Documented by Josef Sibala
Here’s what you need to know:
- The Kings County Board of Supervisors approved the agreement between the state Department of Water Resources, the Empire Westside Irrigation District and the county for the transfer of 2,000 acre-feet of Table A water from Empire West Side Irrigation District to Kings County.
- During the public comment period, Angela Valentora, a county employee, sought support and recognition of blue-collar workers by extending bonuses and longevity pay. She requested a $1.50 raise per hour.
- In the 2022 Annual Crop Report, Ag Commissioner Jimmy Hook reported a 10.7% increase in crops harvested in the county worth $2.6 billion. He added that milk tops the crops list, followed by pistachios, almonds and other products.
- How will the county address the pay of county employees?
- Will the simultaneous translation of the meeting be provided?
According to its website, Kings County is a “general law” county, meaning the state constitution and general law determine the county’s governmental structure.
The Board of Supervisors is the governing body for Kings County and many county special districts. Each of the board’s five members is elected in a nonpartisan manner to a four-year term. The board sets policies and depends on the county administrator, county officials and department heads to fulfill its wishes.
The Board of Supervisors has administrative, legislative and quasi-judicial duties and responsibilities prescribed by the state constitution and statutes.
The meeting was held at 9 a.m. in the board chambers at 1400 West Lacey Blvd. in Administration Building No. 1 in Hanford.
Kings County County Board of Supervisors members present:
- Joe Neves, District 1 (Lemoore and Stratford)
- Richard Valle, District 2 (Avenal, Corcoran, Home Garden, and Kettleman City)
- Rusty Robinson, District 4 (Armona and Hanford)
- Richard Fagundes, District 5 (Hanford and Burris Park)
- Doug Verboon, District 3 (North Hanford, Island District and North Lemoore)
- Public Health Director Rose Mary Rahn
- District Attorney Sarah Hacker
- Tyler Pepe
- Monica Connor
- Melissa Kevorkian
- Mike Ornellas
- Jonathan Brewster
- Christine Olvera
- Jay Wood
- Sarah Poots
- Mariana Valdivia
- Staci Wilkins
- T Hommerding
- Katlyn Frazier
- Cynthia Baruch
- Nichole Fisher
- John Bsmajian Criscom
- David Long
- Heather Silva
- Kristi Lee
- Atonya Moore
- N. Rencher
- Cassie Bakker
- Chris Narez
- Dustin Ference
- Angela Valentora
- Alicia Rubioreyez
- Zachary Adams
- Ag Commissioner Jimmy Hook
Angela Valentora, a county employee, sought support and recognition of blue-collar workers by extending bonuses and longevity pay. She requested a $1.50 hourly raise.
She urged the board to consider all county employees who are dedicated public servants and build morale by providing the pay increase.
Alicia Rubioreyez requested simultaneous translation of Spanish and other languages for the board meeting to encourage community involvement.
Zachary Adams was introduced as a new hire attorney in the County Counsel’s Office.
A. The board (4-1) approved the Sept. 12 meeting minutes. Verboon abstained.
During the consent calendar section of the meeting, the board (5-0) unanimously approved items as follows:
A. Behavioral Health Department:
1. The board authorized the advanced step hire of Grant Zweifel as a clinical program manager.
B. County Counsel:
1. The board appointed Michael Nordstrom, Cory VanderHam and Craig Andrew to four-year terms as directors of the Angiola Water District to qualify, take office and serve as if elected at a general district election.
C. Sheriff’s Office:
1. a. The board authorized the Sheriff’s Office to allow the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association to purchase the service handgun for Deputy Sheriff Kody Holt. It approved the purchase of a Glock handgun as a replacement.
According to the agenda packet, The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association will pay the replacement value of the handgun, estimated to be $481.
The Kings County Sheriff’s Office will purchase a replacement weapon for at most $481, to be paid out from the budget.
The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association requested to purchase a Glock handgun from the Kings County Sheriff’s Office.
In turn, the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association will present the service handgun to Kody Holt upon his separation from the Kings County Sheriff’s Office. The Kings County Sheriff’s Office is asking to purchase a new handgun to replace Kody’s service handgun.
Regular agenda items were as follows:
A. District Attorney’s Office
1. The board (5-0) approved the agreement with John Bratsch for legal services effective upon execution through June 30, 2024.
According to the agenda packet, the fiscal impact will be at most $104,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year. Because this contract was not included in the District Attorney’s Final Budget, salary savings from frozen positions will be used to compensate for the contract.
District Attorney Sarah Hacker said that Bratsch will primarily assist the District Attorney’s Office with filing so that the fully employed deputy district attorneys can focus their attention on appearing in court.
1. a. The board (5-0) authorized the County Administrative Officer to sign the agreement between the state Department of Water Resources, Empire Westside Irrigation District and the county for the transfer of 2,000 acre-feet of Table A water from Empire West Side Irrigation District to Kings County;
b. The board (5-0) authorized the agreement between Sandridge Partners and the county, holding the county harmless for being a party to the transfer agreement between the state Department of Water Resources, the Empire Westside Irrigation District and the county for the transfer of 2,000 acre-feet of Table A water from Empire Westside Irrigation District to Kings County.
According to County Administrative Officer Matthew Boyett, Empire Westside Irrigation District (Empire) has requested that the Department of Water Resources (DWR) approve a nonpermanent transfer of up to 2,000 acre-feet (AF) of Empire’s approved 2023 Table A State Water Project (SWP) water to Kings County.
This request was made on behalf of Sandridge Partners (Sandridge), which farms in both Empire and Kings County service areas, to better manage their water supply.
Sandridge has property in Green Valley Water District (Green Valley), inside Kings’ SWP service area. DWR will only allow SWP water to be transferred between SWP contractors.
Empire and Kings County are SWP contractors, but Green Valley is not. As such, the county is a required party in facilitating such requests.
Study sessions include the following:
A. Agricultural Department – Jimmy Hook/Mario Gutierrez
- The board received a presentation on the 2022 Annual Crop Report outlining the status of agriculture in Kings County.
Ag Commissioner Jimmy Hook reported a 10.7% increase in crops in the county worth $2.6 billion. He added that milk tops the crops list, followed by pistachios, almonds and other produce.
Closed session includes the following:
- Workers compensation
- Conference with real property negotiator
Property: Avenal Courthouse 501 E. Kings St., Avenal, CA 93204
Negotiation Parties: Kyria Martinez
Under Negotiation: Purchase of property
The meeting ended at 1 p.m. The next board meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 16.
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