I was somewhat surprised to see The Bee’s Editorial Board take umbrage at a “dismissive” comment in the Los Angeles Times (April 16) regarding Fresno’s image, only one day after The Bee’s article (along with a video forever accessible on the internet) detailed Fresno County Board of Supervisors Chairman Buddy Mendes’ vitriolic meltdown – one in which he trampled upon the First Amendment rights of two citizens attempting to speak at a public hearing.
Here in Fresno County, if one differs in opinion with Chairman Mendes, one is subject to being shouted at, being called a liar and a lefty, and, ultimately, ordered to stop talking and to sit down. Even more distressing is other supervisors’ tacit approval of these silencing tactics, as evidenced by their refusal to intercede on behalf of the speakers and by their description of this display of arrogance and unbridled power as “awkward” and –shockingly – “passionate”!
It’s not the L.A. Times’ Mr. Lewis who needs to “catch up,” but rather The Bee Editorial Board and anyone else who feels Fresno’s image is undeserved. With such shining examples of local governance, is it any wonder Fresno continues to be perceived as a back-water banana republic?
Jill Fisher, Fresno