May 23, 2023 — Lindsay City Council

Documented by Esteban Solis Loya

Here’s what you need to know

  • Mayor Hipolito Angel Cerros issued a proclamation in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month and said they will soon have a pride flag raising ceremony at City Hall.
  • The Lindsay Police Department asked the City Council for $150,000 to fund the purchase of 13 new body cameras and 13 new tasers. The City Council voted to table a vote until the June 13 council meeting after receiving a general fund update from City Manager Joe Tanner.
  • Unanimous approval of a watering schedule phase change to two days a week and two studies: the Well 11 Feasibility Study and the Water Feasibility Study to address water supply, quality, storage and demand.

The Scene

The Lindsay City Council meeting was held on May 23, 2023. The meeting began at 6 p.m. and was adjourned at 8:32 p.m. The meeting was made available to the public to live stream and to provide public comments via Zoom

Follow-up questions

  • What are the timelines for completing the Well 11 and water feasibility studies?
  • When did the city receive the $2 million grant that went to police/fire departments? How much of the funds are left, and what have the funds been used for so far?

Names of Officials and Attendance

  • Mayor Hipolito Angel Cerros: Present
  • Mayor Pro Tem Yolanda Flores: Present
  • Council Member Ramiro Serna: Present
  • Council Member Ramona Caudillo: Present
  • Council Member Rosaena Sanchez: Present
  • City Manager Joe Tanner: Present
  • Director of Public Safety Rick Carillo: Present
  • City Clerk Francesca Quintana: Present
  • City Attorney Megan Dodd: Present
  • City Services Director Neyba Amezcua: Present

Cerros opened the meeting and led the council, city staff, and members of the public in the Pledge of Allegiance. Cerros motioned to approve the agenda, which was seconded by Caudillo. The agenda was unanimously approved 5-0.

Public Comments

  • Fresnoland Documenter Esteban Solis Loya introduced himself to the council and explained documentation goals on behalf of Fresnoland.
  • Southern California Edison representative Brian Filburn provided an update about their 2023 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
  • There were no public comments via Zoom.


