Fresno, California

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Fresno, California
Seal of Fresno, California.png
General information
Ashley Swearengin.jpg
Mayor:Ashley Swearengin
Mayor party:Nonpartisan
Last mayoral election:2012
Next mayoral election:2016
Last city council election:2012
Next city council election:November 4, 2014
City council seats:7
2014-2015 FY Budget:$977 million
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:509,924
Gender:50.9% Female
Race:White 49.6%
Hispanic or Latino 46.9%
African American 8.3%
Asian 12.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 1.7%
Two or More 5.0%
Unemployment:11.4%
Median household income:$42,276
High school graduation rate:74.7%
College graduation rate:20.1%
Related Fresno offices
California Congressional Delegation
California State Legislature
California state executive offices
Fresno is a city located in Fresno County, California. As of 2013, its population was 509,924.[1]

City government

The city government of Fresno blends elements of a council-manager system with a "strong mayor" system. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city's primary legislative body and the mayor serves as the city's chief executive. The mayor, however, appoints a city manger to oversee the city's day-to-day operations and implement city policies.[2][3]

Mayor

The mayor serves as the city's chief executive and is responsible for proposing a budget, signing legislation into law and appointing departmental directors. He or she presides over council meetings, proposes legislation for discussion and holds the power to appoint or remove committee heads, but does not have the authority to vote. The mayor does, however, possess limited veto powers. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels. Ashley Swearengin is the current Mayor of Fresno.[3]

City manager

The city manager is the city's chief administrative officer. He or she is appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. The responsibilities of the city manager include overseeing the city's day-to-day operations, carrying out the legislative initiatives of the mayor and city council and assisting in the planning and implementation of the city's budget.[4]

City council

The Fresno City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for approving and adopting the city budget, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.[5]

Membership

The city council consists of seven members. Each member is elected by one of the city's seven districts.[5]

A full list of city council members can be found here

Boards and commissions

A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the Fresno City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.[6]

For a full list of Fresno city boards and commissions, see here.

Elections

2014

See also: Fresno, California municipal elections, 2014

The city of Fresno, California held nonpartisan elections for city council on November 4, 2014. A primary election was held on June 3, 2014. The filing period for candidates wishing to run in this election ended March 7, 2014.[7]

Four of the seven city council seats were up for election. These were districts 1, 3, 5 and 7. District 1, however, was an open seat, as incumbent Blong Xiong was ineligible to run due to term limits.

In the June 3 primary election, incumbents Oliver Baines, Sal Quintero and Clint Olivier won re-election outright by receiving a majority of the votes. In District 1, no candidate received a majority. The top two candidates therefore advanced to the general election on November 4. These candidates were Cary Catalano and Esmeralda Soria.[8]

Budget

Fresno's adopted operating budget for fiscal year 2014-15 was $977 million.[9]

Ballot measures

See also: Fresno County, California ballot measures

The city of Fresno is in Fresno County. A list of ballot measures in Fresno County is available here.

Initiative process

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in California

Population as of the July, 2011 census update: 501,362.[10] Fresno is a charter city.

Fresno's initiative process follows state law for both charter amendment and ordinances.

The Fresno City Charter

Lobbying

As of August 2014, information on Fresno's federal lobbying related expenses is unavailable.

Website evaluation

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning N
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Audits Y
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Contracts N
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Lobbying N
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes Y
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Transparency grading process

The good

  • Current and previous budget information is available online.[11]
  • City meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes are available.[12]
  • Elected officials' names and contact information is available[13][14]
  • Key administrative officials' information is available on each departments' webpage, accessible through the city directory.[15]
  • Audits are accessible.[16]
  • Contact information, as well as service fees, are provided for the Office of the City Clerk for fulfilling public records requests.[17]
  • Information is provided on county and state taxes effecting residents of the city.[18]
  • Business tax information is available.[19]
  • The city lists all applicable fees annually.[20]

The bad

  • City contracts are unavailable on the website of the Office of the City Clerk.[21]
  • Building permit forms are not accessible online.
  • The website provides no information on membership in any tax-payer funded lobbying associations.

See also

External links

References