Will the Fresno City Council agree to an audit of spending? – GV wire

A Fresno City Council audit subcommittee is willing to internally review the city’s finances. But, the members say they don’t want this to turn into a witch hunt.

David Taub

Policy 101

“Audits are not meant to be used as political weapons,” Councilman Miguel Arias said at Wednesday’s special public meeting of the finance and audit committee.

Last week, Councilman Garry Bredefeld accused four council members of abusing city-issued credit cards and individual budgets of $700,000 for district needs.

Committee member Tyler Maxwell is “not opposed to an audit” but wants to expand it to examine “the finances and efficiency of the entire city”.

“There are many steps our city can take to increase that transparency, but what I disagree with is a politically motivated audit by a single council member that focuses only on spending. of four city council members he disagrees with politically,” Maxwell said. .

Also in Politics 101:

Where does the audit go from here?

— Civil rights icon compares Fresno County redistricting to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

– No more yellow, make way for green for a Fresno pottery

Bredefeld criticized for his criticisms

Last week, Maxwell and City Council Speaker Nelson Esparza said Bredefeld had made “misrepresentations” and called his efforts “an unnecessary charade.” They also said the city attorney’s office “found no misuse of council funds.”

Wednesday’s meeting included conversations about appropriate spending.

“Issues are raised when comments are made that indicate spending may not be in line with this current Conservative business policy,” City Manager Georgeanne White said.

Mayor Jerry Dyer hopes to begin a spending review within three weeks.

The discussion will continue at the city council on Thursday. Bredefeld has two items on the agenda.

Huerta compares Fresno County redistricting to Ukraine

Photo by Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta compared the redrawing of Fresno County to the war in Ukraine. (GV Wire File)

Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta compared the process of choosing voter maps in Fresno County to the war in Ukraine.

“We see what is happening in Ukraine, where people are being murdered, because Russia wants to take over their country and wants to represent them. What we have here is something very similar, of course, on a different scale,” Huerta said over the phone during an Assembly Elections Committee hearing on Wednesday.

The committee heard from AB 2030, written by Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno. The bill would transfer map-drawing power from the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to an independent committee.

The bill passed 5-1 by the Elections Committee. He then goes to the local government committee.

Arambula said community voices were not heard during the county’s recent redistricting.

“The practice of gerrymandering has disenfranchised underrepresented communities, including communities of color, and diluted their voting power,” Arambula told the committee.

Dora Rose of the state’s League of Women Voters also spoke on behalf of AB 2030. Neither Huerta (Bakersfield) nor Rose (San Francisco) are from Fresno County.

Sacramento-based lobbyist Paul Yoder spoke on behalf of Fresno County, which opposes the bill. He said the map passed last December met all legal requirements and included three Latino-majority districts.

Chad Mayes, NPP-Yucaipa, and Kelly Seyarto, R-Murrieta, expressed concern about the removal of local control. However, Mayes voted yes while Seyarto was the only no.

Proposed jar shop changes from yellow to green

Marijuana retail store Lemonnade in the Tower District survived an appeal of its license last year. But, the building’s design, name, and color scheme have raised eyebrows.

Instead of the name Lemonnade and its proposed bright yellow building on the corner of Wishon and Fern avenues in a former bank building, the brand will now be that of Dr. Greenthumb, with a green pattern.

“Due to feedback from City Council and to differentiate this store from the District 4 Cookies store, we have changed our brand from Lemonnade to Dr. Greenthumb’s,” company documents say.

Ownership remains the same, locally controlled by Kacey Auston.

On Tuesday, Dr. Greenthumb received unanimous approval for his conditional use license from the Tower District’s Design Review Board.

If the logo looks familiar, it’s an image of Cypress Hill rapper B-Real, the brand’s founder.

Above: The original render of Lemonnade in the Tower District. Below: an updated render under the Dr. Greenthumb’s brand.

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