Documenter: Ramiro Merino

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Council proclaimed Oct. 23 – 31 to be “Red Ribbon Week” in the city of Reedley. 

  • Danny Ferguson was awarded the Coach of the Year for the youth and adult sports in the city of Reedley. 

  • The Council approved to apply for the Proposition 68 (2018 Bond Act) Regional Park Grant for $3 million. The Council also approved to allocate $2.2 million from the general funds in the development of the Reedley Sports Park. 

  • The Police Department provided an update regarding the continuous homeless efforts in Reedley, noting that there are 28 homeless people in Reedley. They also noted Poverello House from the city of Fresno has been providing services weekly since the start of the pandemic. 

Reedley City Council Board Members

  • Mary L. Fast, Mayor

  • Robert Beck, Mayor Pro Tem

  • Ray Soleno, Councilmember 

  • Anita Bentacourt, Councilmember

  • Matthew Tuttle, Councilmember 

The Scene

The Reedley City Council meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 by Mayor Mary Fast. The meeting was streamed live through Zoom. The meeting consisted of the five council members who were present, which include Mayor Mary Fast and City Councilmembers Matthew Tuttle, Robert Beck, Anita Bentacourt and Ray Soleno. Other City staff present included Community Services Director Sarah Reid, City Engineer Marilu Morales, City Clerk Ruthie Greenwood, and Police Chief Joe Garza. Due to new Covid-19 masks guidelines, “Fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear masks indoors”, the Councilmembers did not wear masks during the meeting. There was a moment where the camera panned the Council Chambers and there were about 15 members of the public. 


  • Red Ribbon Proclamation

    • Recreation Supervisor Madison Mitchell said “The committee is a collaboration between the Lemoore Police Department, Boys and Girls Club, and the City of Lemoore. Red Ribbon Celebration will be observed across America during “Red Ribbon Week” from October 23rd to 31st, 2021.” Three students from Lemoore Middle School and High Schools read the Proclamation. Mayor Fast congratulated the students for their presentation and said “Thank you for participating tonight. Don’t ever be afraid to talk, you did great.” 

  • Recognition of Danny Ferguson, Coach of the Year 

    • Jesus Rodriguez, Recreation Coordinator for Youth and Adult Sports, presented the Coach of the Year Award. “Working alongside youth sports, Danny Ferguson has stood out for many reasons. It’s the way he treats his students, the sport and the community. Danny has been a team player just as much as a coach. Over the course of the year, Danny has continued to bring positivity. I appreciate all of his contributions.” 

    • Danny Ferguson said “This was a challenging year but we came together and tried to still make it work for the kids. It is a great joy to coach the kids. It’s a lot of fun, it’s a great joy. I remember feeling joy when I played as a student, I want to make the same experience for the kids.”

    • Mayor Fast said “You are training the kids while having fun. My kids went through little league. I am very thankful for coaches like you.” 

  • Introduction of Community Services Department Youth Representatives and Recreation Internship

    • Madison Mitchell presented the youth representatives on the Community Services Department. “My name is Roman Ramos. I attend Reedley High School and am a junior. I play water polo and swim. I joined the Reedley Chamber of Commerce and joined the commission because I want to be a part of a great organization.” Emily Delgado spoke next. “This is my second year in this program. I am on the Chamber Reedley Board, I have over 400 hours of community service under my belt, serve on ASB, am part of several community service organizations, and work part time at the snack bar as well as a tumbling instructor. I am very fortunate to be in this organization.”

    • Jesus Rodriguez presented the representative for the recreation internship. Juan Aguirre said “I am currently completing my internship with the Reedley Community Services Commission. I have worked closely alongside Jesus in planning the events, writing up financial reports, making graphics, and attending meetings. I am happy for this experience.” Mayor Fast said “It’s important to put education into practice. I also attended Fresno State and graduated with a Recreation Degree so I know how important it is to get internship experience with that degree.”

  • Introduction of New Public Works Department Staff

    • Heather is a new staff member in the Public Works department. “I was born in Reedley and raised in Dinuba. I want to say thank you to you all. I am grateful for the change, it will be a new adventure.” 

Public Comment

There was no public comment. 

