Ashley Swearengin

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The State of California is promising to spend an unprecedented amount of new money investing in Fresno. The state is planning tens of millions of dollars from its cap and trade funds.

Governor Jerry Brown is recommending spending $70 million of cap and trade money in Fresno.

The funds come from pollution credits and are set aside to aid the most heavily polluted and poor areas.

The City of Fresno expects to get half of all the climate change money that the state has designated for those communities.

CMAC

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin delivered a message about long term changes in the city's direction Wednesday in what will be her last State of the City speech.

It was something of a victory lap for Swearengin who is nearing the end of her second and final term in office. Before a crowd at the Convention Center, she touted improvements over the last seven-and-a-half years in a number of areas, from the city’s financial health to Fresno’s shrinking homeless population. 

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin is flatly rejecting the concept of city-sanctioned homeless encampments. 

The mayor is responding to that suggestion from a candidate seeking to replace her.

Earlier this week on Valley Public Radio, Fresno County Supervisor and mayoral candidate Henry Perea suggested that if elected, he would be open to the concept of city-sanctioned homeless encampments.

Fresno leaders are moving forward on plans to award a construction contract for the reconstruction of the Fulton Mall even though is best bid is still more than 2-million dollars over budget.

City staff want the council to select a bid from American Paving for the project despite the fact the company overshot the projects's $20-million target.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin said they are taking the bid to the council anyway and will continue to work to reduce the cost.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Two Fresno City Council members are taking a stand against what they consider to be secretive bonuses to top administration officials.

Several high-ranking city leaders were given more than $200,000 in bonuses and deferred compensation over the past two years. The issue raised the ire of the City Council because they say Mayor Ashley Swearengin did not follow city law and disclose their total compensation. Disclosure of public employee pay is required by the city’s 2010 Transparency Act.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin is proposing her vision for the city’s 1.2 billion dollar budget. Valley Public Radio’s Jeffrey Hess reports the budget calls for more cops, fire fighters, and street repairs.

The budget has finally recovered after taking a deep hit during the great recession when it appeared possible the city could default and declare bankruptcy.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin says that money should be used to add 43 police officers, more fire fighters, and restore cuts made when the budget collapsed.

Faith in Community

In many of Fresno’s older neighborhoods, blighted properties and boarded up homes are a big problem. FM89’s Joe Moore reports a proposed new law aims to crack down on those property owners.

Residents say abandoned, boarded up buildings drive down property values and often attract  illegal activity. That’s why the Fresno City Council is set to vote on a new ordinance tomorrow to crack down on vacant blighted buildings throughout the city.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin:

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fresno's Blackstone Avenue has seen better days. A drive down the six lane strip of asphalt that stretches from downtown past ramshackle used car lots and abandoned storefronts all the way to the booming River Park area on the northside, can tell you a lot about where the city has been and where it is headed. 

  Indicted Fresno deputy Police chief Keith Foster is being released on his own recognizance prior to his trial on drug-related charges.

Foster was one of six people who appeared in federal court today on accusation of distributing heroine, Oxycodone, and marijuana.

The cities top three leaders all say that they were unaware of Foster’s alleged illegal activity but that they are sure that it does not extend further into the department.

Ashley Swearengin is Mayor of Fresno.

Fresno Deputy Police Chief Arrested For Dealing Drugs

Mar 26, 2015
Fresno Police Department

One of Fresno's highest ranking law enforcement officers was arrested Thursday on drug charges. Fresno Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster is charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, marijuana and oxycodone.

Five other Fresno residents were also charged in the case, including two men the FBI believes are related to Foster. 

Foster has been placed on administrative leave by the department. The arrests are part of an on-going, year-long investigation by the FBI and ATF.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says the arrest is totally unexpected...

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