Feb. 7, 2023 — Madera County Board of Supervisors
Documented by Hugo Galindo
Here’s what you need to know
- The Feb. 7 meeting of the Madera County Board of Supervisors was marked by a flood of comments from the public with concerns about the supervisor’s increased pay rate and perceived misuse of public funds. highlighted cause for celebration and caution in the community. “This is your cross to bear,” said Resident Bruce Gray. “How would you feel if you were a citizen and the board raised their salary 20-30k? We cannot raise our salary, we get a 1 or 2% raise.”
- The board also voted to allocate emergency funds to repair the county’s roads following January’s atmospheric rivers.
- What will result from the petitions calling for a repeal of the supervisor pay raise?
- Emergency funds to repair the roads mean Madera County won’t have to wait for CalOES or FEMA approval, but will enough funding be secured to take the county through the approval process?
1. Public Session Called to Order at 10 AM
- District 1: Jordan Wamhoff
- District 2: David Rogers (present for second half of meeting
- District 3: Robert L. Poythress
- District 4: Leticia Gonzalez
- District 5: Robert Macauley
2. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
3.. Public Comment:
Per the rules of the Board of Supervisors meetings:
“The first 15 minutes of each regular session are set aside for members of the public to address the Board on any matter under the jurisdiction of the Board, but not appearing on the agenda. The Board will not take action on any items presented under public comment. Speakers are limited to 3 minutes.”
- Concerned citizen speaks on Tom Wheeler’s behavior, including his comments made regarding people’s homes burning down and proclaiming “Hallelujah”. They then propose hiring more firefighters, and urge the board to reclaim their dignity by condemning Wheeler’s attitude.
- Resident April Hopps petitions Madera County BOS to authorize the complete removal of wind machines. Hopps plays a presentation that documents:
- sleep deprivation caused by the passive noise of wind machines
- the inability to enjoy time outside as the noise level reaches 75 dBa by her own measurement
- Another resident, Bruce Gray, spoke to the lack of documentation for the $20,000 to $30,000 raise approved in December. “This is your cross to bear”. Gray said that there is no floating money in Madera to support the raise, “How would you feel if you were a citizen and the board raised their salary 20-30K? We cannot raise our salary, we get a 1 or 2% raise.” He proposes a repeal of the ordinance, or a public justification for the necessity of a pay raise.
- Another unnamed citizen suggests deferring the supervisor’s pay raise to fund firefighters, social workers, and demands to know where the money is coming from. “Something doesn’t add up here.”
- John Pierre wants the board to address supervisor salary raise plainly, and a complete repeal of Ordinance 701. He then reads a quote by Benjamin Franklin, “… For in paying the civil service, our government would not be made of ‘the wise and the moderate … the men fittest for the trust’ but instead by ‘the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions … in their selfish pursuits.'”.
- Gilbert Felix, a citizen of Fresno County, emphasizes the partnership of Fresno County and Madera County.
- Madera County resident Ron Montoya says the BOS is corrupt for enriching themselves using public funds. “Not very Christian”. Demands for the repeal of Ordinance 701, which he said raised supervisor’s salaries two weeks before 70 Madera workers lost their jobs around last Christmastime. Montoya urges Madera County to form recall petitions.
- Hayley White, representing the nonprofit social justice organization United Way, spoke openly regarding the work that United Way does to address poverty, inequality, housing/financial instability, and continues to work to better their community.
- Lynn Gray, spoke on the pay raise supervisors were granted before last Christmas. “That is certainly a nice Christmas gift you’ve given yourself,”, “I wish I had the power or authority to grant myself a 31% pay raise.”
- Brandon Robeshad: 501c CEO, and US Veteran speaks on putting on a brave face to submit a public comment regarding the BOS pay raise. “I have the personal courage to tell you that it doesn’t look good.”
- Tony Ward, who said he holds a Master’s degree in management and worked with Rockwell Aerospace, asks “What did we really accomplish asking for a 30% raise?”
- Corey Valdez highlights that Poythress and Gonzalez voted against Ordinance 701. Valdez voices disapproval that Rogers wasn’t in attendance. “Something is definitely wrong in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood…We lost our hospital.”
- Robert Yovino presents us with the words of Tom Wheeler regarding the pay raise, “So that we can keep getting quality people, we gotta be comparable to professions in our area”; argues that pay parity between civil servants and traditional laborers is irrelevant.
- Dan Metz led the audience in taking a moment of silence for the tragedy in Turkey & Syria. Dan thanks Gonzalez, Poythress, Macauley, and Wamhoff who are all opposed to the raise. Dan also notes that Chairman Rogers denied an item on the agenda to repeal ordinance.
- Supervisor Gonzalez cuts in to add, “I have no intention of taking the increase.”
