In less than two months, voters in the city of Fresno will elect members of the city council in the four districts. Only one – District 1 in West Fresno – has an open seat.
Four candidates are campaigning for the position, but Annalisa Perea and Carrie Catalano are getting almost everyone’s attention.
Perea, who is the State Center Community College District Trustee, held early financial gains. During the last reporting period of December 31, Perea had approximately $250,000 in cash available. It has raised $11,500 in large donations (candidates must report contributions of $1,000 or more before the deadline for the next composite reporting period of April 28).
Carrie Catalano, a small business owner and marketing professional, entered the year with approximately $127,000 in cash and has since raised $3,900 in large charities.
Big endorsements could lead to more money coming soon. Perea received approval from the Fresno Chamber of Commerce; Catalano scored with the support of the Fresno Police Officers Association. Both groups are known to contribute generously through their political action committees.
In 2014, when Catalano and Esmeralda Soria advanced in the general election for District 1 – Soria won with 52.41% of the vote – Catalano spent nearly $65,000 during the primary. This time, he had already spent more than $87,000 as of December 31. Perea spent $65,000 in the same time period.
Two other candidates in the race, Mike Briggs and Jeremy Preece, have not reported significant numbers in cash in hand or large donations.
If a candidate secures a majority in the June 7 primary, that person will be a council-member. If not, the top two move on to the November general election.
Fresno City Council District 1 Finance
|Candidate||Cash on hand till 31st December||since big donation|
In politics too 101
The candidate says that the signs have been sabotaged.
– Fresno Council discusses Granite Park.
– Chavez hosts the Fresno investment platform.
– Dyer has joined the fight for the gambling initiative.
– Delano councilor fined for not reporting campaign contributions.
Signal sabotage, says Catalano
In the old election campaign tradition of knocking on doors and kissing children, the symbols of the candidate are being broken.
“Wake up on this. Over 45 signs have been destroyed in the last two weeks, in the same fashion and intent. This is deliberate vandalism. Not to worry, I will keep replacing them and we will not be distracted.” ,” Fresno City Council District 1 candidate Carrie Catalano wrote on Facebook.
Catalano forecasts a loss of $2,250.
Chavez, optimistic on other Fresno
Councilman Luis Chavez went from one Zoom meeting to another – an investment forum convening to tout Fresno.
Chavez is accompanied by Fresno EDC President and CEO Lee Ann Egger, High-Speed Rail Board Member Henry R. Peria and other local business and labor leaders were involved.
Most of the meeting was cheerleading about what a great place to invest in Fresno.
“If you want to invest in the direction we are headed, now is the time to do so,” Keen said.
High-speed discussions came to prominence. Keen said economic growth grows around train stations, citing a small town in Spain. Periya said that the HSR board will talk about the stations in its next meeting.
Eger also said that five national companies that previously did not consider Fresno for investment are now taking a look.
One buzz word mentioned several times was creating “20-minute communities”—meaning that jobs, entertainment, and shopping are available within a 20-minute commute.
Chavez has set a target of attracting $1 billion in fresh investment over five years.
Tribes puts Dior in the bull’s eye about his gambling stance
California voters may see a move or two about legalizing sports betting this November. Sponsored by groups such as casinos, card rooms and Indian tribes, many initiatives are possible, all with their own interests.
Flyers are already showing up in a Fresno mailbox, attacking Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer because of his support for the scheme backed by online gaming interests such as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.
Dyer has joined with the mayors of Sacramento, Oakland and Long Beach in supporting a statewide ballot measure that would dedicate 15% of taxes from online gambling to the Tribal Economic Development account. Another 85% of tax revenue will fund homelessness and mental health services in the state.
Mailer, sponsored by a group funded by the California Indian Tribes, argues that allowing bets on devices such as cell phones is harmful to children.
The proposal needs nearly one million signatures to go to November’s vote. If approved, it could be implemented from next year.
Under current law, California does not allow team sports gambling online or in casinos.
Former Delano counselor faces hefty fine
A former city councilor from Delano pays a heavy price for not filing campaign documents.
Joe Aguirre faces a $36,000 fine for not filing campaign finance documents with the Fair Political Practices Commission. At a meeting last month, the FPPC approved default proceedings in eight cases against Aguirre, who never responded to the state watchdog’s allegations.
The case has been going on for years, stemming from failures to report in 2014. Aguirre lost his election that year, ran again and won in 2016 (Delano city council elections are big), and lost in 2020.
“It gets closed by a default judgment, which means the person is on the hook for the money, but we have to go through a collection process to try to get anything. It usually doesn’t cost us/taxpayers much. But it’s legal on the books, and we have the ability to keep liens and garnish tax refunds, that sort of thing,” FPPC spokesman Jay Wirenga said.
Aguirre did not respond to a text and email message seeking comment.
“Sometimes people just ignore everything and hope it goes away. It doesn’t happen,” Virenga said.
Fresno Council discusses Granite Park
While one insurance issue at Granite Park has been resolved, another remains.
Last week, City Councilor Gary Breedfeld informed the media that the nonprofit that operates the park, the CVCSF, does not have the proper level of insurance to protect the city’s taxpayers.
The issue appears to have been resolved, but one question remains whether the park has sufficient insurance coverage to sell alcohol.
The city council met in a special closed session on Monday morning to discuss Granite Park. While no official action was taken, City Attorney Douglas Sloan wrote a letter to Park about the consequences of not treating the outstanding issues.
The letter states that Granite Park now has the correct name of the insured on its policy. There are still two issues related to wine service Granite Park – the failure to add the city as an additional insured under alcohol liability, and the failure to provide an appropriate policy limit.
The city says Granite Park has until Friday to address the problem, or it may no longer be allowed to serve alcohol. It can still operate the park without the sale of alcohol.
“If proof of insurance is not provided, it reserves the right to pursue all available legal remedies, including termination of the lease,” Sloan wrote.
The CVCSF said in a statement that it is “absolutely not true” that there is an inadequate level of liquor liability insurance.
“Instead the City has made a technical argument that alcohol liability requires a separate ‘additionally insured’ endorsement. The City is in a position to try to oust Mr. (Terrence) Frazier and CVCSF as the operator of Granite Park. is just putting an additional hurdle in the front,” the nonprofit said.
earl morning meeting
The city council convened at 7:45 a.m. to discuss three closed-session items – leases with other downtown tenants such as the Grizzlies minor league baseball team, Kokies Bar and Grill, and Piccadilly Inn/Steak & Anchor Restaurant; a lawsuit filed against the city by Terence Frazier, the developer and operator of Granite Park; and deciding whether to launch a lawsuit against the CVCSF.
Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria was not present during the brief zoom-only open part of the meeting. Sloan said she was detaching herself from all objects. Soria is engaged to Frazier.
This is at least the second closed session discussion about Granite Park and its insurance issues. The council met on 24 March and voted 5-1 to restrict the sale of alcohol and give the operator seven days to fix the insurance problem. Today’s action is similar, said sources familiar with the discussions.