About the Governing Board
The 11-member MCAG Governing Board includes a supervisor from each of the five county districts and an elected official from each of the six incorporated cities in Merced County: Atwater, Dos Palos, Gustine, Livingston, Los Banos and Merced. Board meetings are held the third Thursday of every month at 3 p.m. at varied locations throughout Merced County. For the location of this month's Governing Board meeting, please contact MCAG at 209-723-3153.
Agendas & Minutes
At least 72 hours prior to each regular MCAG meeting, a complete agenda packet is available for review by clicking the link below and at the MCAG Office, 369 W. 18th Street, Merced, CA 95340. All public records relating to an open session item and copies of staff reports or other written documentation relating to items of business referred to on the agenda are on file at MCAG. Persons with questions concerning agenda items may call MCAG to make an inquiry regarding the nature of the item described on the agenda. Minutes are available following Governing Board approval.
Rodrigo Espinoza - Chairperson
Merced County Supervisor
Director Espinoza was sworn in January 03, 2017 to serve his first term as Merced County Supervisor, District 1. Espinoza first moved to Merced County from Mexico at the age of 10. He attended elementary and middle school in Delhi and graduated from Livingston High School. He attended California State University Stanislaus and received his BA in criminal justice in 1994. Director Espinoza was first elected Livingston City Council member in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. In 2010 he was elected Livingston City Mayor and served 3 two year terms before being elected County Supervisor. Director Espinoza served as the MCAG Vice Chair from 2015-2016 representing the city of Livingston, and was re-elected this term to serve representing Merced County. He is also a member of the San Joaquin Valley Rail Commission. The Espinoza family focuses on farming Almonds and Peaches in the Delhi and Turlock area. Director Espinoza resides in Livingston with his wife; Ana together they have three children Erik, Breanna and Matthew.
Mayor of Dos Palos
Director April Smith Hogue, 28th Mayor of the City of Dos Palos, grew up locally, the daughter of the late longtime high school biology teacher Roswell Smith and Carol Pera of Dos Palos. Her sister Loni Smith Henderson was married to late Oakland A’s baseball superstar Dave Henderson. April attended Dos Palos High School. She graduated from Fresno State earning a BA in Industrial Arts with an emphasis on Graphic Design and Advertising. After college, she moved to Seattle to pursue a career in Graphic Design. Director Hogue worked as a designer for a contract food company and later obtained a vocational education credential from Cal State Sacramento. In 2001, she returned to Dos Palos, teaching Graphic Arts through 2010. She is currently a CTE instructor with Fresno Unified School District at Cambridge High School in S/E Fresno. April Hogue is an accomplished musician who performs in a duo called “It’s Just Us.” She has a grown daughter and son. On November 8, 2016, Director Hogue became the first female mayor of Dos Palos.
Merced County Supervisor
Supervisor Lee Lor and her husband, Ber, have four children, three of whom currently attend local schools. They have been active in our community for more than 17 years. Their family volunteers and works to ensure our community has higher quality experiences and opportunities. Supervisor Lor was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the 35th District Agricultural Association, also known as the Merced County Fair Board. She currently serves on the Mercy Medical Center Merced’s Community Board, its Board Quality Committee and is Chair of its Community Advisory Committee. Supervisor Lor is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum – Great Valley Chapter and a graduate of Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations. She is also a member of a local School Site Council. Supervisor Lor earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from California State University, Stanislaus and obtained her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fresno.
Merced County Supervisor
Director Daron McDaniel currently serves as Merced County Supervisor for District 3. He moved to Merced County 33 years ago when his father was a part of the management team that opened Merced Color Press. He graduated from Merced High School before going on to attend Merced College and California State University, Stanislaus. While raising their family in Atwater, Director McDaniel and his wife Buffy started a charitable foundation that has supported athletic programs throughout the region. The McDaniel's believe deeply in giving back to their community and most recently supported the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Celebration at the Bloss House in Atwater. In addition to running his small business, Director McDaniel has also served on the Peggy Heller and McSwain School Site Councils and as a District Representative for Congressman Jeff Denham. He continues to utilize his broad network of partners and contacts at the state and federal levels to better serve Merced County.
