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Selma City Council meets, shuffles the deck

Selma City Council meets, shuffles the deck

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scott robertson

Scott Robertson

SELMA — It was a reorganizational meeting like no other for the Selma City Council on Monday night, Dec. 7.
 
For the first time, Selma voters voted on the mayor on Election Night. Usually, the council votes to determine the mayor. As the voters decided on Scott Robertson on Nov. 3, the new council decided only on a Mayor Pro Tempore.
 
Actually, former Mayor Louis Franco helped approve a resolution declaring results of the Nov. 3 election before making his final comments and stepping down. Councilman Jim Avalos abstained.
 
Mayor Franco and Councilmember Avalos have served a combined 20 years on the council with Avalos serving 16 of those years.
 
City Clerk Reyna Rivera administered the oath to newly elected Mayor Robertson. After a delay for COVID precautions and pictures, council members Blanca E. Mendoza-Navarro (District 1) and Beverly Cho (District 4) took the oath of office in separate ceremonies from Rivera.
 
Now with Councilmember Sarah Guerra, it is believed to be the first time that three women have served on the Selma City Council at the same time. Robertson is serving as mayor for the second time.
 
Rivera presented the winners with their Certificates of Election before they took their seats on the dais.
 
At 7:03 p.m., the regular meeting continued. It was the first time in several months that the Council didn't have a special presentation and had all five council members at the dais.
 
Mayor Robertson suggested that meetings should start one half hour early at 5:30 p.m. in the future. Several previous meetings with presentations have lasted until past 10 p.m.
 
New Council person Beverly Cho was elected Mayor Pro Tempore.
 
A common theme among the council: we are going to continue to work together.
 
Public hearings were held on resolutions to declare abandoned signs at 1505 Second, 1630 Second and 1635 Second as illegal on-premises advertising displays and ordering the property owner to abate the public nuisance. Two of the three property owners testified at the hearing. The matter was continued until the Jan. 19 meeting.
 
The Council also postponed a establish a new Christmas greetings sign on Second Street.
 
On a suggestion from outgoing Mayor Franco, the Council tabled an item to name the Community Room in the new Police Station as the Dr. Stanley Y. Louie Community Room in recognition of the late Selma physician, who died suddenly last month. They wanted to check with Louie’s family first.
 
Mayor Franco asked for a moment of silence in memory of Dr. Louie at the start of the meeting.
 
The Council also tabled a motion to allocate $254,521.62 in CARES Act money.
Almost 60 percent ($150,000) will go toward a business license fee relief program for 2021.
 
Officials also approved use of the Pioneer Village office building as a COVID-19 testing center. There was some concern that the center would cause parking problems for the adjacent Cattlemens Restaurant but there was no difficulty observed the next day.

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