It’s been a relatively quiet week on the Fresno political front. No meetings this week, sort of a Thanksgiving hangover.
Linn’s Bad Week
The big story is out of Madera County. It hasn’t been a good week for District Attorney David Linn. On Monday, the Board of Supervisors voted for his censure, based on reports of inappropriate workplace behavior.
On Wednesday, as revealed by my GV Wire colleague Bill McEwen, a phone message surfaced of Linn apparently threatening his insurance agent with arrest over a matter of automatic withdrawals.
I’d like to thank other media for picking up that story, namely The Fresno Bee and Valley Public Radio. Remember, here at GV Wire, we give other media outlets credit when they report a story first.
Ma, Eastin and Newsom Visit
The week saw three statewide politicos visit Fresno.
On Monday, Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma spoke at the downtown Fresno Rotary. She is the leading candidate for state treasurer.
She spoke about tax issues and how to handle cash in the marijuana business.
Tuesday saw the visit of Delaine Eastin, a Democratic underdog in the governor’s race. She spoke at a Maddy Institute luncheon. Eastin has served as a Union City councilwoman, assemblywoman and state schools’ superintendent. However, her last year in office was 2003.
Not surprisingly based on her background, Eastin talked about the importance of education. Most of her policies would expand access to higher ed.
And, on Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom arrived in town in his official capacity to chair the State Lands Commission meeting. According to his office, it was the first ever lands meeting held in Fresno. Is it a coincidence that the meeting was held here and Newsom is running for governor?
GV Wire spoke in depth with all three. Stay tuned to our newly-redesigned website for our Take Five series, where we hear answers from the politicians to five hot topics.
Patterson Wants an Audit, Doesn’t Get It
Assemblyman Jim Patterson will have to try, try again to get a state legislative committee to buy into his desire to audit the High-Speed Rail. Two weeks ago, he requested an emergency audit through the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Patterson wanted answers as to why the project is $1.7 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule.
On Monday, chairman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) rejected Patterson’s request, saying such an emergency request would deny interested parties to comment on the audit in an open meeting.
If there’s any solace, when GV Wire asked Ma and Newsom about support for an audit, both said they welcome such transparency and accountability. However, Newsom was hesitant to support such an audit in an emergency fashion.
City Hall Promotion for Fierro
Fresno bureaucrats continue to move up the ladder. Mayor Lee Brand promoted Wilma Quan-Schecter from assistant city manager to city manager in July. City Hall bumped up budget manager Jane Sumpter to assistant city manager in November.
Now, budget analyst Henry Fierro takes over Sumpter’s spot as interim budget manager. According to a city news release, Fierro has worked with the city since 2002. He is a Sanger native with degrees from Fresno State.
Meanwhile, Bruce Rudd was supposed to retire as city manager when Brand took office last January. Rudd kept the top administrative post until the hiring of his successor, Quan-Schecter.
Rudd then slid over to fill the vacant parks director position until the hiring of Parvin Neloms Jr. Now Rudd’s official title is interim assistant city manager (there are supposed to be two assistant city managers; Sumpter’s hiring fills one spot).