Mayor of Merced
Director Mike Murphy was elected Mayor of Merced in 2016. Prior to being elected Mayor, he served on the Merced City Council from 2011 to 2016. Murphy attended Merced's public schools and later earned a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University. He also holds a law degree from Georgetown University. Director Murphy practices law in Merced where he and his wife Heather, are raising their 4 children. The Murphys are passionate about supporting research for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Merced County Supervisor
Director O'Banion was born and raised in Dos Palos, California. He attended Fresno State Universtiy and received his BA in General Sciences and a teaching credential in Agricultural Education. O'Banion served on the Dos Palos City council from 1980-1990 and was the Dos Palos Mayor from 1987-1990. He was elected Merced County Supervisor in 1990 and re-elected in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and in 2014. He was also the Board of Supervisors, Chairman in 1994, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2014. O'Banion has also served on the Merced County Local Agency Formation Commission, 1983-Present. In addition to serving as Merced County Supervisor District 5, O'Banion also participates in several civic activities. Director O'Banion resides in Dos Palos with his wife, Dollie together they have three children and eight grandchildren.
Gustine Council Member
Director Joe Oliveira was appointed to the Gustine City Council in 1999 and was elected in the year 2000. He has been re-elected every election since. In addition to serving on the MCAG Governing Board, Director Oliveira has been involved in the One Voice Delegation to Washington D.C. and Sacramento, School District Facilities Committee, and Merced LAFCO. Director Oliveira was employed by PG&E for 38 years until his retirement. His hobbies include golf, hunting and playing poker. He is also past president of the Gustine Lion's Club and Gustine High School Boosters Club and president of the Gustine Alumni Association. He is a life long resident of Gustine. He and his wife Cheryl, have one son and two grandchildren.
Merced County Supervisor
Director Pareira was sworn in January 2017 to serve his first term as Merced County Supervisor, District 4. He has lived on his family’s farm near the Merced River nearly his whole life. He earned his bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in dairy science. Director Pareira owned his own dairy in Turlock after college before taking over his family’s farm in Merced. He has also served as a trustee on the Merced River school board, the Merced County Farm Bureau, Yosemite Church, and as a delegate for Western United Dairyman. Director Pareira has been married to his wife, Babette, for 23 years. They have four children.
Mayor of Atwater
Director Jim Price was elected Mayor of Atwater in 2014 and his term will expire in November 2018. He serves as a member of the City Council and as a Board Member of the Board of Directors for the Successor Agency to the Atwater Redevelopment Agency, the Atwater Fire Protection District, the Atwater Housing Authority, the Atwater Public Financing Authority, and the Atwater Public Improvement Corporation. Director Price also serves as a member of the 4th of July Committee and the LAFCO Board.
Mayor of Los Banos
Director Villalta was born and raised in Los Banos, Californa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Teaching from the College of Norte Dame, and a Master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of San Francisco. For 31 years, Director Villalta was employed with the Los Banos Unified School District as an elementary and secondary teacher, Administrative Assistant/Counselor and Principal at the Junior High School, and District Director of Human Resources before retiring in 2005. For the past 36 years, he and his wife Leslie have owned and operated "The Frame Shop", their local retail business in downtown Los Banos. Currently, Director Villalta is serving his fourth term as Mayor of Los Banos.
MCAG Executive Director
A native of Wisconsin, Mr. Pittenger earned a bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a master's degree in transportation planning from Iowa State University. Pittenger has over 20 years of experience in regional transportation planning, transit system administration, and public works management. Most recently, he has served as the Transportation Manager for Carson City, Nevada, since 2006. In that capacity, he served as the Director of the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and was responsible for all aspects of transportation in the Carson City area including transit and public works administration.