Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Watson stated 52 incidences of fire around the City of Madera during the Fourth of July, to which the Fire Department and CalFire responded. 
  • The Council (6-0) adopted a resolution Supporting the Madera County Transportation Authority (MCTC) for the continued countywide imposition of a 0.5 percent sales tax to fund transportation improvements in Madera County. 
  • The Council (6-0) received and filed an update on the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) Emergency Resolution to reduce water demand and improve water conservation in response to the Governor’s declared statewide drought. 
  • The Council (6-0) agreed to discuss tenant protections with stakeholders such as non-profit organizations, the association of realtors, and other agencies. 

The Scene

According to its website, the Madera City Council, a board of seven, is the elected legislative body of the City of Madera. The district elects members of the City Council and the Mayor at large. Members of the City Council, including the Mayor, serve four-year terms.

The meeting was in-person on Wednesday, July. 6, 2022, at 6 pm, yet accessible via YouTube.

Officials Present:

  • Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans, District 4 
  • Councilmember Cece Gallegos,  District 1 
  • Councilmember Jose Rodriguez, District 2 
  • Councilmember Steve Montes, District 3 
  • Councilmember Elsa Mejia, District 5 
  • Councilmember Artemio Villegas, District 6

Officials Not Present:

  • Mayor Santos Garcia 

Others Present:

  • City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez, City Clerk Alicia Gonzales, City Attorney Hilda Cantu Montoy, DJ Becker, Carmina Rodriguez, Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Watson, Supervisor Brett Frazier, Supervisor Robert Poythress, Madera Transportation Commission Executive Director Tricia Taylor.


DJ Becker was concerned about the illegal and “extremely dangerous” aerial mortars and airburst fireworks during the Fourth of July. 

She urged the Council to be proactive by updating the ordinance to issue citations to the property owner/tenant where the fireworks originated. 

Carmina Rodriguez urged the public to be informed of blood drives, especially for the Hispanic population. 

Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Watson stated 52 incidents of fire around the City of Madera during the Fourth of July, to which the Fire Department and CalFire responded. Also, the Madera Police Department made 21 arrests and citations. 

Jamie Hickman is named the new Director of Public Works, replacing Daniel Foss.

First, the Council (5-0) unanimously approved B-1 to B-12 of the consent agenda, except B-10 for future council meetings. 

B-1 Minutes – October 20, 2021 

B-2 Informational Report on Register of Audited Demands for June 4, 2022, to June 24, 2022 

B-3 Informational Report on Contract City Attorney Services and Litigation Expenditures 

B-4 Participation in the Madera County Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution approving a Letter of Commitment as a participating jurisdiction in the Madera County Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.

LHMPs assess natural hazard vulnerabilities and identify mitigation actions that jurisdictions such as the City and County will pursue to reduce the level of injury, property damage, and community disruption that might otherwise result from such events.   

The City participated in a multi-jurisdictional LHMP with Madera County and several other local jurisdictions that began in 2008 and were completed in 2011. 

The LHMP is required to be updated every five years. The City participated in the first plan update that began in 2015 and concluded in 2018. 

At this time, the LHMP is coming due for a second update in November 2023. 

Madera County is inquiring if the City will be a participating agency for the 2023 LHMP update.

Madera County is pursuing a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant to pay for a consultant to lead the multi-jurisdictional LHMP update. 

If approved, the grant will fund up to 75 percent of the cost of a consultant to prepare the update, with the participating agencies splitting the remaining 25 percent of the consultant cost. 

The estimated cost of a plan update is $150,000. 

Suppose the City participates in the multi-jurisdictional plan update. 

In that case, it will split the portion of consultant fees not covered by the grant between Madera County, the City of Chowchilla, and the City of Madera. 

The City’s participation would include staff time and up to $12,500 in consulting fees. 

At this stage in the grant application process, Madera County requests a Letter of Commitment from the City to submit to CAL-OES and FEMA with their Hazard Mitigation Grant application.

