The Next Mayor: What drives the road to City Hall

George Hostetter breaks down the lineup and critical components of the 2016 battle to become Mayor of Fresno.


Here are two quotes for you to ponder.


“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” – British writer L.P. Hartley.

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – William Faulkner.

Brand, Perea and Spees did a lot of interesting things in that foreign country called the past.

Brand, for example, told the people of Fresno in late 2012/early 2013 that the city would have a reduced ability to pay for police and fire services if residential trash service weren’t privatized. The issue went to the voters, who rejected Brand’s view. And contrary for Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s contention that the city would go broke if Measure G failed, the city didn’t go bankrupt. In fact, city coffers began to fill with money only months after the special election.

Perea, for example, voted in 2000 to spend nearly $50 million on building a downtown baseball stadium. He said the stadium would transform downtown. He said the Fresno Grizzlies’ owners could pay the $1.5 million in annual rent. The stadium didn’t transform downtown. The Grizzlies couldn’t pay their rent.

Spees, for example, was all set to run for mayor in 2004. Autry said he wanted only one term, and picked Spees as his chosen successor. Autry was so popular at the time that Spees would have been the clear favorite. Voters were ready to give Spees their love. Then Spees suddenly got cold feet and backed out. He changed his mind.

What’s it going to be, Lee Brand, Henry R. Perea and H. Spees?

Will Campaign 2016 be one where your opponents’ mistakes and foolishness remain politely buried in a past full of long-lost contingencies?

Or will Campaign 2016 be full of zombie-like mud slinging?

1 comment
  1. I have known Lee for years. He’s a stand up guy and the only one who has been in business and has run a successful business. He’s been an effective councilmen. With that said, I was unhappy that he supported a lawsuit against McCaffery Homes for building across the river in Madera County. What one person or company chooses to do in another county is none of the business of Fresno other than to figure out how to deal with the loss of revenue. Certainly not with a frivolous law suit. Henry Perea is a snake and a typical career politician. He has done nothing save live off of the tax payer. Time to permanently retire this loser from public life. H. Spees is a good guy and has good leadership skills. I am unsure of his business skills which will be needed in this race.

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