There have been interesting developments, first noted by CV Observer’s George Hostetter, about Fresno City Clerk Yvonne Spence taking offense to Councilman Garry Bredefeld’s NFL rant Sept. 28. Both Bredefeld’s nine-minute speech and colleague Oliver Baines 20-minute response Oct. 12 came during “Council Member Reports and Comments.”
Both topics seemed to run contrary to what a council member is supposed to talk about during that portion of the agenda.
According to the council’s Rules of Procedure No. 20, “Any Councilmember may, during the time for Councilmember reports and comments, report on activities in representing the Council or the City, before other governmental agencies and at public events, or direct brief questions to other Councilmembers, the City Manager, the City Attorney, or the City Clerk.” Additionally, there is a three-minute time limit, something that the councilmen exceeded.
In Seinfeldian fashion, I asked Spence if she was more offended by this as a clerk or as a black woman. She said it was more of the latter. While she would not classify her verbal complaint to Council President Clint Olivier as formal, she does not know what the next step is. “I expressed my opinions. We’ll see where it goes from here,” Spence told GV Wire.
Spence reiterated she enjoys her job. “I love what I do. I love working at the city of Fresno.”
Coincidentally, Spence was not at this week’s meeting, a pre-arranged absence.
Darling Move Clears First Hurdle
The Planning Commission enacted the next step to move the Darling meat rendering plant from west Fresno to a spot away from populated areas. (To clarify an earlier GV Wire report, the land next to the wastewater plant at Jensen and Polk avenues is within city limits.)
The agreement is for Darling to shut down operations at Belgravia and Church avenues and move to 20 acres (with an opportunity to expand to 20 more) a few miles away. While many residents of west Fresno spoke up wishing Darling well in its move, Jim Quist, a resident near the proposed location, expressed his concern about the malodor of the plant coming his way.
All the speakers requested that Darling be relocated even farther out of town.
In addition to the land, the city will also provide at no cost to Darling, a PG&E gas line, a methane gas line, a nonpotable water supply line and use of a new well to be built on the property. Darling would also receive property and sales tax rebate commitments and either reduction or no payment of various development fees.
Neither representatives from the city nor Darling could estimate how much that package is worth.
The Planning Commission approved the move by a 6-1 vote.
The next step is a city council hearing Oct. 26.
More Places to Drink in Fresno
The Fresno City Council approved two more places to get your drink on.
Council, voting literally with bells, unanimously approved the consumption of alcohol on a pedicab. And, based on a picture Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria tweeted out, these don’t have a simple bench seat on the back of a bike.
— Esmeralda Soria (@Esmeralda_Soria) October 19, 2017
These pedicabs look like full on pedal-powered buses, with plenty of room on board to imbibe. This might work great with the proposed “Ale Trail” downtown.
Also, the council accepted the appeal of Johnny Quik-owner George “Don’t Forget About Me” Beal, granting him an alcohol license at his proposed store at Jensen and Highway 99. The 5-1 vote overrides a Planning Commission decision that initially rejected the license request.
License for Armenian Booze Only
City staff and the police department opposed the city from granting the Uptown Market a Type 20 alcohol license, which would grant it the right to sell wine and beer. Police said that the apartment complex that is adjacent to the shopping center at the southeast corner of Shaw and Marks avenues was the location of many service calls.
The Mkrtchyan family convinced the Planning Commission otherwise, that they didn’t want to be a run-of-the-mill Bud Light seller. They wanted to sell specialty Armenian beer and pomegranate wine.
The commission approved with a 5-2 vote, with the condition that the market only sell the imported specialty beer and wine.
Board of Supes Wrap-up
At the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, two items we’ve been following passed unanimously, with limited discussion. The Board approved extended “dumpster diver” patrols for the Fig Garden Police District for another year. Also, the Board said yes to move the duties of the Public Administrator’s office from the District Attorney to the Sheriff.
What Do Giants Fans Think About This?
Apparently, Sen. Kamala Harris forgot she comes from San Francisco with this tweet. Political pandering at its best:
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 20, 2017