Documented by Matthew Carnero-Macias
Here’s what you need to know
- Supervisor Steve Brandau brought forth a controversial resolution to establish a Community Parent and Guardian Review Committee to review children’s books in Fresno County libraries. It passed with Brandau, Vice Chair Nathan Magsig and Supervisor Budy Mendes voting in favor. Chair Quintero and Supervisor Pacheco voted against the resolution. The subsequent public comments on the matter included numerous varying opinions.
- Fresno County government and community members are at an impasse with a draft proposal for the renewal of Measure C, “a half-cent sales tax aimed at improving the overall quality of Fresno County’s transportation system.” The draft proposal will receive board action later this month. The supervisors have taken exception to the proposal process, as it has no defined role for elected officials in the decision-making process and it emphasizes community engagement that takes precedence over scientific polling data. The ad-hoc administrative group, Group of 10, which brought forth the draft proposal, strongly believes that this new model for bringing back Measure C empowers community input and makes the renewal process more transparent and accessible to taxpayers, cutting out government interference.
- After the second public hearing, the board passed an ordinance that will place a measure on the ballot at the March 5, 2024, election that allows voters to amend the Fresno County Charter. Ultimately, it gives the Board of Supervisors “the duty and power to name or change the name of geographic features or place names within the unincorporated portions of the county.”
- With thousands of residents relying on the essential service and support provided by In-Home Supportive Service (IHSS) workers, how will a board rejection of their request affect them?
- What is the board’s stance on the demands from the union representing IHSS workers?
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors convened their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7. All supervisors were present.
The meeting was packed with a cross-section of attendees who represented parents, unions, libraries, nonprofits and voters. The meeting was extremely long — nearly four hours.
Item 10 was a resolution establishing a “Parents Matter” approach to reviewing age-appropriate children’s books in Fresno County Libraries; and directing staff to return to the board within 90 days with bylaws for implementation of a Community Parent and Guardian Review Committee.
A multitude of opinions and hostility was expressed regarding the proposal. Varying community members testified to their opposition and support.
During the second hearings on both items 37 and 38, which were related to the adoption of ordinances that amend the Fresno County Charter and call for a special election to be held on March 5, 2024, were passed and were criticized by the public.
Item 37. was a hearing “related to the election date and term of office of the county’s elective officers, and directing the consolidation of the special election with the statewide primary election to be held on the same day; and waive reading of the ordinance in its entirety.”
It passed 4-1, with Chair Sal Quintero voting no.
Item 38 was a hearing “related to the board’s duties and powers, and directing the consolidation of the special election with the statewide primary election to be held on the same day; and waive reading of the ordinance in its entirety.”
The ordinance passed 3-2, with Quintero and Supervisor Brian Pacheco voting no.
Fresno County Administrative Officer Paul Nerland presented updates on the Measure C renewal process. His update included highlights from the Oct. 26, Fresno Council of Governments Policy Board meeting.
The Group of 10 presented a proposal to Fresno COG that establishes an administrative group, drafting team, facilitation team and requires the draft proposal to be adopted by Fresno County and all of the 15 cities in the county.
Later this month, the board will take action on the draft proposal.
- 11. Consider and take action on one of the following options: Option 1: Approve and authorize the chair to execute an agreement with Integrated Voting Systems, Inc., dba Integrated Voting Solutions, for ballot printing, vote-by-mail processing, vote-by-mail envelopes,and other mailer services, effective Nov. 7, 2023, to June 30, 2024, not to exceed $1,645,000; or Option 2: Approve and authorize the chair to execute an agreement with Pro Document Solutions, Inc., dba ProVoteSolutions, for ballot printing, vote-by-mail processing, vote-by-mail envelopes, and other mailer services, effective Nov. 7, not to exceed five consecutive years, which includes a three-year base contract and two optional one-year extensions, total not to exceed $8 million
- The board unanimously approved option 1.
- 12. Consider and take action on a request for Determination of Public Convenience or Necessity on an application for Alcoholic Beverage License Type 21 filed by Gurmej Singh to be used at the southwest corner of Millerton Road and Marina Drive, Friant.
- The board voted unanimously to grant the request.
- 13. Approve a salary adjustment of 5% for Unrepresented (including confidential classifications covered by Footnote “y”), Management, Senior Management, Senior Management Supervisors, Assistant or Deputy Department Heads, Department Heads (excluding the Public Defender and Elected Officials), and Extra-Help classifications within U98 (as outlined in Salary Resolution Section 100), effective Nov. 13, as reflected on Appendix “C”.
- The board unanimously approved the item.
- 14. Adopt a resolution approving the Stamoules Airport Plan for Construction pursuant to California Public Utilities Code Section 21661.5 to allow development of a private airport on a portion of a 493.34-acre parcel located approximately a half-mile northeast of the intersection of W. California Avenue and S. Lyon Avenue, and approximately four miles southwest of the nearest city limits of Mendota (APN: 019-040-28S) (904 S. Lyon Avenue).
- The board unanimously approved.
