Documented by Kristina Mansfield

Here’s what you need to know

  • Unanimously approved new multi-family residential solid waste fee increase of 6%; new fees go into effect on Oct. 1. 
  • The bulk of the Madera City Council’s regular meeting was devoted to reviewing an informational administrative report from the Parks & Community Services Department, which highlighted the current status of its 11 projects-in-progress. 
  • The Old Timers’ Day Parade will be Sept. 30. 

 Follow-up questions

  • When will the James Taubert Park be fully constructed and open to the public?

The Scene 

The Madera City Council meeting took place on Sept. 6, 2023 at 6 p.m. The meeting was made available for public viewing and participation via Zoom, and was live-streamed on the city’s website Per the agenda, members of the public can submit comments via email, phone or regular mail.  

Names of Officials: 

Santos Garcia, mayor
Elsa Mejia, mayor pro tem (District 5) 

Cece Gallegos, council member (District 1)

Jose Rodriguez, council member (District 2) 

Steve Montes, council member (District 3)

Anita Evans, council member (District 4)

Artemio Villegas, council member (District 6)

Mayor Santos Garcia called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m. Pastor Sammie Neely of Mount Zion Baptist Church led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Public Comment

From there, Garcia opened the meeting for public comment and written communication, of which there was none. The mayor closed public comment at 6:06 p.m. 


  • Proclamation Recognizing Old Timers’ Week Sept. 25-Sept. 30
    • The 92nd Anniversary of Old Timers’ Day will be celebrated in Madera on Sept. 30. 
    • Garcia said, “It has been tradition to honor citizens who have been residents of the city or county for over 30 years with weeklong activities, a parade down Yosemite Avenue and a communitywide day in the park celebration on Saturday.” 
    • Other activities will include an Old Timer’s Dinner Dance and a City/County Employee Lunch in the Park. 
  • Proclamation recognizing Sept. 15 as the 200th Anniversary of Mexican Independence Day and Diplomatic Relations between the U.S. and Mexico
    • “We are proud to have a friendship with the consul,” said Garcia. 
  • Proclamation presentation for LOVE Madera
    • April Molina was unable to attend tonight’s meeting and her presentation has been postponed. 




  • Approved minutes from Aug. 16 and Aug. 24 meetings. 
  • Approved unanimously the rezoning of approximately 0.3 acres of property at 405 Vineyard Ave. from its current R2 (one unit for each 3,000 square feet of site area) zone district to a R1 (One unit for each 6,000 square feet of site area) zone district.
    • Planning Manager Gary Conte presented the project proposal to the council. 
    • The applicant seeks to expand the property uses by subdividing the property. into two parcels; however, no development or improvements are proposed at this time.
    • The Planning Commission previously found the proposed rezone in conformance with the general plan. 
    • Council member Jose Rodriguez clarified that the split of the parcel would happen only after the rezone has been approved. “Normally people want to increase the amount of housing within the allocated space,” he said. “In this case it’s because of the splitting of the parcels to have one residential space on each parcel.” 
  • Item C-2 was continued to the Oct. 4 regular City Council meeting.
  • Unanimously approved resolution increasing Planning Fees and Solid Waste Fees for Multi-Family Residential. New fees will go into effect on Oct. 1.
    • Michael Lima, director of financial services, conducted a public hearing to consider changes to the Master Fee Schedule for Planning fees and a technical adjustment to solid waste fees
      • He noted fees listed in the master schedule had not been updated since July 2018. 
      • After receiving direction from the council regarding the percentage increase for any proposed fees and the criteria for which departments would be eligible for such an increase, staff recommended a 6% increase in most fees that the Planning Department charges. 
      • Further, multi-family residential solid waste fees were not incorporated into the enabling documents; this was amended by formally incorporating these fees into the enabling documents.
  • Unanimously approved a resolution approving agreement with Witbro, Inc. for on-call asphalt and concrete patching services for $590,000.
    • Ismael Hernandez, director of public works, presented. 
    • Twenty-seven vendors were notified of the RFP; only one company presented a bid for the project. 
    • “This contractor is the same one we’ve been using for the last several years, and our recommendation is to continue doing business with them,” Hernandez said. 
  • The Parks & Community Services Department gave an informational report on the status of its Planned Improvement Projects.
    • Joe Hebert, Parks & Community Services director, presented an overview of his department’s activities. The report included updates about the Sunrise Rotary Sports Complex playground equipment and the Vernon McCullough River Trail cleanup efforts, among others. 
    • Hebert mentioned his team’s ongoing work to keep the trail’s underpasses clear from debris carried over into the weekend hours. “Some of you walk these trails, and there’s been people hiding in some of that vegetation, so we’ve been trying to trim back some of that. Our team has even been out on Saturdays doing that.”
    • He said the department has received $5.6 million from state and federal grants and $135,000 from the general fund. He noted there are three new parks that his team is working on that are not included on the project list.
      • Those parks are: Tozer Park, Pecan Square Park and KB Home Park. 
      • These parks will be funded through development impact fees
    •  Hebert also gave updates on projects, including: the James Taubert Park Project, Rotary Park Asphalt Curb and Gutter Replacement Project, Dick’s Sporting Goods Batting Cages Installation Project, Frank Bergon Senior Center Improvement Project, Madera Block Wall Enhancement Project and Lions Town & Country Trail Reconstruction. 
    • The council praised Hebert and his team for their ongoing work and requested regular updates moving forward. 
    • “Thank you for paying attention to our parks,” said Council member Rodriguez. “This is the first time we’ve gone through a thorough briefing of our green spaces,” he said. “Please pass the gratitude on to your team as well.”
    • Council member Artemio Villegas closed out comments on the parks presentation. “The trail is looking pretty good!” he exclaimed. “Every park, on any side of the town, is good. Thank you for that, and keep it going.” 
  • No reportable action was taken in closed session. 
  • Future meetings are scheduled for Oct. 4 and 18.  
  • Garcia adjourned the meeting at 9:03 p.m. 

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