Documented by Josef Sibala
Here’s what you need to know
- During its meeting, the Madera County Board of Supervisors accepted the California Department of Public Health grant of $1 million to provide allowable nutrition education and obesity-prevention activities and interventions for low-income residents from 2023 to 2026.
- Public Health Director Sara Bosse said the three-year program involves partnering with the Parks and Recreation Department, school sites, retail stores, food banks and pantries. At the same time, funding will support staff and activities.
- The board approved unanticipated revenue of $5 million from the Madera Community Hospital (MCH) Fund to be contributed to other agencies for 2023-2024. Deputy County Administrative Officer Joey Bugay said the revenue will support costs and activities relating to the reopening of the Madera Community Hospital.
- During public comment, resident Ralph Pistoresi mentioned that agriculture in the county is experiencing difficulties with the drop in prices for almonds, pistachios, grapes, hay, corn and dairy. Sue O’Connor from Oakhurst shared concerns about the high wildfire risk in Oakhurst and eastern Madera County communities..
- When will the Madera Community Hospital reopen?
- How will the county, through the groundwater sustainability agency, allay concerns regarding farming?
- How will the county provide alternative routes if wildfires occur?
According to its website, the Madera County Board of Supervisors is the Madera County government’s legislative and executive governing body. 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. The meeting was held on Sept. 12, 2023, 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)
- Robert Macaulay (District 5)
Madera County Board of Supervisors members not present:
- Chair Pro Tem Robert Poythress (District 3)
- Chief Clerk Karen Scrivner
- County Counsel Regina Garza
- County Administrative Officer Jay Varney
- Public Health Director Sara Bosse
- Deputy County Administrative Officer Joey Bugay
- Behavioral Health Director Connie Moreno-Peraza
- Valjean Jury
- Ralph Pistoresi
- Sue O’Connor from Oakhurst
- Administrative Analyst Jessica Leon
- Madera Workforce Development Board Director Maiknue Vang
Valjean Jury said residents in the Ranchos area are complaining about speeding in their streets. She added that huge trucks and other vehicles go 70 miles per hour. She urged the board to install speed bumps and signs to curb speeding in the area.
Rogers said they would place a request to the California Highway Patrol to look into her concern and also recommended that she talk to Chief of Developmental Services Matthew Treber to resolve the issue.
In the wake of the Maui wildfire, Sue O’Connor from Oakhurst shared concerns about the high risk in Oakhurst and eastern Madera County communities for wildfires.She urged alternative routes if a similar catastrophic fire occurs and asked the board to prioritize transportation funds.
O’Cpnner added that the county should only approve additional development in these high fire-risk zones with CEQA environmental impact reports. She stated that the board must determine that economic benefits, including the Fire Department’s deficiency, have overriding considerations.
According to the Madera Community Wildfire Protection Plan, known factors contributing to the wildfire risk in the county include narrow one-lane or dead-end roads, complicating evacuation, emergency response, and various subdivisions with limited ingress and egress.
Macaulay said that the last iteration of Measure T included funding for evacuation routes in the mountain areas with no expiration rate.
Madera Workforce Development Board Director Maiknue Vang said that their agency has significant funds for training allocated for the program this year and is working to provide target outreach.
Ralph Pistoresi mentioned that agriculture in the county is experiencing difficulties with the dropping price of almonds, pistachios, grapes, hay, corn, and dairy. He said that a dairy company in Tulare with five farms with 25,000 cattle each had lost a million dollars a day. The cattle have been shipped to be slaughtered since the business cannot feed and maintain them.
Pistoresi added that the cost of farming and wages are getting expensive while restrictions are becoming severe.
He stated that a real estate agent has recently advertised on KMJ that he saved an investor from investing in Madera since the country faces water issues. He added that the price and demand for farmland in Madera have plummeted as a result of the decisions of the previous board last year.
He urged the board to reconsider the $500 per-acre overpumping fees, adding that Madera’s real estate market is dead.
