CALIF. CITY – The Calif. City council met on the evening of May 9th inside the council chambers at city hall; the Closed Session portion of the meeting began around 4pm and reconvened to Open Session just after 5pm.

  After the meeting was called to order and roll call, the mayor asked for any public comments before convening into closed session.

  Shawn Bradley – So, I notice the first item for the closed session mentions the word self-insurance liability for potential litigation. So, is this another thing about a policy and if so, what’s keeping it from being an open session item if it’s dealing with potential insurance? Because I don't see anything in an open session for the regular meeting.

  Mayor Pro-Tem Ron Smith - Mayor and council; there is going to be discussion on anything that requires public knowledge and will be taken care of appropriately, Thank you.

  The council then convened into closed session to discuss CS1; Conference with Legal Counsel on anticipated litigation concerning paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 54956.9 Self-Insurance Coverage Liabilities-1 Matter and CS2; Conference with Labor Negotiator with the following Bargaining Units-Police Department Unit and Fire Department Unit Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6 with City Negotiator Inge Elmes. The council reconvened into open session at approximately 4:50pm.

  Under Report out of Closed Session – Mayor Pro-Tem Ron Smith gave the report in the absence of City Attorney Victor Ponto; With respect to CS1; there was a vote of 5-0 consensus to adopt an insurance policy of that document and it will be made available physically in City Hall, with respect CS2; the council given the direction received no further reported.

  The open session of the meeting was then called to order at 5:03pm; after calling the meeting to order, the Pledge/Invocation and roll call, the meeting went as follows.

  Under City Clerk Reports/Late Communications – Correspondence from Jam powers dated April 29th, April 30th and May 1st. They're part of the physical media records and they're also in the back of the room. We also received another one on Monday, May 8th and it says please see link to current county audit reports to evidence December 31, 2022, Special Taxes delinquency rate of 33%; May analysis is outgoing and will follow under separate covers. The special parcel tax and district economic policies must end the process of taxpayers losing their properties every year after 10’s of thousands of dollars have already been lost on their properties; this correspondence is also in the back of the room as well and that’s all.

  Under Departmental Reports – Mayor Pro-Tem Ron Smith; thank you very much, one of the quarters underestimated 2022/23 totals (audio/video inside council chambers paused at this time then continued).

  Jeanie O’Laughlin - Is there sales tax being charged on the retail items for T-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, things like that?

  Response was inaudible from council.

  Jeanie O’laughlin - I didn't see a line item on the financial statement for sales, tax payable; there should be a tax return file and then, I wanted to ask on planning because I've had calls from both Edison and the Southern California Gas Company. I know you've had changes from the planning staff, but the planning department used to send Edison a report every month, just a listing of kind of like what you have in the agenda packet here. So, they would know what kind of projects were in the queue. They haven’t been getting those the last couple of months and the gas company would like to get that as well because they need to be able to plan ahead for projects that are coming down the pipeline. So, I just wanted to know if someone could be directed, I don't know who was doing it before but they both Edison and the gas company found this very helpful and it helps our city also because they need to be able to go to the CPC and tell them look we have all these different projects in the queue so if you could direct staff to continue to send those to Edison and the gas company, thank you.

  Under Civic/Community/Organization Announcements - Unidentified resident 1 – A longtime resident of our community has passed and there will be a memorial service this Friday at the First Baptist Church. Also, we have five board members from five different Christian churches here in our city, which is really exciting this coming Friday night at the Stratus Center at 6pm. We are doing something interesting for leaders from a Christian faith background who are willing to lead clubs on school campuses; it is open to every kid, every young person that comes regardless of any religious belief but they are looking for those who are Christian leaders to represent the guidelines that were set in place with Young Life, and they're represented in every state within the United States. So, we're really excited about it and that's the same Friday night May 12th at the Strata Center and it's for those who are possibly interested to be leaders; thank you.

  Shawn Bradley – There’s a website up now; you can go to; it's where we identify issues that we feel council member Macedonio has been treated unjustly and I asked the community to read it; tell your neighbors, your community friends and other members of the community as we want to seek accountability for actions taken, thank you.

  Under Public Business from the Floor – members of the public were allowed to address the council concerning matters not on the agenda; council received comments, suggestions and complaints however, they cannot engage back and forth discussion; council can direct staff to bring items back to a future meeting as an agenda item for discussion.

