Here’s what you need to know: 

  • During its September 21, 2022 meeting, the Madera City Council received information on the Parkway River Master Plan, which involves acquiring land along a 22-mile stretch of the San Joaquin River from Highway 99 to Friant Dam. Plans include river trails, crossings, and natural environment access.
  • The council approved the city’s Urban Water Management Plan 2020 update. According to the Finance Department, the city’s population will grow by 1.2 percent with reduced residential water targets of 183 gallons per person per day (GPCD) in 225 and 167 gpcd in 2030. 
  • The council adopted the final report of the Madera Metro Transit Plan (MTP) and the city’s Transit System Service Design Guidelines. Phase II of the MTP from August 2022 to April 2023 will include public outreach for route proposals and refining of the routes. 
  • Lastly, the council approved (5-1) naming a new park at Olive Avenue and Knox Street after James Taubert

Follow-up questions:

  • How can the county and other agencies help Madera Community Hospital reduce financial burdens?
  • What projects can residents surrounding Highway 99 and Friant Dam expect from the Parkway River Master Plan?
  • How can the updated fares accommodate more commuters in the county? 

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, September 21, 2022, at 6 p.m., yet accessible via YouTube.

Officials Present:

  • Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans, District 4 
  • Council member Cece Gallegos,  District 1 
  • Council member Jose Rodriguez, District 2 
  • Council member Steve Montes, District 3 
  • Council member Elsa Mejia, District 5 
  • Council member 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
  • Fresno Building Healthy Communities CEO Sandra Celedon
  • Sheila Hakimipour from Urban Diversity Design
  • Peter Trio from WRT
  • San Joaquin River Conservatory Executive Officer John Shelton
  • Madera Community Hospital CEO Karen Paolinelli
  • MCH Vice Chair Stell Manfredi
  • MCH Chief Financial Officer Mark Foot
  • Parks & Community Services Director Joseph Hebert
  • Senior Planner James Troyer
  • Michael Johnston, a partner from Telecom Law Firm
  • Grants Administrator Marcela Zuniga
  • Heather Bashian from Provost and Pritchard


2. San Joaquin River Western Reaches Access Activation Plan (WRAAP)

According to Peter Trio from WRT, the program’s goal is to recognize the resource and amenities should be a “river for all.” 

The Parkway River Master Plan involves acquiring land along the 22 miles stretch of San Joaquin River, from Highway 99 to Friant Dam. 

Opportunities consist of river trails, crossings, and natural environment access.

William Mask, a history professor from Madera Community College, asked about the plan’s environmental impact and the balance between habitat and people. 

Peter Trio responded that CEQA would ensure the plan balances habitat and the public. 

The council received information from Madera Community Hospital on its request for $1 million in funding from the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Madera Community Hospital CEO Karen Paolinelli added that the $1 million would go toward replacing an air handler, a $3.2 million project to improve air filtration within the facility. 

Due to the pandemic’s woes and the urgent need for health access, she asked the council to fund MCH. 

MCH Chief Financial Officer Mark Foot mentioned the cost increase of contract labor during the pandemic, increase in supply costs and the deficit of $17.1 million. 

Council member Rodriguez asked when MCH could return to its pre-COVID stage. Paolinelli said, “three years.”

Council member Gallegos stated that the county is losing employees since ARPA funds are focused on capital improvements. 

Paolinelli said that state and federal rules set salary ratios. 

Council member Montes encouraged MCH to apply for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). 

First, the council (6-0) unanimously approved B-1 to B-15 of the consent agenda.

B-1 City council minutes of May 4, 2022 

B-2 Informational report on register of audited demands for August 6, 2022, to August 26, 2022 

B-3 Informational report on personnel activity

B-4 Informational report on contract city attorney services and litigation expenditures 

B-5 Informational report on emergency repairs for water well No. 33 recommendation: No action required 

B-6 Remote city council meetings under Brown Act requirements (Assembly Bill 361) 

The council 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. 

B-7 Acceptance of a grant award from the State of California Office of Traffic Safety Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) 

  1. The board adopted a resolution accepting the $105,000 award on behalf of the city and designating the city manager as the authorizing official to act on the city’s behalf and execute all necessary documents.
  1. The board adopted a resolution amending the city’s 2022/23 budget to reflect revenues and expenditures related to the grant (Report by Dino Lawson).

B-8 City’s participation in the Old Timers’ Day Parade and Downtown Christmas Parade 

The council adopted a resolution waiving the fees to cover the costs of Police, Public Works, and Parks Services relating to the Old Timers’ Day Parade and Downtown Christmas Parade for $5,986.

B-9 Master Agreement Between the Madera County Transportation Commission and the City for Fiscal Year 2021/2022 Allocation of the Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) Exchange Funding 

The council adopted a resolution approving the master agreement between the Madera County Transportation Commission (MCTC) and the city for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021/2022 allocation of RSTP Exchange Funding (RSTP) Exchange Funding. 

