Here’s what you need to know: 

  • At the Oct. 19, 2022 meeting, the Madera City Council established an appeal fee of $6,110 for cannabis business permits held before a city-appointed cannabis hearing officer and an appeal fee of $1,305 for cannabis business permit appeals held before the council. The council approved the resolution (5-1) with Council Member Villegas voting against. 
  • The council members approved the Pyrethroid Management Plan (PMP) under the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB) Water Quality Basin Plan Amendment (BPA) for the San Joaquin River Basin. 
  • The council approved consultant service agreements for three years, with ten consultants selected for $900,000 in each agreement for professional on-call engineering services. The agreements exclude outsourcing the need for staff. 

Follow-up questions:

  • What will be the effect of appeal fees on cannabis business permits in the county?
  • What can residents expect from the Pyrethroid Management Plan? 
  • Will the agreements with ten consultants speed up the completion of capital improvement projects?

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, October 19, 2022, at 6 p.m., yet accessible via YouTube.

Officials present:

  • Mayor Santos Garcia
  • Mayor Pro Tem Anita Evans, District 4 
  • Council member Cece Gallegos,  District 1 
  • Council member Steve Montes, District 3 
  • Council member Elsa Mejia, District 5 
  • Council member Artemio Villegas, District 6

Officials not present:

  • Council member Jose Rodriguez, District 2

Others present:

  • City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez
  • City Clerk Alicia Gonzales
  • City Attorney Hilda Cantu Montoy
  • Parks & Community Services Director Joseph Hebert
  • City Planner James Troyer
  • Senior Engineer Matt Bullis
  • Monica Bravo
  • Marcela Andrews
  • Gloria Brown
  • Victor Montes
  • Mattie Mendez
  • Mira Torres
  • Nick Salinas
  • Joanna Torres


The staff has announced the startup fund for the Madera Spay/Neuter Clinic

The non-profit veterinary clinic aims to reduce the population of homeless animals in the Central Valley through low-cost, basic services such as vaccinations and spaying/neutering.

The clinic will initially plan to operate in a rented or donated space. 

Monica Bravo and Marcela Andrews supported the Juneteeth holiday and suggested involving organizations in the discussion.

Gloria Brown urged the council to recognize Juneteeth as a paid holiday for city employees. 

First, the council (6-0) unanimously approved B-1 to B-8 of the consent agenda.

B-1 The council approved the city council minutes of June 15, 2022, and June 16, 2022

B-2 Informational report on the register of audited demands for Sept. 24, 2022, to Oct. 7, 2022 

B-3 Informational report on personnel activity 

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

B-5 Remote city council meetings under Brown Act requirements (AB 361) 

Council adopted a resolution reauthorizing remote teleconference public meetings by the City council and all City boards, commissions, and standing committees under Assembly Bill 361 for 30 days.

B-6 Matching grant for airport drainage improvements 

The council accepted the grant award for the California Aid to Airports Program grant agreement for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) with the Federal Aviation Administration for $58,644 for drainage improvements.

B-7 Madera Municipal Code Ordinance Text Amendment (OTA) No. 2020-02 relating to wireless facilities on private property and small wireless facilities in the public rights-of-way policy 

  1. The council added chapter 9 to Title X of the Madera Municipal Code related to wireless facilities on private property by title only and waived the second full reading.
  1. The council added small wireless facilities to the public rights-of-way policy.

B-8 Pyrethroid Management Plan for the San Joaquin River Basin 

The council approved the Pyrethroid Management Plan (PMP) under the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB) Water Quality Basin Plan Amendment (BPA) for the San Joaquin River Basin. 

The public hearings focused on the following:

C-1 Public hearing for the naming of the future park at Olive Avenue and Knox Street (presented by Parks & Community Services Director Joseph Hebert)

The city received approximately $1.9 million to construct the park, and construction drawings are being prepared. The city held five community meetings to determine park amenities. 

Public comments from the city council meeting on August 17, 2022, included recommendations for naming the park after Mr. James Taubert. 

Staff does not anticipate a financial impact for the naming of the park site, as funding for the park design and construction is part of the $1.9 million grant contract. 

When preparing the grant, a park plaque with the park’s name was anticipated. Thus, funds are available.

The council may elect to revisit the Naming Policy, Resolution No. 00-08, to ensure it still captures the intent and appropriate procedures for naming parks and recreation facilities. 

The revisit would delay any naming of the park until the policy is revised.

The council may elect to leave the new park site named “Olive Park” as it has been the internal reference name of the park site.

Victor Montes, Mattie Mendez, and Mira Torres suggested a council recognize James Taubert in naming the park.

Council Members Artemio Villegas and Anita Evans urged a consultation of residents nearby the park. 

The council (4-2) approved item C-1, naming the park after James Taubert. Council members Artemio Villegas and Anita Evans voted no.

