The Civic Courier

City Council Meeting Recap
March 7, 2023 | City Council Meeting
Police Chief Introduces New Officers, Presents Lifesaving Medals to Two Others

Hanford Police Chief Parker Sever introduced the City's newest police officers: Wayne Shoemake, Robert Parker and Manuel Pasillas.

Family members and friends pinned badges on the officers, who also received the Oath of Office from the City Clerk.

Shoemake previously worked for the Avenal Police Department. Before becoming a police officer, Parker was a professional chef in the Los Angeles area. Pasillas came to the Hanford Police Department from the Kings County Sheriff's Office, where he was a reserve detention deputy. Pasillas is a familiar face-he was once a police explorer at the department.
Chief Sever also presented medals to officers Idalis Chandler and Fabian Avalos for saving the lives of two Hanford residents in the recent past.

Chandler was dispatched to a Hanford home for a report of an unresponsive overdose victim. Chandler arrived on scene quickly, administering Narcan and performing CPR on the man before EMS arrived on scene. Thanks to her lifesaving efforts, he survived.

"She did an outstanding job that day," Chief Sever said.

Avalos was shopping at Save Mart when he was alerted to an elderly woman lying on the ground, unresponsive. Avalos immediately called dispatch to request EMS services and then started CPR until they arrived. She ultimately survived.

"Due to his actions, and had he not been there to administer that CPR, the female would have most certainly died that day," Chief Sever said.

Chandler and Avalos also received recognition certificates from Congressman David Valadao.
Officers Wayne Shoemake, Robert Parker, Manuel Pasillas

Officer Idalis Chandler
Officer Fabian Avalos
Council Learns All About Landscape Assessment Districts (LADs)

During the study session, Parks & Community Services Director Brad Albert and Willdan Financial Services' Principal Consultant Jim McGuire gave a detailed presentation about Hanford's Landscape Assessment Districts (LADs). There are 43 independent LADs in the City, and their overall purpose is to provide funding to maintain common areas and medians. Each district is funded through annual assessments on property owners in that district, and as seen in the document to the right (LAD Fund Amounts), each LAD has a different fund balance. While many have healthy fund balances, six (6) districts are in a deficit and seven (7) have a balance of $4,000 or less. Each district also has an assigned level of service, from A (receive landscape maintenance services every week), to E (serviced once per month). During the presentation, Albert and McGuire laid out some potential strategies to make the districts more solvent and eliminate the need to provide districts with loans from the City's General Fund. One option is to reduce a district's level of service (serviced less frequently, thereby spending less money on maintenance). Another route? Increase the assessment amount through balloting. But given the current economic climate, McGuire advised against pursuing this strategy right now. In the meantime, the City plans to continue working with McGuire and Willdan Financial Services to continue the administration and tracking of the LADs.
Did you know that residents may report various issues in their LAD on the City website? There are forms for broken playground equipment, broken sprinklers/irrigation issues and graffiti.

Mansionette Estates LAD, one of 43 LADs in the City of Hanford
LAD Fund Amounts
Map of Hanford Landscape Assessment Districts (2020)

See Parks & Community Services Director Brad Albert's full PowerPoint presentation about LADs.
Council Receives Presentation and Proposed Uses for CDBG Funding

As part of the CDBG Program, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires the City to submit an Annual Action Plan. During the study session, council received a presentation from the City’s Housing Administrative Analyst, Sandra Lerma, regarding the proposed 2023-2024 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Annual Action Plan. 

The City anticipates receiving $521,703 in funding and presented council with the following proposed uses:

  • Several public service programs
  • Housing rehab program
  • Low-barrier homeless shelter/navigation center

Based on the direction from council, staff will now finalize a draft of that plan and it will be available for the public to review and comment on before the final plan is ultimately adopted at a public hearing scheduled for May 2, 2023. Later this year, City staff will develop a new Consolidated Plan, which is broader in scope and covers a five-year period.

Photo of 40 Prado Homeless Service Center in San Luis Obispo.
The recommendation for funding towards a low-barrier homeless shelter in Hanford (for acquisition or building improvements) comes amid ongoing discussions between the City and other organizations to identify solutions to the complex issue of homelessness in Hanford and Kings County.

To gain a better understanding of what a low-barrier shelter could look like, City staff and two council members recently visited 40 Prado in the City of San Luis Obispo. 40 Prado has 100 beds, and in addition to providing shelter and other services, it serves as a warming center for the City during storms.
Other Actions, Announcements

  • Council authorized the City to pursue a federal grant (SAFER) to fund six additional firefighters over a three-year period. The additional firefighters would help the Hanford Fire Department meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) staffing recommendations and reduce overtime spending in the department.

  • Council authorized the City to accept a $45,000 grant through FEMA's Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program for the purchase of firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • The Mayor, with the full support of other council members, appointed Hanford resident Garry Curtis to the alternate seat on the Hanford Planning Commission.
Next Regular City Council Meeting
March 21, 2023, 7 p.m.