A quick report on the Fresno City Council meeting Thursday, Sept. 28:
Soria’s Transparency Ordinance Crashes and Burns
Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria hoped for transparency for the use of police services when it came to for-profit political fundraisers. She said this fast-tracked ordinance was inspired by Friday’s scheduled visit by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, who is the keynote speaker at a Fresno County Republican Party event.
But, her motion was shot down in flames. None of the four other attending council members, including fellow Democrat Luis Chavez, seconded her motion, ending any chance of passage. Police Chief Jerry Dyer answered questions from the council, noting that such information is available already for the asking. He mentioned that upward of 80 officers are planned to patrol the Arpaio event. Dyer also clashed with Soria about whether campaign stops last year by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were political fundraisers.
After Council President Clint Olivier declared the motion dead because of no second, Soria made her intentions known that she wanted the information regarding the police department’s use of resources for the Arpaio event for the next council meeting. Olivier questioned whether she would want the same information for a women’s march. Watch:
Before council debated the motion, Soria held an impromptu news conference. Here is the raw video:
Yes to ampm Liquor License
Despite the visible presence of about 30 neighborhood residents in opposition, the council approved a building permit and permission to sell alcohol at a proposed ampm convenience store/gas station at Figarden Drive and Bullard Avenue in northwest Fresno.
The pleas of nearby business owners and neighbors did not sway the council. Councilman Steve Brandau, who represents the area, said that arguments against another alcohol seller in an area zoned for business was disingenuous, especially coming from competing businesses. That seemed to be the sentiment of Brandau’s colleagues as well: Let the business succeed or fail on its own.
The 4-0 vote (Council President Clint Olivier abstained; councilmen Oliver Baines and Paul Caprioglio were absent) confirmed a July vote by the Planning Commission and went against the city’s planning staff, which recommended not allowing alcohol sales.
Bredefeld ‘Outraged’ by NFL Kneeling
During his council reports, Garry Bredefeld spent nearly 10 minutes giving his thoughts on NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. He talked about things in the nation he agreed with and disagreed with, and expressed love for his country.
He also said he was “outraged” by the actions of the NFL’s “multi-millionaire” athletes.
(Video and text of Bredefeld’s speech can be seen here.)