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.


It’s a given that the new mayor will get a new city manager.


This isn’t to suggest that current City Manager Bruce Rudd is failing. Far from it. Fresno has been well served by Rudd.

But keep in mind two things. First, Rudd turns 60 this year. He’s been a city employee for nearly 40 years. His run at City Hall is drawing to a close. Second, mayors in our strong chief executive form of government get their own city managers. That’s just the way life works.

And a new city manager will, to a degree, want her own lineup of department heads. Will the new mayor tell the new city manager to keep Tommy Esqueda at Public Utilities and Scott Mozier at Public Works?

Getting the right bosses for both departments is vital. Public Utilities (water, sewer, residential trash, community cleanup) and Public Works (infrastructure such as streets and traffic signals and trails) are amazing places. Both involve highly technical issues. Both require a ton of managerial art.

Esqueda’s team is in the midst of a $600 million water/wastewater project. Mozier’s team is tackling big-ticket items like high-speed rail coordination and Veteran’s Boulevard.

By all accounts, both teams are doing a heck of a job. Will the new mayor know when to let the status quo reign?

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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