B-10 Sidewalk improvements on Lilly Street and Vineyard Avenue 

The council approved a minute order approving: 

1) Acceptance of the Construction of Sidewalk Improvements Lilly Street – Vineyard Avenue, CDBG Project No. B19MC060053, City Project No. R-85 

2) The Recording of Notice of Completion

3) The release of retention 35 days after the recording of the Notice of Completion (Report by Keith Helmuth) 

B-11 2020-21 SB-1 Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account (RMRA) Seals and Overlay, City Project No. R-78 

The council approved a minute order approving: 

  1.  Acceptance of 2020-21 SB-1 Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account (RMRA) Seals and Overlay, City Project No. R-78. 
  1. The Recording of Notice of Completion. 
  1. The release of retention 35 days after the recording of the Notice of Completion (Report by Keith Helmuth) 

B-12 Appointment to the Housing Assistance Loan Review Committee 

The council adopted a resolution approving the appointment of Johanna Torres to the Housing Assistance Loan Review Committee. 

B-13 Agreement with Backowski Law Group to provide Specialized Real Estate Legal Services 

The council adopted a resolution approving the use of Backowski Law Group for Specialized Real Estate Legal Services. 

B-14 Empower 457 Deferred Compensation Plan & Trust Regulatory Amendment to comply with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) 

The council adopted a resolution approving the Amendment for CARES Act to the Empower Retirement City of Madera 457 Deferred Compensation Plan & Trust and authorizing the City Manager to execute necessary documents electronically through DocuSign (Report by Wendy Silva)

B-15 Agreement for ResoluteGuard Cyber Risk Management Program 

The council adopted a resolution approving the ResoluteGuard Services Agreement and authorizing the Director of Human Resources to execute necessary documents electronically through DocuSign (Report by Wendy Silva)

The public hearings focused on the following:

C-1 Madera Municipal Code (MMC) Ordinance Text Amendment relating to Wireless Facilities on Private Property and Small Wireless Facilities in the Public Rights-of-Way Policy (presented by Senior Planner James Troyer)

The council conducted a public hearing and introduced for first reading by title only, and waived the full reading of: 

1. A Regulatory Ordinance Adding Chapter 9 to Title X of the Madera Municipal Code Relating to Wireless Facilities on Private Property 

2. Adoption of City Council Resolution adopting a Small Wireless Facilities Policy in the Public Rights-of-Way 

3. Adopting a Categorical Exemption under Section 15061(b)(3) of the California Environmental Quality Act. 

New regulations of the Federal Communications Commission include the small cell order.

Small cell order is a reasonable time to review applications; 60 days for collocations and 90 days for non-collocations. 

These periods are known as the “shot clock.”

Limited right to use roads in a manner that does not inconvenience the public use of the right-of-way (ROW). 

Right to use the ROW is subject to local governments’ reasonable time, place, and manner regulations.

Courts hold that Calif. preserves local authority to regulate against obstructions and aesthetic impacts.

The state generally preserves local aesthetic authority; municipalities must reconcile their authority within the limitations of the small cell order.

City retained Telecom Law Firm PC in 2021 to develop a new ordinance.

Regulations propose to address Wireless Facilities on private property via an ordinance. 

A council policy is proposed for Small Wireless Facility in the ROW.

ROW Policy is preferred in comparison to an Ordinance because Federal and State case laws are fluid; may change based on court cases.

The council (5-1) approved the resolution adopting the ROW Policy. Council member Mejia abstained. 

C-2 Public Hearing regarding the Program Year 2021-2022 Community Block Grant (CDBG) Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) and Financial Summary (presented by Grants Administrator Marcela Zuniga) 

The council conducted a public hearing, invited public input, and (6-0) adopted a resolution approving the 2021-2022 City’s CAPER and financial summary.

CAPER is required as part of Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) funding.

Annual report showing progress consistent with the goals set in the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Action Plan.

City averages slightly less than $1 million per year.

CAPER also provides HUD with data regarding the individuals served, project activity detail, and achieved outcomes.

On Sept. 7, 2022, a public notice was published. 

The total CDBG balance was approximately $1,693,249 at the start of the 2021 Program Year (including the remaining balance from previous PY allocations).

The city spent $1,455,515 of CDBG funds in 2021. Program income includes receiving loan payments.

In Community Action Partnership of Madera County- Rapid Rehousing and Fresno/Madera Continuum of Care,

  • Homeless services to 54 residents
  • Treatment and job placement to 279 individuals

O.L.I.V.E Safe House provided care to 30 victims of human trafficking

Madera Coalition for Community Justice Street Art Program Served 87 youth in community paint events.