The City’s monetary contribution to the project is estimated to be $12,500. 

That amount assumes three jurisdictions participate in the project: Madera County, the City of Madera, and the City of Chowchilla. 

Additionally, the amount is based on an estimated project cost. Final monetary contributions will depend on the specific consultant cost. 

When the City participated in the last update, the final cost was less than estimated.

B-5 Approval of Employee Health and Welfare Plans for 2023 

The Council (7-0) adopted a Minute Order approving the renewal of the City’s Health and Welfare Plans for 2023

The City of Madera offers health benefits to its employees through an IRS Section 125 cafeteria plan. 

The City’s Section 125 plan includes group life insurance buy medical, dental, and vision insurance up and accidental death and dismemberment benefits; for employees, spouses, and dependents; a medical expense flexible spending account option care flexible spending account option. 

The City’s contribution towards and a dependent individual employee health insurance is a negotiated item in the various Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between the City and bargaining units. 

The Section 125 plan allows employees to use the City’s contribution to pay premiums on a pretax basis. 

In addition to standard health benefits as noted above, as a requirement for participation in the Central San Joaquin Risk Management Authority (CSJVRMA), the City provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). 

The EAP provider, Halcyon, also provides the City’s wellness program. 

The City began a transition in July 2021 from fiscal year plans to calendar year plans with its participation in the PRISMHealth pool for medical, dental, and life insurance. 

As such, the City had 18-month rates that began in July 2021 and will end in December 2022. 

The PRISMHealth pool has provided the City with renewal rates for the calendar year 2023. 

In summary, medical plans will be increasing by 8.9 percent, dental has a rate pass, and all other plans are in a rate guarantee. 

B-6 Temporary Authority for the City Manager to offer higher than C-step for Senior Civil Engineer and Senior Planner candidates 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution providing the City Manager temporary authority to offer candidates considered for Senior Civil Engineer and Senior Planner positions higher than C-step on the assigned salary range for the classification.

The City currently has two vacant Senior Civil Engineer positions and one vacant Senior Planner. 

Individuals in these classifications are considered advanced journey-level professionals who bring several years of relevant work experience. 

They are well-seasoned professionals currently earning at the higher end of the applicable salary range, and offering a lower salary does not result in job offer acceptance. 

The City’s Personnel Rules and Regulations provide that the City Manager has the authority to offer up to the third step in the assigned salary range, or the C step. 

The City’s salary ranges have six (6) steps, labeled as steps A through F. 

The requested action would provide the City Manager with temporary authority to offer candidates for Senior C Planner up to Fstep, depending on the applicant’s qualifications.

B-7 Agreement for Continued Participation in the Central Valley Employment Relations Consortium (CVERC)

The Council (7-0) adopted a Minute Order approving the Agreement for Special Services with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore for $2,466.

Continued participation in the CVERC requires executing an Agreement for Special Services with the firm.  

With our continued participation, the City can meet the challenge of providing cost-effective and current employment law training to supervisors, managers, and department heads.  

Additionally, the flat-fee membership allows City staff to contact attorneys at the firm by phone or email for consultation on consortium-related questions without additional charge beyond the membership fee. 

The agreement also sets forth billing rates should the City’s request for assistance go beyond a consortium-related question.

The training classes are selected each year by the vote of the members of the Consortium. 

For 2022-23, CVERC members voted unanimously to continue virtual training instead of in-person. 

The virtual training option allows members to participate in the live virtual session and access the training session recording for those who could not attend the initial session. 

The classes slated for 2022-23 are listed below; unless otherwise noted, each class is a half-day.  

