Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Dyer, Janz Debate. They Agree on Potential City Sales Tax Hike.
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 years ago on
February 11, 2020

Share

Those expecting black eyes and bloody knuckles after a Monday forum between Fresno’s two leading mayoral candidates would’ve been disappointed.
Former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and Fresno County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Janz shared their views at a luncheon hosted by the Fresno Rotary Club. Answering questions at Cornerstone Conference Center about the economy and homelessness solutions, the candidates agreed more than they debated.


Listen to this article:

The two candidates even agreed about the value of a potential sales tax to raise revenues for parks and public safety.
A majority of the 175 or so people in the audience, appeared to like what they heard from both.
” They should be co-mayors,” said one attendee afterward.

Parks/Public Safety Tax


“This is going to be a good compromise. It is not set in stone. I’m hoping Jerry and I can come to an agreement on this.”Andrew Janz on a potential sales tax hike for parks and public safety
While Janz and Dyer disagreed on 2018’s Measure P, the proposed sales tax that would have raised money for parks, both offered support for a potential successor tax measure.
Janz supported Measure P; Dyer did not. Needing two-thirds voter support to pass, it received 52%.
Janz said he supports a successor for the November 2020 ballot. It would be a third-quarters of a cent raise, with half going to parks, and half for public safety (to be equally divided between police and fire). The sales tax would have a 20-year sunset. It would raise an estimated $75 million a year.
The city’s sales tax now is 7.975%. The sales tax rate in Clovis is identical.
“This is going to be a good compromise. It is not set in stone. I’m hoping Jerry and I can come to an agreement on this,” Janz said.
Dyer explained he opposed Measure P because it lacked balance in funding city services. Although Dyer said he does not generally support taxes, he is optimistic about this proposal.
“I think we have a good foundation to start from. I hope we can get to where we need to go,” Dyer said.
In comparison, Measure P was a three-eighths of a cent sales tax, all for parks and related programs, with a 30-year sunset. It was estimated to raise $38 million a year.

Homelessness Plan

Moderator Al Smith, reading questions from Rotary members, said homelessness was a top concern. Both candidates said they heard the same things from residents.
Dyer supports navigation centers and bridge housing, to be located near to where several existing homeless service providers are located.
Last week, three councilmembers criticized Dyer’s plan. They said it would warehouse the homeless in one particular part of town, mainly in south Fresno.
Janz did not attack Dyer’s plan. Rather, he said he supports plans that prevent homelessness in the first place. He said he fully supports the D.R.I.V.E. Initiative, a plan advocated by former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and endorsed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Supporting Businesses of All Sizes


“I think we have a good foundation to start from. I hope we can get to where we need to go.”Jerry Dyer on a potential sales tax hike for parks and public safety 
Both Dyer and Janz cited the difficulty businesses have dealing with the city’s planning department. Both said they want to help small businesses.
Janz said the city should offer tax incentives to small businesses, just as it does for large corporations such as Amazon, Ulta, and Gap. He said the warehouse jobs available with those groups may go away because of automation.
Dyer agreed with expanded incentives but defended supporting the larger companies as well. He noted the three e-commerce centers provided — directly and indirectly — 3,800 jobs and $322 million over 30 years in regional economic impact.
The two agreed that the city should have done more to keep the Fresno Foxes soccer team in town. After two seasons at Chukchansi Park as a temporary home, the team’s management said the Foxes would not play in 2020 for lack of a permanent facility.
“There are communities all across the country who fight tooth and nail to bring sports teams,” Janz said. “We should have done a better job to keep the Fresno Foxes here.”
“I completely agree with the Foxes,” Dyer responded.

Disagree on Revisiting the General Plan

If there was one divergence though, it dealt with revisiting the city’s General Plan. Dyer wants to give developers more leeway on where to build, whether it is in the middle of town, or on the outskirts. Otherwise, the city risks losing businesses to other parts of the Central Valley, he said.
Janz said there was no need to “waste millions” on revisiting the plan. Last year, the Fresno City Council voted to establish a committee to give the General Plan, last revised in 2014, another look.

A Congenial Affair

For two candidates with disparate support bases, the candidates agreed on multiple issues. Both said the city’s poorer neighborhoods can no longer be left behind, the city should do more to help small businesses, and invest more in downtown.
Two independent expenditure committees have emerged. A group led by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce is raising and spending money in support of Dyer. Another is raising money to oppose Dyer, led by former Assemblyman Juan Arambula, his wife Amy, and the state’s building trades.
Even when Janz and Dyer had a chance to ask each other questions directly, they opted for a softer route.
Janz, a new father, asked Dyer how he balanced 40 years in the police department with his family life.
Dyer joked in turn, asking Janz why is he running knowing his family would expand. He suggested, tongue in cheek, it is more important to stay home than to be on the campaign trail.
The agreeing and joking may have been too much for one Rotary member.
“They were far too cooperative,” said an attendee.