The board (4-0) unanimously approved items A to AR from the consent agenda:
A. The board approved the regular meeting minutes for Aug. 15, and the special meeting minutes for Aug. 25.
B. The board adopted a resolution adopting the fiscal year 2023-2024 tax rates.
C. The board approved an agreement with Aegis Treatment Centers, LLC, to provide a Narcotic Treatment Program to Madera County residents from 2023 to 2024.
D. The board entered into an amendment to an agreement with Central Star Behavioral Health, Inc., amending the initial term and extending to Dec. 31 insurance provisions and rates for crisis residential treatment services from 2020 to 2024.
E. The board OK’d an amendment to an agreement with JDT Consultants, Inc., amending to incorporate additional terms regarding the scope of work and rates for the provision of therapeutic behavioral services and intensive home-based mental health services from 2023 to 2024.
F. The board OK’d an agreement with Kings View not to exceed $732,323 for Mental Health Services Act and Prevention and Early Intervention Mental Health WRAP services from 2023 to 2024.
G. The board made an agreement with the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for the Behavioral Health Services Department to manually transfer public funds to DHCS for Drug Medi-Cal services from 2023 to 2026.
H. The board OK’d an agreement with the California Department of Health Care Services for the Madera County Department of Behavioral Health Services to manually transfer public funds associated with Specialty Mental Health Services for July 1, 2023- Dec. 31, 2026.
I. The board reaffirmed a resolution declaring a local emergency due to the tree mortality disaster in the county and throughout the state.
J. The board OK’d an agreement with Tek84 Inc. for $193,468 to purchase a whole-body security scanning system for five years.
L. The board OK’d into an agreement with Zanjero, Inc. for $750,000 for on-call technical and strategic support services for a wide range of support for water resource management efforts within the county from 2023 to 2026.
M. The board OK’d the transfer of $75,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act Fund Appropriation to other agencies for fiscal year 2023-2024.
N.The board extended the declaration of a local emergency as a result of the closure of Madera Community Hospital.
O. The board entered into an agreement with the regents of the University of California and Fresno County for education, research and public service programs to be provided to the residents of Madera County effective July 1, 2023-June 30, 2033.
P. The board approved the unanticipated revenue of $304,000 from professional and specialized services for 2023 to 2024.
Q. The board OK’d transferring $150,000 from self-insurance liaison liability – appropriations to professional and specialized services funds for fiscal year 2023-2024.
R. The board OK’d an agreement with Fresno County for $600,000 for emergency shelter services in Madera County from Sept. 1, 2023, through Jan. 31, 2026.
Macaulay asked whether the emergency shelter services involve housing, such as contracting with hotels and rentals, and county staff to provide services.
Administrative Analyst Jessica Leon clarified that the grant is part of the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care (FMCOC) received through the Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention (HHAP).
FMCOC has continued to apply for HHAP funding. Since Madera is part of the FMCOC, the county will receive part of the $600,000 as a one-time lump sum payment.
Meanwhile, she said Madera County will contract with the Rescue Mission, and CAPMC will conduct case management. Staff will return at a future meeting to move forward with the contracts with community-based organizations.
Responding to Rogers’ question, she clarified that the triage center that the general services department is working on will not be included in the grant. The grant will focus on the existing apartments covered by the Rescue Mission.
S. The board OK’d an agreement with Rotary International Madera Sunrise Club for $1 for the use of the old Adult Services Division of Probation building to operate a haunted house from Sept. 18-Nov. 6.
T. The board OK’d an agreement with court-appointed special advocates of Fresno and Madera counties for $1,000 for a month-to-month lease space at the Madera County Justice Center.
U. The board OK’d an amendment to an agreement with the Sierra Historical Sites Association for the lease of real property in Oakhurst to extend the lease agreement for an additional five years.
V. Community Resiliency Center Grant Program.
1. The board OK’d a resolution authorizing the grant application submission, acceptance of the grant award and signing all documents for the Strategic Growth Council Community Resiliency Center Grant Program.
