Fast forward 25 years and I’ll put money on our community naming Ashley Swearengin one of three great mayors in Fresno history. I say this in response to my good friend Darius Assemi’s commentary May 22.
In 2008, when the economy dropped out from under us, local business suffered, housing collapsed, unemployment soared and Swearengin dug in for an extended fight to save our city from bankruptcy.
This is not an exaggeration – it’s a fact.
While the worst of it is behind us, the wounds are still visible. Crime is up, poverty is high, we have health and infrastructure needs – all requiring great sums of cash.
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To put our needs in perspective, think of it this way: Long Beach and Fresno are virtually the same size. They have a $3 billion budget, we have a $1 billion budget. Regardless of who is elected our next mayor, they’ll face the everyday challenge of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
My hope is that we elect the most fiscally responsible candidate with eight years of current city experience and a track record of prioritizing needs and solving problems, without playing politics.
Lee Brand is our best choice for Fresno mayor.
John Ostlund, Fresno