Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
NW Fresno Council Candidates Clash Over Police, Homeless
GV-Wire
By Jody Murray
Published 5 years ago on
August 1, 2019

Share

Candidates to represent northwest Fresno on the city council sparred over opinions about police protection, the homeless, and the previous seat holder during a candidate forum Wednesday.
The four candidates also addressed questions about Fresno business-friendliness, affordable housing, and the balancing act of standing up for northwest Fresno while supporting the needs of the entire city.
Northwest Fresno, known on the council as District 2, has been without a representative since Steve Brandau was sworn to a Fresno County Board of Supervisors seat in April.
A special election is scheduled for Aug. 13.

Differences Over Police Staffing

Business owner Mike Karbassi’s proposal to add 200 sworn officers to the police department came under fire from fellow candidates Jared Gordon and Oscar Sandoval.
Karbassi had said federal studies indicate Fresno needs that boost of officers on patrol to meet safe officer-to-resident ratios. The cost of the 200 officers would be about $24 million, he has said.
Gordon, a business attorney, said that figure is closer to $125 million over five years when staff turnover is factored in. “We’re taxed enough already,” said Gordon, who described Karbassi’s proposal as a “pipe dream.”
Karbassi responded that he would not allow a dime of tax money to be spent on the new officers. Instead, he would aggressively pursue federal grants and smart cuts in city spending. “It won’t happen overnight,” he said.

Does NW Fresno Need a Shelter?

Sandoval, a special needs therapist, said the existing police force needed to work harder to build connections and trust in the community. He said too many people don’t trust police, which hampers crime investigations when witnesses don’t come forward.
“When you say ‘more cops, more cops, you’re just adding to the problem,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval and Gordon agreed that some form of homeless shelter should be built in northwest Fresno, though they didn’t give specifics on where the shelter would be located or what it might look like.
Karbassi said he has spoken to numerous agencies and advocates who work with the homeless, and none told him that a shelter is needed in northwest Fresno. Karbassi said he supports lobbying state authorities to provide more money to Fresno County for mental health and addiction services that can help people break the cycle of homelessness.

What About Brandau?

Garcia, a business owner, agreed that access to services is crucial. “It’s more important where to help them than where to house them,” he said. Garcia also said it was important to separate “vagrants,” whom he described as people who don’t want to be helped, with homeless who can accept and benefit from assistance.
When asked to compare themselves with Brandau, whose in-your-face style sometimes puts people on edge, two candidates described themselves as friends of the former councilman. Gordon, however, said he differed from Brandau in “rhetoric and emphasis,” while Garcia said he shared Brandau’s conservative views “and will bring that to the council.”
Karbassi deflected the Brandau question: “I don’t want to focus on the past. I want to focus on the future.” And Sandoval, referring to his differences with Brandau, smiled and said, “How much time do we have?”

DON'T MISS

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

DON'T MISS

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

DON'T MISS

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

DON'T MISS

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

DON'T MISS

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

DON'T MISS

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

DON'T MISS

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

DON'T MISS

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

DON'T MISS

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

UP NEXT

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

UP NEXT

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

UP NEXT

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

UP NEXT

Fresno County Appoints New Librarian. What’s Her Favorite Book Genre?

UP NEXT

Costa Seeks Legislation to Prevent Reedley Lab Repeat

UP NEXT

Fresno Home Care Workers Threaten Civil Disobedience Over Low Pay

UP NEXT

Legacy of Speed: The 1,600 Horsepower 1957 ‘Skeva’ Chevy Bel Air Built in Fresno

UP NEXT

KMJ’s Gabriel & Musson Win Radio Honors, Fresno Council Plaudits

UP NEXT

Fresno’s Baklava House Entices Foodies With Its Delicious Flavors

UP NEXT

Google Fires More Workers Who Protested Its Deal With Israel

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

4 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

4 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

6 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

Local Education /

7 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

7 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

8 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

8 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

9 hours ago

Biden Signs a $95 Billion War Aid Measure With Assistance for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

9 hours ago

Ancestry Website to Catalogue Names of Japanese Americans Incarcerated During World War II

10 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

Boeing said Wednesday that it lost $355 million on falling revenue in the first quarter, another sign of the crisis gripping the aircraft ma...

3 hours ago

3 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

3 hours ago

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

CA District 27 Assembly candidate Joanna Garcia Rose
3 hours ago

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

4 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

4 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

6 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

Local Education /
7 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

7 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend