Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
With Criticism of Air Board Growing, Clovis Nominee Awaits OK
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 6 years ago on
January 9, 2018

Share

This winter brings with it poor air quality — and a renewed focus on the sprawling eight-county San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
Dean Florez, a former Valley state lawmaker and current member of the California Air Resources Board, expressed frustration about air quality on Twitter recently. Other critics say that the district needs to do more to alert the public when the air quality is dangerously unhealthy.


Now, a Clovis councilman wants to join the local board that is tasked with helping improve air quality.

“We are being penalized partially for pollution that comes into our Valley that we don’t have control over. It doesn’t seem equitable to me.” — Clovis City Councilman and air board nominee Drew Bessinger
Drew Bessinger is the only person to apply for a vacancy on the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board. But, his journey to the policy-making board is wrought with complexity and bureaucracy.
“As being the only technically retired person on the (Clovis City Council), I have the time,” Bessinger said. “It is something I’m interested in doing.”
What does Bessinger hope to accomplish if confirmed?
“We’re in this bowl that keeps getting worse and worse. The unfortunate part is some of this stuff is beyond our control. We have pollutants that come from outside the area, and we get stuck with them,” Bessinger said.
Regarding the additional $19 vehicle license fee that Valley residents pay annually, Bessinger says he is willing to look into it. The added fee accounts for about a quarter of the district’s budget, according to the district website.
“I don’t know that it is fair,” Bessinger said. “We are being penalized partially for pollution that comes into our Valley that we don’t have control over. It doesn’t seem equitable to me.”
Bessinger is slated to replace Oliver Baines, the Fresno city councilman who completed the second of two three-year terms in 2017.

Who’s on the Board

The 15-member board is composed of eight people who are elected county supervisors — one for each of the eight counties in the district. There also are five members from the various cities within the district. Two members are picked by the governor, one of whom has to be a medical doctor specializing in air pollution issues, and one from the health and science community. The governor’s appointments serve four-year terms.
The eight counties (Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare) each choose their supervisorial representative to the air board. Buddy Mendes represents Fresno County and was chosen last month as air board chairman.
There is a multiple-step process to decide the five city members.
Three of the five shall come from cities of less than 100,000 population­, with one each representing a county in the three geographical regions — north, central and south.
The remaining two shall come from cities larger than 100,000. The city chosen is rotated around from north to south. The smaller cities have their own rotational schedule as well.
Cities in the district considered large (from north to south) are Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Clovis, Visalia and Bakersfield.
Since Baines represented Fresno, Clovis is next on the list. Bessinger is the only Clovis council member to apply.
Only one representative per county can be one of the five city members, regardless of large/small population. Currently, there are no other city representatives from Fresno County on the board, so Bessinger is clear.
There is also a role for the regional chapters of the California League of Cities to help the nomination process.
So, for example, if there is a vacancy among the small cities in the northern region (currently occupied by a councilman from Ceres in Stanislaus County), a member representing a city council in Merced County would be eligible.

Cities Vote on Nomination

The next step is for the 15 individual city councils within Fresno County to vote on Bessinger’s nomination. Clovis votes tonight (Jan. 8) and Fresno on Thursday (Jan. 11). A majority of the county’s city councils are needed advance the nominee to the final step, another committee.
That group, the Special City Selection Committee, then meets for final approval. The 59 cities that comprise the air district each appoint a member to the special selection committee. Clint Olivier represents Fresno; Bob Whalen is Clovis’ member.
If a majority there approves, then Bessinger is the new air board district member.
Your Air Board Representatives

Name Title Representing
Buddy Mendes (board chair) Supervisor Fresno County
J. Steven Worthley (board vice chair) Supervisor Tulare County
David Ayers Mayor City of Hanford (small city; Central Region/Kings County)
John Capitman Executive director of Central Valley Health Policy Institute Governor appointment (health expert)
David Couch Supervisor Kern County
Bob Elliott Supervisor San Joaquin County
Christina Fugazi Councilwoman City of Stockton (large city/San Joaquin County)
Kristin Olsen Supervisor Stanislaus County
Lloyd Pareira Supervisor Merced County
Craig Pedersen Supervisor Kings County
Monte Reyes Councilman City of Porterville (small city; South Region/Tulare County)
Alexander Sherriffs Adventist Health Care Governor appointment (physician)
Tom Wheeler Supervisor Madera County
Chris Vierra Councilman City of Ceres (small city; North Region/Stanislaus County)
Vacant Most recently held by Oliver Baines

 

DON'T MISS

Newsom Criticizes Local Response to Homelessness. He Should Look in the Mirror.

