March 15, 2023 — Madera City Council

Documented by Alejandra Obregon

At their March 15 meeting, the Madera City Council approved updates to speed limits on designated city streets and received an update on the progress to repair the Avenue 13 Sewer Trunk Main at Granada Drive.

Here’s what you need to know

  • In honor of Women’s History Month, the Madera City Council recognized six women as women of the year. They recognized Kathy Nishiminto, Mattie Mendez, Mona Davey, Lucy Salazar, Leonard Pollito, Matilda Maravila, and Alicia Brown. 
  • They also approved updates to speed limits on designated city streets in compliance with vehicle code regarding speed surveys. 
  • City staff said that the projected cost of the Emergency Repairs to the Avenue 13 Sewer Trunk Main at Granada Drive was set at $2.4 million. The project is still in progress, the completed activities so far include a new 42-inch sewer pipeline and the installation of the new 30-inch pipe under URPP (Urban Runoff Pollution Protection)

Follow-up questions

  • When will we know more information regarding cannabis?

Actions/Discussions/Public comment

Roll Call

  • Mayor Santos Garcia
  • Mayor Pro Tem Elsa Mejia, District 5
  • Council member Cece Gallegos, District 1
  • Council member Jose Rodriguez, District 2
  • Council member Steve Montes, District 3
  • Council member Anita Evans, District 4
  • Council member Artemio Villegas, District 6


  • Pastor Marc Unger, First Baptist Church of Madera


  • Approval of Agenda
    • (7-0)

Public Comment

  • William Mask, Madera community council, explained he asked the council to approve funding for an event for Madera Community College. He said the emphasis of importance really touched the public’s hearts because Madera showed up and showed out. 
  • A Madera resident shared his concern about the amount of trash in the neighborhood. He explained there’s no trash curbside pickup at the Villa Palimas. All other neighborhoods have their trash pickup and the community is dumping trash on the street.
    • The mayor asked for his contact information to address the concern.
    • Mattie Mendez recognized the city staff for their efforts to protect her clients and the public and keeping the roads clear. This has been the worst rain ever, and the staff helped Madera be safe, she said.
  • New Cal Fire Assistant Chief formally introduced himself to the council and the public. He said he has the same phone number as Chief Matt Watson. 
  • A member of the local Democratic Party said “it saddens me and I’m disappointed with the Madera district for not helping community college for $2,000. 

Written Communications

  • None


  • 1. City of Madera Women of the Year – a new yearly tradition introduced by Council member Cece Gallegos to recognize the achievements making a difference in Madera women
    • District 1  recognizes Kathy Nishiminto for women of the Year. Councilmember Cece Gallegos honored her achievements, including participating in volunteer events and being a helping hand for the community. She is a local businesswoman with Fast Way Chicken. She volunteers constantly, and is on the board of directors for Campfire. She is always encouraging young women and inspired to uplift youth. She is mentoring for a serving heart
      • Nishiminto said, “ I am proud of my roots, and those who helped me every day.” 
    • District 2 also recognized Mattie Mendez, who came from humble roots by picking fruit and now is the director of Community Action Partnership of Madera County. Council member Jose Rodriguez said she has a passion for helping the unhoused to the public health crisis affecting our state.
      • Mendez said it was an honor to receive the award. She said “Thank God for our community and I am humbled to receive this. I am grateful for the ability to serve and get it done in Madera County.”   
    • District 3 recognized Mona Davey, who they said is constantly volunteering without any public recognition. Council member Steve Montes said she deserves the recognition and has the highest professional integrity. Mona is the assistant vice president of a local Union Bank branch and serves on multiple boards such as Madera County Workforce and Downtown Madera.
      • Mona Davey thanks everyone that supported and pushed her to this point. 
    • District 4 recognized Lucy Salazar, saying “she’s been changing lives for our children and community.” Council member Anita Evans said Salazar is president of the Madera Unified School District Board of Trustees. Lucy is a small business owner and has been a member of Latinas Unidas De Madera. “She strives to improve our education and culture, … She is not afraid to advocate for education. She is dynamic.”
      • Salazar said, “ I am proud of being able to retain our cultural roots, and grow our students and an equitable education.”
  • District 5 recognized Leonard Pollito for her commitment to the Latino community. Mayor Pro Tem Elsa Mejia said, “When she was teaching a young group of children in our local library I remember they were learning about the value of having manners and the importance of preserving their native language.” She has been impressed with her drive to support the youth, and she empowers the people around her.
    • Pollito siad “Thank you for this reality and thank you for my children and my family for their support. We are always uplifting families…”
  • District 6 – recognized Matilda Maravila, a helping hand to the community. Council member Artemio Villegas recognized “Her kind heart and willingness outshine everything.”
    • Matilda Maravila said, “We have won and we have achieved many dreams and we hope to continue fighting.”
  • Mayor Santos Garcia recognized Alicia Brown, founder of the nonprofit Project Run Madera for working to help children who could not afford running equipment. He said she is a kind woman who cares for youth, and is humble and graceful and treats everyone with dignity and respect.
    • Brown said, “Thank you for this honor. Everything I do has always been about the kids and the youth.”

