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Fresno City Council

Courtesy of Brett Lebin

Voters in Fresno could have the opportunity in November to vote on taxing medical marijuana businesses. But first, the Fresno City Council would have to approve the measure to go on the ballot next week. 

On Thursday the Fresno City Council is expected to decide if people can vote on November 6 to add a tax to medical cannabis businesses.

The legislation is sponsored by three council members and needs at least five votes to pass. Clint Olivier representing District 7 is a sponsor of the measure and is confident the vote will pass.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

Four of Fresno’s city council seats are up for re-election this year. While these are technically non-partisan races, many city issues are often decided along party lines. The stakes are even higher in one particular district that's currently held by a conservative, and is a district where voters in the last presidential election supported Hillary Clinton. Valley Public Radio’s Laura Tsutsui reports, the candidate who wins this seat could end up deciding the future of city politics.

http://www.garrybredefeld.com/

A Fresno City Councilmember is apologizing for remarks he made two weeks ago that some community members have interpreted as racially insensitive. Councilmember Garry Bredefeld found himself in hot water after wading into the controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Religion and politics are once again mixing at Fresno City Hall. One councilmember has put forward a plan to add the words ‘In God We Trust’ to the council chamber wall. The result of that vote could be the latest sign that the connection between politics and the city’s religious faithful is still strong.

The Wilson Theater in downtown Fresno comes to life on Sundays when it transforms into the Christian Cornerstone Church, the home of Pastor Jim Franklin. The theme of the sermon this weekend is organizing your life to put Jesus first.

The Fresno City Council has postponed a vote on legislation that would undo a key component of the city’s newly adopted general plan.

 

It’s an amendment that would require developers of multi-family apartment complexes outside of downtown to seek conditional use permits. Those permits add significant time and money to a building’s construction timeline, but they allow for feedback from the city and neighbors.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The Fresno City Council has voted to enact a rental housing inspection program aimed at cracking down on slum housing in the city.

The 4-3 vote came after more than two hours of public comment. Most people spoke in favor of the program, including the influential Apartment Association of Greater Fresno which represents owners and managers, as well as tenants’ rights advocates like Matthew Gundry.

He told the council stories about homes and apartments with untreated pest infestations, black mold, and more that goes ignored by landlords.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

After decades of complaints from residents, a vote this week by the Fresno City Council could signal what some think is a new direction for southwest Fresno. The city is considering a new specific plan that will guide the future of the 3,000 acre neighborhood west of Highway 99 and south of Highway 180. At its heart is a goal to remake the area, and reduce pollution by telling big industrial facilities to move elsewhere.   

When she was a little girl, Kimberly McCoy lived near some of the heavy industry that marks parts of southwest Fresno.

http://www.garrybredefeld.com/

Garry Bredefeld was a leading voice and vote behind the push to build Chukchansi Park when he served on the Fresno City Council from 1997-2000. Now Bredefeld wants to once again represent north Fresno’s District 6, as he is one of three candidates running for the seat this June.

Jeremy Pearce For City Council Facebook

Jeremy Pearce is no stranger to big crowds or bright lights, even though he is a newcomer when it comes to running for political office. As one of the San Joaquin Valley’s top Elvis tribute artists, Pearce knows his way around a stage.

He now hopes to parlay his fame as an entertainer into a seat on the Fresno City Council representing District 6, in Northeast Fresno. He joined us on Valley Edition to talk about his vision for the city in issues from how to pay for hiring more cops, to downtown revitalization to homelessness. 

Holly Carter, Facebook

Holly Carter wants to replace Lee Brand on the Fresno City Council.  

"I never wanted to run for office, I actually still don't want to run for office," Carters says. "It's more of a gravitational pull."

Over the next few weeks KVPR will be talking with all three of the candidates who want to fill the District 6 seat on the council representing North Fresno. In this interview Valley Edition Host Joe Moore chats with Carter, a local businesswoman and cancer survivor, who runs her own marketing firm. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we are joined by the Masumoto family from Del Rey. David, Marcy, Nikiko and Korio Masumoto chat about a documentary, "Changing Season," created about their lives on their peach and grape farm. Later Valley Edition Host Joe Moore interviews Fresno City Council candidate Holly Carter.

The Fresno City Council has voted 6-1 to accept a construction bid to turn the Fulton Mall back into a street. The vote is a significant, and nearly final step, in the long fight over what to do with the pedestrian walking mall in the middle of downtown Fresno.

The city hall was packed for the vote with many people wearing orange ‘I believe in Downtown Fresno’ tee-shirts appearing to greatly outnumber opponents of the project. Most of the supporters called on the council to remove the mall, which they consider a moribund drag on downtown development.

google street view

The Fresno City Council could approve a land deal Thursday that could clean up a long blighted plot of downtown. However, the total sale of the land is a small portion of the money the city spent acquiring it.

The land is at the corner of Stanislaus and L streets in downtown Fresno, right next to a long vacant gas station that has been the source of hundreds of calls to police. A previous attempt to rehabilitate the site with more than $1,000,000 in federal Housing and Urban Development funds collapsed.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno City Council could carve out an exemption from water conservation rules for backyard fruit and vegetable gardens. The goal is to encourage more urban farming.

The exemption, proposed by Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria, would allow for daily drip irrigation of backyard gardens.

Soria says current watering rules are too restrictive, and could be deterring people from growing their own food especially in poor areas.

Flickr- eyeliam

The Fresno City Council has voted to ban the display or sale of the confederate flag on city property. The vote sparked debate about where to draw the line when banning historical objects.

While the city is not currently displaying or selling the flag, the ordinance approved by the council today makes it clear that it cannot.

Council president Oliver Baines wrote the ordinance and says in the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina church massacre, it’s time to make a statement against what many consider to be a sign of racist hate.

Flickr- eyeliam

The Fresno City Council could vote Thursday to ban the city from displaying the confederate flag on all city owned property.

The ordinance, proposed by council president Oliver Baines, would prohibit the city from displaying or selling of the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, often known as the confederate flag.

It would also ban the sale of items that bear the flag unless it is in a book or city museum that serves an educational or historical purpose.

The ordinance says the flag now represents a symbol of racism and hatred to many people.

FLikr- Brett Levin

The Fresno City Council is reversing course on an ordinance that would have allowed limited indoor cultivation of medical marijuana. The deal appeared to satisfy no one.

The ordinance would have allowed people with a medical marijuana prescription to grow up to four plants in their homes, something that is currently prohibited.

It had previously passed the council two weeks ago, but today died on a 4-to-3 vote.

Councilmember Steve Brandau, one of the no votes, says the city should work with Fresno County to have one unified set of growing standards…