Here’s what you need to know
- At the October 6, 2022 Parlier City Council meeting, Mayor Alma Beltran got into a disagreement with the nonprofit running the Roundup Carnival. There is a fierce debate on whether it is a city-sponsored event and Beltran questioned where the money goes. Several members of the public expressed frustration towards the mayor and one told her that she is, “the most corrupt mayor,” he has ever seen.
- Community members expressed support for local sports providing positive youth programs. Susan Bechara outlined some of her 35 years of nonprofit work. Local football coach Patrick celebrated the direction of Parlier sports and community recreation.
- Despite public opposition, the council approved a request from Reedley Apostolic Church for discounted fees for the usage of city facilities. The mayor and council quickly approved this with minimal questions.
- What are some of the past conflicts that led to so much tension towards the mayor?
- What are some of the past instances that led to a notable disconnect between the mayor and certain council members?
- Would the city discount fees for other churches or groups wishing to use city facilities?
The Parlier City Council meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. They take place at 1100 E. Parlier Avenue, Parlier, Calif. 93648. All city council meetings can be streamed on their YouTube Channel.
According to the city’s website, Parlier City Administrator, Sonia Hall, handles the city’s day-to-day business with an open-door policy to community residents and businesses, where comments, concerns and suggestions are always welcome.
City council roll call.
- Mayor Alma Beltran: Present
- Mayor Pro-Tem Trinidad Pimentel District 2: ABSENT
- Council Member Sabrina Rodriguez District 1: Present
- Council Member District Kathy Solorio 3: Present
- Council Member District Diane Maldonado 4: Present
- Chair on Fresno County Commision on Status of women. The Commission is honored to present a proclamation to Mayor Alma Beltran. Honored with extraordinary service to the City of Parlier.
- Juan Carlos Aleman shares a presentation on mixed-use development.
– Juan suggests townhouses on a lot that needs to be rezoned for residential use.
– Mayor thinks it’s a good idea since homes are getting expensive.
- She says that between state requirements and local needs, “I believe it will be good overall.”
- Price projections aren’t available due to fluctuations based on timing.
- Susan Bechara with Comprehensive Behavioral Services LLC, provides CalVIP update.
– Breaks down history of working with troubled youth in Parlier. She says they are committed to keeping youth away from gang violence and substance abuse.
– She updates how the City of Fresno included them for CalVIP funding.
– Bechara details all the ways she is passionate about Parlier.
– Highlights upcoming, “Parlier’s Got Talent,” middle school event.
- Patrick Molina makes public comment. Translates statements in Spanish.
- Celebrates Bechara’s work and how everyone has a role in improving the community.
- Patrick invites the community to come to the last football home game. He said he wants the council to come out to cheer on local youth football players and cheerleaders.
- Consent calendar items 1-4 pass in one motion and move on to regular business.
- ITEM 5: Reedley Apostolic Church requests discounted fees for renting city facilities.
– Speaker is a Parlier local and describes why they should receive discounted rates.
– Mayor speaks favorably towards the idea since it is friendly for youth.
– Continued feedback is added by the council.
-Taxpayers on livestream ask why they get a discount.
-Two council members ask specifics about rates.
– Mateo makes public comments expressing opposition. *Spanish*
– APPROVED: Motion passes 4-0.
- ITEM 6: Council considers eliminating liability insurance for vendors where the city is the organizer of the event.
- This would allow the city to cover vendors under the umbrella of the city’s liability insurance.
- Mayor Beltran argues with a man about whether the Roundup Carnival is a city event or a nonprofit event.
- A council member says that it is $80 per vendor for them to get liability insurance on their own.
- Another council member asks for an example of a city-sponsored event.
- Beltran says that Halloween, Christmas tree lighting events and Easter egg hunts are the only city-sponsored events.
- She says the Roundup and Rotary are no longer city events.
- The mayor says it was previously a city event, but it changed when “they decided to take over.”
- “You guys take the carnival fees, you take the fees for the vendors, the ticket sales and the beer garden,” she said.
- “Now once you took it over and you get all that money, it’s your event,” she said.
- Somebody yells, “three minutes” in the crowd.
- Patrick, a representative from the nonprofit, says that the deal they had was that it was a city event and they provide the police and liability insurance. The
- “There is no reason for us, as a nonprofit, to make anything from nothing,” he said. “We are here only to provide this for our community.”
- He asks for three minutes and the mayor tells him it’s not three minutes.
- He and the mayor talk over each other.
- The speaker tells the mayor that she isn’t from Parlier, so she doesn’t know and that they are looking out for the city.
- Mayor asks where all the money goes. She says they get all the money and they have to start paying since they’re getting the carnival money.
- He says that they are an “open book” and the money is in the nonprofit bank accounts. He says they can come look at their books.
- He asks her where the money is for the Parlier football fireworks stand. “Where is the firework money?” he said. “For two years, you had no football team.”
- Conversation escalates and speakers raise their voices at each other.
- Mayor emphasizes they are simply sponsors and this is not officially a city event.
- She says that taxpayer money doesn’t need to go into the event that they should be able to pay for.
- The speaker says “never has a taxpayer dollar gone into the event, not one of them.”
- Beltran says the beer garden and carnival give them $20,000 and they charge $350 per vendor.
- The speaker apologizes to the council and says that he did not come up for that. “We will always be transparent to anyone that wants to come up to us and we do it from our heart,” he said.
- A member of the public asks if there is documentation of when the nonprofit took over and it changed from a city event.
- Beltran says it became their event when they started receiving the funds from ticket sales.
- She says the documentation is that the contract for the carnival is with them.
- The representative of the nonprofit comes back to the microphone and says that previously she said that she was going to cancel the Roundup eight days before the event.
- “What you’re doing is so unprofessional,” Patrick said. “The people deserve respect and that’s all that they ask for here.”
- A few more speakers express frustration toward the mayor. One citizen says she is the most corrupt mayor he has ever seen. Notable tension in the room.
- “Look mayor, you’re making a clown out of yourself, you should have some respect, you’re acting like a queen and you’re only the mayor,” a speaker said. “You’re only concerned with the money from the citizens, look at yourself, you’re the most corrupt mayor that I’ve ever seen.”
- Diego Garza speaks and asks for clarification of which events are city events. He asks about an event happening tomorrow.
- Beltran says the event the next day is for her campaign and it isn’t a city event. “I’m paying for it,” she said.
- Motion is approved 4-0. Council moves to closed session.
- A resident continues to request to make public comments and wants to ask about the police department contract.
- Oscar Garcia makes a public comment in Spanish.
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