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Politics 101

Labor Peace, New Water Wells Highlight Fresno County’s Record $4.5 Billion Budget



The Fresno County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a $4.5 billion budget in quick fashion on Monday, (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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The Fresno County Board of Supervisors passed a record $4.5 billion budget in a 95-minute hearing on Monday by a 5-0 vote. The fiscal year finds the county with an 8% increase ($343 million) from last year.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

“Very little blood was drawn,” Supervisor Nathan Magsig said at the close of the meeting.

The budget includes $194 million from the American Rescue Plan Act federal stimulus dollars. The money will be used for 65 projects, 23 of which have already been completed. They include the replacement of groundwater wells, the construction of affordable homes, and homelessness initiatives.

One highlight is labor peace with 22 bargaining units. The county employs more than 8,300 workers. Several will receive raises.

But, the increases could be eaten up by expenses all county residents are going through. County Administrative Officer Paul Nerland said fuel costs have increased 36%. Healthcare costs are up 3.6%, a “respectable number,” Nerland said in county documents. Inflation is also a concern.

Those watching by a live video stream had a tough time Monday. The feed started late and was choppy throughout.

Also in Politics 101 …

  • Voters in Huron to finally fill a vacancy.
  • Fowler councilman elected to a statewide advocacy group.
  • Fresnan appointed to a statewide board.

Huron Vacancy to Finally be Filled

Earlier this month, Politics 101 wrote about the Mission Viejo (Orange Count) city council. A judge is kicking out three members because a misinterpreted election quirk allowed three members to stay on beyond the expiration of their terms.

In Huron in western Fresno County, an opposite problem happened. A vacancy on the city council was not filled in the allotted time.

Jorge Solorio resigned in late 2020 because he moved out of town, the city clerk said.

By law, the city had two options — call for a special election or appoint a replacement to fill the remainder of the term through 2022. General law cities like Huron have 60 days to make that decision.

The city council of Huron, population 6,222, decided that $40,000 for a special election — which could have taken place in November 2021 — was too much. But, the council could not decide on a replacement either, leaving the seat open.

How could Huron get away with not following state law?

“The law has no teeth,” city attorney Neal Costanzo told Politics 101. “The law does not provide any consequences (for not acting).”

The situation is moot. Huron voters will decide on that and two other city council positions, as well as mayor in the November election.

Parra Wins League of California Cities Post

Daniel Parra

Fowler City Councilman Daniel Parra earned a leadership post with a statewide advocacy group.

Parra will serve as the first vice president for the League of California Cities Board of Directors.

“I look forward to working together with local leaders from throughout the state to find solutions to our communities’ most pressing challenges,” Parra said in a news release.

The advocacy group’s mission is to “defend and expand local control through advocacy efforts in the Legislature, at the ballot box, in the courts, and through strategic outreach that informs and educates the public, policymakers, and opinion leaders” according to its website.

Fresno Man Appointed to State Pharmacy Board

KK Jha

Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed a Fresnan to the State Board of Pharmacy last week.

Kartikeya “KK” Jha, 43, works as a manager for Omnicare, a division of CVS.

The board regulates pharmacy workers and distributors of drugs and devices.

Jha, a Democrat, will earn $100 per meeting.

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