Why it matters?

A change in the size and scope of the Prodigy Square commercial development could have a variety of long-lasting impacts on Parlier. Potential negative outcomes include an increase in traffic, pollution and impacts to other businesses in the community. On the flipside, the development could provide greater sales tax revenue and access to food or services, depending on the businesses located there.

Documented by Alejandra Obregon

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Parlier City Council met on Nov. 3, 2022 and approved a contract with Bryant Jolley CPA for the city’s annual financial audits. They also approved a contract with Jaribu Nelson CPS for annual daycare financial audits. 
  • The council also approved updates to the city’s Business Assistance Loan Guidelines, which allow businesses to apply for up to $30,000 in forgiveness. Businesses can also apply for up to $50,000 at 3% interest to be paid back over 15 years. 
  • City Planner Jeff O’Neal said that the previously approved plans for the Prodigy Square Commercial Development at Manning and Academy Avenues will be changing in both the scope and size. He said the developer has acquired more land and the changes will require a vote by the council in the next couple months. 
  • A member of the public questioned why the gymnasium was closed. City Manager Sonia Hall said that improvements are being made to the gym and they are having difficulty installing new basketball rims due to their weight, which could cost as much as $20,000 to install. 

Follow-up questions

  • Is yelling a regular occurrence at Parlier City Council meetings? 
  • Why is there confusion on who’s using the credit card to make the payments that affect the public? 
  • How soon can businesses apply for assistance?
The Parlier City Council approved contracts for annual financial audits, revised business assistance loan guidelines, learned the size and scope of the Prodigy Square commercial development is changing and heard concerns from the public about the gym being closed.

The Scene 

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: Present

Council Member Sabrina Rodriguez District 1: Present

Council Member District Kathy Solorio 3: Present

Council Member District Diane Maldonado 4: Present

Parlier City Manager Sonia Hall: Present

Treasure Michelle Lopez : Present

City Clerk Dorothy Garza : Present 

Presentation/ Informational:

  • City Planner Jeff O’Neal presented this informational item regarding modification to the approved Prodigy Square Commercial Development at Manning and Academy
    • O’Neal said that the applicant who submitted these plans has acquired more land. 
    • The council approved the Prodigy Square Commercial Development at Manning and Academy Avenues, but since the changes of the plans will exceed more than 10% change in the size of the project, they will submit new plans by early next year.
      • Truck use will be expanded and additional quick-serve restaurants will be added to Manning and Academy. Car Wash will be moved to the east.
      • He mentioned that both the scope of the project and the magnitude have changed.
    • O’Neal said, “We will process this as a revised conditional use permit, but it is outside the scope of what we are just allowed to approve and it will be brought back to city council for your consideration in the next couple months.” 

Public Comment:

  • Raul Castillo, who is also known as Coach Porter, expressed concerns about the gymnasium being closed. He said, “It gets closed every year, especially during November. This is during basketball season. Why is the gym still closed? We would like it open for the public and a chance for the public to play and have a good time to be active.”
    • He continues to explain that the recreation center is a good sports outlet for people over the age of 18 and gets asked multiple times why the gymnasium is still closed. 
    • Mayor Beltran said that everyone is fully aware of what’s going on with the community center. She said that she is in contact with Sonia in regards to the community center and she must go through a process. 
    • Sonia Hall explains that the gymnasium was under construction for repairs, such as fixing the flooring and the walls.
      • She said during the reconstruction process, they encountered a problem when it came to adding new basketball rims. The rims themselves are too heavy and it is dangerous for staff to put the new rims on the basketball nets. It must be professionally done and may cost up to $20,000.
    • Castilo said, “What is the point of taking off the rims, if you are not going to replace them?”
      • Sonia said, “The intention was to put something back up there, but we never knew it was going to be that heavy. We never knew it was going to be that dangerous to put something back up. There’s no baskets right now.” 
    • Tensions rose between Councilmember Kathy Solorio and City Manager Sonia Hall on the discussion of the payment process for the reconstruction of the community center. 
    • Confusions arose on whose responsibility it was to handle the credit card situation. 
    • This led to arguments between Sonia and Councilmember Solorio. The final answer is that the director is only allowed to use the credit cards. 
  • Humberto Gomez, a Parlier resident, expressed his concerns when he feels the council members may be doing something illegal. When the mayor seems to be engaging in questionable behavior, he does not tolerate it when his concerns are dismissed. He talks of a moment when he thought the mayor was using the parks for her personal purposes.
    • Gomez said, “the council members have spent more money on other issues than $20,000.”
  • Sandra Trevino, a Parlier resident, expressed her opinions on how Councilmember Solorio should not be running for mayor. She explains how the council is a “complete mess…. it’s a joke.”  She hopes that Parlier will have professional councilmembers someday.
    • Councilmember Solorio said that Trevino’s opinions are biased.  She said, “it’s a joke right now and it’s not being run under me, so can you imagine if I run, it it’ll be run better see my face and if she’s my friend or not it’s a joke right now and it’s not being run under me.” 
    • Disagreements lead to more tension between Trevino and Solorio.
    • Raul Gauna, a Parlier resident, asked for clarification on if water bills were going to be attached to property taxes. He said, “if it’s gonna cost way more, you can have the possibility of losing your property again.”
      • Mayor Beltran said it was a proposed bill from a few months ago and reassured him that the decision was not passed. She said, “Property owners don’t have anything to worry about.” 