C-2 Establishment of fees for appeal hearings regarding cannabis business permit (presented by City Planner James Troyer)

The council (5-1) adopted a resolution to establish an appeal fee of $6,110 for cannabis business permit appeals held before a city-appointed cannabis hearing officer and an appeal fee of $1,305 for cannabis business permit appeals held before the council. Councilmember Villegas voted no. 

The application filing period opened on April 15 and closed on June 20, 2022.

Phase I application process included city staff issuing zoning verification letters and answering questions via email and phone on the process.

The city received 26 standard applications and two social equity applications. 

Hdl reviewed and scored applications under the City Cannabis Application Procedures and Guideline criteria in the Phase Il application process.

To advance in the process, applicants had to score over 90 percent, and 25 of 26 standard applicants passed this threshold. Both social equity applicants scored over 90 percent.

The Application guidelines state the city will advance a minimum of 10 standard applicants to a Phase Ill meeting. Both Social Equity applicants will have a separate Phase Ill meeting.

Phase Ill meeting will be a public meeting in which applicants, the business community, residents, and other interested parties will be invited to comment on the Cannabis Business Permit process.

After the Phase Ill meeting, the City Manager will formally advance candidates for the Phase IV final hearing before the Council.

Council will decide on the award of cannabis business permits at a council meeting or meetings. Applicants not invited to the Phase Ill meeting have appeal rights. 

The first level of appeal is a city-appointed hearing officer. Denied applicants will testify before the Hearing Officer at an appeal hearing.

A request for proposals to firms experienced in cannabis appeals has been circulated, and the process closes in early November. Council will award the bid to firms proposing Hearing Officers. 

After the testimony, the hearing officer will provide an appeal decision in writing to city staff. Denied applicants have final appeal rights to Council.

C-3 Vacation of a portion of Clark Street right-of-way between Owens Street and Taylor Street 

The council withdrew the item for further notice.

C-4 Vacation of a portion of an alley adjacent to and paralleling Noble Street (ABN 2020-01), Grove Street south of Maple Street (ABN 2020-02), and a portion of the northeast corner of the intersection of Noble and Maple Streets (ABN 2021-01) 

The council withdrew the item for further notice.

Petitions, bids, resolutions, ordinances, and agreements consist of:

D-1 Agreements for professional on-call engineering services (presented by Senior Engineer Matt Bullis)

The council (6-0) approved consultant service agreements for three years with AECOM, Yamabe & Horn Engineering, Blair, Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers, Provost & Pritchard Engineering Group, Peters Engineering Group, O’Dell Engineering, Quad-Knopf (QK), AM Consulting Engineers, AKEL Engineering Group and TJKM Consultants for $900,000 in each agreement for professional on-call engineering services. 

Some public agencies use on-call agreements as a cost-effective way to streamline the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) process.

Local agencies using these Agreements include Lemoore, Tulare, and Selma-Kingsburg-Fowler Sanitation District.

On-call agreements provide 24-hour access to technical expertise.

The city continues to experience a backlog of engineering design work in the CIP combined with increased private development activity.

Private projects include the Village D Development, Southeast Madera Specific Plan, and multiple other commercial and residential projects.

CIP projects currently in design include:

  • Ave. 13 sewer trunk main rehabilitation
  • Northeast Water Storage Tank
  • Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grants
  • water meter replacements and installations,
  • Cook Tank evaluation
  • rehabilitation and implementation of the sewer and water condition assessment programs

New funding allocated to infrastructure projects includes:

  • $23 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds
  • $3.5 million from Congressman Jim Costa’s allocated funds
  • $5 million from Senator Anna Caballero’s state-allocated funds

The capital improvements projects (CIP) program currently has 24 projects. The consultant selection/hiring process, from start to finish, typically takes up to 4 months to complete. 

Typical duties include request for proposal (RFP) solicitation, consultant selection & feel negotiation, Council Award, and contract execution.

The standard City protocol is to solicit one RFP per project, repeating the process per project. 

This process can be time-consuming with a large volume of CIP work available.

In the last three years, City has issued eight requests for proposals with minimal response from vendors.

  • Two solicitations received one response
  • One solicitation received no response
  • Three solicitations received two responses
  • One solicitation had three responses
  • The RFP for the Avenue 13 Sewer Trunk Main rehab received five responses.

The average value of the resulting contracts was $242,000.

The city has contracted with 12 consultant engineering firms for various specialty engineering services in the last three years.

Staff solicited professional on-call engineering services for “as needed” engineering services. 

The agreement will allow the city to distribute all available CIP work to the ten consultants selected, expediting the process through the initial contract phase.

Each consultant agreement has a three-year contract with two possible time extensions. Also, there will be a maximum of $300,000 per consultant/year.

Total cost over three years:

  • $900,000 per consultant
  • $9,000,000 in total for 10 consultants
  • All work is not guaranteed.
  • Some of the contracts will not reach these max. limits (AKEL & TJKM).

Most program funds are Utility Enterprise, Gas Tax, Measure T, and grant funds. Little, if any, are General Fund allocations.