W. The board received the monthly report of employee transactions for July 2023.
X. The board approved the unanticipated revenue of $4,208 from Library Administration- contributions and donations to special department expenses for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
Y. The board OK’ an agreement with the Space Science Institute for a loan of the STEAM Equity Grant traveling exhibition to be displayed for fiscal year 2023-2024.
Z. The board reaffirmed the county health officer’s declaration of a local health emergency (Fork Fire).
AA. The board OK’d an agreement with Community Partners for $400,000 to support activities of the Madera County Department of Public Health and Live Well Madera County coalition, which includes partnerships and increasing community leaders’ involvement for a term from July 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2025.
AB. 9967: The board OK’d an amendment to an agreement with the California Department of Public Health for an increase of $54,291 for a total amount of $7 million in a federally funded program to provide nutrition assessment, education, counseling and vouchers for food commodities to pregnant woman, infants and children for federal fiscal years 2022-2025.
AC. 9984: The board OK’d an agreement with the California Department of Public Health for $1 million to provide allowable nutrition education and obesity prevention activities and interventions for low-income residents from Oct. 1, 2023, through Sept. 30, 2026.
Macaulay asked about the status of the implementation of the program.
Public Health Director Sara Bosse said the three-year program involves partnering with the Parks and Recreation Department, school sites, retail stores, food banks and pantries. At the same time, funding will support staff and activities.
D. 9975: The board OK’d an agreement with Madera Coalition for Community Justice for $60,000 to provide outreach for STD prevention and training services and engage with the community and partners to expand and improve services and resources for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
AE. 9946: Road 427 Bridge Replacement Project at Oak Creek.
1. The board OK’d an amendment to an agreement with Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group increasing compensation by $75,401 to an amount not to exceed $502,851 for additional professional engineering services for the Road 427 Bridge Replacement Project at Oak Creek.
2. The board authorized the auditor-controller to issue payments for contingencies up to 10 percent of the amended contract amount per established county policy.
3. The board authorized the road commissioner or his designee to issue contract change orders under the Public Contract Code within authorized contingencies.
AF. 9981: The board OK’d a resolution approving a cash flow loan for MD 58, Fund 2110, for $20,000.
AG. 9193: The board OK’d a resolution proclaiming a local emergency created by the severe drought conditions in the county and throughout the state.
AH. 9196: The board extended the declaration of a local emergency (Fork Fire).
AI. 9401: The board ratified the declaration of a local emergency (February-March 2023 winter storms).
AJ. 9780: The board OK’d into an agreement with the State Center Community College District in an amount not to exceed $223,595 for the provision of vocational education and financial literacy for CalWORKs participants for the fiscal year 2023-2024
AK. 9922: The board OK’d an agreement with the Madera County Economic Development Commission of $214,446 to provide economic development and job creation services for CalWORK participants for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
AL. 9925: The board OK’d into an agreement with the regents of the University of California of $110,670 for training for designated Child Welfare Services staff for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
AM. 9926: The board OK’d an agreement with the regents of the University of California of $158,100 for training services for designated eligibility workers, employment and training workers, and support staff for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
AN. 9933: Local Aging and Disability Action Planning Grant Program.
1. The board OK’d an agreement with the California Department of Aging for $200,000 for the Local Aging and Disability Action Planning Grant Program for fiscal years 2023-2025.
2. The board OK’d unanticipated revenue of $200,000 derived from social services – LADAP grant – state administration social services for office expenses, professional and specialized services, special departmental expenses, transportation and travel and intrafund expenses for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
AO. 9968: The board OK’d an agreement with Reading and Beyond California Bridge Academy of $472,858 for CalFresh Employment and Training services from Oct. 1, 2023 through Sept. 30, 2026.
AP. 9934: The board reappointed Lucas Avila, Michael York and Jose Ochoa to the Triangle T Water District Board of Directors for four-year terms ending Sept. 21, 2027.
AQ. 9969: The board OK’d an amendment to an agreement with Davids Engineering, Inc., extending the term date to Dec. 31, 2024, for consultation services relating to the Madera Subbasin Joint Groundwater Sustainability Plan.