- 15. Conduct first hearing on an ordinance amending the Ordinance Code of Fresno County, Chapter 2.52 – Department of Public Works and Planning to update Paragraph N to Section 2.52.040 – Duties of Director of Public Works and Planning, to continue to delegate certain authority to the director of the Department of Public Works and Planning to acquire, on behalf of the board, subject to approval of County Counsel as to legal form and as to accounting form by the auditor-controller/treasurer-tax collector, any interest in any real property necessary for certain transportation projects and for certain non transportation projects for which the board has expressly authorized funding or has otherwise expressly approved the project; waive reading of the proposed ordinance in its entirety; set the second hearing for Nov. 28; and designate County Counsel to prepare a fair and adequate summary of the proposed ordinance; and direct the clerk of the board to post and publish the required summary in accordance with Government Code, Section 25124(b)(1).
- The board unanimously approved the ordinance.
- 16. Consider petition for partial cancellation of Agricultural Land Conservation Contract No. 152 filed by Dale G. Mell on behalf of Patrick W. Sample and Georgia J. Sample Family Trust to remove a 2.41-acre portion of a 42.93-acre parcel from a Williamson Act contract to allow creation of a 2.41-acre homesite exception parcel for residential use; and if board is able to make all five required findings listed under Government Code, Section 51282(b), take following actions: adopt negative declaration prepared for Initial Study 8242; and adopt a resolution authorizing partial cancellation of Agricultural Land Conservation Contract No.152; and authorize the chair to sign Certificate of Tentative Cancellation and approve recording Certificate of Cancellation when all conditions included in Certificate of Tentative Cancellation have been satisfied (subject parcel is located on west side of Watts Valley Road approximately a quarter-mile north of its intersection with Bull Run Lane, approximately eight miles east of the nearest city limits of the city of Clovis (18613 Watts Valley Road) (APN: 158-021-61)).
- The board unanimously approved item 16.
- 17. Adopt third amendment to extend the Interim Urgency Ordinance pursuant to Government Code Section 25123(d) and 25131, authorizing the occupation of temporary housing (including recreational vehicles, travel trailers and tiny houses) by individuals displaced as a result of Creek Fire disaster from Dec. 31, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2025.
- The board unanimously approved item 17.
- 18. Board of Supervisors’ Committee Reports and Comments – Receive and provide direction (this item is reserved for committee reports by members of the Board of Supervisors).
- Mendes recommended implementing practices that would make meetings shorter and more efficient. He said the business at this particular meeting made for an unnecessarily long meeting.
- Magsig recommended the board and CAO look into disturbance complaints. He said his district constituents have repeatedly complained, citing unwanted festival and special event activities as a source of distress among residents in nearby neighborhoods.
- Pacheco commended staff and the city clerk for successfully translating the meeting agenda into other languages.
- Quintero announced that an annual coat drive is taking place now at the Social Services, Fresno Center, and county offices.
- During public presentations the local union representing In-Home Support Service providers provided the board with numerous testimonies requesting negotiations for satisfactory hours, wages and terms and conditions of employment. The group has consistently attended Fresno County Board of Supervisors meetings to make demands and express solitude.
- “As you know our county has 3,479 centerline miles, which is the most roads to maintain in the state of California,” said Fresno County Administrative Officer Paul Nerland during his presentation on Measure C.
- “Measure C needs to start off with a very scientific polling data that’s not weighted by how big a gang you can put together to get in front of a group,” said Supervisor Buddy Mendes during the Measure C update. He criticized the legitimacy of the Group of 10, an ad hoc administrative group led by community partners. “So, it’s very scientific about what the people actually want without them being harassed and people telling them what they think they want.”
- “Every time I go to Raisin City, Cantua Creek, Three Rocks, and I see the poverty — and the poverty is very stark when they have no roads — I’m being told in north Fresno they have walking trails and they have faucets for water for people to drink and not only people, they have faucets for the dogs, and I can’t get a damn sidewalk or gutters out in Three Rocks because you all have failed them,” said community member Gloria Hernandez in her response to the Measure C renewal process and draft proposal presentation and update.
- “You’re saying you want a scientific poll but what we’ve seen when we go back and look at the history of Measure C, there are a lot of closed-door conversations,” said one unidentified community member during the Measure C update. “This uplifts transparency and uplifts the ability to make sure your decision has included a lot of different voices.”
- “There are no books leaving our county library, this is not a ban,” said Supervisor Steve Brandau during his Parents Matter resolution presentation. “It’s simply, ‘Where does the book get displayed?’”
- “If you would like to invest in the future, by investing in our youth, please build more libraries,” said a community member during the public comment on the Parents Matter resolution.
- “I think we take what is a parental, personal issue and we’re now politicizing it and we shouldn’t do that,” said Supervisor Brian Pacheco in his response to the Parents Matter resolution. “I think the parent should have the ultimate control, and again, it shouldn’t be by a group of people that the government appoints.”
- “You have the power to help out everybody, I’m asking you to do that,” said an IHSS provider and union member during his plea for compensation negotiations.
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