Feb. 8, 2023 — Kerman City Council

Documented by Trong Yang

Here’s what you need to know

  • At the Feb. 8 Kerman City Council meeting, Selma’s fallen police officer Gonzalo Carasso, Jr. was remembered. 
  • A new national day is set on February 7, known as Wear Orange Day, dedicated to raising awareness on teen dating violence.
  • Kerman is now in California’s 27th Assembly District with Esmeralda Soria as Assemblywoman. Her District Director Gilbert Felix addressed the council and mentioned the possibility of creating a central valley rural crimes task force. 

Follow-up questions

  • If the city attorney clarifies that Zoom will no longer be available for public viewing, will the council find alternative ways to make their meetings accessible virtually?

Officials Present

Mayor Maria Pacheco

Council Member Gary Yep

Council Member Bill Nijjer

Council Member Jennifer Coleman

Council Member Ismael Herrera

The Kerman City Council meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Kerman City Hall, 850 S. Madera Ave. City council meetings are also made available for public viewing and participation through Zoom. Public comment accepted in person, via Zoom, and by email at: publicmeeting@cityoerman.org 

Actions/Discussions/Public comments and hearings

Fallen police officer remembered

The council opened the meeting by honoring the recent line-of-duty death of a Selma police officer, Gonzalo Carrasco, Jr. He was 24 years old at the time of his death.

“He was well-respected in his community,” said John Golden, Kerman Chief of Police. “Chief Rudy Alcaraz for the Selma Police Department said that Gonzalo embodied the law enforcement code of ethics. He understood that his fundamental duty was to serve, to save and guard lives and property.”

Mayor Pacheco conducted a moment of silence to honor and pay respects to Gonzalo and his family.

Agenda approval

The meeting moved onto item 2, where the council unanimously approved the agenda – no additions or deletions were made.

Proclaiming February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

First on the Presentations/Ceremonial Matters is “Proclaiming February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.”

According to the proclamation, one in three teens is physically, emotionally, or verbally abused by a dating partner. This increases the risk for truancy, dropout, teen pregnancy, suicide, having eating disorders, and engaging in other harmful behaviors such as use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

The proclamation declares that February 7 shall be a national day, known as “Wear Orange Day,” dedicated to raising awareness on teen dating violence. 

GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

Next was the Presentation of Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA): Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, presented by City Manager John Jansons.

Josefina Alvarez and her team at the Kerman Finance Department received the GFOA award for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022.

“This year, there were over 1,700 participants in the GFOA Budget Awards program, and Kerman was one of 60 cities among California’s 482 cities to receive this prestigious award,” John Jansons said.

The City of Kerman’s new Assembly District 

Gilbert Felix, District Director at California State Assembly, addressed the council on behalf of newly-elected Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria. Soria is representing California’s 27th Assembly District, which includes the City of Kerman. 

Felix introduced himself and told the council that he is available and accessible whenever needed. He also shared a few updates from their district office such as their new location in Merced, their plan for small rural community hospitals to get the funding and the support that they need, and an idea for creating a central valley rural crime task force. 

Consent calendar

In the consent calendar, the council (5-0) unanimously approved the following items:

  • The minutes from the meeting on January 25, 2023
  • Payroll Report
    • December 25, 2022 – January 07, 2023:  $166,701.90
      • Retro Pay & Other:  $2,538.94 
      • Overtime:  $8,841.99
      • Holiday at 1/2 Time:  $2,079.75
      • Standby:  $1,933.50
      • Comp Time Earned:  30.00
  • Warrants and electronic bank transfers
    • Nos. 25947- 25991 $230,284.33 ACH $ 9,918.82
  • Monthly Investment Report
  • Ratifying Donation to Youth Leadership Institute
  • Authority to Update Job Descriptions for City Personnel
    • The council adopted a resolution affirming the authority of Human Resources Department staff to make necessary changes to job descriptions as needed subject to approval by the City Manager/Personnel Director and in consultation with represented labor groups as may be required

User and Regulatory Fee Update (presentation)

Background: Cities collect fees and charges for government services performed at the request of, or specifically for, a particular individual, business, or group, as opposed to services performed for the community as a whole.

This update does not examine taxes, assessments, utilities rates, development impact fees, etc.

Types of fees examined:

  • Building fees: construction permit processing, plan check, and inspection
  • Code enforcement fees: to encourage compliance with the City’s Municipal Code
  • Planning fees: entitlement review and review for compliance with zoning code
  • Engineering fees: engineering review of development-related grading and public improvements
  • Public works fees: review and inspection of temporary encroachment in the City right-of-way
  • Public safety fees: animal regulation and police fees
  • Non-development related fees: recreation fees, licensing, permitting, and administrative fees

The council will make changes to penalty fees and discuss refinements before the next meeting.

Updated language on the agenda

The council would like to change the rule for adding an item(s) to future agendas.

“If there is something that is important to us individually, and we are limited by the interest of the other council members, that’s going to cause division before it’s necessary.” Mayor Pacheco said. “If we don’t agree on the agenda item and we have to vote on that item, that’s one thing. But having to agree within the five of us just to place it onto the agenda is just excess. There needs to be a better way.”

The new rule now reads: “Future agenda items shall be initiated at the request of any one council member.” This means it does not require another council member to second the motion.

The council can change the rule anytime during a council meeting.

Hosting a meeting for the students of Kerman High School

Requested by Mayor Pacheco for a “mock trial” for Heads of Fresno City College with Kerman High School students.

Mayor Pacheco says this can be a wonderful opportunity for students who are interested in government and that it can “encourage and empower them to see the significance and the importance of what we do.”

Council Member Yep says there would be too many obstacles such as funding and disruption of staff work hours at the chambers. He also says there would not be enough room for the students and their parents.

The council motioned for Mayor Pacheco to discuss with her team for more information; the item will be brought up again at the next council meeting. 

Accessing Zoom for council meetings

City Clerk Marci Reyes said that Zoom will no longer be for the public. The council expressed that there may be a mistake and that Zoom should still be available for the public, but without participation.

Council Member Bill Nijjer suggests that there should be an alternative way to stream for the public if Zoom can no longer be an option.

More clarification will come from City Attorney Hilda Cantu-Montoy in the next meeting or the meeting after that.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:11 p.m.

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

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