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Coffee kiosk plan ended just in time

Kudos to the Madera County Board of Supervisors for putting a stop to the building of a coffee kiosk in the lobby of the government center.

Not that it made a difference but I did send a mass text message to the board members the day of the meeting urging them to veto the proposal. Ultimately the project proved to be too expensive to allow. The costs and the break-even point for the county were years in the future. Truthfully, understanding all the math involved is a bit above my pay-grade.

Surveys of county employees seem to indicate they would patronize the business and it would be a great convenience for them. I have little doubt the first week of the month that could be true. But what about weeks two through four? County employees get paid once a month. For those on tight budgets, who live paycheck to paycheck, a daily $5 cup of coffee might not be feasible.

Additionally, the smell of burnt coffee and the odor of a dirty breakroom is not something the county should endorse. Maybe if our illustrious board of supervisors had a little more estrogen and a little less testosterone in its makeup that problem would have occurred to them.

When the building was brand new a member the board refused to allow the tax-collector’s office to hold its annual property sale in the building. The reason given at the time was that they wanted to keep it nice. Like using it for a public land auction would spoil it.

One of the other snags with having a coffee spot in the lobby of the building is the sign prohibiting beverages being brought into the board room.

The sign reads “No chewing gum, food or drink (except water) is allowed in the board chamber.”

Encouraging a person attending a supervisors’ meeting to purchase a beverage or snack and to also expect them to remain in the lobby to consume it is just not rational.

While it doesn’t relate to installing a coffee spot in the lobby one of the business practices of this major chain strikes me as wrong. If a customer brings his or her own cup in when purchasing a beverage they receive a whopping 10 cent discount. If the reason for this is ecology and to help eliminate waste in the local landfill, this small discount seems miserly at best.

And finally I would like to extend a special thank you to the brother-sister tag team of Wally and Ruth Nishimoto. They took time from their busy schedules to address the board. As local business people they pointed out what a bad deal the county was contemplating. The proposed construction would be built and operated by people from out-of-town. If a snack-bar were to be installed in the government center it should be built and operated by someone who has a stake in the community. Well done, Wally and Ruth.


While on the subject of businesses that benefit Madera, can anyone tell me why our city utility bills are processed by a company in San Francisco? While payment can be dropped off at city hall, residents paying their bills by mail do so by mailing them to the city by the bay.

Aren’t there people on staff to process these payments? It would again seem to make more sense to have a person with a stake in the community work this position.


The present heat wave is expected to continue through at least Sunday. Stay cool and hydrated, make sure your pets are in out of the heat with plenty of access to shade and water.

Have a great weekend.

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