Politics 101

David Taub

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand is in Washington as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting. He heard from President Donald Trump in a morning session in the East Room of the White House, along with approximate 100 other mayors.

Some mayors, like Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans and New York City’s Bill de Blasio, boycotted the event after the Department of Justice issued threats against “sanctuary cities” for not turning over documents about communicating with federal immigration authorities.

“The mayors who choose to boycott this event have put the needs of criminal, illegal immigrants over law-abiding Americans,” Trump told the group.

Earlier this year, Brand stood by immigrant activists at a City Hall news conference, assuring Fresno’s illegal immigrant community that it wasn’t the role of Fresno police to enforce immigration policy.

During Trump’s 15 minute speech, he talked about the benefits of his tax cuts, the success of the stock market and increased investment in America.

In past presidential speeches to mayors, Barack Obama recognized former Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin by name. This time, Trump showed no love to Brand. Not even a post-speech handshake. [Click here for video of the speech. Trump and Brand are in the same shot at the 16:22 mark]

The Trump event is one of dozens at the three-day mayor’s conference. According to the group’s agenda, Brand is not scheduled to speak at any conference panel.

Dem Support for Patterson’s Train Crusade

Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) has long sounded the horn on the costs of the High-Speed Rail project. Time and time again, his efforts for oversight have been derailed.

Now, with the latest news of a $4 billion increase in projected costs for building the first 119 mile segment in the Central Valley, Patterson has gained support from the majority party.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) is signing on to Patterson’s letter to the joint audit committee. The letter requests “an examination of contract costs, change orders, economic effect to communities, the use of small businesses and environmental outcomes that result from the project’s “green construction practices.”

Brand’s Reverse Midas Touch?

Facebook post from Mayor Lee Brand.

While Brand can claim many successes during his one year in office, not everything he touches turns to gold.

On January 14, Brand posted a Facebook family selfie with his grandchildren at Lost Realms Pets. On Monday, ABC 30 reported the unique “reptile superstore” has closed, less than a year after its grand opening.








And, when ABC launched its new TV comedy, “The Mayor,” Brand filmed a tongue-in-cheek segment promoting the show.

Now, “The Mayor,” has been recalled. The show has been canceled by ABC.

From the Board of Supes

From the tweeting of government watcher Andy Hansen-Smith: the Fresno County Board of Supervisors successfully kept the lights on during Tuesday’s meeting (Jan. 23). A power outage shortened the previous meeting. The fully illuminated board voted 5-0 to grant George Beal an alcohol license for his Chevron at Kings Canyon & Clovis Avenue…Supervisors debated an appointment to the Economic Opportunities Commission. Yvette Quiroga’s term recently expired. Her reappointment failed 3-2 (Sal Quintero and Brian Pacheco on the losing side). By the same 3-2 vote, Charles Garabedian Jr. received the nod.

Garcia to State Committee

Fresno businessman and planning commissioner Lawrence Garcia.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Lawrence Garcia to the California Alarm Company Operator Disciplinary Review Committee. Garcia serves as president and CEO of AmeriGuard Security Services. Garcia is also an appointed member of the Fresno Planning Commission.

According to the state’s website, the committee “provides an alarm company operator, qualified manager or agent applicant/licensee an alternate process to appeal the Bureau’s decision relating to denials, suspensions, revocations, and the Bureau’s imposition of administrative fines.”



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