The on-call agreement will be used as a “master agreement,” and individual projects will be sub-allocated by the City Engineer through task orders within the limits of the agreement.

The agreements exclude outsourcing the need for staff. In general, this is expertise the City does not have or meets demands above what our current staffing levels can handle.

Perka Tanian suggested that on-call agreements be limited to five or fewer.

Senior Engineer Matt Bullis said the agreements would assist in smaller contracts, and the max cap will allow flexibility when grant funds arrive. 

D-2 Consideration of an appropriation of funds from the General Fund for the Planning Department personnel support contracted services account

The council approved the resolution appropriating funds from the General Fund for the Planning Department contracted services account. 

Administrative reports, which are for informational purposes only, and no action is being

requested from Council, are centered on: 

E-1 Lions Town and Country Park Trail update (presented by Parks & Community Services Director Joseph Hebert)

The city council received an update on the Lions Town and Country Park (LTC) trail system conditions and rehabilitation plans.

While the city has made improvements at LTC, the trail system at the park still needs repairs.

The LTC trail is mostly made up of decomposed granite (DG). 

A small portion consists of a mixture of concrete and some asphalt surfacing. DG can be compacted and creates firm and porous surfaces.

Disadvantages of DG are foot traffic resulting in lack of solid surfacing, maintenance of refill required, and poor drainage from the uneven solid surfacing. 

In 2020, staff began estimating probable construction costs for the trail. 

The construction included such work needed as, but not limited to, clearing and grubbing, subgrade preparation, Installing asphalt concrete, and striping.

The work had an estimated cost of $772.820 and was tracked as the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) PK-00071.

Staff seeking potential funding opportunities for which trail rehabilitation fits the criteria. 

On April 17, 2022, staff submitted a funding allocation request through Congressman Jim Costa’s Office under the fiscal year 2023 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Community Project for $850,000

The development impact fees committed to the project are as follows:

  • Sunrise Rotary Sports Complex: $150,000
  • India Park: $91,913
  • Almond Park: $658,341
  • Tozer/Sunrise Park: $790,353
  • Rancho Santa Fe Park: $1,068,435
  • Pecan Square Park: $286,081

City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez asked the council to wait to see whether the funding allocation request through Congressman Jim Costa’s Office will be granted. 

The council (6-0) approved to discuss item E-2 at the beginning of 2023. 

E-2 Round 6 State of California Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (presented by Parks & Community Services Director Joseph Hebert)

The city council received an informational report on the Round 6 State of California Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program funding opportunity. Staff intends to apply for funding for a future park near Tozer Street, north of Sunrise Avenue.

Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Round 6 is a federal National Park Services (NPS) grant program.

It Involves two competitive layers:

  • First reviewed by California’s Department of Parks and Recreation
  • If selected by the state, then forwarded to NPS for the nationwide competition

Notice of funding opportunity released on July 20, 2022. The Round 6B application deadline is December 15, 2022.

The funds focus on communities with little access to publicly available outdoor recreation opportunities in urban areas.

It also funds the acquisition or development of new parks or substantially renovated parks in economically disadvantaged cities or towns of at least 30,000 people.

The city previously committed to constructing Tozer/Sunrise Park, the strongest candidate for the planned parks.

The city previously committed to paying for the park via Development Impact Fees (DIF) funds. The estimated cost for the park is $790,352.64

ORLP funding does have a 50 percent match requirement. If awarded, funding could alleviate the DIF funds committed.

The park’s estimated cost will increase as amenities are added to make the application more competitive.

Staff is anticipating proposed amenities that may include such additions as a basketball court, pickleball court, or a trail loop.

Should the grant not be awarded, the park design would revert to its current design, which includes playground equipment, a shade structure, picnic tables, and a drinking fountain.

Regarding the financial impact, the staff is in consultation with QK, Inc.

The estimated cost of $23,380 is divided into the:

  • Task 1: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance: $10,800
  • Task 2: Grant Writing Assistance: $4,250
  • Task 3: Park Plans: $2,610
  • Task 4: Cultural Assessment and Section 106 with State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO):$5,720

The fiscal year 2022-23 approved project appropriated $15,000 in contracted services for Parks and Community Services (PCS) Department Administration budget. 

The closed session consists of the following:

G-1 Conference with labor negotiators

Under Government Code §54957.6 

Agency designated representatives: Arnoldo Rodriguez, Wendy Silva, and Che Johnson Employee Groups: General Bargaining Unit, Madera Police Officers’ Association, MidManagement Employee Group, Law Enforcement Mid Management Group. 

G-2 Conference with labor negotiators 

Under Government Code §54957.6 

Agency designated representatives: Arnoldo Rodriguez and Che Johnson 

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

G-3 Public Employee Performance Evaluation

Under Government Code Section §54957(b)(1) 

Title: City Clerk

The meeting ended at 8:28 p.m. The next regular meeting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 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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