Consent Calender:

  1. Approve the check reports dated Oct. 18 to Oct. 31, 2022
  2. Approve the minutes dated Oct. 20, 2022

Motion to approve consent calendar – unanimously 

Regular Business:

  • Subject 1: Consideration and necessary action on resolution authorizing the cIty manager to sign the contract with Bryant Jolley CPA for Annual Financial Audits.
    • Recommendation: Staff recommends for the city council  to approve Resolution No. 2022-55 to sign a 3-year contract with Bryant Jolley CPA for our Annual Financial Audits. 
    • Hall presents how we need to renew the contract with Jolley because it is expiring soon. She said “we worked well with them for years and they know our staff.” 
    • Mayor Beltran said, “they have been doing their job well for years.” 

Motion to approve – unanimously 

  • Subject 2: Consideration and Necessary Action on Resolution No. 2022-56  Authorizing CIty Manager to sign the contract with Jaribu Nelson CPA for Annual Daycare Financial Audits.
    • Recommendation: Staff recommends for the approval of Resolution No. 2022-56  to sign a 1-year contract with Jaribu Nelson CPA for our Annual Daycare Financial Audits.
    • This audit is necessary for the city to continue to receive funding for its daycare program.
    • Hall said that the city’s audit contract is due. She said, “Jaribu Nelson does our audit every year, and our contract is expiring soon.” 

Motion to approve – unanimously 

  • Subject 3: Update and approval of the guidelines for the City of Parlier Business Assistance Loan Guidelines
    • Recommendation: Approval City of Parlier Business Assistance Loan Guidelines. 
    • Hall presented the necessary updates for the guidelines. She explains that the Business Assistance Loan Guidelines will fund various firms up to $30,000 to $50,000 and aims to create and protect jobs. 
    • $30,00 will be forgiven, but anything above $30,000 would be a loan. 
    • Sonia Hall said, “On the record, the cap is 50,000.” 
    • Sonia said the guidelines include the CDBG mixed with the CARES program funds. 
    • She said, “Part of the CDBG program is for business to grow. If businesses use the CARES funds to add employees, and use the $30,000 funds to hire people then they must retain that employee for a year.” 
    • The applications will go through three different people, and it will be sent to the grant administrator to collect the documents, then it goes through the finance director, and then goes to the city manager for final approval. 
    • Hall said she needs to make changes and would like the approval of the council members. 
    • Mayor Beltran suggests letting them know what’s going on with the changes. 
    • Hall said she will email a copy of the guidelines to the board members. 

Public comment: 

  • A Parlier resident is thanking the council for the idea of the Business Assistance Loans and Grants, but would appreciate it if the funds are evenly distributed to more small businesses. Most businesses have been affected by Covid and would appreciate more funding to the small business. 
  • Mayor Beltran is clarifying that not every business is getting $30,000. but it depends on the business. The guidelines say that’s the maximum. Every business applying to go past that and what the grants administrators pick which business. She said that it’s illegal to use government buildings with the funding of CDBG.

Motion to approve – unanimously 

Adjournment: 7:16

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at documenters-admin@fresnoland.org with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

Support our nonprofit journalism.


Your contribution is appreciated.