Through a 7-0 vote on the consent calendar Thursday, the Fresno City Council ratified Mayor Jerry Dyer’s first two picks to the Planning Commission — Haley Wagner-Drilling and Robert Fuentes.

But, even with the unanimous vote, the approvals were accompanied by controversy generated by a passed-over Planning Commission applicant.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

Wagner-Drilling will fill a vacancy caused when Raj Sodhi-Layne resigned from the commission in March. She could be sworn in at the next meeting on May 19. Fuentes will succeed Debra McKenzie, whose term expires June 30. He will take over on July 1.

Applicant Complains She Wasn’t Picked

Lisa Flores, who applied to be a commissioner but was not considered, complained to the council. She said that her experience as a planner should garner her a seat.

“When you have a person of my level of experience. … I have to question what it is about me?” Flores said. “There is no doubt in my mind that I am one of the best candidates that have ever come forward.”

Councilman Mike Karbassi responded, saying he understood her hurt, but said she was not qualified.

“You have a lot of experience, but being able to work with others is really important. What really offended me was when you posted about a colleague because you disagree with their political position, as I have done with the many times, and called him a death merchant,” Karbassi said.

Karbassi referred to a Tweet Flores posted in April, addressing councilman Garry Bredefeld as “Death Dealer.”

Screenshot of Lisa Flores tweet, criticizing councilman Garry Bredefeld. (Twitter)

Also in Politics 101: 

  • Another entrant into the 21st District Congressional Race
  • Fresno City Council has fun with Grizzlies.

Osorio Makes Bid for Congress

Bryan Osorio

Bryan Osorio just cleared eligibility to run for Congress. This week, he filed papers to do just that.

The 25-year old mayor of Delano becomes the latest entrant in what is now the 21st Congressional district, held by David Valadao, R-Hanford.

To serve in the House of Representatives, the minimum age is 25 per the Constitution.

Osorio was elected to the Delano City Council in 2018. The title of mayor is rotated among the members.

Other candidates in the race include Democrat and former Assemblywoman Nicole Parra and Republican and former Fresno City Councilman Chris Mathys.

Former congressman TJ Cox, D-Fresno, initially filed to run for the seat again but pulled back. He transferred his campaign coffers to a general political action committee, but hasn’t completely ruled out running.

Council Enjoys Playing Ball

Members of the Fresno City Council enjoyed the return of the Fresno Grizzlies this week at Chukchansi Park.

The 2020 season was wiped out because the minor league season was canceled by the COVID pandemic. The 2021 season and beyond was almost wiped out for Fresno after contentious negotiations with Major League Baseball on contraction and realignment.

But, the Grizzlies survived and have won their first three home games, against new rival Visalia.

In preparation for the season, councilmembers and Mayor Jerry Dyer filmed a fun video. Councilmembers Esmeralda Soria and Mike Karbassi were conspicuous by their absence. Maybe one of them was in the Parker costume.


5 Responses

  1. Sandy45

    Silly Lisa Flores, you need to stop believing your own press releases.

    You may announce that you “check all the boxes”, but you certainly sound like a sore loser.

    Move on.

  2. Ron Sherrin

    Polls indicate 70% of Republican’s think the election was stolen. Sore losers and cancel culture? Bredefield is a local joke, and at the heart of Fresno’s dark side.

    • Bill

      …and Miguel Arias is just the bright side rainbow, hearts and kisses of Fresno?
      Come on Ron Sherrin everyone knows including 50% of Mendota that the dark swamp has a swamp corrupt creature and his name is Miguel Arias. His corruption is far and wide. The only thing in his way of jail is Miguels constant scream of ” Racism”
      Miguel is a bad hombre and is and has been a racist for years. Including his hatred of conservatives ( even conservative Mexicans) his hatred for Fresno and America is well- known back to his days at FUSD until he made a hasty retreat during the FBI investigation of his then boss Superintendent Michael Hanson.

  3. William Thacker

    Lisa Flores no matter how qualified you THINK you are you are toxic and poison to local government.
    We don’t need another Miguel Arias, or Sandra Celedon ( crass, rude, abrasive, untruthful, ethno- biased etc)
    Furthermore you need to check your history the Japanese internment camp was an executive order #9066 signed by Democrat president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
    On the other hand Mike Karbassi is inexperienced and doesn’t represent his constituents but seems to cowardly not be able to ruffle feathers. He should talk he is not well liked not for his behaviors but for his inability to be pro business for his district.
    But he at least showed a spine telling Lisa the truth about her name calling. Doesn’t matter Karbassis lack of support for his district will be the ” Death Dealer” to any political career he thinks he may have .
    Even Darius cannot purchase support for Mike Karbassi.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

We've got issues, and we're willing to share
(but only if you want them in your inbox).