  • The Art of Writing the Performance Evaluation 
  • Maximizing Performance through Documentation, Evaluation, and Corrective Action 
  • Difficult Conversations 
  • Leaves, Leaves, and More Leaves 
  • Public Service Customer Service (2 hours) 
  • Moving Into the Future: Telecommuting and Remote Work 
  • The Future is Now – Embracing Generational Diversity and Succession Planning 
  • Human Resources Academy I 
  • Supervisor’s Guide to Understanding and Managing Employees’ Rights: Labor, Leaves, and Accommodations
  • Legal Issues Regarding Hiring

The cost for continued participation in the Consortium will be $2,466.00 for the 2022-23 fiscal year. 

The annual fee is not increasing and is slightly less due to credit for prior refreshment fees collected before COVID that were not utilized when the consortium switched from in-person to virtual training. 

Participation in the Consortium is paid through the Insurance Reserve Fund, and the identified training is made available to all City departments without charge.  

B-8 Adoption of Updated Salary Schedule 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution approving the revised City of Madera Full Time Salary Schedule reflecting the 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for applicable positions and reducing the assigned salary range for the Director of Community Development. 

B-9 Contract Award for Bid Package 1 – RRFB and Safety Improvements at George Washington Elementary School, AHSC Agreement No. 19-AHSC-12761, City Project No. R-94 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution approving the Contract Award for Bid Package 1 – RRFB and Safety Improvements at George Washington Elementary School, AHSC Agreement No. 19-AHSC-12761, City Project No. R-94, for $177,210.00 to Bush Engineering, Inc. 

B-10 Agreement for Design Services for Olive Park 

The Council (7-0) moved a resolution awarding a contract under Request for Qualifications (RFQ) No. 202122-15 to O’Dell Engineering for design services of Olive Park and approving a Consultant Services Agreement for $238,013.00 for a future council meeting. 

On May 9, 2022, the City received three statements in response to the RFQ for the request for design services for Olive Park, Sunset Park, and India Park. 

Although the request for design services included these three parks, it is the staff’s recommendation to only move forward with the design services for Olive Park to advance with the terms and conditions of the grant. 

The staff recommends pursuing design services for Sunset Park and India Park later.  

Funding for the design services of Olive Park comes from Proposition 68, State of California – The Natural Resources Agency, Department of Parks and Recreation, Statewide Park Development, and Community Revitalization Program of 2018 Round 4 funding. 

The City submitted a grant application in 2021 and awarded $1,990,000 for the completion of the project. 

B-11 Contract Award for Building Demolition at 651 East 4th Street and 16557 Austin Street 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution approving the $118,432.00 Contract Award to MAG Engineering, Inc. 

B-12 Remote City Council Meetings Under Brown Act Requirements (AB 361) 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution reauthorizing remote teleconference public meetings by the City Council and All Boards, Commissions, and Standing Committees of the City under Assembly Bill 361 for 30 Days.

The public hearings focused on the following:

C-1 Public Hearing Relating to Annexation of Pecan Square into the Citywide Landscape and Lighting Assessment District (LMD) 

The Council (7-0) adopted a resolution approving Annexation No. 2022-03 for Annexation of Pecan Square Subdivision (Tract No. 20-S-02) into Zone of Benefit 8, Confirming the Diagram and Assessment for Citywide Lighting and Landscaping Assessment District Zone of Benefit 8 for the Fiscal Year 2023/24.

The Improvement Agreement and Final Map were approved at the June 15 Council Meeting.

Recordation of Agreement and Map can occur after the subdivision is annexed into the City’s Community Facilities District and LMD Zone 8.

Under section 22554 of the Landscape and Lighting Act, annexing any parcel into a Zone of Benefit requires both a public hearing and a published notice of public hearing.

Public notice was posted in the 06/25/22 edition of the Madera-Tribune.

Public meetings allow current property owners in each Zone of Benefit to comment on the proposed annexation.

New development within the city is subject to annexation into a Landscape Maintenance District.

Assessments are levied to pay for each property’s fair share of landscaping maintenance.

