Here’s what you need to know:

  • Proclamations declaring the month of May as time for observing several causes were made: Foster Care Month, Peace Officers Memorial Week (May 11-16), Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 5, with noon ceremony at Courthouse Park), Maternal Mental Health Week (May 2-8), and Mental Health Matters Month. Presentations from Sheriff Margaret Mims and Susan Holt, Director of Behavioral Health.
  • Susan Holt, Director of Behavioral Health, updated the Board on the Suicide Survivors Program. Members of the Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) group were also present to describe their work.

Board

Brian Pacheco, 1st District, Chairman 

Sal Quintero, 3rd District, Vice-Chairman

Steve Brandau, 2nd District 

Buddy Mendes, 4th District 

Nathan Magsig, 5th District 

Also present

Paul Nerland, County Administrative Officer (CAO)

Daniel C. Cederborg, County Counsel

Bernice E. Seidel, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors

The Scene

Chairman Pacheco called the meeting to order at 9:31 a.m. Clerk Seidel called roll; all were present. The room was quite full, with about 50 people attending in person. Only one or two people were observed to be wearing face masks. The public portion of the meeting lasted just over an hour and was followed by a closed session from which no announcements were made. This meeting, aside from being relatively short, was not marked by any controversial comments, speeches, or urgent resolutions. Several proclamations were made. Sheriff Margaret Mims, introduced by Supervisor Magsig, ordered everyone to “bow their heads” and gave an explicitly religious invocation, acknowledging police officers who have been killed in the line of duty. She spoke of “wickedness” on the part of criminals and said that “the lord” “implants” the idea to become a police officer in some people’s heads. She asked for “divine intervention” and ended her prayer “in Jesus’ name.” The color guard from the County sheriff’s office lent some pomp to the scene when they paraded around the room bearing the US and California flags. Mims led the flag salute.

Agenda Item #1 Approval of agenda. Passed 5-0.

Agenda Item #2 Consent agenda, items #21-54. Clerk Seidel said that item #44 would be deleted per the Public Works department. Otherwise passed 5-0.

Agenda Items #3 Proclamation brought by Chairman Pacheco declaring May 11-16 Peace Officers Memorial Week and May 5 Peace Officers Memorial Day in Fresno County. Mims and company returned to the podium. She spoke about the grief suffered by families who lose a loved one killed in the course of police work. “Families ask for only one thing—never forget,” said Mims. Edward Mayo, Vice President of the Fresno County Peace Officers Memorial Foundation, was present to say that the 2022 Fresno County Peace Officers Memorial ceremony will be held in Courthouse Park in Fresno on Thursday May 5 at 12:00PM. Kirk Haynes, Chief Probation Officer, was also a member of Mims’ entourage. Magsig commented, “Their memories live on,” and noted that he could not attend the May 5 ceremony because that day was “National Prayer Day,” but offered no other explanation. As the group approached the dais to pose for a photo, Mims asked if other law-enforcement staff could join, and Pacheco laughed nervously, saying, “Anything you like, Sheriff.”

Agenda Item #4 Proclamation brought by Chairman Pacheco declaring May “Foster Care Month.” Pacheco waited to begin this item while Sheriff Mims distributed commemorative buttons to each supervisor. Sanja Bugay, Director of Social Services was present to speak about the state of foster care in the County. Joined by several of her staff social workers, she said that there are currently about 2,900 children in foster care across the County. She noted that the proclamation was appreciated because it would increase awareness of the need for “resource families,” or families who can apply to accept foster children. There are currently about 1,000 such families who are taking care of foster kids. Quintero mentioned that at a luncheon he attended the previous day which honored about 25 homeless and foster students, he noticed the impact of the Social Services department on their lives. “You’ve got a lot to be proud of,” he told Bugay and staff. CAO Nerland said that the Board had identified foster care as a priority, and he had had “no idea” about the complexity of the work done by the DSS. Now he had “more appreciation than ever” for their work. After reiterating that foster care was his priority, Pacheco thanked everyone.

Agenda Item #5 Magsig announced the proclamation declaring May 1-8 “Historical [sic] Preservation Week.” County Librarian Sally Gomez was present as was James Sponsler of the Historic Preservation Commission to talk about the importance of preservation of landmarks. Sponsler said that it was important to “capture and record the history we have here.” He added, “These places matter.”

