Members of the Fresno City Council must have had an 11 a.m. tee time Thursday (Nov. 2). Their meeting lasted less than 90 minutes, finishing by 10 a.m.

The agenda was light to begin with before council postponed four items. At the start of the meeting, Clerk Yvonne Spence announced that Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria’s plan for campaign fundraising reform was removed from the agenda without explanation.

Councilman Oliver Baines asked that an item regarding renovation work at Producers Dairy be delayed until Dec. 7. Council also delayed items regarding changing city employee sick leave policy and garbage rate increases. The general reason for all three: more time to research the proposals.

The Darling plant move, initially passed last week, received its second round of unanimous approval Thursday. Council gave the go go-ahead part of the consent calendar, with no discussion. This was despite legal questions brought up by attorney C. William Brewer on behalf of residents living near the proposed re-location site.

Also, the council approved spending $500,000 for pre-design work as part of the Temperance Flat Dam project. Fresno is one of many stakeholders hoping to receive state funds to build the much talked-about water storage plan.

Farmland mitigation

At last week’s council meeting (Oct. 26), Councilman Steve Brandau expressed frustration that the city took no action in seven months since the passing a possible change to the General Plan. Brandau supported changing the requirement that developers would have to preserve a piece of farmland somewhere in the county for every piece of city farmland they develop. The motion to start the process passed in March.

Brandau reports that meetings with key people in the city are on the books to finally get the process rolling.

(Disclosure: Granville Homes, the corporate owner of GV Wire, supported the farmland mitigation change.)

Governor Appoints Diaz to Judgeship

Newly appointed judge Monica Diaz (photo: State of California)

A top attorney in the District Attorney’s office will be ruling on courtroom arguments instead of making them.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Monica Diaz to the Fresno County Superior Court. She fills the vacant seat of Kathleen Meehan, whom Brown promoted to the Fifth District Court of Appeal last December.

Diaz is the chief deputy district attorney in Fresno County and has served with the office for 18 years.

In a statement, District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said:

“I am overwhelmingly proud of Monica for this accomplishment. She is a fine prosecutor with a keen sense of justice, and has proven herself to be a dedicated public servant. Although it will be a tremendous loss to our office, the citizens of Fresno County are very fortunate to have Monica Diaz serving as a Superior Court Judge.”

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