  Jeanie O’Laughlin - I would like to ask when we're going to see financial monthly financial statements. The last monthly financial statement that was posted was December of 2022. We're now in May and I've heard some of the council saying that they were running on transparency. This is not very transparent when we can't see monthly financial statements. Can you tell me when we might be able to see some?

  Response from council was inaudible.

  Shawn Bradley - My question is this; I notice also on the agenda Public Works Director Joe Barragan, and I know that the last time an IT director was appointed; it was the HR director which was a female. I do not recall the City Council agreeing and getting to take the recommendation to hire Joe Barragan for Public Works Director. My question is concerning on two levels because the city municipal code says the city manager shall appoint department heads subject to the advice and consent of council on each department head. This is a violation of the duties of the city manager which is responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations of the city and so I would like the city attorney to answer a question on what is going on here for public transparency. Thank you.

  Inaudible comment from Calif. City resident 2.

  Council member Macedonio - I have a question for the Fire Chief and/or the Police Chief, I'm seeing a tremendous amount of Facebook posts about dogs that are loose and it used to be that I see one week and now then it went to one a day and now I'm seeing 3, 4 and 5 a day. So, I would like the public to know, and I don't know if we can do it now, if we have to bring it back as an agenda item. What are we doing and how will we get this under control? And then my question for the Fire Chief is I want to know more about the grants and the benefits that this is going to give us. I know that you've heard we have a grant, but we don't really have a lot of information. So, do we have answers now or do we need to agenda?

  Inaudible responses from Fire Chief and Police Chief.

  Under Presentations – P1; Calif. City Police Officer Lopez was presented with a Certificate of Commendation by Chief Hightower and P2; Council was asked to honor May 2023 as Community Action Month by the Community Action Partnership of Kern County.

  Tami Johnson commented on P1 – I just want to say that I love that department and I love the direction I’m seeing that department go; there are promotions, there’s hiring and there’s recommendations. That’s what the public really wants to see.

  Under Consent Calendar – mayor pro-tem Smith motioned and council member M. Kulikoff seconded to approve CC1; city check register dated April 21st through May 4th presented by Finance Manager Kenny Cooper, CC2; approve the First Due Software Agreement-Prop 64 Grant Fund presented by Calif. City Fire Chief Jeremy Kosick, CC3; approve Transit Asset Management Plan presented by Public Works Director Joe Barragan, CC4; approve Resolution for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund presented by Public Works Director Joe Barragan and CC5; approve Resolution for Clean Calif. Grant presented by Acting City Manager Inge Elmes; after some questions and little discussion, motion carried.

  Under City Manager Report presented by Acting City Manager Inge Elmes – Mrs. Elmes gave an oral report.

  Under Public Hearing – PH1; Aspen Mall Lighting and Landscaping District, council members Kulikoff and Macedonio stepped out for this session due to conflict of interest; motion and second were heard to approve; motion carried by a 3-0 vote, PH2; TDA Unmet Transit Needs presented by Public Works Director Joe Barragan; discussion was heard on the needs of the transit system, a motion and second were heard; motion carried by a 5-0 vote.

  Under Continued Business – CB1; Special Tax Discussion presented by Acting City Manager Inge Elmes, the Police Chief and Fire Chief will bring forward their efforts and expressions to approve each relative department this evening, recommendations are to have open discussion by the council after the presentations from fire and police (see separate story on Special Tax).

  Under New Business – NB1; approve the Purchase of EV Charging Station presented by Acting City Manager Inge Elmes, at this time both Kulikoffs stepped out of the meeting due to conflict of interest; Ollie Danner gave a quick presentation on the use and placement of an EV (electric vehicle) Charging station; Linda Urata of the Kern County Council of Governors also weighed in on the project. After a short discussion, council member Creighton motioned and council member Macedonio seconded to approve; motion carried by a vote of 3-0, NB2; approve BHT Engineering to perform services to fulfill the State Water Resources Control Board annual LAMP reporting requirements presented by Public Works Director Joe Barragan; discussion was heard and the council voted to bring this item back for further discussion, NB3; Calibration and Service Agreement with HACH for the Wastewater Treatment Plan presented by Public Works Director Joe Barragan; staff recommended approval of the agreement not to exceed the amount of $4,513.88; motion carried.

  Under Councilmember Comments, Agenda Requests and AB1234 Reports - each council member was allowed to make comments and set aside items for future agendas then the AB1234 reports were given. After all the business was concluded, the mayor called for a motion and second to adjourn the meeting at approximately 7:26pm. 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.