Documenter: Ramiro Merino

Here’s what you need to know

  • Red Ribbon Week starts the week of Monday, October 25, 2021. 

  • The Lemoore National Night Out event will be October 26 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Veterans Park. 

  • The Council held a public hearing regarding annexing land tied to the Cannabis Cultivation Project. Residents expressed concern over the smell of cannabis, which the Council said they will review the weed abatement policies.

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, October 5, 2021 by Mayor Stuart Lyons. The meeting was streamed live virtually through Zoom, where ten other participants joined the meeting virtually. The in-person meeting consisted of four of the five council members, which included Mayor Stuart Lyons, and Councilmembers Patricia Matthews, Jim Chaney, and David Orth. Councilmember Frank Gornick was not present. 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. The Councilmembers did not wear masks during the meeting. 

Public Comment

Jennifer Solis, a resident, stated “There will be a competition for the best dressed skeleton on October 16. Downtown continues to look great so thank you to Public Works.”

Department and City Manager Reports

  • Police Chief Kendall stated “Red Ribbon Week starts October 25th. We will have K-9 demos. On October 26th will have National Night Out at Veterans Park from 4 – 6 p.m. The Office of Assemblymember Salas Office will be at the new dispatch center and award funds and will do a short dedication. We are expecting about $2 million.”

  • Public Works Director Rivera reported “There will be the Homecoming Parade at Lemoore High School this Friday. Leaf Picking Season is coming up. With current laws, the City does not own a transfer license. It costs thousands of dollars and takes about a decade to process so we will not be getting a license.” 

Consent Calendar

The Council unanimously voted to approve agenda items 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, and 3-5 on the consent calendar.

  • 3-1: Approval – Minutes – Regular Meeting – September 21, 2021

  • 3-2: Approval – Minutes – Special Meeting – September 30, 2021 

  • 3-3: Approval – Budget Amendment – Lighting and Landscape District (LLMD) and Public Facilities Maintenance District (PFMD) Adopted Budgets to coincide with the Approved Engineer’s Report

  • 3-5: Approval – Resolution 2021-22 – To Review and Renew the Declaration of a Local Emergency and the Related Declarations and Orders Therein

The agenda items 3-4, 3-6, and 3-7 needed additional information before they could be approved. 

  • 3-4: Approval – Resolution 2021-19 – Declaring Public Nuisances and Ordering a public Hearing Regarding Weed Abatement

    • A resident said they felt concerned with the current policies. “There is no movement on private properties. I have been learning about weed abatement policies. My concern is that repeat offenders can allow their properties to not be beautified for a lot of months during the year, which does not meet Lemoore’s upkeep policies. I am asking if the Council can look into this and update the policies.”

  • 3-6: Approval – Bid Award – 2021 Annual Streets Maintenance Project – CIP 5006

    • Councilmember Matthews stated “I did not lose the arm wrestling competition.” 

  • 3-7: Approval – Property Use Agreement between the City of Lemoore and Lemoore Little League

    • “This agreement is old, which is why we have a new proposal. The insurance is fine. It was beefed up to cover more since there were a lot of grey uncertainties in the older contract.” 

After additional information was provided for the remaining agenda items, the Council voted and approved them unanimously. 

Public Hearing

The Council opened the meeting to public hearing for Resolution 2021-23 Requesting the local Agency Formation Commission of Kings County to Initiate Proceeding for Annexation No. 2021 for the Reorganization of Territory and First Reading – Ordinance 2021-06 – Prezoning Territory Located at the Northeast Corner of 19th Avenue and Idaho Avenue. 

  • City Planner Steve Brandt stated “This annexation is being requested by People’s Properties, LLC to prezone 137 acres as Light and Heavy Industrial and annex it into the Lemoore city limits. The 137-acre site is located on the northeast corner of 19th Avenue and Idaho Avenue. By initiating this annexation request, the Council is formally stating that it is willing to take on the responsibility of providing public services to the sites. Public services include the services provided by the City, such as water service, road maintenance, provision of parks, and police and fire protection. In this particular case, the immediate planned land use is cannabis cultivation. However, the prezoning to Light and Heavy Industrial, which is consistent with the General Plan land use designations for the site, could allow future industrial development to occur.” 