  • Council Report
    • Sanchez attended the City Sign Ordinance Ad Hoc Committee meeting and reported that it was productive. She offered congratulations to Lindsay Police Officer Valdovinos’ victory at Bakersfield’s Battle of the Badges.
  • Caudillo reported that last Sunday’s barbecue was successful and sold out. 
  • Cerros visited Roosevelt Elementary School, where students are learning about local government. The students seemed excited about class content, he said. He also reported that GOGov, a city CRM and mobile app creator, demonstrated their app for the council to consider purchasing and adopting for the city. This app would work similarly to the existing FresGo app for the city of Fresno (Google Play & Apple Store). Cerros joined Sanchez at the City Sign Ordinance Ad Hoc Committee, where they reviewed and assessed the current city’s business sign ordinance and its impact on the community. The next meeting will take place on July 21, and will focus on examining murals in downtown Lindsay and along Hermosa Street. Mayor Cerros reminded the council that the Lindsay Beer Festival will take place on June 3, 2023, at the Olive Bowl Park. Tickets may be purchased at the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce, across the street from City Hall. Mayor Cerros commended the president of the Chamber of Commerce for sending out a newsletter informing residents about city events.
  • Flores attended an unspecified meeting but had nothing to report back. She remarked that it’s really nice to see the public present at today’s council meeting because it shows a commitment to Lindsay.
  • Serna explained that the Wellness Center is hosting several spring and summer events. She thanked the Lindsay Unified School Civic Club members for attending today’s meeting. He then reminded those present that May is Mental Health Awareness Month and remarked on the powerful stories shared during a presentation at Lincoln Elementary School.
  • City Manager Report
    • Tanner had a meeting with project managers from Caltrans regarding their Highway 65 realignment project.
      • For the first phase of the project, a roundabout will be designed and built at Highway 65 and W Tulare Road. Caltrans has concept plans, but they still need to complete design work. The project is funded and design work will take about 2 years to complete before Caltrans can break ground.
      • Phase 2 will consist of the construction of a roundabout at Highway 198 and N Spruce Avenue.
      • Phase 3, which is planned to begin in 2034, will include a full highway realignment for Highway 65.
    • Tanner had another meeting with a separate Caltrans group regarding the Olive/Kaku Park grant. They were open to changes needed to scale-back a previous version of the park renovation project. He had a meeting with the plan architect today and gave more direction about revised cost-saving measures for the park.
    • The city manager also attended the Tulare County Regional Transit Agency meeting; Porterville has given notice to pull out of the transit agency but submitted a request to extend the deadline to leave from July 1 to December. The request hasn’t yet been acted on by the agency. Porterville officials have stated publicly that they’re worried about the finances of the agency. He added that they don’t want to pull out, but they want to ensure finances are in order. Therefore, there is a chance Porterville might stay after all.
    • The city had a successful vaccination, licensing and microchipping event for pets. It was a complete sellout.
    • The Sunset Memorial Day event will take place at the Lindsay-Strathmore Cemetery on Memorial Day at 6 p.m.. A banner ceremony will take place Tuesday evening at 6 o’clock.
    • 175 notices have gone out to property owners for weed abatement.
    • Fourth of July fireworks booth applications are now open.
    • Fire department volunteers will clean up graffiti in the city the second week of June.
    • A notification will be sent to residents at the end of June regarding the quality and safety of water after heavy rains and runoff affecting the local water supply.
    • The city applied for a $3 million Clean California grant to rehabilitate Harvard Park.
  • Recognition Items
    • Cerros issued a proclamation for LGBTQ Pride Month in June for the city of Lindsay. Lindsay Unified School District LGBTQ Club officers were present, and Cerros will soon have a pride flag-raising ceremony at city hall.
    • Lindsay Police Officer Adrianna Nave was recognized for winning the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) Award after being recommended by Amalia Lopez from J.J. Cairns Continuation High School for her exceptional use of social media to reach Lindsay students, Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Carillo presented the award.
      • *In the Lindsay Unified School District, students are referred to as ‘learners,’ ” he said. 
      • Officer Nave is in training to develop a peer support team for the city to work with those dealing with traumatic events.
  • Presentation Items
    • Lopez, principal of alternative education, made a presentation about the district’s Alternative Education Internship Program. She is running three alternative education schools: John J. Cairns Continuation Community, Loma Vista Charter School, and Lindsay Adult School
    • This alternative education program is recognized as a model continuation school program; this designation is issued to less than 50 out of 400-plus continuation schools in the state. Jackie Escobar, work-based learning coordinator, goes from city business to business to seek internships. Learners in this program rank highest in self-reports of safety. According to statistics from one month ago, 34% of alternative education learners have been placed in internships in 2023. Ms. Lopez asked the City Council for help in getting access to more internships in health care, automotive and other areas.
