It is a quiet week on the political front with the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are some short items of note:
Bettencourt Appointed to Trump Administration
Aubrey Bettencourt, outspoken farm advocate and executive director of the California Water Alliance, is joining the Trump Administration, albeit in a regional capacity. She is the new state executive director of the USDA California Farm Service Agency.
According to a news release, the agency “serves farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs. The agency offers farmers a strong safety net through the administration of farm commodity and disaster programs.”
Bettencourt often appears as a commentator on local media, most often heard on KMJ radio (usually talking about movies on Chris Daniel’s show; and sometimes on water) and on seen KSEE-24’s “Sunday Morning Matters.”
Bettencourt served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention last year.
Sumpter Promoted to Assistant City Manger
For 30 years, Jane Sumpter crunched numbers for the City of Fresno. She worked her way up to budget manager, a position she’s held for the last six years. Among her current duties is to present the budget to city council every June.
Now, she is moving up to assistant city manager. The city recently announced the promotion. Sumpter takes over Nov. 27.
Sumpter’s elevation continues Mayor Lee Brand trend of promoting from within. It started with Wilma Quan-Schecter, promoted to city manager after serving as an assistant. Public works director Scott Mozier replaced Quan-Schecter, albeit briefly. For whatever reason, Mozier returned to the public works department.
The only outsiders hired so far as department heads are Parvin Neloms Jr. as the parks director (formerly holding a similar role in Miami Gardens, Florida) and John Gliatta in the Office of Independent Review (former FBI administrator based in Sacramento).
Still Mum on Police Review Board
Brand’s police review board met earlier this month, but no one wants to come clean on what exactly was discussed. One member said they are learning about policies and procedures while continuing to go through training themselves.
Other members GV Wire spoke to would not talk about it, claiming confidentiality. That may or may not comport with the group’s by-laws.
According to the rules of the Citizens Public Safety Advisory Board, actual confidential information such as names of witnesses, and “contents of confidential testimony and documents” remain secret. There is nothing in the board’s rules preventing them from talking about what was discussed on the agenda itself.
Is the group making any progress? Nothing but silence. Ditto on the date of the next meeting.