An ad that a local non-profit group wants to run on city buses is the center of controversy, after Fresno officials say it’s too political. As FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports the group wants more parkland in older parts of town.
The Fresno Police Department is moving forward with a plan to purchase 300 new body cameras for officers. The city council approved the $2.5 million purchase today which also includes 400 TASER devices. The cameras are in addition to 100 purchased earlier this year after the city received an anonymous $500,000 donation.
The Fresno Grizzlies will open their 2015 season tonight at Chuckchansi Park. But for the first time in 18 years, the AAA team won’t be stocked with players from Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants. FM89’s Jason Scott reports that team owners hope the new affiliation with the Houston Astros will mark a reboot for the club and its fan base.
When the Fresno Grizzlies take the field tonight for the opening day fans will witness a team with a new look.
The Fresno City Council approved a new general plan last night that for the first time attempts to but the brakes on suburban sprawl.
Over the next two decades, the plan calls for about half of the city's future growth to take place within the existing city limits and the rest in new growth areas like west of Highway 99 and in Southeast Fresno.
Mayor Ashley Swearengin called the council's 5-2 vote historic, and a new direction for the city.
The City of Fresno has reached an early contract agreement with the union representing Fresno police officers. If ratified by the members of the Fresno Police Officers Association, the deal would extend the current contract to 2017.
It would also include a two percent salary increase in 2015 and another in 2016. The city would pay 75 percent of employee health care costs, with any future increases shared equally between the city and the union. It would also increase the amount current employees pay for retiree pensions by two percent.
The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to repeal a city water plan they introduced in 2013, after a referendum petition known as Measure W threatened to put the repeal before voters.
Measure W began as a grassroots campaign and eventually collected 5500 signatures, enough to become a ballot measure. The water plan it helped repeal involved increasing Fresno residents' water bills to pay for a $410 million-upgrade to the city's water infrastructure. City Councilmember Steve Brandau:
Despite constant warnings about California's drought, people across the state are actually using more water this year than last. Angst over water is nothing new, but the pressure to conserve is pitting neighbor against neighbor in something the New York Times has called “drought shaming.”
At a press conference this morning, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin announced her proposed 2015 budget for the City of Fresno.
In a departure from the major shortfalls the city has faced since 2009, the proposal emphasizes paying off debt, bolstering city services, and increasing the operating reserve to help prepare for unforeseen costs.
With a budget that's absorbed more than $100 million in cuts since 2009, the City of Fresno's finances are improving. But major concerns remain, including a possible "perfect storm" that could threaten the city's financial future. That's the message contained in a draft of the city's 2013 audited financial report, which the council will review on Thursday.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx visited Fresno today to formally announce the city's award of a grant for $16 million to transform a part of downtown. FM89's Joe Moore has this report.
Today's event on the Fulton Mall wasn't the first time a Fresno mayor called for the six-block-long pedestrian plaza to be restored to vehicle traffic. But unlike efforts in decades past, this time the city apparently has the money to do it, thanks to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.