Properties within this subdivision will be assessed at the fees of $33.93 per year as outlined in the staff report and included in the annual Engineer’s Report once the subdivision is accepted. 

C-2 Measure T Renewal on the November General Election 

The Council (6-0) adopted a resolution: 

1) Supporting the Madera County Transportation Authority for the continued countywide imposition of a one-half of one percent (0.5 percent) sales tax to fund transportation improvements in Madera County

2) Approving the Proposed Transportation Measure T Renewal Investment Plan and Associated Implementing Guidelines

3) Extending the life of the Madera County Transportation Authority perpetually or until the Authority no longer has debt or other contractual obligations outstanding relating to Measure T or any subsequently commencing sales tax

Measure T is part of a continuum of sales tax measures to fund transportation improvement projects and programs throughout the Madera County region. 

Between 1990 and 2005, the region benefited from Measure A revenues, providing a total of $115 million in transportation funding. 

The $115 million included $50 million in leveraged state and federal funds. 

Measure A funding allowed various projects to be completed for Madera County and the cities of Madera and Chowchilla. 

In 2006, voters approved the current Measure T Transportation Sales Tax Program, a retail transaction and used tax of 0.5 percent imposed in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the County. 

Revenue projections estimate $213 million in funding for transportation improvements through March 31, 2027, with proceeds principally reserved for regional projects, local transportation projects, public transportation, and environmental enhancement projects. 

The Measure T Transportation Sales Tax Program (Program) is administered by MCTA under plans and programs outlined in the Program’s Strategic (2021) and Investment (2006) Plans. 

The Measure T Sales Tax Program focuses on maintaining a strong economy, fixing existing streets/roads, and enhancing public safety.

MCTA administers the Measure T Program in compliance with Public Utilities Code 180000 – the Local Transportation Authority and Improvement Act and is represented by six members, including:

  • Three members of the Board of Supervisors, appointed by the Board Chair  
  • Two members representing the City of Madera; Council members appointed by the Mayor  
  • One member representing Chowchilla; Council member appointed by the Mayor. 

MCTA also works closely with the local agencies to move all programs forward simultaneously and strives to provide a balanced expenditure of funds throughout the County. 

MCTC is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Madera County. 

As such, MCTC is responsible for developing and adopting the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) as required by State and federal law. 

MCTC assists MCTA with preparing the Measure T Strategic Plan and Annual Work Program to ensure that the programs and projects contained in the Plan and Program are consistent and supported by the RTP/SCS and TIP. MCTC provides staff services to MCTA to prepare all Measure T Program-related documents. 

MCTA and MCTC are responsible for the Madera County regional transportation system by planning, funding, programming, and monitoring critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs.

The Measure T guiding principles include:

  • Repair and maintenance of streets and roads in existing neighborhoods
  • Improved system of active transportation projects (bicycles, pedestrians, and trails)
  • Local transportation needs
  • Transportation projects that improve community health and air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improved regional transportation
  • New technologies

Public engagement consists of 13 Steering Committee meetings, two public opinion polls, stakeholder presentations, community surveys, and social media.

Through a tracking study, staff determined that 572 District voters would likely participate in the November 2022 election. 

For Measure T to be approved, 66.67 percent or two-thirds votes are needed. 

City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez said that 88 percent of Madera residents consider improving the maintenance of local streets and roads important. 

The proposed Transportation Measure T Renewal Investment Plan has a 30-year revenue projection of $866 million.

The City will revisit the Investment Plan every 15 years to address changes in transportation. 

He said that if the voters pass Measure T, the City can potentially borrow against the financing to get the “bigger projects” done and improve local roads. 

Measure T3 allocation is as follows:

  • Community and Neighborhood Streets and Roads (62.5 percent)
  • Major Routes, Access, and Safety Improvements (25 percent)
  • Safe Routes to School and Pedestrian and Bike Safety (4 percent)
  • Public Transit (4 percent)
  • Clean Air and Safe Technologies (3 percent)
  • Administration and Planning (1.5 percent).’

