City Council Recognizes Clovis Fire Dept Chief Binaski, New City Clerk Appointed

Karey Cha was appointed as the new City Clerk at the City Council meeting on Sept. 20. Cha worked as the Deputy City Clerk for the last six years. (City of Clovis)

The City Council opened up their Sept. 20 board meeting recognizing Clovis Fire Chief John Binaski as Fire Chief of the Year. The award was presented to him at this year’s California Fire Chiefs Association annual conference.

Chief Binaski has served for 29 years in the fire service. He also has many professional credentials and is an active member on the California League of Cities Board as a director along with other involvement in different areas both past and present. 

Chris Ekk, Deputy Fire Chief of the City of Clovis said Chief Binaski has influenced a lot of departments around here and used words to describe him as a “coach” and “mentor.” 

“I don’t even know if he sleeps either — he works hard, but he always finds time to help people if they need it,” Ekk said. “And even though all those, the list of tasks that he does in all the boards and he spends time with those agencies, it’s never taken away for his true commitments to the city.” 

 Ekk added that the amount of time, effort and passion that Chief Binaski puts into the fire department and city is commended. 

Everyone applauded Chief Binaski at the meeting. He said it is a great honor and although he received the award, he still gave recognition to the people in his department. 

“We’ve established a great team. We come together as a group,” Chief Binaski said. “We try to do what really is best for the citizens, best for our agency, and really try to move us forward.”

He added on the service with pride and excellence elaborating on how the Clovis fire department goes out and gives their 110 percent effort no matter who it is or where they are (used helping the Porterville Fire Department as an example).

“And that’s why I say it’s really a department award, I’m just the face of it,”  Chief Binaski said. 

Along with recognizing Chief Binaski at the city council meeting, there were other items on the agenda as well. Project outlines were on display, as well as planning and development services pertaining to improvements and more.

Street sweeping charges were brought up at the meeting. Street sweeping budget has fallen short. 

A $0.50 cent increase was proposed (for 2022) from $2.25 to $2.75 per month — annual 4 percent increase July first beginning in 2023 and then evaluated annually. The council accepted the increase in street sweeping charges. 

To wrap up the meeting, there was a confirmation of the city manager’s appointment of city clerk. 

City Manager, Luke Serpa was very pleased to present Karey Cha’s appointment as city clerk. 

Cha has helped with getting them up to speed when it comes to running council meetings, modernizing the software that goes on behind-the-scenes, and putting together the agenda. 

Serpa said Cha has been a tremendous asset to them. 

“I don’t think we’d be where we are at without her,” Serpa said. 

Cha has been working with the city for about six years working in the administration office, as deputy city clerk and started as an economic development intern. 

She said she’s had such a wonderful experience getting to learn from everyone over the past years. 

Cha said she is looking forward to working as the city clerk. 

“I am so excited and incredibly just honored for this opportunity,” Cha said. 

Alexis Govea is proud to be from the Central Valley. She graduated from Fresno State with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication & journalism and a minor in Spanish. She has that Bulldog spirit deep in her heart. Go 'Dogs! Alexis is happy to be a part of the Clovis Roundup and is excited to tell the stories of many people here in the valley along with other story pieces pertaining to the community. Alexis also works for the Fresno State Athletics Department and is a local on-air personality for Q97.1 radio.