A. Workshops

  • None 

B. Consent Calendar

  • B-1: Minutes – Approve the City Council Minutes of Jan. 18, 2023 
  • B-2: Informational Report on Register of Audited Demands for Feb. 18, 2023 to March 3, 2023 
  • B-3: Informational Report on Personnel Activity
  • B-4: Volume License Agreement Renewal with Microsoft/CDWG for Microsoft Software 
  • B-5: Encroachment into a landscape and public utility easement for a single-family home at 3 Via Cerioni 
  • B-6: Procurement of a 26-foot transit bus for Madera Metro 
  • B-7: Letter of support for Senate Bill 37 (Caballero): Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities Housing Stability Act of 2023 
  • B-8: Declare a local state of emergency related to the closure of Madera Community Hospital
  • B-9 Extend Declaration proclaiming the existence of a local emergency – January 2023 Winter Storms
    • Approved by Council 
    • (7,0) 

C. Public Hearings

  • C-1 Updating Prima Facie Speed Limits on Designated City Streets in Compliance with Vehicle Code Regarding Speed Surveys on City Streets
    • This would allow the city to conduct a public hearing, waive the full reading, and introduce an ordinance amending Section 3-5h.08 of Chapter 5 of Title 3 of the Madera Municipal Code to update speed limits on city streets 
    • Assistant Engineer Jonathan Gramajo explained that this is one of two meetings to be held on speed limits. He said “local speed limits must be updated every five to seven years with an engineering and traffic survey. This consists of us going out with a radar and checking the speeds of vehicles. The speeds are set at 85th percentile speeds; these reflect the speeds of people who are most safe.” 
    • Falcon Drive from Yeager Drive to Aviation Drive, Segment approaches a curve with a design speed of 35 miles per hour
    • Avenue 15 to A Street speed limit will be decreased from 45 miles per hour to 35 because the street is near an elementary school. 
    • Johnation said, Aviation Drive from Condor Drive to Falcon Drive will be posted at 35 miles an hour.
      • Motion to approve unanimously 
      • (7,0)

D. Petitions, Bids, Resolutions, Ordinances, and Agreements

  • D-1: Rejection of Bids Received for the Invitation for Bids (IFB) 202122-06 (Sidewalk Repairs)
    • The grant would only be set for the repair of buckled and cracked sidewalks, and the needs of the city far exceed the amount of available funding. Staff will attempt to repair as much sidewalk without going over the projected funds.
    • Council member Montes asked, “The $500,000 can only be allocated to like material costs or is that something that maybe we can buy equipment to make it easier or more efficient so we can do projects like this easier in the futured? “
      • Motion to approve unanimously 
      • (7,0)
  • D-2: One-Year Contract Extension with Brandley Engineering, Inc. for Consulting Services related to the Airport and Approval of Adjusted and New Fee
    • Sergio Martinez, administrative analyst, said the contract extension includes adjustments to the per diem rates, a mileage rate set and employment. 
    • Council member Montes asked if the rate is based in Reedley
      Martinez replied that the rate adjustments are based in Oakhurst.
      • Motion to approve unanimously 
      • (7,0)
  • D-3: Amendment to Extend Consulting Services Agreement for Hearing Officer Services for David Austin
    • Arnoldo Rodriguez, city manager, urged the board to consider David Austin’s background. He said “Austin conducts the hearings, he gathers testimony and evidence from both city staff and the appellant which are typically property owners. For example if someone has an abandoned vehicle in a lot of code enforcement cases.”
      • Motion to approve unanimously 
      • (7,0)
  • D-4: Federal Transit Administration Grant Application for Transit Capital Assistance
  • Maricela Z asked the council to approve the submission of a Federal Transit Administration Section 5307 grant application in the amount of $1,222,588, and funds will be allocated for operations and to prevent maintenance costs.
    • Motion to approve unanimously 
    • (7,0)
  • D-5: Department of Housing and Community Development Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program Subordination Documents for Esperanza Village
    • Motion to approve 
    • (6,1)

E. Administrative Reports

  • E-1:  Lions Town & Country Park Update 2
    • Options in the pursuit of funding for the Lions Town & Country Park trail system conditions and rehabilitation plans 
    • City Parks and Community Services Director Joseph Hebert explained that the LTC trail projected cost is $772,820. This included such work as clearing and grubbing, subgrade preparation, installation of asphalt concrete, striping and earthwork  
    • Rodriguez said, “ It is a community park. People who use these parks deserve a nice park. The longer we delay, the possible out of sight it would be.” 
    • Gallegos offered to help contact the owner of an almond company. 
    • Rodriguez recommends that the council use the cannabis funds too. He said he understands the project is projected for 2024-2025 and urged the council to stress the funding
  • E-2: Emergency Repairs to Avenue 13 Sewer Trunk Main at Granada Drive – Update 4
    • Deputy City Engineer EIlen Bitter tells the council the completed activities includes a new 42-inch sewer pipeline, a new 30-inch pipe under URPP and they removed and replaced the 150-foot deteriorating pipe.” 
    • Anticipated project completion is the roadway restoration during the week of March 27.  
    • Project cost of $2.4 million
    •  Gallegos said he appreciates the updates of the projects  because these are the questions that are asked by the public.
    • Rodrigues asked if the soil impacted the conditions?  
    • Bitter answers, “There’s a minimum compaction percentage required over the trenches, and we are testing with the geotechnical firm. Relative compaction as we get higher up the trench below the road surface, that compaction requirement increases to 95%.” 
  • E-3: Informational Item on the Progress of the Madera Transit Plan – Fixed Route System Revision – revision of the City’s Transit (Madera Metro)
    • Priscilla gave a brief overview regarding the Madera Transit plan system adopted by council on Sept. 21, 2022. She said, “Finalizing changes fixed routes schedules feedback on the proposed routes have been provided (to) City Council as well as the … County Employees Transit Advisory board members (and)  the ADA Community Stakeholders/”
    • Eric Bird, Senior transportation planner with WSP,  presented the Madera Transit Plan Development Process and Revised Route Proposals based on public/council feedback.
    • City staff and WSP have developed two alternatives for a bus terminal in this location and one in the first row of parking west of Walmart. 
    • Bird explained: “They wanted expanded service to different parts of the city, and from what we gather or from what we heard for most folks, they were in agreement and they were fairly supportive of what we were proposing so that was good to hear, so coming to the new routes themselves the post routes of where we’re at right now.” 
    • Mejia said, “A lot of that portion is in my district, District 5, and I know that a lot of us rely on public transit. There are three schools there, and there’s the Rescue Mission and the shopping mall, where people wouldn’t really have access, and it would be more than a mile for people to walk, so I guess it is being considered, or is it going to be?” Bird clarified that the proposal is still a work in progress and he will consider the suggestion. 

F. Council member Reports/Announcements/Future Agenda Items

  • Rodriguez asked if they could request a report on the rental inspection ordinance. He said “We need to work together to find a common ground and understand the importance of Measure T to our community.”
  • Montes announced “CAPMC (Community Action Partnership of Madera County) is offering an income tax assistance program every Saturday from February 11th to April 15th …. It is a free service.” He shares that on April 4 everyone should wear teal in honor of sexual harassment awareness month, and also everyone should participate in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on April 14 at victim service at. 
  • Evans suggested Reedley send a letter to Gov. Newsom in regard to the package for the hospital. She said, “We desperately need some type of care here in the city.” She also requested an update on cannabis. 
  • Mayor Pro Tem, “We are planning a free health care services mobile clinic on March 26th, a big shout-out to the medical foundation located in Fresno at John W. Wells Youth Center.” There will be free vision, dental, acupuncture and medical services from 8 in the morning to 3 p.m. “Our situation with the hospital is not just Madera’s feeling but I think it’s a valleywide problem. It’s a problem for communities next to us. I know that they’re facing distress as we are.”
  • Stop the Hate workshop in Madera From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  at the Pan American Community Center.  
  • Villegas said he appreciates the work being done around the city during the storms. He thanks all the staff that have been helping during this time. 
  • Mayor said he is appreciative of the women in his life, especially his wife, Martha. 

G. Closed Session

  • G-1: Conference with Labor Negotiators – Pursuant to Government Code 54957.6
    • Agency Designated Representatives: Mayor Pro Tem Mejia and Councilmember Montes
    • Unrepresented Employee: City Manager


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