Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin targets garbage, again
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno's Mayor is once again after the city's commercial garbage collectors. Ashley Swearengin is still trying to turn their jobs over to two private companies, who will pay the city more than two million a year in fees if she succeeds.
"I believe that's the best option for the city and that's why I'm bringing it back to the table." She told a morning news conference at City Hall.
A privatization measure failed to pass the City Council last January. But the two private companies are now offering to hire all of the nearly 100 drivers in the department for one year, after they take over. But Marina Magdalena, the drivers union representative says it's still a bad deal because she believes most will be let go after a year. "It's a bribe. It's a bribe to the city. They are bribing the city by saying this so it just sweetens the deal for them."
But the Mayor says the $2 million in fees from garbage, combined with 3% pay cuts from City employees and other cuts could help balance the city's budget deficit, currently projected at around $18 million. But if the employees don't accept the cuts council doesn't agree to privatize, then the Mayor says cuts will follow. Those include a program that helps the elderly by providing hot meals. Community centers and Swimming pools, used primarily by children would be closed. One or two fire stations could be closed. Another 100 workers city would be laid off, park employees would be furloughed for three months.
City Council Member Clint Olivier was considered the swing vote in the last garbage privatization vote. It failed on a four to three vote. He's not sure how he'll vote now. "I have to fully study the budget to determine how I want to go this time." He said.
Council Member Blong Xiong told us by phone he still has concerns the privatization effort is not honest or transparent enough to gain his support. The Mayor's Budget proposal will be presented to the Council on Thursday. A budget is expected to be acted on by the end of June.
budget cuts, ashley swearengin, fresno, fresno county, politics, gene haagenson
- Edison High School ROP teacher shot in classroom
- Authorities file charges in Elbow Room beating
- Spencer Scarber denied new trial in rape case
- Senator Harry Reid in hospital for observation
- Copper thieves flood Tower District businesses
- Valley experts give advice after Target accounts hacked
- SoCal tour bus crash injures 22, kills 1
- Consumer Watch: Handheld video gaming devices
- Operation Bulldog cracks down on gang members
- Freeze impacts one Valley farmer's tropical fruit harvest
- Patriarch off 'Duck Dynasty' after gay comments
- In-N-Out opens in Hanford
- City of Fresno hiring to help city development
- Dozens injured at partial London theater collapse
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos