May 9, 2023 — Madera County Board of Supervisors

Documented by Josef Sibala

Here’s what you need to know 

  • During its meeting on May 9, 2023, the Madera County Board of Supervisors earmarked $300,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for a separate study to identify the health care service needs of the mountain communities and to determine sustainable methods of delivering those services in the future. 
  • County Administrative Officer Jay Varney said that Madera Community Hospital continues to go through bankruptcy. The licensing for the hospital is due for renewal on May 26, 2023. He stated the licensing renewal is important for the Madera Community Hospital to reopen as an “acute health care hospital.”
  • The board entered into an agreement with Force 10 Partners, LLC, for various health care consulting services. Since the contract is a fee-for-service type, there is no commitment to proceed at any point that there is no business case to be made. 
  • Andrea Uribe from Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability echoed residents in La Vina who said that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) should not be diverted for the hospital. She added that residents raised doubts that the ARPA fund allocation would reopen the hospital or the funds would return to address the needs of their community. 

Follow-up questions

  • Will a contract with Force 10 result in a feasible business case to reopen the hospital?
  • How will the ARPA allocation affect residents?
  • What will the outcome of the bankruptcy proceedings regarding Madera Community Hospital be?

The Scene

According to its website, the Madera County Board of Supervisors is the legislative and executive governing body of the Madera County government. Each of the five supervisorial districts of the county elects one supervisor.

Within limits prescribed by state law, the board enacts ordinances and rules, determines county policy, supervises the activities of county departments, adopts an annual budget and fixes salaries.

The board meets regularly on the first three Tuesdays of each month and occasionally on Mondays in the board chambers of the County Government Center in Madera. On Tuesday, May. 9, the meeting was held at 9 a.m. 

Madera County Board of Supervisors members present:

  • Chair David Rogers (District 2)
  • Chair Pro Tem Robert Poythress (District 3)
  • Jordan Wamhoff (District 1)
  • Leticia Gonzalez (District 4)

Madera County Board of Supervisors members not present:

  • Robert Macaulay (District 5)

Others Present:

  • Chief Clerk Karen Scrivner
  • County Counsel Regina Garza 
  • County Administrative Officer Jay Varney 
  • Jared Carter from the Public Works Department
  • Roman Noriega from the Human Resources Department
  • Treasurer/Tax Collector Tracy Kennedy
  • Andrea Uribe from Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
  • Chief of Development Services Matthew Treber
  • Deputy County Administrative Officer Joel Bugay 

Discussions/Actions

Treasurer/Tax Collector Tracy Kennedy said that for the last 10 days, there had been 411 walk-in customers, and the total number of constituents going to the counter for cash payments was 795.

The total dollar amount collected for the second installment was $103 million. Credit cards and e-checks are allowable.

The 14 or 15 checks of groundwater sustainability fee refunds with a total of $240,000 sent out to taxpayers, and taxpayers have yet to be cashed. 

The Auditor’s Office sent 4,400 reminder notices, representing $9 million in revenue. CalHFA is a grant program that pays taxpayers $20,000 in back taxes and assists them in paying property taxes. 

Starting on May 13 is the Annual Tax Defaulted Land Sale, accessible online. The sale started with 105 parcels, with approximately 18 left for auction. 

Jared Carter, director of the Public Works Department, announced that Annual Household Hazards Displacement is scheduled in the mountain area on June 24 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Yosemite High School campus. 

He said the solid waste program study is ongoing while encouraging people to go to Madera Solid Waste Study (madcosolidwastestudy.com) and complete the survey. He added that the repairs for Avenue 26 were completed a couple of weeks ago. 

The board (4-0) unanimously approved items A to V from the consent agenda:

A. 9546: The board approved the Receipt of Unanticipated Revenue No. 22-188 of $250 million derived from Pesticide Take Back – State Ag Pesticides to Professional and Specialized Services for a Pesticide Take Back event for the fiscal year 2022-2023. 

B. 9547: The board entered into an agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA No. 23-7306-0258-RA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services in the amount of $89,729.76 for administering an Integrated Wildlife Damage Management Program for the fiscal year 2023-2024. 

C. 9536: The board entered into an agreement with Montecatini Eating Disorder Treatment Center to not exceed $25,000 for the provision of eating disorder treatment services for a term commencing March 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023. 

D. 9541: The board agreed with the Community Action Partnership of Madera County to be at most $50,000 for housing and property management services for the fiscal year 2023-2024. 

E. 9542: The board agreed with Aurora Las Encinas, LLC in the amounts listed under compensation and costs for providing adult inpatient psychiatric treatment services for fiscal year 2023-2024. 

F. 9188: The board reaffirmed Resolution No. 2015-101, declaring a local emergency due to the tree mortality disaster in the county and throughout the state. 

G. 9549: The board adopted a resolution authorizing special assessment on real property under Madera County Code Chapter 8.01 entitled Administrative Citations and Penalties. 

H. 9532: The board adopted the Conflict of Interest Code for First 5 Madera County

I. 9537: Oakhurst Library Budget Adjustments. 

1. The board approved the Transfer of Appropriations No. 22-184 for $126,492 from Development Impact Fee-Library – Appropriation for Contingencies to Operating Transfers Out – Capital Project for the fiscal year 2022-2023.

2. The board approved the Receipt of Unanticipated Revenue No. 22- 184 for $126,492 derived from Oakhurst Library – Operating Transfers into Buildings and Improvements for the fiscal year 2022-2023. 

J. 9538: The board agreed with the Judicial Council of California to use their parking structure at 220/224 South G St. in Madera, California. 

K. 9540: The board approved the Transfer of Appropriations No. 22-187 for $57,000 transfer from Buildings Maintenance – Temporary Salaries and Permanent Salaries to MTCE-Buildings & Improvement and Maintenance-Building/Improvement-Jail for the fiscal year 2022-2023. 

L. 9554: The board approved the Transfer of Appropriations No. 22-189 for $200,000 transfer from Probation Administration – Permanent Salaries and SPT/Care of Persons to Professional and Specialized Services and Special Department Expense for the fiscal year 2022-2023. 

M. 9192: The board reaffirmed the declaration of a Local Health Emergency (Fork Fire) by the county health officer.

N. 9510: The board entered into an amendment to MCC No. 12198-22 with the California Department of Public Health (State Grant Agreement No. 22- 10174, A01) to increase the current $46,560 contract for a total of $1,008,445 to establish or expand upon existing Local Oral Health Programs for the fiscal years 2022-2027.

O. 9555: 2023 update to the County Pavement Management System. 

1. The board agreed with Nichols Consulting Engineers for $265,000 for professional services to complete the 2023 County Pavement Management System update. 

2. The board authorized the road commissioner or his designee to issue a notice to proceed under the contract’s provisions. 

3. The board authorized the auditor-controller to issue payments for contingencies up to 10% of the contract award per established county policy. 

4. The board authorized the road commissioner or his designee to solely issue and approve contract change orders by Public Contract Code to be within authorized contingencies. 

Poythress urged the Public Works Department to educate the public on what is done since people in the east of the county said that the money is spent in the western part and vice versa. 

Carter said their team is gathering data and developing ways to display information graphically.

Rogers suggested the department include “bullet points” and simple language for the public. 

P. 9193: The board reaffirmed Resolution No. 2015-087 proclaiming a local emergency created by the severe drought conditions in the county and throughout the state. 

Q. 9558: The board agreed with the state of California Department of Health Care Services (State Agreement No. 23- MCIPMADERA-20) for Medi-Cal Inmate program services

R. 9533: The board approved an agreement with First 5 Madera County for $108,000 to participate with the Department of Social Services in a collaborative effort to provide prevention family support and promote and reduce child maltreatment in children ages 0-5 for the fiscal years 2023-2025. 

S. 9527: The board adopted a resolution delegating investment authority to the office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector for the fiscal year 2023-2024. 

T. 9530: The board adopted a resolution updating and revising a policy regarding inter-fund borrowing transactions from the Madera County Treasury commingled investment pool superseding Board Resolution No. 2020-121. 

U. 9548: The board approved the application for Subsequent Local Area Designation and Local Board Recertification Program Year 2023-2025. 

