May 13th City Council Meeting: Special Olympics Recognition, New City Ordinances, and Budget Presentations

The Clovis City Council is photographed.(left to right) Mayor Pro-Tem Vong Mouanoutoua, Councilman Matt Basgall, Mayor Lynne Ashbeck, Councilwoman Diane Pearce, Councilman Drew Bessinger

May 13, 2024 – The City Council proclaimed May 2024 as Special Olympics NorCal Month.

Special Olympics NorCal provides free year-round programs for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, including sports, health and wellness training, and leadership development, and they have recently opened an office in Clovis at Tollhouse and Sunnyside Avenues.

“I’m very lucky to be a part of the special olympics. I’ve been with the Special Olympics since 2015, thanks to a guy named Coach Mike, and I’ve loved Special Olympics ever since,” said one athlete, named cody,“I was very lucky to go up to Seattle in 2018, [for] a soccer tournament, and my team won the silver medal. I will continue to do any sports with special olympics that I think will help me improve on skills and strengths. Gracias!”

Three local ordinances were approved by the council. The first will establish regulations for how medical marijuana deliveries are made in Clovis. SB 1186 recently prohibited local jurisdictions from preventing the sale of medicinal marijuana by delivery altogether, but permits certain regulations.

The city ordinance will require all medicinal marijuana delivery drivers to be at least 21 years  old, and to be able to present, if requested by law enforcement, a valid identification and driver’s license, logs of all delivery stops, an inventory of items being sold, and a copy of the city’s business tax certificate. Additionally, deliveries may only occur between 6AM and 10PM.

The second local ordinance pertains to massage parlors that have been shut down for offering customers more than they advertise.

To combat human sex trafficking, the city will establish a moratorium on re-opening any massage business that has been found in violation of their license. The Deputy City Attorney reports that massage businesses frequently shift their business license to a friend or family member, and re-open in a matter of weeks in the same location, after being shut down.

The moratorium is a recommended action by the California Massage Therapy Council, and typically ranges from between 3 and 10 years. The moratorium will help keep the frequency of the same police action down, as regular inspections are necessary to prove compliance with licensure.

Additionally, the ordinance will shift the responsibility to the building owner, as they will be prohibited from allowing any massage business to open in a particular business suite for the duration of the moratorium.

The third city ordinance will require all tobacco retailers within the City of Clovis to be licensed through the city itself. The effect will be to assist local law enforcement in seizing tobacco retail licenses from businesses found in violation.

Police Corporal Sean O’Brien reported that underage tobacco sales have been made to minor decoys working with both state and local agencies, and currently local authority to seize licenses is very limited.

The ordinance will establish a local application and licensing process, specify violations, and identify penalties for violating local ordinance.

The remainder of the meeting was dedicated to each city department’s presentation of their 2024-2025 budgets, identifying challenges and plans for the council, and suggesting cost-cutting measures in all departments.

The police and fire budgets will be presented at the May 20th meeting.