taken to Fresno Humane, 8 dogs currently at the pound which are scheduled to be put down on October 4th.
Mayor pro tempore interjects and asks if social media can assist with “putting out a lineup,” of the dogs to encourage adoption.
Police Department – 194 citations issued in July, 181 in August. 1 Homicide in August on 6th and Lolita and that active investigation has since been turned over to Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. A homeless individual with mental issues has been placed under arrest for the arson behind Mendota Valley Food and is currently in jail on 3 felony charges. 7 vandalisms, down 42% in July. DUI arrests up by 133%, all in residential areas.
Questions about drones and officers on bicycles for the City come up including concerns about staffing and the status of the officer that suffered the K-9 injury. It is reported that surgery may be necessary.
City attorney provides an update on the abatement action. There is now a proposed receiver lined up, the next step is going to court to submit an application for the Bay area receiver. It is expected to get on the calendar for a court date within the next 30-45 days.
A discussion ensues for several minutes about items that only the council seems to know about.
City manager reports that they are still waiting on the council to RSVP for those interested in taking a tour at Five Points Facility. On October 20 there will be a joint meeting with Mendota Unified School District at 6 p.m. in the Cafeteria. Received a letter from the Bureau with regards to additional monies that were requested to cover the Bridge Project and the future relocation of Lot 9, stating that the additional funds will be provided. A group approached the city with interest in purchasing property in the south part of the city, “a huge amount of acreage, they were talking about potentially cultivating cannabis there.”
City manager offers to take any questions; instead the council members begin a discussion about the carnival and what can be done about an obnoxious hill. At one point a council member asks about donating their time to do the proposed work to the hill themself.
No further comments are made as the item is finally closed.
Mayor and Council Reports and Informational Items
Alonso encourages the public to keep the parks clean.
Several unrelated comments are made as the audio is difficult to hear.
Question about sending out reminders about proper disposal of mattresses.
Motion to adjourn the meeting carries at 8:10 p.m.
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