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Brand lays out future focus

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In front of hundreds of enthusiastic supporters, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand detailed what he wants to accomplish in office. Brand delivered a keynote address to a Fresno Chamber of Commerce brunch event in his honor.

In an 18 minute speech to Chamber members dining on chicken and waffles, Brand talked about starting a citizens’ advisory committee on police matters as well as his commitment to community based policing. He believes that this would lead to less shootings and a safer city. He repeated his campaign trail promise of adding 200 officers.

Brand touted the idea of teamwork, both with the current city council and with other area governments. He promised to share credit with council members on major projects, by getting their cooperation from the get-go. Brand also vowed to hold a joint city-county government meeting for the first time by his estimation, in 30 years.

Before the event, about five unaffiliated protesters chided Brand outside The Grand 1401 at the corner of Tuolumne & Van Ness. Some with bullhorns were upset over Brand’s stance on Fresno not being a sanctuary city. Police had to step in at one point when one protester shouted down an event goer.

Noting the difficulty of working with a liberal state government in Sacramento and a conservative federal government in Washington, Brand says he wants to find a middle ground. “I feel like I am the captain of the Titanic, trying to navigate between icebergs,” Brand told the audience. “I don’t follow ideologies; I follow what is best for 520,000 people.”

Brand also discussed the difficulty of needed city projects like parks and streets, because of its costs. His goal is to raise revenue by selling excess city property. He also mentioned an idea bandied about on the campaign trail: electronic billboards along the city’s highways. Future debt service should also shrink by Brand’s calculation, eventually leading to $27 million in savings.

Another vow was to improve Fresno’s business climate. “The culture at City Hall needs to change, from top to bottom. I guarantee to everybody here before I finish, Fresno will indeed be business friendly.” Brand said he has a future trip planned to Seattle to lobby Amazon to bring thousands of jobs to the city. He also plans to add a concierge position to his administration to help with businesses to navigate through the bureaucracy.

Brand speech part 1

Brand speech part 2

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