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Despite a strong push from city councilman Bob Whalen, backyard chickens will not be legally allowed in Clovis for at least a year.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101


Also in Politics 101:

  • Milton running for SCCCD trustee.
  • Police Reform Commission meets publicly on Monday.
  • Commissioner conflict-of-interest forms trickling in.
  • Controversial Republican aided Dyer’s mayoral run.

At Monday’s meeting, the council voted to delay any vote on the matter. While a majority of the five-member board appeared to be in favor, they got stuck on details and timing.

Members of the public expressed concern over noise and poop that chickens may leave.

Councilmembers also expressed concern whether allowing chickens would create more work for the police department.

“I’m excited to talk about chickens than COVID at this point,” Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming said.

Fleming said evidence from other cities that allow chickens is mixed as whether it leads to more work for police.

Another sticking point was an amendment Whalen proposed requiring next-door neighbor approval. That idea was voted down.

Councilwoman Lynne Ashbeck had objected to backyard chickens from the start. She also questioned the frivolity of the resolution, given the coronavirus era.

“Our reputation as a city has taken a hit over the last four or five months. I think this conversation, if you were a martian listening, you would think we are 100% tone-deaf,” Ashbeck said.

Whalen conceded, and the council will hear the matter in the future.

Milton Running for SCCCD Board

Portrait of Chris Milton

Chris Milton (GV Wire file)

Clovis businessman and civil rights activist teased on Twitter he is running for office.

Politics 101 confirmed he filed paperwork to run for the State Center Community College District Area 6 seat. Deborah Ikeda is the incumbent trustee. She filed paperwork to run for her second term.

Milton delivered a rousing speech at the May 31 Black Lives Matter demonstration in downtown Fresno, and has shared his thoughts about race relations. He will make an official announcement next week.

“Passion and purpose. That’s my driver,” Milton told Politics 101 via text.

The seat represents much of Clovis and northeast Fresno.

Police Commission Meets Monday

The second public meeting of the Fresno Commission on Police Reform meets Monday at 5 p.m. via Zoom, CMAC, and the city’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

The agenda, with links to the live streams, can be found here.

On the agenda is a request for more time to present reform ideas to the city council.

When the commission was formed in June, Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias gave them 90 days to form recommendations.

At a July 6 meeting, many commissioners wanted more time.

Arias says he is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

“They are making good progress and we will continue to monitor and see if more time is required,” Arias said.

For the last few weeks, the commission split into four sub-committees of about 10 members each to discuss community input, community development, police training and policy, and budget. They will report on their progress at Monday’s meeting.

Form 700s Trickling In

Each of the 37 members is required to file economic conflict-of-interest paperwork, known as Form 700.

Only 11 of the 37 members have a current form on file with the city.

Commission vice-chair Sandra Celedon listed her income as president and CEO of Fresno Building Healthy Communities between $1,001-$10,000. That is likely a clerical error. According to IRS records, she earned $92,639 in 2018.

Other Form 700 notes: Deputy police chief Michael Reid’s spouse is a partner in F & S Ranches, valued at more than $1 million; and Deep Singh — also a Central Unified school board trustee — has a visiting scholar position at UC Santa Cruz which pays between $10,001 and $100,000.

Even though the commission may not technically fall under the state’s open meeting laws because it is an advisory commission and not a policy-making body, its own bylaws require filing Form 700s.

The city clerk’s office says members have until next Wednesday to file.

Controversial Republican Worked to Elect Jerry Dyer

Photo of Mike Madrid

Mike Madrid (GV Wire file)

This week, the Los Angeles Times looked into an internal state Republican Party battle.

“Conservative members of the party plan to submit a resolution arguing that GOP strategists Mike Madrid and Luis Alvarado, members of the Lincoln Project, have violated party bylaws and should be stripped of their status as delegates to California Republican Party functions,” wrote Seema Mehta of the L.A. Times.

Madrid is active on Twitter denouncing President Donald Trump. The Lincoln Project created a series of stinging anti-Trump ads, supporting former Vice President Joe Biden. Two years ago, Madrid worked on Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa’s run for governor.

Defending himself, Madrid said he works on Republican campaigns, too.

“Madrid pointed out that he has continued to help elect Republicans across the state, most recently working on a Fresno Chamber of Commerce effort that helped a Republican win the city’s mayoral seat in March,” Mehta wrote.

That of course, would be Fresno Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer.

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