  • A concerned resident said “Do we really want to be considered a cannabis cultivation community? The door has been opened for any and all companies to request land for this use. The odor is overwhelmingly strong. That project is proposed as 83 acres. Additionally when I think of our beautiful land, I do not think the barbed wire fences should be a part of this.”

  • Another concerned resident said “I dont have the answers but it’s horrible. Have the City Council members gone to the property to smell it? Because it’s horrible. Horrible. I feel like we are going too fast. The last 40-60 days have been horrible. I want you to drive over there after work and smell it. You should look at this carefully before you decide to annex it and cause more problems.” 

  • Frank Kavanaugh said “ I did think I had a good conversation with you. With the lights, I am happy to talk offline with you. For the surf ranch, we do intend to be a good neighbor. If you look at the work we have done with the BMAX and the tracks, we have done the weed abatement but not for ourselves. There will be financial stressors on us if we stall this. I appreciate you saying I was professional, but I would appreciate it more if I had left making you feel better. I am sorry to hear the pain in your voice. We believe this is a good industry for communities that are open to it. We chose this part of land for a reason. There is the processing of olom, there is sewer and water in the area. We have sent notices to the property that has the weed issue, I myself have contacted them twice. In fact we have had people offer to do it themselves.

City Attorney Lerner affirmed that the Council could add the second public hearing along with the first one since they are regarding the annexation of land. Mayor Fast opened the second public hearing on Resolution 2021-24 – Approving General Plan Amendment No. 2021-02 Located at the Southeast Corner of 19th Avenue and Idaho Avenue and Resolution 2021- 25 – Requesting the Local Agency Formation Commission of Kings County to Initiate Proceeding for Annexation No. 2021-02 for the Reorganization of Territory and Sphere of Influence Amendment and First Reading – Ordinance 2021-07 – Prezoning Territory Located at the Southeast Corner of 19th Avenue and Idaho Avenue. 

  • A pastor made a statement: “Growing up, there was always marijuana in my house, my dad was a heroin addict. God had a different path for me. Drug use is prominent in this city. Ok now there are many good officers who spend hours away from their families. It just seems like I may have come to the city too late. For those of you who think it will get better because of the revenue coming in, it will get worse. I can see it.”

  • Frank Kavanaugh said “I look forward to working with the city, with people and on development that supports the overall city.”

  • Another concerned resident stated “We are not against the project, we just want the city to digest the concerns. We should be good neighbors and work on these concerns together.”

  • City Manager Olson stated “Before the pandemic, the City was facing $3 million in debt. K-Mart is down, no one has called to lease it. Cannabis helped save this city. Michelle had to let go of 7 employees and their livelihoods. To put it into perspective, $40 million sounds a lot, but we will only be getting about $300,000 . This is much needed. Retail is not knocking down our doors. We are not distributing cannabis for free to hook our community.”

Brief City Council Reports and Request

  • Council Member Orth: “I was embarrassed by someone’s attempt to catch a football. We really want to do what’s best for our city. Pray to god that they do what they say they will do.”

  • Council Member Gornick: No report. 

  • Councilmember Chaney: “I am looking forward to Red Ribbon Week coming up.” 

  • Mayor Pro Tem Matthews: “Your concerns have been heard. Thank you to everyone who helped make the Gold Star and Memorial Event a success. I missed the Cemetery Walk last week. I will be attending Arbor Night this Friday and will help bartend. There’s photo evidence of my arm wrestling win. Thank you City staff and Police Officers for all you do.” 

  • Mayor Lyons: “We had some hard discussions tonight. I was glad to see the respectfulness that was kept. No one threw stones so to speak. I really respected what everyone had to say. What everyone said was heard and did not fall on deaf ears. Council, I thank you guys tonight for your roles, it is hard being here and being criticized. I also want to thank the Police Department. 


With no further discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Matthews adjourned the City Council meeting at 9:20 p.m. 

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