With a concise agenda for the first meeting of the year, the Lindsay City Council had a quick yet productive meeting on Tuesday evening, despite the absence of Council member Roseana Sanchez. The two biggest topics of discussion revolved around the appointment of two individuals to different city staff positions.

In lieu of the previous City Clerk’s resignation in December, the Council was faced with deciding who would fill the vacancy temporarily, until a new and permanent City Clerk could be hired. On Tuesday, the Council was presented with the name of Juana Espinoza, who had been recommended to the Council by city staff. Staff stated that Espinoza is qualified for the position and has previously worked in the city’s finance department. The City Clerk role is necessary for the protection of records, management of meetings, and in serving the public, so without much discussion the Council approved the appointment of Espinoza as the interim City Clerk with a vote of 4-0.

Another temporary appointment was made towards the end of the meeting when the Council agreed to appoint Michael Camarena, the Director of City Services and Planning, to the position of interim City Manager. Recently, the current interim City Manager, Bret Harmon, filed his letter of resignation with the city, creating a vacancy for the City Manager position. Harmon’s last day is as the interim City Manager is Friday. Camarena will sit as the interim City Manager until a permanent one is found. The City Council is currently in negotiations with an individual for the City Manager position, with the appointment of a new City Manager expected in the upcoming month or so.

When it came time for Council to give their reports, they expressed their condolences for the family of Theresa Hurtado, who passed away suddenly.  A few of the Council members also thanked Harmon for his service to the city, as this was the last Council meeting in which he will be present. Harmo announced that the city offices would be close don January 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and that two dog waste stations would be installed at city parks. If all goes well with the stations, Harmon said there may be more to come.

The evening’s consent calendar was approved 4-0.

Resolution 20-04 came before the Council for approval, regarding the site plan of a auto restoration shop at 310 W. Tulare Road. Ryan Rowley, the applicant for the shop, was not present, but Camarena stated that the auto shop would mostly focus on restoration, but there will also be auto repair done on the premises. Rowley is undecided whether a finishing paint booth would be installed, but has reached out to the proper organizations regarding hazards, precautions and requirements should he decide to implement a paint booth in the future. Camarena reviewed the list of requirements that come with site plan before the restoration and repair shop site plan was approved 4-0.

Amendments were approved to Resolution 19-55, which authorizes the application for, and receipt of, SB2 Planning Grant Program funding from the State of California. The City of Lindsay submitted its SB2 application in November 2019. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) responded with a request to make changes to Section 2 and Section 4 in Resolution 19-55. Jose Ayala of HCD sent the request as follows: “There is an inconsistency on the resolution, in sections 2 and 4. Section 2 authorizes the City Manager to enter and execute the SA, while section 4 states that the Mayor, presiding officer, City Manager, or designee is authorized. A suggestion to this would be to have just the City Manager reflected in both these sections.” Resolution 19-55 was amended to conform to Ayala’s suggested language. 

None of the Council members requested any future agenda items, and the meeting was adjourned. The next scheduled meeting for the Lindsay City Council is set for January 28, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall located at 251 E. Honolulu Street. 

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