Here’s what you need to know:
- The Council showed support for the Tulare/Kings Cross-Valley Corridor Zero-Emission Bus Project, a mixed freight and passenger rail system
- The Council approved the budget amendment for the addition of one IT analyst and for the new dispatch center
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 Lemoore City Council meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 by Mayor Stuart Lyons. The meeting was streamed live virtually through Zoom, where five participants joined the meeting virtually. The five Council members met physically for the meeting. This included Mayor Stuart Lyons, Councilmembers Patricia Matthews, Frank Gornick, Jim Chaney, and David Orth. City staff and contract employees also present included Assistant City Manager Michelle Speer, City Clerk Marisa Avalos, City Attorney Mary Lerner, Police Chief Michael Kendall, and Fire Chief Bruce German. Those who met in the Chambers did not wear masks during the meeting.
There was no public comment.
Ceremonial / Presentation
The ceremony for the distribution of donations was postponed to April 5, 2022.
Department and City Manager Reports
Assistant City Manager Ms. Speer said “On April 5th, you guys will see the fiscal year 2021 audit presented to you by Hudson Henderson. Our auditing firm will be here at the next council meeting.”
The Council voted to approve agenda items 3-1 through 3-7 on the consent calendar as presented.
- 3-1 Approval – Minutes – Special Meeting – February 23, 2022
- 3-2 Approval – Minutes – Special Meeting – March 1, 2022
- 3-3 Approval – Minutes – Regular Meeting – March 1, 2022
- 3-4 Approval – Letter of Support for Joint Tulare County Regional Transit Agency and Kings County Area Public Transit Agency TIRCP Application – CVC ZEB Project
- 3-5 Approval – Resolution 2022-10 – Authorizing the Transfer of Funds from Insurance Claims to Accounts Affected by the Water Incident
- 3-6 Approval – Appointment of Lemoore Parks and Recreation Commissioners 3-7 Approval – Resolution 2022-11 – Regarding the Public Transit Needs within the City of Lemoore and Authorizing the Filing of a Claim for Transportation Development Act Funds
Councilmember Gornick asked “In reviewing the documents, did we have a public hearing?” Assistant City Manager Michelle Speer said “KCAG has covered those public hearings for us.” Councilmember Gornick asked what KCAG stands for and Speer said “the Kings County Association of Governments.” Councilmember Gornick then asked “So they have private meetings?” Assistant City Manager Speer said “They are a government agency and they do follow the Brown Act and they held the public meeting on our behalf.”
There was no public hearing.
Report and Recommendation – Budget Amendment and Revision to the City Position Allocation for Addition of one IT Analyst to the Information Technology Division
Assistant City Manager Michelle Speer said “As you know, the City is working on several projects, the first of which is the implementation of the enterprise resource planning software. Basically the software will update us into the century. Our other project is outfitting the dispatch center, but now we need to implement it with all of the technology infrastructure so that we can begin dispatching for our own law and fire agencies. The city only currently employs one full-time information technology analyst and that position is overwhelmed by the workload. So in addition to helping us implement the software and trying to work on dispatch, that individual is also responsible for the day-to-day tasks. Anytime anybody calls and says their device doesn’t work or their software isn’t working properly, or something is wrong with the printers and copiers. Unfortunately the workload is such that we need to request an additional body. The intent is that there’s some redundancy there. They’ll both be cross-trained in the role as a whole but we will assign specific divisions so that there is a primary point of contact. The other issue is when we get the dispatch facility on board, we need 24/7 monitoring and it’s just not possible to do that with only one individual. We will be providing more information at the April 5th meeting. You might wonder how we will fund this position. In fiscal year 2021, we actually closed the books in the black by over a million, which was not expected. I like to refer to this as the covid budget so we underestimated revenues not knowing what covid was going to do for the city. We did a really good job reducing our expenditures last year not understanding how covid was going to affect us and that resulted in about a million dollar surplus. This means the general fund is looking about a million dollars better than we thought it would. We are hoping that staff will approve this position for fiscal year 22, you’re looking at about $33,000 more than was currently budgeted for what is left of this current fiscal year and some equipment we would need to hire that body.”
Councilmember Chaney asked “Are we paying the county IT?” Assistant City Manager Speers said “Right now we currently have a contract with IT. However, we have been in talks with Kings County. We talked to their IT Administration, we’ve had meetings with the chief and with our IT staff. When we bring dispatch into our facility, we will be bringing all of those IT tasks with us. So those costs that we are currently spending and paying to the county to manage our PD servers, that’s all coming in-house so those fees will no longer be coming to the county. The county will provide assistance to the city as a redundancy because for dispatch services we have to have in case our system goes down we have to be connected to someone else but for daily system monitoring servers, for klutz access, all the things we will need for dispatch, we’re going to bring that in-house.”
Councilmember Gornick asked “Would it cause irreparable harm if we didn’t look at this until April 5th? My reason for asking this is knowing how you like to operate, knowing where the dollars are, we’ll have an audit finally on April 5th that we could look at and we’ll have a better understanding of where we’re coming from and we’re also going to be able to look at what you think the total budget is going to be for the call center.’
Assistant City Manager Speers said “Not to my knowledge. I know roughly what it’s going to cost to build out the dispatch center but we have not analyzed staffing so I will not have that ready by the fifth. I can definitely tell you the surplus in fiscal year 2021 it’s just our auditor isn’t available to present to you until April 5th if Council’s more comfortable tabling this item until the 5th, we can do so.”
Councilmember Gornick said “You put two items together for me, that’s what’s causing me a little angst. You put the call center as justification and the IT needs and I understand the IT needs it. I’m just looking at the process and wondering if we had more information at the frontend going in if we’re going to have an obligation in 2022-2023 for the operation of the call center, then we’d have a better idea of what the total operating budget for the cal center is going to be, which I understand is going to be in the police department.”
Assistant City Manager Speers responded “To clarify, two or three meetings ago, we came to Council with the budget amendment to authorize expenditures to complete the outfitting of the dispatch center. And as this Council was aware, we received a $2 million allocation from the state to complete the dispatch facility. That $2 million was to build that facility out, buy our 911 consoles, buy our 911 telephone systems and other equipment. That budget we already have and you’ve seen it in part because you already approved it at a subsequent meeting. The fiscal year 2023 budget will have how we plan to spend the rest of that $2 million. There is no plan currently to staff the dispatch center because we don’t know how long it’s going to take to get all of that infrastructure implemented and when that dispatch center is going to be physically up and ready. I don’t believe that’s even going to happen in fiscal year 2023. If this council needs to know how much it’s going to cost to dispatch that’s a different conversation but I can’t even begin to have that conversation until I know what year that might occur because of living and what salaries are going to be, etc.
The Council voted and the motion passed to approve this item, with 4 ayes and 1 no from Councilmember Gornick.
Brief City Council Reports and Request
- Councilmember Orth: “I want to thank the Police and Fire Department for their work. Also the City staff.”
- Councilmember Gornick: No report.
- Councilmember Chaney: “I want to echo Councilmember Orth.”
- Councilmember Matthews: “Our City staff is great. Day in and day out, you all work hard to make the City operate smoothly. It was a huge event, there were so many little and big people. I am glad I could go out. Make sure to check out the Parks and Rec’s Facebook page, there are a lot of great events coming up.”
- Mayor Lyons: “I want to thank the Police and Fire Department and City staff for all of your hard work. And with that, meeting adjourned.”
Mayor Lyons mentioned he was also on the fence with agenda item 5-1 until Assistant City Manager addressed the question.
With no further discussion, Mayor Lyons adjourned the City Council meeting at 7:54 p.m.