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

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