Los Banos City Council to again consider hiring interim city manager Wednesday

On July 5, 2022 by Justin Collins
Rendering by Benchmark Engineering of one of two eight-unit, multi-family housing structures to be considered for adoption by the Los Banos City Council Wednesday night. Source: Stonefield Home

Mayor to ask for authority to sign city agreements until interim is hired

During their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at 6 pm, the Los Banos City Council will consider a few items on the agenda that residents might be interested in. Items C through E on the consent agenda allow the mayor to enter into various agreements and initiate contracts that normally would be executed by the city manager. But since there is no interim city manager, the mayor is increasingly acting as de-facto interim city manager.

While the mayor cannot serve as either the acting or interim city manager in a General Law City, anyone the council votes to appoint can sign agreements.

The employment of an interim city manager is last on the agenda and will be discussed during the closed session meeting. Members of the public can speak on the item before they do.

Will Consider Contract for Interim Finance Director and IT

Under Item D on the consent agenda, the council will consider contracting with BWK Consulting, LLC to fulfill the needs of interim finance director and IT. This will cost the city approximately $15,000 per month, and with available of only 20-25 hours a week.

UPDATE: According to two council members and three city staff members, the finance director, Sonya Williams resigned, citing former City Manager Josh Pinheiro as the reason for leaving. An attempt to reach Williams to confirm what was shared was unsuccessful prior to publication time. However, she contacted the Enterprise on Friday, July 8, 2022, denying that was the reason. When asked her reason for leaving Williams said simply, “for personal reasons”.

To Consider Groundwater Sustainability Plan

During a public hearing, the council will consider adopting the First Amended Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors GSP Group in the Delta-Mendota Subbasin. According to the city staff report, the City of Los Banos resides within the Delta-Mendota Sub-basin. The Delta-Mendota limits are roughly from Tracy in the north to Tranquility in the south. It is essentially bounded on the west by the coastal range and the east by the San Joaquin River.

The City of Los Banos is the exclusive Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) for the portion of the Delta-Mendota Subbasin within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City. The GSP Group of the City of Los Banos GSA is in collaboration with the following: City of Dos Palos GSA, City of Newman GSA, City of Firebaugh GSA, City of Gustine GSA, City of Mendota GSA, portion of Merced County GSA, portion of Fresno County Area B GSA, portion of Madera County 3 GSA, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors GSA and the Turner Island Water District GSA.

The state Department of Water Resources identified four potential deficiencies in the city’s GSP. The amended plan is intended to address those deficiencies.

Will Consider Approving 16 Multi-Family Residential Units

The council will hold a public hearing to consider re-zoning and modifications to the general plan in order to allow for the development of two multi-family structures with 16 residential units by Stonefield Home at 1133 F Street on the corner of Santa Rita Avenue.

Public comments can be made on during the Public Forum and on each agenda item. For those who don’t wish to attend the meeting in person, public comments can be submitted to the city clerk at [email protected].

To see the entire council agenda and packet, click here. The meeting can be viewed online on YouTube.

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