Consent Calendar

The Council unanimously approved all nine items on the consent calendar: 

  1. Approval of Minutes of the Special and Regular Council Meetings of September 28, 2021

  2. Recommendation of Rejection of Claim – Arroyo, Luis

  3. Recommendation of Rejection of Claim – Munoz, Jose 

  4. Approve and Authorize the City Manager to Execute all Renewal Documents and Plan Changes Necessary for the Provision of Dental, Medical & Vision Coverage for Eligible City Employees, Retirees, and Dependents for the 2022 Calendar Year 

  5. Approve and Authorize City Manager to Execute Amendment No. 3 to the Consultant Services Agreement with Muniservices, LLC for City Sales Tax Reporting and Auditing Services Reducing the Audit Fee from 25% to 15%

  6. Adopt Resolution No. 2021-101 Amending the Vehicle Allowance Section of the Salary & Benefit Schedule for Underrepresented Employees 

  7. Adopt Resolution No. 2021-107 Amending City of Reedley 11th Street and G Street Banners Policy 

  8. Adopt Resolution No. 2021-108, Accepting the Construction Improvements for the “J” and “K” Street Rehabilitation Project and Authorizing the City Engineer to File a Notice of Completion with the County of Fresno Recorder’s Office 

  9. Consider the following items (A) and (B) for the Buttonwillow Avenue Widening CDBG Project 18571

    • (A) Adopt Budget Resolution No. 2021-111 Amending the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Budget to Appropriate Available Funds in the Amount of $15,000 for the Buttonwillow Avenue Widening CDBG Project No. 18571

    • (B) Adopt Resolution No. 2021-112, Accepting the construction Improvements for the Buttonwillow Avenue Widening, CDBG Project No. 18571, and Authorize the City Engineer to File a Notice of Completion with the County of Fresno Recorder’s Office 

Public Hearings

  • Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance No. 2021-02 an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Reedley Adopting Environmental Assessment No. 2021-13, Finding that No New Environmental Document is Required; and Approving Change of Zone Application No. 2021-3 and Authorizing the Amendment of the Official Zoning Map of the City of Reedley to Rezone Two Contiguous Parcels at the Northeast Corner of East 11th Street and North East Avenue 

Senior Planner Ellen Moore presented the ordinance. Mayor Fast opened the meeting to public hearing, at which no members of the public commented. The Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance. 

  • Consider the following items associated with development of the southeast corner of Buttonwillow and Dinuba Avenues: 

    • (A) Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance No. 2021-004, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Reedley Adopting Environmental Assessment No. 2021-14, a Finding of No Possible Effect; and Approving Change of Zone Application No. 2021-5 and Authorizing the Amendment of the Official Zoning Map of the City of Reedley 

    • (B) Adoption of Resolution No. 2021-110, Adopting Environmental Assessment No. 2021-15, a Categorical Exemption Dated September 16, 2021 and Approving Site Plan Review Application No. 2021-13

Ellen Moore stated “On september 16, 2021, the Planning Commission held a Public Hearing on the applications. No person spoke in objection to the project.” Mayor Fast opened the meeting to public hearing, at which no members of the public commented. The Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance. Mayor Fast commented “We are looking at starting construction soon. It will take between 4 – 5 months for all the paperwork to be completed before construction can start.”

Administrative Business 

  • Approve actions associated with future development of the Reedley Sports Park

    • Approve and authorize the City Manager to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Reedley and the Reedley Parks and Recreation foundation, allowing the application to the State of California for a Proposition 68 (2018 Bond Act) Regional Park Grant for $3 Million

    • Adopt Resolution No. 2021-109 Amending the 2021-22 Adopted Budget Appropriating $2,200,000 of currently available funds in the general fund for Design and Construction of the North Soccer Field Phase of the Reedley Sports Park 

Community Services Director Sara Reid presented the Reedley Sports Park. “Further development of the Sports Park has remained a high priority for the City Council, staff and public since its opening in 2009. The Sports Park is the only undeveloped park space in Reedley, and staff have made several attempts in the last 10 years to obtain grant funding for future phases. The latest opportunity is available through Proposition 68 (2018 Bond Act) which includes a Regional Park Grant Program. This program has $23,125,000 available to be distributed through one funding round with a maximum of $3 million per project and no matching funds required. After extensive public outreach and feedback, the City, through the Reedley Parks and Recreation Foundation, will be applying for the development of the Mixed Sports Phase of the Sports Park, which would include: a new restroom facility, lighting for the sport courts and parking lot, two basketball courts, two tennis courts, eight pickleball courts, picnic area, and an open space allowing for flexibility for its use. These amenities were found to best fit the criteria for the project to be competitive for a Regional Park Grant award. If the Regional Park Grant application is successful, the City will have approximately $5.4 million of funding for Sports Park development moving forward in 2022-2023.” 

  • Councilmember Anita Bentacourt asked “Why are there 8 designated spots for pickleball but no spots for volleyball?” Mayor Fast said she had done her research and said “Lemoore will be unique in that it can host pickleball tournaments.” Mayor Fast asked if volleyball courts can be added to the park afterwards, to which Reid said yes. Reid and the Mayor will look if they can add volleyball courts to the plan. 

  • “The development of this sports park has a lot of positive benefits. This opens up the opportunity to host larger events, which is a positive financial benefit for our city, not to mention wellness and health. There is a learning curve to appreciate this sport, which is somewhere between ping pong and tennis. We are trying to get ahead of the curve and think of the future. By having these sets of courts before any other community, we will be one of the first to have this in our own community. I am very excited about this” stated Sara Reid. 

  • A community member said “I have 2 pickleball tournaments a month, but I host them in Dinuba because Dinuba has designated courts. I am excited for this opportunity and see our city embrace this new sport.”

  • Another community member asked “How many acres will the sports park be?” Reid said she needs to go in and figure out because the Master Plan has different phases. 

  • City Clerk Ruthie Green said “This is really exciting. We have about $5 million before you for sports park investment. It almost seems unreal to me because we have been talking about this for 10 years.” 

The Council voted unanimously to approve both actions for the future development of the Reedley Sports Park. Councilmember Bentacourt voted yes, with the condition to look into the volleyball courts. 


The Police Department provided updates regarding the homeless efforts in Reedley. The Police Officer said “Good morning, I am starting my shift as you are all ending your work day. There is a current estimate on the homeless population of 28 homeless, with 78% male and 22% female. There are 6 primary encampment sites, with about 4-5 homeless people per site. A few sites have 1 to 2 homeless people because they like to be alone. Most are long-time Reedley area residents. Services have continued to be offered and available. The Poverello House would come out to Reedley weekly to give food, even during the pandemic. Students from Reedley College who need volunteer hours, will be helping to clean up some of these areas. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in 2019 for the “Street 2 Home” Taskforce. 

Mayor Fast said “We have been successful with emergency homelessness, those who lost their jobs or homes. We are referring to chronic homelessness in this situation who are choosing this lifestyle due to mental illness.” The Police Officer said “Process for vacating, those who own private property allows property owners to sign the document. When we find someone staying at the property, we will make a formal notice. If they do not leave, then we can arrest them. Those who were renting during the pandemic, it was difficult because they paid for the cleanup costs, which is not their fault.” 

Business owner Mrs. Gill also spoke and said “I have been in touch with the Reedley Police Department. Most recently, I’ve had issues with homeless men coming into the store during busy hours. They yell at the walls. My employees are teenagers who are 18 to 19 year old girls and they are scared of the homeless. The homeless threatened my employees that if they called on him, he would come back and kill them. My employees were too scared to call the police so I did not know of this until the next day. These are my fears. It is my responsibility to have a safe environment for my customers and employees. The homeless have broken my windows, turned off the light breakers and I lost electricity for an hour. They have urinated on my walls, and thrown human feces. I wanted to share with you all my experience with the homeless. ” Mayor Fast said “Thank you for your comment, the Police Department will continue to help you as best as they can.” 

City Clerk Ruthie Green commented “Based on the Iowa case, we are not allowed to move the homeless. We can still do something. I think all of the homeless have been arrested at one point or another to prove a point that they cannot get away with this. I do not want to make light of this situation, my heart goes out to all of the business owners. The City has restraints on how to address the homeless, we have not found the solution yet.” The Police Officer said “We make it a point to routinely check in on the homeless to ensure the safety of our community. This is a great effort.” Mayor Fast replied with “This is really hard, but yet they are human beings too. We need to be compassionate.” Ruthie Green siad “There is a lot of new data on homelessness. We have found out that they are here because they consider Reedley as home. It is a nuanced approach. We may have more solutions. We will continue to learn more with how to address this issue.”

Council Reports

  • Councilmember Robert Beck: “I had the opportunity to be on the parade this week. I got the chance to see my granddaughter in the band. Today, I really like the $2.8 million check.”

  • Councilmember Ray Soleno: “I enjoyed the parade. And today, the $2.8 million check made me smile.”

  • Councilmember Anita Betancourt: “I also enjoyed the parade, it was beautiful. I also thank Senator Hurtado, she is advocating for our little towns.” 

  • Councilmember Matthew Tuttle: “That $2.8 million check allows us to get the phase done. Last week, I participated in the opening ceremony for the Big Fresno Fair. I was at the Fiesta Run and it felt nice. The booth numbers were a little down, but the runner numbers were up.” 

  • Mayor Mary Fast: “I attended the Press Conference with Senator Hurtado. She said I took this job because I am not too far from this community. She is advocating for our region, which she is going up against big areas, like L.A., San Francisco, and San Diego. Congrats to our pilots for leading the parade. I also attended the Reedley High School Homecoming game. I also attended the Reedley Historical Society dinner last week.” 

Staff Reports

  • City Clerk Ruthie Green: “The Governor signed 700 new bills. Over 100 of the bills are associated with housing. With 700 bills, we have to monitor which ones impact our city. No cannabis billboards will be allowed in the state of California. For those of you who have worked with EDC, Robert has passed away from pancreatic cancer. He helped us out with the zoning. It is really sad to see someone with that level of intelligence and knowledge pass away.” 

Closed Session

The Council went to Closed Session at 9:12 p.m. 


The Council resumed from the closed session at 10:04 p.m. With no further discussion, Mayor Mary Fast adjourned the City Council meeting at 10:05 p.m.

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