Fresno Co. Supervisor battle touches off with scrape over river-based mine

Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld isn’t shying away from tying a hot-button land use battle to his new opponent, Supervisor Steve Brandau.

With still more than a year to go until the primary, the intra-party battle for the Second District on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors is heating up. 

Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld called out fellow Republican and incumbent supervisor Steve Brandau in a heated Facebook post Sunday for ducking the public on a key land use issue. 


The backstory: The latest between the two Republicans centers on international building materials company Cemex and its gravel mining quarry along the San Joaquin River. 

  • Cemex is seeking a four-year extension to its permit application, which it submitted to the county. According to a report from McClatchy, the county will hold a public hearing on the extension sometime after the public agency review period closes on Wednesday. 
  • The conditional use permit application was reportedly only circulated to various local, county and state agencies, Native American tribes and the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust earlier in February. 

Driving the news: Without mentioning him by name, Bredefeld took to Facebook to call out what he perceives as a lack of transparency by Brandau and the board for not informing the public about Cemex’s extension application, also noting that the City of Fresno was on the notification list but was not made aware of the application to this point. 

  • Cemex has donated to each county supervisor, including $7,500 to Brandau. 

What they’re saying: “Transparency is vital to representing and standing up for those people that have entrusted you to be their voice in government,” Bredefeld wrote. “Unfortunately, a politician in Fresno County showed that he doesn’t seem to care about being transparent with constituents when he failed to ensure the public was informed of Cemex’s effort to extend their Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for four more years.” 

  • Bredefeld also noted that each member of the board can receive donations up to $30,000, leading into another attack on Brandau. 
  • “If a donation of $7,500 persuades that politician to keep quiet about the public being kept in the dark about Cemex’s extension of their CUP, one can only imagine what donations of $25,000 or $30,000 will get his donors,” Bredefeld wrote. 
  • Brandau declined to respond to a request for comment from The Sun.
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