Lee Brand

City of Fresno

Fresno has its first female City Manager. Mayor Lee Brand today introduced Wilma Quan-Schecter as the replacement for the retiring City Manager Bruce Rudd.

Quan-Schecter, who is 43 years old, has been with the city for 9 years and has a background in city planning. At the announcement at Fresno City Hall, Quan-Schecter says she is excited to step into the role.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

The early days of President Donald Trump’s administration have left all manner of people scrambling to keep up and understand the local impacts of a series of executive orders. One major change is the threat to withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities”, that is cities that claim to not work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to find undocumented immigrants. But what even is a sanctuary city and is Fresno in the crosshairs?

When he explained his executive order targeting ‘sanctuary cities’ last week, President Trump described the order this way.

Lee Brand / Valley Public Radio

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand took office a little less than 30 days ago, and it’s been an eventful first month. Last week he unveiled his plan to tackle one of the city’s biggest issues – substandard rental housing - conditions that in many cases are unsafe and unhealthy. The plan, which includes a baseline inspection of the city’s existing rental apartments and homes, is one of the biggest changes in years in the way city hall works. It’s also the first big test of Brand’s new administration and his relationship with the city council as it goes up for a vote on Thursday.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The City of Fresno has a new mayor. Lee Brand took the oath of office this morning at city hall.

At precisely 9:00 a.m. in front of the city council chambers, Lee Brand raised his right hand and swore the oath of office.

“That you will take this obligation freely. Without any reservation or purpose of evasion. And that you will and faithfully discharge the duties upon which you are about to enter?” asked City Clerk Yvonne Spence.

“I do” Brand replied.

Lee Brand / Valley Public Radio

For the first time in eight years, Central California’s largest city is about to get a new leader. Last week Fresno Mayor-elect Lee Brand announced his transition team, plus the hire of two top aides to senior positions in his administration. Brand's former campaign manager Tim Orman will become the mayor's chief of staff, and former campaign rival H. Spees will become Brand's director of strategic initiatives, both with six-figures salaries. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

We talk politics in a special post-election Valley Edition this week. Should the media and political establishment put so much emphasis on predictive polling? What does a Trump administration mean for the Central Valley, and for local GOP leaders like Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes? And what do local races and voter turnout tell us about future campaigns?

City of Fresno

For the last seven-and-a-half years, Lee Brand has been the Fresno City Council's resident policy expert. He's helped write and pass laws about city debt and finance that many say helped the city recover from a deep financial crisis. Now he wants to lead the city from the office of mayor, squaring off against current Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea in the November election.

Henry R. Perea - Facebook

Northeast Fresno's water problem - corroded residential pipes that have resulted in rusty water that in some cases contains lead - isn't just an issue for the residents involved, it's now the latest issue in the 2016 mayor's race. 

John Chacon / CA Department of Water Resources

Widespread concern in northeast Fresno about rusty water that can contain elevated levels of lead is the latest issue in the Fresno mayor's race, while the city continues to maintain that its water is safe to drink.

Speaking in separate events within minutes of each other, mayoral candidates Lee Brand and Henry Perea exchanged comments today about the city's response to the problem, both past and present. 

Fresno mayoral candidate Lee Brand has earned the endorsement of one H Spees, of his former rivals in the June primary. Spees came in third place behind both Brand and Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea in the June 7th election.

Fresno mayoral candidate Lee Brand has earned the endorsement of one H Spees, of his former rivals in the June primary. Spees came in third place behind both Brand and Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea in the June 7th election.

City of Fresno

Most people in Fresno known Lee Brand as the city council's resident policy guru. The rental property developer and manager has authored or co-authored over a dozen pieces of legislation during his seven year tenure at city hall, covering everything from negotiations with labor unions to city financial safeguards. 

Now Brand hopes to shift gears, from legislator to chief executive of California's fifth largest city. Brand says he's up for the challenge, both on both the policy and leadership sides of the job. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

As next June's primary approaches, candidates are lining up to become Fresno's next mayor. Two have already announced their attention to run, including current Fresno City Council Member Lee Brand and pastor/community activist H. Spees. Now the community is abuzz about whether Chief Jerry Dyer will enter the race. And what about the Perea family? Both Henry R. Perea, a currently a Fresno County Supervisor, and his son Assemblyman Henry T. Perea have been mentioned as potential candidates.

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.