Thumbs down to the Fresno City Council for violating the Ralph M. Brown Act, a long-standing state law that prohibits secret meetings of official bodies except under the most exceptional circumstances. At Thursday's meeting, council members and members of Mayor Ashley Swearengin's administration met in small huddles and talked out of public earshot about Swearengin's layoff of eight code-enforcement officers. Besides being illegal, the council's secret negotiations betrayed the trust of those who elected them. We hope that City Attorney Doug Sloan, who said nothing publicly about the violation, isn't so beholden to his council bosses that he overlooks the law.
Thumbs up to the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program for starting two new fellowships this summer. The maternal/child health fellow is Dr. Christina Chavez-Johnson, who completed residency training in family medicine at UCSF Fresno. Chavez-Johnson is the grandniece of civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Dr. Deena Ibrahim, who completed the UC Irvine Emergency Medicine Residency Program, is the fellow in emergency medicine education.
Thumbs up to John Welty, the retiring Fresno State president, for 22 years of dedicated service to the university and the San Joaquin Valley. During his tenure, more than 84,000 students earned their degrees, and the campus was transformed for the better with many new programs and buildings. We wish Welty and his wife, Sharon, the best as they continue their contributions to education and work on their golf games in their new home in Southern California.