The Fresno City Council has a tentative emergency meeting today at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a news release from Council President Miguel Arias, the council will discuss declaring a state of emergency and an anti-price gouging ordiance.
As of time of publication, no agenda has been posted. Normally, this is not allowed without at least 24 hours notice. But, as part of the Brown Act — the state’s laws on open meetings — emergency meetings are exempt from the notice period.
On Sunday, the Fresno County Health Dept. announced a second case of COVID-19 in the county and declared a state of emergency. The city also shut down the zoo.
In Other Council Action
At its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, the Fresno City Council will discuss whether they should delay implementing security screenings for employees out of COVID-19 concerns.
The screenings went into effect for the public in January and are supposed to start for employees on March 26.
Councilman Nelson Esparza, along with City Manager Wilma Quan, are asking for a delay until April 27. The concern is that crowded lines would not allow for social distancing.
“There are concerns that the process of screening employees and their baggage, as well the time waiting to be screened in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), may expose employees to additional transmission risk,” the city staff report says.
The staff report does not address the potential COVID-19 risk to members of the public, who are currently required to wait in line to be screened.
In other action, the council will vote to approve Pastor D.J. Criner to the planning commission. Criner serves as the Senior Pastor at St. Rest Baptist Church, and is a frequently-heard voice on municipal issues. Mayor Lee Brand picked Criner to replace Serop Torossian, who resigned earlier this year.
Cox Holds Virtual Townhall on Coronavirus
Congressman TJ Cox (D-Fresno) will hold a virtual town hall meeting over the telephone to discuss coronavirus issues. The representative will be joined by Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County’s interim health officer. The 90 minute discussion starts tonight at 6 p.m.
The meeting can be accessed through this link or call in at 855-962-0969.
Clovis Moves Meeting, Discusses Water Fee
The Clovis City Council meeting is still scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. However, in the interest of public safety, the meeting has been moved from its usual City Hall chambers location to the Clovis Senior Center (850 4th Street) a few blocks away.
Citing the coronavirus threat, the city said the move will allow for “social distancing.” The floorplan of the Senior Center offers more seating space than the relatively cramped chambers.
At the meeting, the council will vote to establish a water supply fee on developers for new projects. Last year, the city made a $35 million deal to receive up to 7,000 additional acre-feet of water annually from the Fresno Irrigation District over the next 25-years to support the city’s future growth.
Devin Nunes Talks About China, Just Not Coronavirus
Perhaps it makes sense that the topic of this week’s podcast from Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) focuses on China. After all, that’s where the latest strain of coronavirus originated. And COVID-19 is the top issues on the news and in Congress.
Nunes instead took a “deep dive” on Chinese President Xi Jingping and his rule. Gordon Chang, an author and commentator on Chinese leadership, joined Nunes for a 15-minute discussion on Xi, Chinese corruption, and Chinese politics.
In a separate email to followers, Nunes did post a link from the Dan Bongino Show talking about coronavirus information with Dr. Christopher Centeno of Regenexx.
Geragos to Fundraise for State Center Candidate
Sevag Tateosian is enlisting some star power in his run for State Center Community College District trustee.
Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos will hold a fundraiser for Tateosian in Los Angeles on April 2.
Tateosian is challenging current District 2 SCCCD Trustee Eric Payne in November.