Deputy Director of Water and Natural Resources Jeannie Habben explained it was an amendment to the contract with David Engineering Joint Groundwater Sustainability Plan revision. She said the time extension is needed because one of the partners signed at the last minute.
Pistoresi urged flexibility on groundwater sustainability agencies, reports on the status of existing contracts and inroads with the state.
Macaulay clarified that a study is a complex design and engineering process.
AR. 9980: The board entered into an amendment to an agreement with Davids Engineering, Inc., extending the term date to June 30, 2027, for professional engineering services for recharge study consultant services.
Discussion items were acted on as follows:
6.a. 9973: The board (6-0) recognized Sept. 15-Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
6.b. 9966: The board (6-0) proclaimed September 2023 National Suicide Prevention Month and Sept. 10 be declared as World Suicide Prevention Day.
Staff mentioned that the Behavioral Health Department will host a four-part series on suicide prevention throughout the county and inform community members about the crisis calls.
6.c. 9931: The board (4-0) approved unanticipated revenue of $5 million from the MCH Fund to contributions to other agencies for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
Deputy County Officer Joey Bugay said that the item sets a separate revenue fund approved by the state as a direct appropriation to support costs and activities relating to the reopening of the Madera Community Hospital.
Macaulay asked whether the county would be able to recover the cost of the burn rate with the fund.
Bugay said that staff would provide an update on Sept. 19 regarding the burn rate assistance provided, and one of the funding sources to be considered is AB 79 funds, which includes $5 million.
6.e. 9976:The board (4-0) adopted a resolution appointing Amy Toler Madera County’s interim director of animal services, retroactively effective Aug. 22.
6.g. 9979: The board (4-0) adopted an ordinance amending Section 3.33.020A of the Madera County Code, implementing the provisions of AB 134 by repealing certain fees for criminal justice collection and cost-recovery services, waived the first reading and set the second reading for Oct. 3, 2023.
6.h. 9885: 2022 Fork Fire Debris Removal.
1. The board (4-0) adopted a resolution awarding a contract of $969,550 to Anvil Builders, Inc. for the 2022 Fork Fire debris removal contract and overruling all bid protests.
2. The board (4-0) made an agreement with Anvil Builders, Inc. for $969,550 to perform disaster debris and hazard tree removal services on parcels affected by the 2022 Fork Fire, implementing the Consolidated Debris Removal Program for a term ending Aug. 30, 2024.
6.i. 9963: The board Presentation, direction and discussion on the Opioid Epidemic in California and Madera County, including the recommended priorities with Opioid Settlement funds.
The public hearings consisted of the following:
Closed sessions were as follows:
2.a. 9938: Request for closed session:
Conference with labor negotiators
Agency designated representatives: Human Resources Director Roman Noriega, Bugay, and Human Resources Manager Susan Carter. Employee organization: all units
Unrepresented employees: all classifications (excluding elected officials)
2.b. 9987: Request for closed session
Conference with legal counsel – existing litigation
Name of case: Human Rights Defense Center v. County of Madera et al. (United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Fresno Division; Case Number 1:23-CV-00332-ADA-HBK)
2.c. 10011: Request for closed session
Conference with legal counsel – existing litigation
Name of case: Valley Groundwater Coalition v. County of Madera, et al. (MCV087677)
2.d. 10012: Request for closed session:
Conference with legal counsel – existing litigation
Name of case: Madera Irrigation District vs. County of Madera (Madera County Superior Court Case Number MCV087598)
2.e. 10013: Request for closed session:
Conference with legal counsel – existing litigation
Name of case: California Sportfishing Protection Alliance v. County of Madera, et al. County of Merced Superior Court Case Number 22CV-00203
2.f. 10014: Request for closed session:
Public employee performance evaluation
Title of position: county public health officer
2.g. 10015: Request for closed session
Public employee appointment/employment
Title of position: animal services director
The meeting lasted until 1 p.m. The next board meeting will be on Sept. 19 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.