Jerry Dyer said he was humbled upon learning Wednesday that he clinched the Fresno mayoral race.
“When I found out the news today, I was in tears. The first thing I did do was fall on my knees and thank God for allowing me to become mayor of this city,” Dyer told the media at a news conference at City Hall.
After the latest round of election results was released earlier in the day, there were not enough votes remaining to reduce Dyer’s 51.8% share below the majority threshold needed to avoid a November runoff.
Second-place finisher Andrew Janz, with 39.9%, conceded the race in a call to Dyer and later on Twitter.
A few minutes ago I called Jerry Dyer to concede and congratulate him. Thank you to all of my supporters and volunteers for believing in me and my campaign. Even though the race is over, I will never stop fighting for a more inclusive and prosperous Fresno. -AJ
— Andrew Janz (@JanzAndrew) March 11, 2020
Homelessness Remains Top Priority
Mayor-elect Dyer said his top priority remains homelessness.
Adhering to what he discussed during his campaign, Dyer wants to enlarge current navigation centers — where multiple services would be at a single location. The homeless would than transition into bridge housing.
“When we centralize services to those individuals, I believe we will have a much better opportunity allowing them to be productive,” Dyer said.
During the campaign, three city councilmembers publicly objected to Dyer’s plan to enlarge those navigation centers in the downtown area. They felt such services should be spread throughout the city.
Dyer Will Have Say in New Police Chief
Dyer said he is in discussions with current Mayor Lee Brand to select a new police chief.
“I fully anticipate he’s going to initiate that process here in the next month or so. I will be part of that process. He’s asked me to be part of that process,” Dyer said.
Andy Hall succeeded Dyer as chief last October. However, Hall faces a mandatory retirement in the spring of 2021.
“I don’t think there is any police chief candidate in the country, let alone internally, who would take that position unless the incoming mayor is part of that decision-making process,” Dyer said.
Eight Month Transition
Dyer, who won’t take office until next January, said he will spend the time reviewing each department’s needs. That includes bringing in an outside consultant ahead of time to determine best business practices. Dyer said it will be paid for privately.
He will also reach out to all city council members, including Miguel Arias who campaigned against Dyer.
Dyer’s goal to reach out to council is to “unite this city and be able to do the things quite frankly the citizens of Fresno deserve. They do not deserve a divided relationship between the mayor and the council.”
Asked if he would retain the current City Hall administration, including City Manager Wilma Quan, Dyer said those decisions would be made at a later date.
“I want to build a team that has a can-do attitude, a team that is looking to gravitate toward yes,” Dyer said.