On Wednesday (Dec. 13), the state agency in charge of San Joaquin River issues approved a contentious plan to build an access point that runs through Spano Park in northwest Fresno. The location pitted neighborhood versus environmental groups and led to a pair of meetings involving of multi-hour debates — on top of a decade of planning.

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand favored the Spano Park plan, also known as Alternative 5B. He sided with neighbors living near the other proposed location (Alternative 1) which would create an access point in the bluffs area near Audubon Drive and Del Mar Avenue.

Speaking on the mayor’s behalf (see video above), interim assistant city manager Bruce Rudd addressed the San Joaquin River Conservancy board. He dramatized a scenario of an imaginary conversation between staffs of the conservancy and the city. He reiterated the city’s preferences so many times, some people said that his comments were snarky and likened it to blackmail.

Either way, the board agreed with City Hall’s position. It favored Alternative 5B with an 8-6 vote.

Watch the video above for highlights of Rudd’s speech—including the imaginary conversation.

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One Response

  1. Daniel Schwartz

    In a town and county comprised of a population of over 70% Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks and with a median income of about $43K, I witnessed a panel of Whites with comfortable incomes, pensions, investments and fat bank accounts deliberate and go through the motions in front of an audience of mostly similar people and again, as has been done so often in this country, decide what is best for all “those other people” with whom they have little in common. And they freely and wantonly chose to unnecessarily spend excess public money, at least a million dollars but most likely double or triple this by the time the dust settles, to tear up and permanently deface the bluff landscape further, remove old growth trees.and keep the undesirables out of the exclusive bluffs bastion occupied by a few high powered families that frequent the same country clubs and who contribute generously to the campaigns of several of the panel members and our illustrious mayor!

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