Madera Coalition for Community Justice Rental Assistance Program (MRAP) assisted 392 residents at risk of eviction or utility shutoff.

Pequeños Empresarios served 178 clients with training workshops that improved participants’ academic achievements, social skills, and communication.

Madera Rescue Mission provided 119 unduplicated individuals with homeless services, which resulted in 6 individuals obtaining permanent housing and 8 securing full-time employment.

Habitat For Humanity Exterior Paint Project, 

  • Exterior painting for six homes.
  • Completed home repairs to eliminate health and environmental hazards before the painting.

Community Action Partnership of Madera County- Rental and Rapid Rehousing provided 63 households with rental and rapid re-housing assistance.

Madera Coalition for Community Justice Provided eviction and utility shutoff prevention to 919 households. 

Madera Downtown Association Provided emergency relief to 8 businesses. 

Madera County Economic Development Commission delivered emergency business relief to 12 businesses. 

C-3 2020 Urban Water Management Plan Update and Water Shortage Contingency Plan (presented by Heather Bashian from Provost and Pritchard) 

The council conducted a public hearing and adopted (6-0) resolutions approving: 

  1. The Urban Water Management Plan 2020 (UWMP) Update 

The Finance Department estimated that the City of Madera’s population would grow by 1.2 percent.

On water system demands and supply, the basis includes:

  • Overall: 196 gallons per person per day (gpcd) [2020 Target])
  • Reduced Residential Targets (Single & Multi-Family)
  • 2025: 183 gpcd
  • 2030: 167 gpcd
  • Supply will be groundwater

On SBx7-7 compliance, the baseline in 2010 was 245 gpcd. In 2015, the interim target was 220 gpcd, with an actual 132 gpcd. In 2020, the interim target was at 196 gpcd, with an actual of 119 gpcd

  1. Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP)

The 2020 WSCP requirements comprise six shortage stages in a separate document. 

After the council approves the UWMP and WSCP, the Department of Water Resources, State Library, and County of Madera will conduct a review. 

Bashian said that the City of Madera has seen large savings in water conservation. 

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

D-1 Initiation of Proceedings for the Annexation of Vineyard Estates Phase III, Tract S1-S-02 & S1-S-03/TSM 2020-04 Subdivision into Community Facilities District 2005-1 (presented by Senior Planner Robert Smith)

The council (6-0) adopted resolutions: 

1. Adopting a Boundary Map Showing the Territory Proposed for Annexation to Community Facilities District No. 2005-1.

2. Declaring Its Intention To Annex Territory (Tract S1-S-02 & S1-S-03/TSM 2020-04 Subdivision) to Community Facilities District No. 2005-1 (Public Services), to Authorize the Levy Of Special Taxes Therein, and Setting Public Hearing (Annexation No. 13) (Report by Gary Conte) 

Citywide CFD 2005-1 was formed to fund the gap between the revenue generated by new development and the cost of delivering services.

The initial annual assessment was $311 for a single-family home, growing to $524.41 in 2022/23 per year.

Tax is deposited into the General Fund since impacts are specific to the General Fund.

Utilization of the tax is purposefully broad, such that “the city may finance any services or facilities permitted to be financed under the Act.”

There have been 13 annexations into the CFD. 994 homes contributed approximately $477,000 to the CFD last fiscal year. 

The proposed project is for 135 single-family homes, which would generate $70,795.40 ($524.41 per home/per year) 

D-2 DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Grant Award 

The council (6-0) adopted a resolution approving the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Grant Award Agreement for $25,000 as part of the Sports Matter Program. 

D-3 Madera Metro Transit Plan and Service Design Guidelines 

The council (6-0) adopted a resolution approving the Final Report of the Madera Metro Transit Plan (MTP) and the City’s Transit System Service Design Guidelines. 

The city was awarded a $100,000 grant from Caltrans to develop a transit plan. 

On April 21, 2021, the City retained WSP USA, Inc (WSP) to develop the Madera Transit Plan. 

As the plan evolved, staff recommended a second phase (Phase I1) to implement Phase I recommendations. 

On July 20, 2022, Council approved a resolution to approve the agreement with WSP for Phase Il.

MTP intends to: 

  • Evaluate the city’s transit system and devise operational and policy changes.
  • Improve connectivity with other modes of transportation.
  • Improve systems to advance multi-modal transportation within the region.
  • Evaluate the changes that should be implemented or enhanced to improve the efficiencies and connectivity with currently planned transportation systems.

Design guidelines establish policies and procedures when seeking transit improvements, including bus route and stop design, development and changes, fixed-route scheduling, and performance measurements.

Phase I of the MT focused on the network and redesign of the fixed-route system, including identifying ideal bus stops and also involved:

  • Route schedules
  • Reducing headways
  • Assessing destinations by marrying land use patterns with public transit needs/ensuring routes lead to desired destinations

WSP consulted with the following stakeholders such as the City’s Transit Advisory Board, community members and city staff.