DON'T MISS

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

DON'T MISS

LeBron James Rants at NBA’s Replay Center for Calls, Lakers Lose on Buzzer-Beater

DON'T MISS

Winn Sharp Again, Conforto Homers as Giants Clip Mets

DON'T MISS

CA Lawmakers Reject Bill Cracking Down on Utilities Spending Customers’ Money

DON'T MISS

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

DON'T MISS

49ers GM Hopes to Get Brandon Aiyuk Contract Extension Done Sooner Rather Than Later

DON'T MISS

Judge Rejects Changing the Name of California’s Trans Youth Ballot Measure

DON'T MISS

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

DON'T MISS

Did Fresno Unified’s Biggest Contractor Not Pay Its Workers? Company Still Gets Millions After Civil Penalty

UP NEXT

CA Lawmakers Reject Bill Cracking Down on Utilities Spending Customers’ Money

UP NEXT

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

UP NEXT

49ers GM Hopes to Get Brandon Aiyuk Contract Extension Done Sooner Rather Than Later

UP NEXT

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

UP NEXT

Did Fresno Unified’s Biggest Contractor Not Pay Its Workers? Company Still Gets Millions After Civil Penalty

UP NEXT

Biden Marks Earth Day by Going After GOP, Announcing $7 Billion in Federal Solar Power Grants

UP NEXT

Fresno Unified Says It Has No Superintendent Succession Plan Despite HR Leader’s Claim

UP NEXT

Work Starts on Bullet Train Line From Las Vegas to LA

UP NEXT

Trustees to Vote on New Fresno High Gym, Bullard Security Fence. Who Were the Low Bidders?

UP NEXT

Will CA Lawmakers Crack Down on Spending by Utility Companies?

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
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

Winn Sharp Again, Conforto Homers as Giants Clip Mets

44 mins ago

CA Lawmakers Reject Bill Cracking Down on Utilities Spending Customers’ Money

52 mins ago

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

59 mins ago

49ers GM Hopes to Get Brandon Aiyuk Contract Extension Done Sooner Rather Than Later

4 hours ago

Judge Rejects Changing the Name of California’s Trans Youth Ballot Measure

4 hours ago

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Pledged $10M for Maui Wildfire Survivors. They Gave Much More.

17 hours ago

Did Fresno Unified’s Biggest Contractor Not Pay Its Workers? Company Still Gets Millions After Civil Penalty

18 hours ago

Biden Marks Earth Day by Going After GOP, Announcing $7 Billion in Federal Solar Power Grants

18 hours ago

Fresno Unified Says It Has No Superintendent Succession Plan Despite HR Leader’s Claim

18 hours ago

Work Starts on Bullet Train Line From Las Vegas to LA

19 hours ago

Newsom Criticizes Local Response to Homelessness. He Should Look in the Mirror.

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom reiterated one of his favorite complaints — that local government officials aren’t doing enough to reduce Calif...

9 mins ago

9 mins ago

Newsom Criticizes Local Response to Homelessness. He Should Look in the Mirror.

28 mins ago

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

34 mins ago

LeBron James Rants at NBA’s Replay Center for Calls, Lakers Lose on Buzzer-Beater

44 mins ago

Winn Sharp Again, Conforto Homers as Giants Clip Mets

52 mins ago

CA Lawmakers Reject Bill Cracking Down on Utilities Spending Customers’ Money

59 mins ago

What Do Supreme Court Justices Say About Homelessness?

4 hours ago

49ers GM Hopes to Get Brandon Aiyuk Contract Extension Done Sooner Rather Than Later

4 hours ago

Judge Rejects Changing the Name of California’s Trans Youth Ballot Measure

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend