At the March 1 Los Banos City Council meeting, residents of Los Banos spoke during the public forum about occurrences and upcoming events in the city, the council voted to discuss salary schedules and employee classifications at their next meeting, and numerous certificates of recognition were awarded.
During the public forum, a representative of the Chamber of Commerce, Roy Todd, said that the Chamber of Commerce is trying to recover members after they decreased from 253 in Feb 2020 to 207 individuals after the COVID-19 pandemic. Todd also forecasted some upcoming events that the City will have throughout the year.
Events included the Downtown Spring Street Faire in April, one day of Mother’s Day in the Park in May at Pacheco Park, Dad’s Day Out car show in June, the Tomato Festival in July, the Fall Street Faire in September, Trunk or Treat on Oct. 27 and the Annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on Dec. 2.
Todd also mentioned the upcoming ribbon cutting for Biggin’s Texas BBQ at their new location, 609 I Street (downtown), on March 18, 2023, at 10 a.m.
Also, during the public forum the manager of Rancho Los Banos Mobile Home Park, Chandra Lewis, thanked the council and said that the residents of the park feel much safer after the cleanup and closure of the nearby homeless encampment on Place Road. However, she said that he is concerned that the homeless community will return because one individual has not been removed.
“I know the gentleman that’s in the middle of the field wasn’t in the encampment, so it concerns me that you will allow them to come back,” Lewis said.
The council adopted a resolution to continue a discussion with Interim Finance Director Brent Kuhn about salary schedules and employee classifications relating to administration and community and economic development to the March 15 city council meeting.
This topic was first brought up on Feb. 1 by Council member Deborah Lewis, who wanted to address issues of female employees being underpaid for a long period of time.
While Kuhn maintained that the salaries are solely structured by position, Council member Deborah Lewis said she does not want to ignore the subject of gender in this discussion.
Several certificates of recognition were presented that evening. Public Works Foreman Anthony “Butch” Terranova received a certificate of recognition for being named the Employee of the Month for February 2023.
The rest of the certificates were awarded to wrestlers from Los Banos High School that placed in the Sac-Joaquin Men’s and Women’s Masters Tournament. The students that were recognized for their outstanding sportsmanship were:
- Brokton Borelli, placing as “Champion” and qualifying for the wrestling state championships,
- Larry Borelli, placing as “Champion” and qualifying for the state championships,
- Raymond Fernandez, placing third and qualifying for the state championships,
- Kiara Daniels, placing thirdand qualifying for state championships,
- Mikayla Mendoza, placing seventh and
- Crystal Hernandez placing eighth.
After presenting the certificates, Mayor Paul Llanez encouraged members of the community, parents and youth sports organizations to continue sending emails about youths that deserve recognition. “I want to get these kids up here and recognize them, not just for their outstanding work, but the way they represent our city,” Llanez said and thanked the wrestlers.
During his first city manager report since being rehired, Josh Pinheiro expressed gratitude for the words of encouragement and support he received from members of the community, the council and city staff. Pinheiro also announced that a new digital sign was recently put up on the east side of Los Banos.
“Folks in the community, I need your help and your support so we can continue to make Los Banos a great place to be,” Pinheiro said.
The council will convene again on March 15.