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Fresno Council Approves Motions on $1.8 Billion Budget



Image of city of Fresno budget binders
The Fresno City Council banged through nearly 100 budget motions in an hour. (GV Wire file)
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The Fresno City Council took only an hour to approve nearly 100 budget motions and amendments to the city’s $1.8 billion spending plan.

The city council voted 7-0 Wednesday on most of the motions made last week during budget hearings. Councilmembers used the meeting to amend some motions and withdraw some (usually duplicative or already funded from another source).

Most of the budget motions revolved around paving projects.

“Can I make a motion to repave the whole city?” Luis Chavez joked.

Altogether, the motions added or reallocated more than $50 million to the budget. Now, Mayor Jerry Dyer’s administration will meet with the city’s budget subcommittee (Tyler Maxwell, Mike Karbassi, and Annalisa Perea) to reconcile. The budget must be balanced.

A budget vote is scheduled for June 22.

One motion not voted on because of council objection was providing $50,000 for the pro-life Obria Medical Clinic. The motion was made by Garry Bredefeld, who attended the clinic’s ribboncutting last year.

Also in Politics 101

  • Dyer, Donis to be honored. One will be vetted.
  • Fresno Judge de Alba wins Senate committee approval.
  • Want to watch the Women’s Commission? You can’t.

Dyer, Donis to Be Honored. One Will Be Vetted.

In 2020, the Fresno City Council approved an ordinance to review any naming of a city facility through the Historic Preservation Commission.

But, the city hasn’t always practiced what it preached. Last December, the city council voted 6-1, with Bredefeld voting no, to name a new park for labor rights leader Dolores Huerta. The motion exempted vetting Huerta through the HPC.

On Thursday, the city council is scheduled to vote on naming two buildings for former chiefs — the existing police training center for current mayor and former police chief Dyer; and the future fire training center for just-retired chief Kerri Donis.

The resolution would exempt Dyer from review. Councilman Miguel Arias — who authored the Donis naming — said he will submit her to HPC scrutiny.

The Dyer naming — backed by Maxwell, Bredefeld, and Karbassi — was scheduled for the June 8 city council meeting but pulled before any vote could take place.

De Alba Nomination Passes Senate Judiciary

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Fresno federal judge Ana de Alba for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

The 11-10 vote on June 8 was on party lines, with the Democrats voting in favor. Both California senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein voted yes. The vote now heads to the full U.S. Senate. No floor vote date has been sent.

De Alba has been on the fast track. In 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed to her to the Fresno County Superior Court bench. In 2022, President Joe Biden appointed her to the federal Eastern District of California (based in Fresno) bench.

If de Alba is confirmed, it would leave another hole in the Eastern District of California federal court. Last week, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, announced legislation to increase the bench from 6 to 11 over the next five years.

Six judges have overseen cases in the court — which spans from the California-Oregon, California-Nevada borders and through Kern County — since 1978.

De Alba testified in front of the committee May 17.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, asked her why she sentenced a suspect convicted of child sexual assault and child pornography only 66 months, less than the 111 months prosecutors asked. De Alba said she conducted an assessment on the suspect’s life.

“I look at everything,” de Alba said. “I have to do what the law requires me to do.”

Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, defended her, noting the maximum sentences she imposed on other sexual assault convicts.

Conservative senators also asked de Alba why she ordered removal of an ankle monitor on a suspect convicted of aiding his cop-killer brother. Other senators noted the convict had two monitors, and the order was to remove just one.

Federal Judge Ana de Alba testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 17. (Screen capture)

Women’s Commission Still Dark

The Women’s Commission held a lunchtime meeting Monday. But, if you are not there in person, you’ll have to read what happened in the minutes.

The newest Fresno board, created last year thanks in part to a $25,000 state grant, does not record or archive its meetings. The meetings are open to anyone who physically wants to attend.

There is a city ordinance on the books to allow remote participation, but it only applies to city council meetings. Other board meetings such as the planning commission or the parks commission are televised and archived.

On May 11, the city council voted 7-0 to accept another $100,000 grant for the Women’s Commission, including $20,000 for marketing and $4,500 in stipends for staff from the offices of Nelson Esparza and Luis Chavez to operate the commission.

Asked whether the meetings can be televised with the marketing money, Esparza said, “we’ll have to see, David, to see about the capacity in the city clerk’s office.”

Correction 6/15/23: the original story stated the women’s commission received a $100,000 grant at the start. It was a $25,000 state grant from the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. Esparza’s chief of staff says Chavez’s staff will also administer the commission.

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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