Fresno City Councilman-elect Tyler Maxwell is also president of the Fresno County Young Democrats. A statement by the group criticizing police chief Andy Hall led Maxwell to walk a fine line between the two constituencies he serves.

Last week, the Young Dems issued a statement about police accountability after the death of George Floyd.

The letter referenced the 2017 police shooting death of 16-year-old Isiah Murrietta-Golding in Fresno. A video released last year showed Murrietta-Golding being shot from the back as he was running away from police. He later died.

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David Taub

Politics 101

Also in Politics 101:

  • Maxwell Has Different View.
  • Esparza Comments on Young Dems statement.
  • Clovis Passes Budget.
  • Councilwoman Defends Her Attendance.

While no police were charged in the incident, the family of Murrietta-Golding sued the city. The case is in federal court.

The letter wants Hall to hold his department accountable for that death.

“Until Chief Hall begins to hold his own department accountable, he should sit out any conversations about justice,” the letter says.

Hall issued a statement expressing his disgust in Floyd’s death. He’s also supported protest rallies in Fresno that have taken place since.

Maxwell Has Different View

Maxwell says the statement was the voice of the club’s executive board and not necessarily his opinion.

“As a councilmember-elect, I speak with a different voice, which is not necessarily reflected in an official statement of the Young Democrats,” Maxwell said.

He said the statement reflected the understandable frustration in the wake of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

Maxwell did support Hall’s recent statements.

“I am very relieved to see chief Andy Hall taking an active role and wanting to be a peaceful, moderating voice amid all the unrest happening in Fresno,” Maxwell said. “I’ve been very happy to see him come to the table and talk to the folks that feel like they haven’t had a voice for a long time. I think that’s the starting point to real change. I’m probably looking for more down the road as far as actual action.”

Esparza Sees Separates Roles

Councilman Nelson Esparza also serves on the Fresno Young Democrats executive board as its political director. He sees those roles as separate.

“I’m not contradicting the club’s position. The club’s position is a reflection of our membership. Our membership is a pretty progressive group, and I know that’s reflective of their will,” Esparza said.

He added that everyone needs to be at the table when it comes to police reform.

As a leader for us to make these tough decisions in my capacity as a council member, I stand by what I’ve always said throughout my campaign, throughout my tenure — we need everyone at the table,” Esparza said. “We’re not going to be making tough decisions on reform without discussing them with the department. We need information and questions answered.”

Clovis Budget

The Clovis City Council approved its $282 million budget for 2021 with a 5-0 vote. The realities of the COVID-19 pandemic are starting to set in.

Clovis will be $10 million in the hole. Various reductions will save $8 million, with $2 million from the emergency fund used to make up the balance.

The city calculated some savings by not hiring for open positions. One of the hardest-hit departments is police, where 14 vacant positions will not be filled, including nine officers. At 0.84 officers per 1,000 residents, it is the lowest for any California city with more than 100,000 people, according to city management. Fresno’s rate is approximately 1.6 officers per 1,000 residents.

Clovis budget experts are expecting a 25% decline in residential building permits.

Ashbeck Defends Calling Into Meetings

portrait of Lynne Ashbeck

“I don’t find that funny at all. I am not (there) for my health. And I do not find that funny at all. So, you might want to rethink that humor.” — councilwoman Lynne Ashbeck

Also at the Clovis council this week, councilwoman Lynne Ashbeck took offense to a comment from her colleague about her calling into the meeting instead of attending in person.

The council was debating rules for letting residents keep backyard chickens. Ashbeck opposed but knew she would probably be at the losing end of the vote.

“Lynne, like most things, you have to be present to win,” said mayor Drew Besinger.

While the rest of the council laughed, Ashbeck did not.

“I don’t find that funny at all. I am not (there) for my health. And I do not find that funny at all. So, you might want to rethink that humor,” Ashbeck replied.

The meeting continued, with no apology.


4 Responses

  1. B.P.

    So, do you have some kind of story about Maxwell and the Young Democrats? Did Andy Hall complain? Or are you just manufacturing controversy about a Democrat? There is nothing about being on the City Council, or being elected to the City Council but not yet in office, that prevents one from criticizing the police chief. To the contrary, I would hope that the council holds the chief’s feet to the fire. That’s their job. And if anything it is disappointing to see Maxwell purport to distance himself.

  2. Bill Thacker

    Andy Hall is a great police chief the abuse at the hands of Miguel Arias et al is unfounded and not in alignment with independent investigation or the leadership Chief Hall demonstrates on a daily basis.
    The same “Young Democrats” are hypocrites they dont value the life of 250,000 aborted babies per year and over 100,000 of which are black.
    If ” young democrats” want to do productive work with the youth gangs of Fresno in a productive manner, develop programs for job and technology training. Instead of teaching that bIack on black killing is acceptable or killing a black police officer is justified and that looting, vandalism and arson are just expressions of anger.
    Nelson Esparza should ask for funding of better parenting & accountability training. Lets start there and teach responsibility of one’s actions instead of supporting hostile, angry, unprofessional behavior of fellow council members look within yourself and weak parenting skills . 86% of FUSD is on free or reduced lunch how many parents make no attempt to prepare lunch or breakfast for their kids cause they are too lazy and complacent? Just like the three officers on duty when Floyds life was snuffed out an Asian, Hispanic and black officer stood by and did nothing where is the accountability of reporting criminal behaviors in your city council and neighborhood or family? I get it Esparza its easier to blame. Encourage kids into ROTC training it teaches respect, discipline and working together as a team. Kids are proud in ROTC and learn valuable life skills .
    Parents are dependent on government hand outs to bother teaching their kids to be self sufficient or that killing another human is wrong. Let’s just blame society and police for our actions and not take responsibility seems to be the way of the axis of evil aka devils triangle Soria, Arias, Esparza personal responsibility doesn’t matter let’s blame others . They do no favors for the families in their districts instead of empowerment lets just blame. Your leadership skills are horrific especially the temper tantrums displayed by Arias . Instead if questioning the proven leadership of Chief Hall look in the mirror.

    • Paul

      Plain and simple, you are a racist and a part of the blight that is plagueing today’s society. Your belief system is myopic and part of the problem as are the policies of FPD. There is nothing wrong with accountability and no one should be excluded. Your baseless finger pointing, name calling and lies are so trumpian and caustic it chokes the light of truth . Systemic racism is deep seated in the central valley and it is time for its end.

      • Bill Thacker

        Systematic racism is a lame way to argue a point . Try to use that as a shield or sword it won’t work. Generic labelers are a sign of a weak thought process. Gee “I couldnt possibly do wrong it all had to do with racism” even the thought process of no accountability and blaming all your failures in others or “systematic racism” here is the looney lefts new mantra. What happened to ” Medicare for all” ” new green deal” and the rest of your tag lines that flew in and out of cyberspace. You can’t prove yourself right and you can prove my post wrong. Keep living life blaming others. You will be 80 years old and still blaming others or racism for eveything wrong in your pathetic life. Keep beating the same drum hamster wheels don’t have a exit until you jump off and take another direction.

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