Agenda Item #6 Quintero introduced the proclamation to declare May 2-8  “Maternal Mental Health Week.” Director of the Department of Behavioral Health, Susan Holt, was present to talk briefly about maternal mental health, which was more than just “baby blues,” she said. Sometimes long-term mental-health issues can appear with motherhood. Holt described the County’s Maternal Wellness Coalition and the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) which provide services to mothers and fathers. She said that when mothers are helped, entire families benefit. Quintero thanked her and members of the California Association of Local Behavioral Health Boards and Commissions, specifically naming Kylene Hashimoto, daughter of Wilma Hashimoto, executive director of CASA of Fresno and Madera Counties; it was unclear why he singled out these two people.

Agenda Item #7 Quintero presented a proclamation declaring May “Mental Health Matters Month.” Behavioral Health Department director Susan Holt again spoke, noting that requests for mental-health support have increased recently. She said that the increase would serve to “normalize the conversation about mental health” and would make it easier to get help. “Take action for mental health” is the slogan she promotes. She suggested that people “check in” with family, co-workers, and friends, and ask them how they are. Holt and staff wore lime-green clothing to signify awareness of mental-health issues, and supervisors wore green neckties or green lapel pins. Pacheco said that as he was reading an email from United Dairymen at 5:15 a.m. the opening paragraph asked “How are you?” and listed mental-health resources. Quintero said that his necktie, which contained a little green, was a “Jerry Garcia” necktie. “He had a little mental-health problem,” said Quintero. About 25 people approached the dais to pose for a photo.

Agenda Item #8 Counsel Cederborg said that the hourly fee for County attorneys’ legal services should be raised from $150 per hour to $159. Passed 5-0.

Agenda Item #9 Report from Susan Holt, Director of Behavioral Health, about the Suicide

Survivors Program for fiscal years 2019-22, and a request to extend contracts with Hinds Hospice. Members of the Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) group were also present to briefly discuss their work. LOSS members, in groups of two—one survivor and one clinician—visit family members who have lost someone by suicide and follow up with phone calls and no-cost therapy, with the aim of preventing further suicides. Brandau asked how often the LOSS team is deployed; in April there were four occasions and in March about eight or nine.

Agenda Item #10 Hollis McGill of the Human Resources department was present to ask for authorization to add staff to the HR department. Brandau asked for faster timelines in recruiting, vetting, and hiring. Passed 5-0.

Agenda Item #11 Steve White of Public Works was present to ask that a new accountant position be authorized. Passed 5-0.

Agenda Item #12 Supervisor reports.

Magsig said, “We lost someone special in District 5.” He was referring to the death of Daryle Lamonica, a football player who was a graduate of Clovis High School. Magsig pointed out that he “went to school” with the son of the football star and admonished all to “not forget incredible individuals.”

Quintero thanked Mid-Valley Disposal for cleaning trash from the neighborhood of Daleville. He looked forward, he said, to stronger code enforcement. He also mentioned that he attended an opening for a new Italian Heritage Museum, located at the Fresno Fairgrounds. The Italian consul from San Francisco attended as well.

Mendes boasted that he had attended every home game which football star Daryle Lamonica appeared in, from 1967 until Lamonica’s retirement. Mendes was even “there” when Howard Cosell nicknamed the football star “mad bomber.” Returning to County matters, Mendes expressed his thanks to Public Works for well permitting and said that Fresno County had less bureaucracy than a smaller county such as Kings.

Agenda Item #13 Appointments. Magsig made three appointments, Brandau two, and Mendes one.

Agenda Item #14 Public comments regarding items not on the agenda. Only one commenter was present; he also had appeared at the  April 19 Board meeting. In both instances he rambled, making it difficult to understand what point he was trying to make. This time he wore a kerchief tied over his face and a T-shirt with the legend, “Four score and seven beers ago.” He again talked about having already apologized, without giving context. “I’d like to talk about mental health. This [pointing to himself] is ‘no drugs’.” Then he added, sotto voce, “Well, I smoke weed.” He continued, “Drugs affect people’s minds. I don’t know the answers to these questions. You’ve got a long road.”

The Board then went into closed session to discuss labor negotiations, litigation, and real-estate matters. Counsel Cederborg said that there would be nothing to report, so the public portion of the meeting ended about 10:39 a.m.
If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at Documenters-admin@thefresnoland.com with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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