      • Caudillo asked if welding internships would be possible for “learners.” Lopez explained that welding is only open to those who are 18 or older.
    • da Silva reported on spring and summer 2023 activities. All activities, dates, prices and details can be found on the Wellness Center website.
  • Consent Calendar
    • Item 10.9 was pulled for discussion by Cerros
    • Carillo explained that Lindsay Police Department Tasers were received and began to be used around 2003. These models are known as “X2,” but the manufacturer now sells models known as “X10.” Liability-wise, Tasers help as a deterrent to avoid officer injuries, he said. There are currently three officers out and not working right now. Tasers are expected to last five years, and their outdated equipment does not provide a $1 million liability insurance. About six months ago, Lindsay police began using body cameras with a battery life of two to three hours. His concern is that the public will think officers are corrupt because batteries can die when incidents occur and there would not be a record. He wouldn’t hand over the equipment to another agency because they’re outdated, he said. Tasers and body cameras are a need, and the Lindsay department is the only agency in Tulare County without Axon Enterprise, Inc. body cameras. 
    • He is asking for $150,000 from the general fund to purchase body cameras and new Tasers. He further explained that, if the council doesn’t decide to purchase body cameras, the cost to just cover Tasers is $55,000. Body cameras use an old software, whereas new cameras automatically upload footage files when docked for the district attorney’s office to have access to immediately.
      • Serna asked how many Tasers it would take to fill the staff’s needs. Carillo clarified that 13 body cameras and 13 Tasers will be needed to cover all staff except for reserve officers. Serna and Caudillo asked how many officers are on staff. Carillo said five officers who carry body cameras are on duty for the day shift and six officers are on duty for the weekend shift.
      • Flores’ concern is that the council doesn’t yet know what the city budget is, so they will need an update before making an informed decision. Tanner told the council that he is working on an update regarding the city budget and general fund for the June 13 council meeting. He will most likely put forward a “status quo budget” without many changes, and he is not expecting many changes to next year’s budget. There are no expected budget cut proposals either. He added that, If an incident occurs between a resident and a police officer, the city’s insurance should cover the incident except for the deductible. Having said that, he said he believes body cameras are worth the investment. If someone is shot with Tasers that are out of compliance, there could be liability issues, he added.
      • Cerros remarked that he is willing to meet Carillo halfway with the purchase of six of the stun guns. Carillo said the vendor will only sell a package deal of Tasers and body cameras. Flores asked the council to push any decisions until the June 13 council meeting. Caudillo asked if there is an itemized transaction of grants going to Lindsay police. Tanner explained that there are funds from a $2 million grant secured by Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Merced, that were made available for police and fire departments. The nuance is that funds must go to fire resistance and training, and there are only six officers who are fire-trained. He is comfortable funding the half of police officers who are fire-trained.
      • Cerros explained that the council believes functioning and compliant equipment is necessary, and asked if legal counsel could look into this further.
      • Caudillo asked if the funds from the $2 million grant could be used to cover the purchase of Tasers and body cameras. If so, the council shouldn’t need to use the general fund.
      • Sanchez asked that, because there are two police officers who have Tasers at the schools, is the district able to partially or fully fund this purchase? Cerros added that a ball will soon be held to raise money for the Lindsay Police Department Association. Caudillo clarified that the money raised from the ball goes to the fire and police association and they decide what the money goes to. Serna would like to wait until receiving a budget report at the next council meeting. Sanchez remarked that the general fund doesn’t specify how or what departments should be funded and she’d like to see new Tasers and body cameras be purchased every five years to stay in compliance.
      • Serna asked if the vendor requires 13 Tasers and body cameras to be purchased in a package deal or if they sell them separately. Carillo explained that tasers can be bought alone for a total of $55,000.
      • Cerros said he would like to table this item for the future until the next budget update and wants to reiterate that the council supports the department. Carillo remarked that his department has been waiting and equipment breaks down and he wonders how long they need to wait because officers are dealing with liability issues. He understands it’s a budgetary issue and appreciates the council’s support.
      • A unanimous motion was passed 5-0 to table the item for the future.
  • Action Items
    • Da Silva presented his newsletter project. The intent is to inform the community about citywide events, news, and relevant topics.
      • The format will be in English and Spanish, in color, and on 8.5-inch by 11-inch glossy paper. The newsletter will be four to eight long pages and folded in half when mailed.
      • Content will include City Council news, a “Mayor’s Corner” section, city services, recreation, finance and other news, and a QR code for the city website and social media platforms.
      • The quarterly cost is $3,600 for four pages to $5,000 max for eight pages. The annual cost would be $14,400 to $20,000 depending on changes made by the council.
