NOTHING TO SEE HERE
City Manager Rudd said parks deals like the one with Central Cal Baseball Academy remain relevant.
“The partnership with community-based organizations is something I would see this organization continuing for quite some time,” Rudd said. “While it was born out of necessity, I think it has been demonstrated that it could augment what we are doing and there are partners who are willing to do that.”
Rudd said the general fund is far from flush. He said the general fund reserve is way too small. He said it will take years of prudent budgeting before city services across the board are fully restored.
Rudd said it’s wrong to describe the Frazier-Mollinedo talks as a negotiation.
“I would frame them as a ‘discussion,’” Rudd said.
Rudd said he doesn’t see the presence of Paul Swearengin at this discussion as a conflict. He said the Al Radka contract is similar to what other nonprofits received.
Rudd said Mayor Swearengin has made it clear that her husband is not to get special treatment when he does business with the city.
“She would have my you-know-what if there was anything in that agreement that was different, that looked like a special consideration to Central Cal,” Rudd said.
Thank you for the column George. You are absolutely right to be concerned about a potential conflict of interest in this situation. Any outsider looking at something like this involving the Mayor’s husband would think there was shenanigans.
That being said, I know both Mr. Frazier and Mr. Swearengin. I can say with as much certainty as I have that this is a from the heart project for both. I have not met or know two better people in my life. I know Terrance and Paul are community based individuals that I would have no question trusting with my own kids and property. I am envious of both with respect to their honesty and sincerity. I can only hope and pray to be considered their peer. I know that sounds like lofty praise, but like I said I know them both. I have seen them in situations where doing the “right thing” was the only thing considered. This opportunity is great for Fresno youth. Terrance has proved his commitment to Fresno 100 times over. He walks the walk in all that I have seen him do.
You are right to ask the questions. The lost art of journalism depends on you doing so. Shining a light on the project should not be an issue.