Under Petitions, Bids, Resolutions, Ordinances, And Agreements:

D-1 Contract Extension with Mid-Valley 

The Council (6-0) agreed that the item would continue in future City Council meetings. 

D-2 Receive and File – Update on the State Water Board’s emergency resolution to reduce water demand and improve water conservation 

The Council (6-0) received and filed an update on the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) Emergency Resolution to reduce water demand and improve water conservation in response to the Governor’s declared statewide drought. 

On April 21, May 10, July 8, and October 19, 2021, Governor Newsom proclaimed that a state of emergency exists statewide due to severe drought conditions.

On March 28, 2022, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order directing the State Water Board to consider adopting emergency regulations to increase water conservation. 

The Executive Order included Included a request for the State Water Board to create an emergency regulation text requiring urban water suppliers to implement Level 2 of

their water shortage contingency plans (WSCP) and establish a ban on the irrigation of non-functional turf by entities in the commercial, industrial, and institutional (CIl) sectors.

On May 24, 2022, the State Water Board adopted an Emergency Resolution to Reduce Water Demand and Improve Water Conservation. 

The emergency regulation is expected to become effective in mid-June and will remain in effect for one year unless the State Water Board modifies, readopts, or ends it.

Administrative reports centered on: 

E-1 Report Regarding Tenant Protection Rights 

The Council received a report on The California Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482), the City’s authority to enforce, and Options for Council Consideration, discussion, and provide direction to staff, if any. 

Numerous legislative bills have been enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

AB 1482, The Tenant Protection Act went into effect on January 1, 2020, and is effective through January 1, 2022. 

However, the State has determined to end certain temporary measures that were in effect during the pandemic. 

For example, the state moratorium on evictions upon which the City of Madera relied to impose a local moratorium has expired. 

Many local ordinances with eviction protections, such as the City of Fresno’s eviction ordinance, have expired or been substantially limited. 

The COVID-19 pandemic imposed a heavy burden on an already strained housing market in California and the City of Madera. 

With many residents living in tenant housing, a desire to provide relief via rent control measures is understandable. 

Even though there is currently no state prohibition on evictions, AB 1482 does provide tenants with certain protections. 

AB 1482 limits evictions to just cause (fault and no-fault), places limits on rent increases, and requires relocation assistance for no-fault evictions, albeit limited in amount. 

Community members have raised concerns that AB 1482 is being violated by landlords and have asked the City for assistance. 

The City of Madera may not enforce the provisions of AB 1482. 

In an unlawful detainer proceeding, the tenant may raise a violation of these statutes as an affirmative defense. 

In other words, AB 1482 may only be enforced in state court by the tenant.

Under AB 1482, it is legally permissible for the City to adopt an ordinance if it is “more protective” than AB 1482. 

The legal complexities of such measures require significant time and money not only in crafting the ordinance but primarily in administering and enforcing such an ordinance that would inject the City into litigation on landlord/tenant matters. 

AB 1482 went into effect on January 1, 2020, and sunsets on January 1, 2030.

The City has options other than the adoption of an ordinance, such as: 

  • Approval of policies to assist tenants with understanding their rights if they are facing eviction
  • Dedication of funding to assist tenants with relocation assistance
  • Adoption of a resolution calling for additional state action to protect tenants
  • Establishing a process where a tenant may file a Report of Excessive Rent Increase Under the Tenant Protection Act with the City
  • The City would then send a notice to the landlord acknowledging receipt of the tenant’s report and advise the landlord of the applicable law.

The Council (6-0) agreed to discuss tenant protections with stakeholders such as non-profit organizations, the association of realtors, and other agencies. 

The meeting ended at 8:30 pm. On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, the next meeting will be at 6:00 pm on YouTube

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

Support our nonprofit journalism.


Your contribution is appreciated.