      • His recommendation is to approve an annual expense in the amount of $20,000
        • Tanner explained that, when surveyed about how they’d like to be notified about city news and events, a popular response from Lindsay residents was to receive a newsletter. 
        • Caudillo said that, because they don’t have budget information, the council should table all expenses. 
        • Cerros loved the idea and was ready to vote. He asked if businesses who want to advertise with their logo would be able to pay to mitigate the cost. 
        • Tanner said that the council may decide, but his preference is not to allow them to advertise because of more controversial types of businesses like marijuana dispensaries that might be interested, and the message the city sends to the community.
        • Sanchez liked the idea and would like to try it out to see how it goes during the spring and summer. 
        • Cerros and Tanner asked if there could be a summer and fall trial period. 
        • da Silva said that a discount is available with an annual contract approved by July 1, 2023. 
        • Sanchez asked if they could wait until the fall because July 1 is in the middle of the busy season. She proposed approving the newsletter on a trial run for one quarter beginning in the fall.
        • Serna mentioned that the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce has produced newsletters and encouraged collaboration with them.
        • Sanchez made a motion to approve the newsletter on a trial run for one quarter beginning in the fall, with a second from Cerros. The council approved the motion 4-1 with Caudillo abstaining.
    • Amezcua first presented a residential watering schedule phase change, then two studies for approval to the council regarding water conservation measures.
      • When the drought started in 2014, the state mandated that every government agency adopt plans to ensure proper water management. The council approved one-day watering and new citations for enforcement. Because the state received a high amount of rain this year, the city now has 100% water allocation. She recommended moving to a two-day watering schedule.
        • Cerros made a motion to approve the proposal and was seconded by Flores. The council voted 5-0 in favor.
      • Well 11 Feasibility Study
        • Recommended that the council approve the Well 11 Feasibility Study. Building evaporation ponds would provide annual savings of $350,000.
        • Cerros moved to approve and was seconded by Sanchez. The council voted 5-0 to approve.
      • Water Feasibility Study
        • This study was made to identify water supply shortages and explore alternatives. It included historical data regarding how residents use water, water infrastructure and demand projections from 2040-2060
        • The staff recommended approval of the study, its findings and recommendations
        • Cerros moved to approve the Water Feasibility Study, and was seconded by Flores. The council voted 5-0 in favor.
    • City Manager Joe Tanner
      • Staff recommended the creation of an ad-hoc committee of six  members to address the city’s water situation. 
      • Sanchez and Flores expressed interest, so the council appointed both to sit on the committee on behalf of the City Council.
  • Public Hearings
    • Public Safety Lt. Nicholas Nave is requesting changes to the municipal code to provide military equipment for police officers. Assembly Bill 481 designated some items as military equipment, including small items like patrol rifles, unmanned aerial systems (drones), pepperball launchers and 37mm munitions launchers. To stay in compliance with the law, patrol rifles, the Lindsay Police Department drone and pepperball launchers were taken off streets until they were in compliance. Nave asked the council to  approve an ordinance to adopt a policy to use that equipment. The process would include coming to the council on an annual basis with updates and allowing members of the public to comment on the use of the equipment.
    • Cerros asked for clarification about when the city acquired a drone. Carillo said that it was purchased after the recent flooding disaster with FEMA funds.
    • Flores asked if rifles and pepperball launchers are needed. Nave responded that, if police need to engage from a distance, rifles are best used in those situations. Pepperball launchers use the same ingredient as pepper spray and have a specific use when ensuring the safety of officers and individuals with mental health issues.
    • Flores asked about the restrictions on drones as far as safety goes, and Nave responded that there are significant restrictions. Drones are usually used in orange groves because they retain a lot of heat or are used to locate missing persons. 
    • Caudillo made a motion to approve, with a second from Sanchez. The council approved the request, with four votes in favor and one abstention by Cerros with no further explanation or discussion.
  • Request for Future Items
    • Flores requested a financial update for the general fund.
    • Caudillo asked for an itemized breakdown of funds and grants received.
      • The council unanimously approved the requests with a 5-0 vote.
    • Caudillo asked who is on the committee for veterans banners and if the rules changed with the council not being notified? She was under the impression that members should be within city limits and wants to put her brother and dad on the committee. Carillo said he reached out to the council several times with minimal feedback, and Serna stated that he offered to help in the past with no response. Carillo responded that he doesn’t remember offers to help, but opportunities will open up.

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

Support our nonprofit journalism.


Your contribution is appreciated.

The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...