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Predicting What Dyer Will Say During His State of the City Address
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 1 week ago on
May 8, 2024

Mayor Jerry Dyer is set to deliver his fourth State of the City address on Thursday. Will there be any surprises? (Screengrab)

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Jerry Dyer delivers his fourth State of the City address on Thursday, and if he follows form, we can report on what he will talk about ahead of time.

Dyer’s speeches have been  … largely predictable.

So gather your bingo card (or shot glass if you are so inclined), and mark your card when you hear:

  • Plenty of “One Fresno” (mark your board for every five mentions);
  • The $300 million pledged for downtown by the state;
  • Downtown needs at least 10,000 units of housing;
  • The need for High-Speed Rail investment;
  • The success of Beautify Fresno;
  • Graffiti cleanup;
  • Costco is building a larger location;
  • New curbs, gutters, street painting;
  • Fixing potholes (with a detailed description of the process);
  • Crime is down;
  • Plenty more of “One Fresno.”

Dyer gave Politics 101 the lowdown of what to really expect.

“I’ve been working hard in preparation … spreading the good news. I really want people to walk away knowing that the the future of Fresno is bright, in spite of some of our fiscal challenges. We have a lot of good things that have already occurred. And we have a lot of good things that are going to be occurring on the horizon,” Dyer said.

The event, hosted by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, starts at noon, at the Fresno Convention Center. The Chamber says the event is sold out.

Fong’s Ballot Access Has No Appeal

Vince Fong will remain on the November ballot, running for both Congress and state Assembly.

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber abandoned her appeal to the state Supreme court, leaving a lower court ruling in place.

Fong tested the law — interpreted for more than 100 years that a candidate can only run for one office at a time — in the March 5 primary. He already filed to run for Assembly re-election, before filing to also run for the 20th Congressional District on the last day possible.

Weber initially denied Fong, and he sued. A Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled in his favor. Weber took the case to the Third District Court of Appeal, which also ruled in Fong’s favor.

“It bears repeating that the foundation of our democracy — the ability of the voters to choose — was preserved. The voters throughout the 20th Congressional District had their votes upheld,” Fong said in a statement.

Fong is campaigning in Fresno on Wednesday. Richard F. Spencer will host a fundraiser, with Kevin McCarthy — the man Fong hopes to replace — as guest speaker.

New Law Coming

The courts and Weber said a candidate running for two offices could lead to voter confusion.

“Rather than continue that harm to voters and Californians by another appeal, my office is supportive of a legislative solution that returns to normalcy and over 100 years of practice and precedent that permits candidates to run for only one office per election,” Weber said in a statement to GV Wire.

In its opinion, the Appeal court recommended a fix at the legislative level.

A bill, AB 1784, would allow candidates to withdraw from an office to run for another, and clarify the one-election-at-a-time provision. It is currently passing through committees, and has yet to receive an opposition vote.

Before Fong and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux face off Nov. 5, the two meet in a special election May 21. The winner will be sworn into Congress shortly thereafter to complete the term vacated by McCarthy on Dec. 31, 2023.

The winner of the Nov. 5 election will serve the full term starting Jan. 3, 2025.

FPPC Fines Two Central Valley Politicians

Two Central Valley politicians are examples of why candidates should file campaign finance paperwork on time.

The Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kerman City Councilmember Ismael Herrera $600 and water agency director Eric Borba $5,400. The state campaign finance watchdog agency said neither filed disclosure statements on time.

Herrera was tardy on his annual economic interest statements for 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Borba, an elected member of the Porterville Irrigation District, failed to disclose his stocks and property from 2017 to 2021. He was also appointed to the boards of the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency and Friant Water Authority.

Local Government Roundup

Orange Cove: The Orange Cove city council approved a raise for city manager Daniel Parra by a 3-2 vote at its April 24 meeting. Maria Vacio, Josie Cervantes, and Esperanza Rodriguez voted in favor; Gilbert Garcia, and Diana Guerra Silva opposed.

The vote gave Parra a $15,000 increase to $180,000 per year. The city will also make full contributions to his retirement account, and agreed to one year’s severance if he is fired without cause.

Parra is also an elected member of the Fowler city council.

Firebaugh: The city clerk and city treasurer are currently elected positions, but may not be for much longer. Monday, the city council in separate 4-0 votes, decided to ask voters on the November ballot whether the positions should switch from elected to appointed.

Despite being elected positions, there has been a historic lack of interest. When Amanda Fleming won the office in 2022, she was the first clerk in 12 years. The treasurer position has been vacant since 2009, when former treasurer Alice Castaneda died. No one has run, and the city never appointed anyone to fill the vacancy.

Fleming faces a criminal charge for running for office but not living within the city limit. She is charged with living just on the outside, but running for clerk anyway. Her case returns to court June 3 for a pre-preliminary hearing.

Firebaugh City Attorney Christina Di Filippo said Fleming was automatically removed as city clerk in February because she did not reside within city limits. In a letter to Fleming, Di Filippo wrote that police never observed anyone living at Fleming’s listed address — 1201 O Street in Firebaugh. Business AG & Industrial Supply is located there.

Most of the actual work is performed by the deputy city clerk; the elected clerk is more ceremonial.

San Joaquin: Hilda Cantu Montoy is the city attorney for several local jurisdictions, offering legal advice and handling lawsuits if need be. Tuesday, one of her clients, the city of San Joaquin, gave her a raise with a 4-0 vote.

Hilda Cantu Montoy

Montoy’s hourly rates will increase from $215 to $250 for general services; and $260 to $295 for litigation. A city staff report said it is commensurate with several other local government agencies.

Kerman will consider the same raise for Montoy at its Wednesday night meeting.

Montoy, a former Fresno city attorney, also works for the city of Sanger, Central Unified, and several other special districts.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
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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