- Gabriela Banks, who has worked as a public servant outside of Madera, says they heard about the 30% raise at the grocery store, and is appalled.
4. Consent Calendar:
- Supervisor Macauley spoke briefly to recognize the importance of working closer with Fresno County during a public health emergency, and to look to Mariposa County as the level they should be at for emergency preparedness.
- The board then voted unanimously to approve the consent calendar.
- After this point, Board Chair David Rogers joins the meeting.
5. Public Hearing
6. Discussion Items
6A: 9230: BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DEPARTMENT
What: Presentation of a Proclamation recognizing February 2023 as Black History Month.
- Yvonne, the Vice President of the Madera branch of the NAACP, thanks members of the board for celebrating Black History Month, with special thanks to Leticia Gonzalez for submitting it as a proclamation every year.
- Prince Marshall, from Madera Unified, stresses the core values of Madera Unified in line with Black History Month.
- At this point, David Rogers talks about his “favorite Black Americans”: Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and makes the distinction that the very top spots are held by Martin Luther King Jr., and Reggie Young. Young is one of Mr. Rogers’ childhood friends who now works as a schoolteacher. Rogers reminisces about his childhood with Young and their recent reconnection on Facebook. “Top of my list would be Reggie Young.”
- The board votes to approve the item 5-0; recognizing Black History Month for Madera County.
6.b. 9223: PROBATION DEPARTMENT
What: Presentation of a proclamation in honor of the retirement of Deputy Chief Probation Officer Paul DeOrian.
- 6B: A proclamation recognizing 32 years of distinguished service from Deputy Paul DeOrian.
- DeOrian gives a speech about his service, his career, and friends he’s made along the way. He keeps it brief so as not to miss his tee time.
- The board voted to pass the item unanimously; honoring the retired Deputy DeOrian.
6.c. 9209: HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT **
What: Discussion and consideration to ratify the Sideletters of Agreement with the Correctional Officer and Deputy Probation Officer units regarding the inclusion of Canine Handler Assignment Pay in their respective Memorandum of Understanding.
6.d. 9215: HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT **
What: Assistant CAO salary.
- Discussion and consideration to increase the salary for Assistant County Administrative Officer from Range 401 on the Unrepresented Salary Chart, $10,548.48 – $12,821.75 (per month); $126,581.78 – $153,860.95 (per year) to Range 402 on the Unrepresented Salary Chart, $10,601.22 $12,885.85 (per month); $127,214.68 – $154,630.25 (per year).
- Discussion and consideration to adopt a Resolution amending the Salary and Fringe Benefit Schedules to amend the Salary Range for Assistant County Administrative Officer.
- Because the items are so similar in nature, the board heard and discussed them in tandem.
- Susan Carter from HR submits an item to ratify an additional 7% of assignment pay for corrections/probation officers in their K9 program, which currently are paid the same as sworn officers.
- The board voted unanimously to approve the item.
6.e. 9155: PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT/ADMINISTRATION SERVICES DIVISION
What: Second Reading to consider adoption of an Ordinance levying the special taxes within CFD 2022-1 (Gunner Ranch Public Services) Improvement Area No. 1 and No. 2.
- To little contention or discussion, the board voted to pass the item 5-0.
6.f. 9156: PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT/ADMINISTRATION SERVICES DIVISION
What: Second Reading to consider adoption of an Ordinance levying the special taxes within CFD 2022-2 (Gunner Ranch Public Facilities One-Time Special Taxes) Improvement Area 1 and 2.
- The board voted to approve the item which passed 5-0.
6.g. 9253: PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT/ENGINEERING SERVICES DIVISION
What: Discussion and direction on repairing County Road network damages resulting from the January 2023 Winter Storms.
- Jared Carter with the Madera County Public Works Department briefly presented information for county road repairs from January winter storms
- The board, after seeing the need for these repairs, voted with little contention to confirm these improvements. Item approved 5-0.
7. PUBLIC HEARINGS:
7.a. 9234: COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT/PLANNING DIVISION
What: Consideration to adopt a resolution rescinding approval of Zoning Permit (ZP #2021-012) and Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND #2022-04) to Cure and Correct violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Gov. Code § 54950 et seq.) at the Dec. 13, 2022 Board of Supervisors meeting.
- The board voted to adopt resolution rescinding approval zoning permit #2021-012 to cure and correct violation of the Brown Act.
8. PENDING LEGISLATION – Discuss, Support or Oppose Legislation Presented by Supervisors and/or Staff
- The Board of Supervisors adjourned at approximately 12:10 p.m. The board will reconvene on Feb. 28, 2023 for a special meeting. For details on location, times, and future agenda, see the Madera County Board of Supervisors website.
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