Temporary Media Blackout

Media, including GV Wire and The Fresno Bee, were initially told by Fresno Rotary president Todd Sheller they were not welcome to cover the event.
“Unfortunately, on behalf of the Club and our speakers, we didn’t inform them (media coverage) was an option. We have a closed membership club and while business guests are certainly welcome, outside media at today’s meeting wouldn’t be appropriate,” Sheller wrote in an email.
Neither Janz nor Dyer said they made any such a request. In fact, they said they encouraged media coverage.
After the media complained, the ban was lifted.

Two Other Forums This Week

At least two other forums are scheduled this week. Fresno Youth Platform (part of the Youth Leadership Institute) hosts an event Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Fresno City College, Old Administration Building auditorium.
On Thursday, Fresno 4 All hosts a forum from 6-8 p.m. at the St. James Episcopal Cathedral (4147 E. Dakota in Fresno).
Both events are open to the public.

Election is March 3

While Dyer and Janz are the frontrunners based on name-recognition and fundraising, there are five others on the ballot: Rev. Floyd Harris Jr., Richard Renteria, Nickolas Wildstar, Bill Gates, and Richard Jefferson.
If a candidate wins more than 50% in the March 3 election, he will be declared the winner and assume office Jan. 5, 2021. If not, the top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.
Wildstar appeared at the Rotary forum, speaking for a few minutes and introducing himself to the audience. He touted his libertarian ideas to help solve the city’s problems.

Fresno mayoral candidate Nickolas Wildstar addresses the Fresno Rotary Club. (GV Wire/David Taub)

DON'T MISS

Work Starts on Bullet Train Line From Las Vegas to LA

DON'T MISS

Trustees to Vote on New Fresno High Gym, Bullard Security Fence. Who Were the Low Bidders?

DON'T MISS

Will CA Lawmakers Crack Down on Spending by Utility Companies?

DON'T MISS

Supreme Court Will Take Up the Legal Fight Over Ghost Guns, Firearms Without Serial Numbers

DON'T MISS

Express Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, Announces Store Closures

DON'T MISS

Will There Be a Third Measure E? What Richard Spencer Says.

DON'T MISS

Melvin and Matzah: Giants Manager Recalls Childhood Passover

DON'T MISS

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Safe After Suspect Breaks Into Official Residence, Police Say

DON'T MISS

Newsom Wants to Make It Easier for Arizona Women to Get a California Abortion

DON'T MISS

By Remembering the Genocide, We Can Help Rebuild Armenia

UP NEXT

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have to Execute It’: FUSD Board President

UP NEXT

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

UP NEXT

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

UP NEXT

Prop 47 Reformers Send Nearly a Million Signatures to Sacramento

UP NEXT

BTC Scammy Scams, Impact of Blockchain on Global Markets: Crypto The WonderDog Show

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

Supreme Court Will Take Up the Legal Fight Over Ghost Guns, Firearms Without Serial Numbers

2 hours ago

Express Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, Announces Store Closures

3 hours ago

Will There Be a Third Measure E? What Richard Spencer Says.

3 hours ago

Melvin and Matzah: Giants Manager Recalls Childhood Passover

4 hours ago

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Safe After Suspect Breaks Into Official Residence, Police Say

4 hours ago

Newsom Wants to Make It Easier for Arizona Women to Get a California Abortion

4 hours ago

By Remembering the Genocide, We Can Help Rebuild Armenia

5 hours ago

Suspect in Killing of Idaho Sheriff’s Deputy Fatally Shot by Police, Authorities Say

6 hours ago

15 People Injured When Tram Collides With Guardrail at Universal Studios Theme Park

6 hours ago

Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief Resigns Over Failure to Prevent Hamas Attack on Oct. 7

6 hours ago

Work Starts on Bullet Train Line From Las Vegas to LA

LAS VEGAS — A $12 billion high-speed passenger rail line between Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area has started construction, officials said...

40 mins ago

40 mins ago

Work Starts on Bullet Train Line From Las Vegas to LA

Local Education /
2 hours ago

Trustees to Vote on New Fresno High Gym, Bullard Security Fence. Who Were the Low Bidders?

2 hours ago

Will CA Lawmakers Crack Down on Spending by Utility Companies?

2 hours ago

Supreme Court Will Take Up the Legal Fight Over Ghost Guns, Firearms Without Serial Numbers

3 hours ago

Express Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, Announces Store Closures

3 hours ago

Will There Be a Third Measure E? What Richard Spencer Says.

4 hours ago

Melvin and Matzah: Giants Manager Recalls Childhood Passover

4 hours ago

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Safe After Suspect Breaks Into Official Residence, Police Say

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend