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Fresno Council to Undo ‘Bredefeld’ Leadership Rules

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The Fresno City Council will determine a new way to pick its leadership. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)
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Rules enacted because of the presence of a certain Fresno city councilman are slated to be reversed.

David Taub

Politics 101

When Garry Bredefeld took his seat on the city council in 2017, his colleagues changed the rules on who could hold leadership positions. The changes include requiring one year experience prior to taking a seat on the council, and the usual rotation system by district number could be upended by a majority vote.

Both changes denied Bredefeld — an outspoken conservative who often ruffles feathers on the council — an opportunity to become council president or vice president.

On Thursday, the city council will vote to return to a set rotation, without the ability to alter it by a vote. The one-year experience criteria remains. Starting in 2024, the District 1 councilmember will be president, and the District 2 councilmember becomes vice president.

Current City Council President Tyler Maxwell says he hopes the new policy will take the politics out of leadership votes.

I don’t think the next foreseeable couple of council members would have any issue getting the votes for leadership from our current council,” Maxwell said. “However, if any council member ever loses the faith, trust or confidence of their council colleagues, those rules and procedures can be amended on any given Thursday.”

The theoretical future leadership lineup for council president:

2024: Annalisa Perea (District 1)

2025: Mike Karbassi (District 2)

2026: Miguel Arias (District 3)

2027 and beyond: depends on who is elected starting in 2024.


Also in Politics 101 …

  • Fresno leader to remain chair of statewide commission.
  • Residents near Amazon facility to see economic relief.
  • Arambula making leadership case.

Eager Re-Nominated to State Leadership Post

Portrait of Fresno EDC CEO Lee Ann Eager

Lee Ann Eager

A Fresno leader will remain the head of a statewide commission.

Last week, the California Transportation Commission voted Lee Ann Eager to serve another term as the group’s chair. Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Eager to the commission in 2020.

Eager is the president/CEO of the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation.

“My focus from this last year has been on communication and partnership, and I want to continue with that this year,” Eager said in a news release. “In the coming year, I would love for the Commission to go to cities that we have never been to before to hear from those communities about their transportation needs.”

The 11-member commission allocates transportation funds, and advises the state legislature on transportation matters.

Residents Near Amazon Center to See Relief

Residents in south Fresno, impacted by living near the Amazon distribution center, could soon receive monetary relief.

The Fresno City Council will discuss establishing a community benefit fund to help mitigate noise and other inconveniences. The funding will come from impact fees paid by developers. Councilman Miguel Arias said the fund will start with $300,000.

“Residents nearby can start applying for the funds to have their homes mitigated for the noise and pollution and traffic that’s created by these distribution centers. It is exactly designed similar to what the airport mitigation areas are. So we replace windows and air conditioners,” Arias said.

The creation of the fund is the result of a 2021 settlement with two environmental interest groups. The city held several meetings over the last two years to develop the plan.

Arambula Making His Case for Leadership

Joaquin Arambula continues his quest to become Assembly Speaker, even though the Democratic caucus already voted for a leadership succession plan.

Arambula, D-Fresno, spoke to statewide TV program “Inside California Politics,” arguing that change at the top is needed.

Assemblyman Robert Rivas, D-Hollister, is slated to take over on July 1 from current Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood. A voice vote was taken the first day of the legislative session on Dec. 5. In June 2022, Rivas made a play for the speakership in an effort that failed at the time.

“Speaker-designee Rivas has already failed at being speaker by woefully failing to unify our caucus, given more than seven months since the divide started last June. The resolution that we passed in December was but a Band-Aid to that fracture. For us as a caucus to unify, we need to ensure that the person who’s leading us is able to bring consensus to decisions. We haven’t seen that thus far, and I believe it’s important for us to work on that,” Arambula said.

If Arambula has support, no one is saying so publicly. Those in Assembly leadership have said on record the issue was decided in December.

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

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