At their Tuesday meeting, the Kings County Board of Supervisors approved the acceptance of a $60,000 donation from the James G. Boswell Foundation to the Kings County Sheriff's Office. Source: County of Kings

Documented by Josef Sibala

What happened: At their Tuesday meeting, the Kings County Supervisors quietly approved the acceptance of a $60,000 donation from the James G. Boswell Foundation to the Kings County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the agenda packet, $10,000 of the donation from the ag magnate’s foundation is intended to be used for the Rural Crime Unit of the Sheriff’s Office, while the remaining $50,000 was donated as recognition of “Sheriff Robinson’s outstanding leadership during the recent floods and is intended to be used at the discretion of the Sheriff.”

The item was approved without any discussion along with 10 others on the consent agenda.

More light industrial: In response to a private industry request to operate a commercial agricultural wood chip-drying and storage facility, the supervisors unanimously approved a development code change that will allow industrial ag production operations in areas zoned for rural commercial uses.

Noelle Tomlinson with the Community Development Agency presented the item and said that previously that type of facility was restricted to the light industrial zone district, but the change will allow for all permitted uses in the light industrial zone in areas zoned as rural commercial with a site plan review.

Other uses now permitted include curing, processing, packaging and shipping of agricultural products produced on premises.

A public hearing was also held and the only comment made was by Christine Chavez representing the Wonderful Group, who spoke in support of the change.

“I think that this ordinance change will help with sustainable ag production here in Kings County,” she said.

Simultaneous translation request: For the second week in a row, Armona resident Araceli Barrios asked the supervisors for simultaneous translation of their meetings in Spanish to create an inclusive environment where all members of the community can actively participate and engage in the democratic process.

In Spanish, she said that despite living in Kings County for 28 years, it was only her second time attending a board meeting because they are conducted in English only.

“As elected leaders of this diverse and vibrant county, it is your responsibility to ensure that all voices are heard and included in the civic dialogue,” she said. “Our county is home to a rich tapestry of cultures linked with youth and backgrounds, and this diversity is one of our greatest strengths. However, it also poses a challenge when it comes to ensuring effective communication and participation in public forums such as the Board of Supervisors meetings.”

Up next: The Kings County Board of Supervisors will meet again on Sept. 12.

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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...