Fresno City College may be the bargain location for political rallies.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ event on Nov. 15 cost just $1,704.50 for the venue according to documents from the college. With an estimated 2,700 people attending, that’s 63 cents a head.
The college did not spend any of its own funds on the event.
Sanders’ campaign paid for building rentals for both the scheduled Oct. 3 event that was canceled because of Sanders’ heart attack and the rescheduled November rally. The campaign made use of the facilities it rented for the prior event to hold meetings with volunteers.
It was the first time a presidential ticket contender visited campus since Geraldine Ferraro, Walter Mondale’s vice-presidential running mate, in 1984.
For the actual rally, the school charged:
— $437.50 for the Free Speech Area (prepaid for the original October date which carried over);
— $155 for rental of the cafeteria;
— $135 for rental of the staff dining room;
— $126 for three hours of custodial work (at $42 an hour)
— $486 for three campus police officers for three hours (nine hours total at $54 an hour).
The campaign also paid $365 for the staff dining room rental in October.
Fresno City College charged the lower nonprofit rate which reduced the rental costs significantly. For the Free Speech Area, the general price is $50 an hour. Sanders’ campaign rented it for $25 an hour.
The rest of the costs, including equipment (lights, sound, bleachers, etc.) and setup were borne by the campaign.
City Hall on $593,000 Internet Fix: Never Mind
Only one company submitted a bid for a contract to improve communication between FAX buses and City Hall. Those communications would also benefit internet speeds at City Hall.
But, the lone company, AMS.NET Inc. of Livermore, bid more than $593,000 for the project, or 229% over budget.
The city recommends that the council reject the bid at its meeting next week (Dec. 5).
The good news is, City Hall says, is that since the bid went out, the Information Services Department fixed the problem and another bid isn’t needed.
Perhaps city leaders should encourage public employees to solve more problems before seeking expensive outside help.
The Hurtados Support Biden
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden received his first big endorsement from a Valley elected leader: state Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger).
The former vice president announced that 21 California elected leaders are supporting his campaign, mostly state legislators and city leaders. Additionally, Hurtado’s sister Esmeralda Hurtado — a Sanger councilwoman — is endorsing Biden as well.
A sampling of other Valley leaders has Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) behind Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California); and Kingsburg councilwoman Jewel Hurtado (no relation to the other Hurtados), who campaigned with Bernie Sanders when he visited Fresno earlier this month.
Fresno FC Paid $5,000 Per Game
“You don’t get stadium rights, any pouring rights … We couldn’t use those big-money ticket items that would have really helped the bottom line.” — GM Frank Yallop
The Fresno FC Foxes, a minor-league soccer team, announced they are leaving town last month, primarily because they could not find a soccer-dedicated local venue to play their games.
While no relocation deal has been made, team general manager Frank Yallop said Monterey is the most likely destination.
“Nothing is signed, sealed and delivered,” Yallop said. “If it doesn’t get signed, we’re not going there.”
Yallop said there are other cities interested in the team, but he didn’t name them.
For the past two seasons, the Foxes (also called Los Zorros), played at Chukchansi Park in downtown Fresno. The soccer club subleased the city-owned stadium from the Fresno Grizzlies minor-league baseball club.
The team hoped to play in a venue of its own by its third year. That never happened.
A review of the lease, obtained through a Public Records Act request, shows details of the arrangement between Fresno’s two professional teams.
The two-year lease (covering the 2018 and 2019 soccer seasons) — signed Oct. 1, 2017, between Fresno FC president Ray Beshoff and then-Grizzlies president Chris Cummings — called for the Foxes to pay the Grizzlies $5,000 per match.
While Fresno FC kept all its ticket sale revenue, the two teams “shared equally” income from concessions, parking, and suite sales. While the Grizzlies would staff concessions and parking, the Foxes were responsible for the rest, including security and ushers. The contract also had a clause stating that the soccer team couldn’t hire Grizzlies employees.
“The lease itself was never great, because you’re sharing a venue,” Yallop said. “You don’t get stadium rights, any pouring rights … We couldn’t use those big-money ticket items that would have really helped the bottom line,” Yallop said.
That included restrictions on sponsorships. “It really, really hurt us,” Yallop said.
The Grizzlies would cover utilities, with the teams splitting cleaning costs. The baseball groundskeeping staff performed the transition from baseball field to soccer, and back. The Foxes then reimbursed the Grizzlies for labor.