It was kiss and cry at the Fresno City Council chambers on Thursday (Jan. 10), as the ceremonial swearing-in took place for four members: incumbents Esmeralda Soria and Luis Chavez, as well as newcomers Miguel Arias and Nelson Esparza.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

Politics 101

David Taub

But, the most often heard phrase heard throughout City Hall: “This is taking way too long.”

For more than two hours, council bestowed tokens of appreciation to outgoing members Oliver Baines and Clint Olivier. The newly sworn-in gave speeches.

The event lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours. Many past council members, as well as other elected officials on local school boards, attended.

Council also officially installed Steve Brandau as president and Arias as vice president.

Also new at City Hall: automatic sliding doors on the second level, replacing the old heavy swing doors. I’m told this was done partly for maintenance and partly for security.

2020 Preview

The 2020 primary is only 14 months away. And Politics 101 is hearing about some contenders emerging for the District 4 city council race. That will be an open seat because current occupant Paul Caprioglio is termed out.

Tyler Maxwell (GV Wire Photo/Jahz Tello)

Tyler Maxwell, who currently serves as an aide to Esparza, says he is interested. He says his family has lived in District 4, which covers east-central Fresno, for four generations. His background includes working in civilian positions with the city police department and county probation office.

Nathan Alonzo (photo: Fresno Chamber)

Another contender whispered about is Nathan Alonzo, the Fresno Chamber of Commerce VP of Government Affairs. He used to work as a staffer for former state Sen. Andy Vidak.

In District 2, which will be another open seat as Brandau is termed out, businessman Mike Karbassi filed preliminary paperwork to run. Financial consultant Phil Arballo is also considering a run at this juncture.

And, in District 6, Garry Bredefeld is up for re-election. He filed his paperwork to run again last year.

Pro-Payne Honors

While SCCCD Trustee Eric Payne avoided investigation from his colleagues this week, he is receiving some love. Payne will be honored Jan. 28 in Sacramento, receiving the Trustee Leadership Award at the African American Caucus Legislative Awards Reception.

Payne will also receive the Jesse McDonald Jr. Community Dedication Award at the African American Historical & Cultural Museum of San Joaquin Valley banquet Feb. 2.

Board of Supes

Steve Brandau continues to collect checks for his March 5 election for the vacant Fresno County supervisor seat.

According to election filings, in January alone he’s raised $10,000 from Richard Spencer; $5,000 from Shiralian Enterprises;  $4,400 each from David Balakian and West Coast Waste; $2,500 each from the Fresno County Prosecutors and Fresno Chamber of Commerce; and $1,500 from John Brelesford.

His opponents, Nasreen Johnson and Steve Hosey, have yet to file campaign financials with the county clerk.

Bill of the Week (AB 169)

Assemblyman Phillip Ting’s proposal to make electronic receipts the default option received plenty of attention. But here’s Politics 101 legislative bill of the week — criminalize attacks on off-duty service dogs.

AB 169, proposed by Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), would hold dog owners responsible if their canine attacked another service dog. Right now, state law only criminalizes if the guide dog is “on-duty.”

“Guide, signal and service dogs need to be protected if they are to perform their duties appropriately,” Lackey said in an email statement. “These are the animals whose life’s work revolves around protecting us. The least we can do for them is ensure that both they and their owners are properly cared for in a time of need.”

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