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.


The new mayor must do something special with the city-owned 50-acre vacant lot on Peach Avenue in Southeast Fresno.


If not, the site will be a policy and political headache for years to come.

The site used to be a federal agriculture research station. The city some 10 years ago got possession of it. City officials promised to turn it into a regional park.

For a variety of reasons, that never happened. Now that the economy is improving, Southeast Fresno activists (led by the persistent and effective Jose Leon Barraza) demand that City Hall keep its promise. Barraza says the site would be perfect for a modern soccer complex.

Swearengin wants to turn the site into a school focused on vocational education.

Nothing of substance will get done in the next 11 months.

Fresno always ranks at the bottom of nationwide green space surveys. A parks master plan will probably get done just as Swearengin leaves City Hall.

The Peach Avenue site and the high hopes of the parks master plan will fall into the new mayor’s lap.

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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