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Fresno installs new mayor, council



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The new Fresno city council took their seats and the ceremonial Mayor’s gavel changed hands. Lee Brand presented his inaugural address, talking about his humble roots to now leading California’s fifth largest city.

Garry Bredefeld also took the oath of office for council District Six, replacing Brand. Luis Chavez, elected to the District Five chair, was unable to attend because of a family medical emergency as was announced by outgoing council president Paul Caprioglio.

Now former Mayor Ashley Swearengin gave a tearful goodbye, saying one of her qualities was that she was “never satisfied,” motivating her to do more for the city she ran for the last eight years.

During Brand’s address, he mocked himself saying he did not have the charisma, the looks, nor the hair of Swearengin. “I have doubt of my resolve to change the city and follow the footsteps of Mayor Swearengin.”

“My victory was the victory for every underdog,” Brand continued. He felt that becoming mayor will help redeem himself in the eyes of his late father, who died when Brand was a teen.

Brand also announced that he sold his interest in his property management firm, Westco, to concentrate on his new position. He talked about his priorities including economic expansion and public safety.

GV Wire spoke with two councilmen: Steve Brandau and Garry Bredefeld to get their vision for the upcoming year.

Brandau says his home was broken into during the Christmas break. He claims this was the second time in a year that it happened.

He also talked about his plans for the council in 2017.

Check back Friday for Garry Bredefeld’s thoughts.

E-mail David Taub

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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