David Taub

Politics 101

The Fresno City Council unanimously approved a 2 million-square-foot industrial project in south Fresno. The facility, proposed by Caglia Environmental, drew opposition from neighborhood and environmental groups.

But, the need for potential jobs outweighed concerns over air pollution and heavy traffic in the area on Central Avenue between Orange and Cedar avenues.

The testiest moment of the debate centered on Councilman Steve Brandau lashing out against attorney Ashley Werner and her group, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability.

Werner said it would be up to the residents if they want to pursue a lawsuit blocking the project.

Richard Caglia, spokesman for his family’s company, said nothing is solidified yet as to which companies may lease space once the development is built.

Grizzly Fest Site Needs More Study

At the request of Councilman Garry Bredefeld, the council delayed a vote on allowing the Grizzly Fest concert series to be held at Woodward Park. The promoters said such a festival could yield $2 million for the city. Council will now hear the proposal Feb. 8. The scheduled headliners are Snoop Dogg, Nas and Foster the People.

This and That

Also: The city council unanimously approved the Parks Master Plan, but there is no specific method on how to fund it. … Understatement of the day: a hired consultant told councilmembers that their research showed “People love parks.”… How much does it cost to maintain the lawn in front of the Fifth District Court of Appeal on Ventura Street? $1,700 a month. The city and state agreed to a reimbursement contract for such services.

Fifth District Court of Appeal building and landscaping in downtown Fresno. Photo by Randy Reed/GV Wire

Another Candidate in District 3 Race

Kimberly Tapscott-Munson has pulled papers to run for city council in District 3, the southwest Fresno zone currently repped by Oliver Baines. He will term out in January 2019. Tapscott-Munson was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Darling’s rendering plant.

Three Running to Replace Runner

The powers of the Board of Equalization may have been diminished last year, but it is still an elected office with an open seat. George Runner, the member representing District 1, which covers Fresno, is termed out.

Three known candidates are lining up to replace Runner.

Connie Conway, a former Republican Assembly leader from Visalia, is running. Approximately $156,000 from other campaign accounts was transferred to her BOE run.

Ted Gaines is a Republican state senator from El Dorado. As of the last reporting date, he had approximately $88,000 in his campaign coffers.

Democrat Tom Hallinan, a Sacramento attorney, has served in local elected posts as well as holding state appointments to various law and gambling boards. Campaign finance records show him with $100,000 on hand, including a loan to himself.

District 1 covers much of the eastern side of California, from the Oregon border to the north, through most of San Bernardino County.

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