V. 9550: Workforce Development Board Appointments 

1. The board appointed Brett Frazier to the Workforce Development Board for a three-year term to expire on May 9, 2026. 

2. The board appointed Aaron Chambers to the Workforce Development Board for a three-year term to expire on May 9, 2026.

Discussion items consist of the following:

6.a. 9595: The board recognized MadTown Robotics Team 1323 – World Champions

6.b. 9598: Hospital Closure Update & Related Actions. 

1. Staff provided an update on Madera Community Hospital (MCH) closure and bankruptcy proceedings. 

Varney said that Madera Community Hospital continues to go through bankruptcy.

The debtor in possession of the hospital is caught between having to continue to determine if there is a feasible partner available to restore the facility to some level of health care service and having to work with the creditor committee in the bankruptcy court to satisfy any debts.

The county has engaged in fact-finding and previously worked with Force 10 through a purchasing agent agreement and with the bankruptcy counsel to communicate within the bankruptcy court setting.

The licensing for the hospital is due for renewal on May 26, 2023. The license is now suspended. There are several scenarios under which keeping the license in suspense or renewing it is more positive than letting it go, he added. He also said the county contacted elected officials who had spoken with Sacramento officials about funding the licensing for May 26. 

If funding is unsuccessful, the staff will return to the board on May 16, 2023, with an item to set aside for funds for the licensing renewal. He said the renewal is important for the Madera Community Hospital to reopen as an “acute health care hospital.”

2. The board (4-0) entered into an agreement with Force 10 Partners, LLC for various health care consulting services.

Deputy County Administrative Office Joel Bugay stated that the three major deliverables under the amendment to the contract are as follows:

  • Evaluation of the asset in running business case scenarios for the feasibility of an entity acquiring the asset and converting it to a hospital or health care facility. Force 10 estimates that deliverable deposits will be $55,000 to $67,000
  • Various hospital reopening scenarios, such as break-even analyses or scenarios on the various service lines. The estimated cost is $265,000 to $275,000.
  • Identifying the capital money needed to reopen a hospital, assuming the hospital and operator are identified. The cost is from $86,000 to $97,000.

He added that the range is estimated to be between $400,000 to $440,000 for all three deliverables.

Since the contract is fee for service, there is no commitment to proceed if at any point there is no business case to be made. Bugay added that this would give the board flexibility. 

Varney mentioned that legislation is sitting on the governor’s desk that would create a revolving fund for distressed hospitals. The county seeks a data packet that the Madera Community Hospital needs to provide to determine costs and background.

3. The board (4-0) earmarked $300,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for a separate study to identify the health care service needs of the mountain communities and to determine sustainable methods of delivering those services in the future. 

Andrea Uribe from Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability echoed residents in La Vina who said that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) should not be diverted for the hospital.

According to her, La Vina residents uphold the needs of their local and immediate family and community. She added that residents raised doubts that the ARPA fund allocation would reopen the hospital or the funds would return to address the needs of their community. 

Gonzales and Wamhoff said that obtaining the data is important.

6.c. 9529: The board (4-0) approved Taking Action: Steps to Prevent & Reduce Homelessness in Madera County.  (reported by Deputy County Administrative Officer Joel Bugay)

On May 2, 2023, Madera County staff, Homebase and Steering Committee members presented the Taking Action: Steps to Prevent & Reduce Homelessness in Madera County Strategic Plan. 

The strategic plan brought together community leaders, advocates, community organization and county staff to create a plan that addresses the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. The purpose of developing the plan is to identify key changes needed to move the needle on homelessness in Madera County and build a road map for implementing those changes. 

The plan also includes recommendations to improve coordination in the county and with the efforts of the broader Fresno Madera Continuum of Care (FMCoC). 

A gaps analysis was developed in addition to the strategic plan. Both documents were created based on feedback gathered from various Madera County residents. 

A steering committee composed of local partners from the homeless care system was established. Interviews were conducted, in addition to surveys and focus groups of key partners, including people with lived experience of homelessness. 

6.d. 9553: The board (4-0) sought consultant services to prepare a comprehensive fee study. (reported by C)

The last fee update, which analyzed fees and updated wage calculations to the current wage rates, was in 2017. 

The 2017 fee update included an updated structure to include fee adjustments throughout the Community and Economic Development Department and Public Works Department, primarily based on the increase in permit activity. 