Phase II of the MTP, from August 2022 to April 2023, will include the robust public outreach of route proposals and refining of route proposals.

D-4 Fare Adjustments for Madera Metro and Dial-A-Ride 

The council (6-0) adopted a resolution approving a Modified Fare Structure for the Fixed Route Transit System and Limited Dial-A-Ride Transit System and Rescinding Resolution No. 20-58. 

The modified fare structure will allow most riders to continue to ride with no fare charged. Dial-A-Ride will cost $3.00 for the general public 18 and over, but there will be no charge for college students with valid ID, those under 18 and seniors, disabled or veterans. Companions on the ADA/Paratransit will be charged $3.00.

In response to Safety Advisory 20-01, under 49 CFR 5.25, Council adopted Resolution No. 20-58 on April 20, 2020, which suspended fares for Madera Metro’s Fixed Route system and

limited Dial-A-Ride (DAR) to disabled and senior passengers.

Given the improved COVID-19 situation, staff proposes an updated fare structure for the Madera Metro Transit system.

Updated fares would go into effect on January 1, 2023, and allows community college students time to obtain their required school ID.

Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) State Funds apportioned to the City annually will be used to offset lost revenues from rider fares.

Administrative reports centered on: 

E-1 Request for Direction in Naming of Olive Avenue/Knox Street Park Site 

Request for direction regarding the naming of the new park at Olive Avenue and Knox Street (Report by Parks & Community Services Director Joseph Hebert) 

Internally, the park site has been referred to as “Olive Park” due to its location on Olive Avenue.

The park is funded by the Department of Parks and Recreation, with an award of $1.9 million. 

Public comments from August 17, 2022, during a regular meeting of the city council include:

  • The naming of the yet-to-be-constructed park
  • Recommendations were made for naming the park after Mr. James Taubert

The supervisor (5-1) approved the motion naming the park after Mr. James Taubert. 

E-2 Lions Town & Country Park Improvement Projects Update (presented by Parks & Community Services Director Joseph Hebert)

Under Council’s request, the informational report will discuss recently completed, current, and planned improvement projects at Lions Town & Country Park (LT&C).

While the city has made improvements at nearly all parks, additional improvements are needed.

Staff is aggressively pursuing grant funding while simultaneously developing new parks as part of subdivisions (i.e., Almond Park). 

Recent Improvements at LT&C consist of: 

  • Ballfield 1 & Ballfield 2 improvements
  • Installation of 8 motion-capable exercise equipment stations
  • North side entrance renovation, with the installation  of drought-tolerant landscaping
  • Solar panels, as part of the ENGIE partnership
  • Fencing modifications along softball fields
  • Redwood tree removals

Just this week, staff completed the installation of a stainless-steel receptor drinking fountain. 

There were paint upgrades to all bridges but retaining the infamous red-toned paint. 

Improvement Projects Planned are as follows:

  • Continued rodent and gopher control with the in-house purchased rodent extermination machine
  • Complete renovation of restroom along Ballfield 1, with $177,952 funds from the 2018 Parks Bond Per Capita Grant Program
  • Repair of sunken concrete along Ballfield 8
  • Repair of lifted and cracked concrete throughout the park
  • Painting backstops 

On April 17, 2022, staff submitted a funding allocation request through Congressman Jim Costa’s Office for $850,000.

If awarded, the city would reconstruct the trail. 

E-3 Professional Recruitment Services to Conduct Director of Financial Services Recruitment 

Council (6-0) approved a minute order authorizing staff to seek proposals from professional recruiting firms to assist the City in filling the currently vacant Director of Financial Services position. 

Staff will publish a request for proposals (RFP) for professional recruiting services, and the agreement award will be subject to Council’s approval at a future meeting.

The Director of Financial Services position has been vacant since August 2021. The city has conducted three recruitment cycles.

Each recruitment costs approximately $2,600 in paid advertising. Additional soft costs include staff time for the application and interview processes. 

The position is currently being staffed through qualified consulting services; this is at a higher cost than having a City employee. 

The closed session consists of:

G-1 Conference with Labor Negotiators – Under Government Code §54957.6 

Agency Designated Representatives: Arnoldo Rodriguez and Wendy Silva 

Employee Groups: General Bargaining Unit, Madera Police Officers’ Association, MidManagement Employee Group, Law Enforcement Mid-Management Group 

Unrepresented Employees: Police Chief, City Engineer, Director of Human Resources, Public Works Operations Director, Director of Parks & Community Services, Information Services Manager, Chief Building Official, Director of Community Development, Director of Financial Services, City Clerk, and City Manager

The meeting ended at 9:36 p.m. The next regular meeting will be on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, at 6 p.m.

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

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