In 2019, the board approved a Consumer Price Index (CPI) automatic adjuster updated yearly. 

The need for a fee update has become apparent within Development Services as a result of increased project review and implementation demand. 

Costs associated with implementing legislation requiring significant additional staff time, publication costs and costs of hiring and retaining consultants have all increased over the past few years, necessitating a need to reevaluate the current fee structure and update it as needed.

Chief of Development Services Matthew Treber said the county is considering collecting parcel map impact fee and subdivision fees. 

6.e. 9521: In the second reading, the board (4-0) adopted an ordinance amending Section 3.47.010 of Title 3 of the Madera County Code (Revenue and Finance) about low-value property assessments. 

The language was amended to the Ordinance of Section 3.47.010 of the Madera County Code regarding low-value property Assessments to accomplish the following:

  • Exempting from assessment real and personal property with a full value of $10,000 or less. 
  • The full value being exempted is $5,000 or less.

This exemption is necessary for the county to avoid enrolling properties and collecting taxes that would generate a lower amount of taxes collected than the cost of generating the tax bills.

6.f. 9545: The board (6-0) amended Section 10.36.010 of Chapter 10.36 of the Madera County Code by adding Subsections Q and R related to parking restrictions on alleys and along the east side of Canal Street within the East Side Acres Community in Madera County. (reported by Treber)

Under California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22507, the local authority, by ordinance or resolution, may prohibit or restrict vehicles’ stopping, parking or standing on certain streets or highways, or portions thereof, during all or certain hours of the day.  

The ordinance or resolution does not apply until signs or markings giving notice have been placed. 

Most of the streets and alleys within the East Side Acres Community were dedicated to and accepted by the county in 1946 for public use as a part of the East Side Acres Subdivision development. 

Some residents of the East Side Acres community have expressed ongoing concern with large semi-trucks with trailers parked along the east side of Canal Street, south of Avenue 7½, for long periods during the day and, in some cases, overnight. 

Additionally, tracked mud onto nearby public roads when the dirt shoulder is saturated and muddy, and unpleasant fumes and loud noise generated from parked and idling trucks is a nuisance to nearby residential dwellings. 

In addition to the street frontage, the residents can access their backyard through a 20-foot-wide alley parallel to the main streets between their rear property lines. 

There are also overhead power lines installed throughout these alleys. 

The alleys are now becoming hot spots for people to park their vehicles, blocking the alleys, loitering and driving fast through them rather than using the streets, Treber said. 

The residents of East Side Acres have asked for parking restrictions in these alleys and along the east side of Canal Street. 

Unless the alleys are specifically designated as a parking zone, or with the exception to the conditions as described under CVC Section 21102.1 allowing for loading or unloading of persons or materials, no vehicle shall be stopped, parked or left standing in any alleys in the Eastside Acres Community at any time. 

Under CVC Section 22507, upon approval of this ordinance amendment, the deputy public works director is authorized to erect and install signs within the area. The parking restrictions shall become effective and enforceable 30 days from approval. 

Varney said staff would study how SB 525 will affect the county economically. 

Senate Bill 525 would allow all new health care employees to receive a minimum wage of $25 per hour. 

Closed sessions are as follows:

2.a. 9559: Request for a closed session: 

Government Code Section 54957.6 

Conference with labor negotiators 

Agency designated representatives: Roman Noriega, human resources director; Bugay and Susan Carter, human resources manager of the employee organization: all units.

Unrepresented employees: all classifications (excluding elected officials) 

2.b. 9609: Request for a closed session: 

Government Code Section 54956.9 (d)(1) 

Conference with legal counsel – existing litigation 

Name of Case: In re: Madera Community Hospital, Debtor in Possession. (United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of California, Fresno Division; 

Case Number 23-10457-A-11) 

2.c. 9610: Request for a closed session: 

Government Code Section 54956.9 

Conference with legal counsel – anticipated litigation 

Initiation of Litigation Under Paragraph (4) of Subdivision (d) of Section 54956.9 (Deciding Whether to Initiate Litigation) One Case

The meeting lasted until 2 p.m. The next board meeting will be on Tuesday, May 16 at 9 a.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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