Two new Fresno County supervisors were sworn in Monday, joining a veteran supervisor who was re-elected and a new chairman who vowed the board would work more cooperatively with the city of Fresno.
Newcomers Nathan Magsig, a former Clovis city councilman, and Sal Quintero, a former Fresno city councilman, were sworn in with Andreas Borgeas, who begins his second four-year term representing a district that mainly covers northwest Fresno. Brian Pacheco succeeded Buddy Mendes as board chairman.
Magsig replaces Debbie Poochigian, who served two terms in the eastern Fresno County seat, and Quintero takes over for Supervisor Henry R. Perea in the seat that covers central and southeast Fresno. Perea served three terms as supervisor and ran for Fresno mayor, losing to Lee Brand in November.
Pacheco promised a “new day” and a more cooperative effort among supervisors and with other agencies, including Fresno city leaders.
“The relationship between the county and city of Fresno has been strained at best,” Pacheco said. “I pledge today that I will reach out to newly elected Mayor Lee Brand. These governing bodies have not met for a very long period of time and I believe it’s about time to remedy that.”
Pacheco said he expects the county will break ground on a new wing of the Fresno County Jail, a new Fresno County sheriff’s substation and a new animal control shelter. He said the board also will work on employee wages and health care costs and continue efforts to address the county’s water issues.
The relationship between the county and city of Fresno has been strained at best. I pledge today that I will reach out to newly elected Mayor Lee Brand.
Brian Pacheco, chairman, Fresno County Board of Supervisors
“We have a lot of projects to move forward,” Pacheco said. “We will show all the employees of Fresno County that they are valued, we will improve our relationship with the city of Fresno, as well as other entities, and do all of these things with honor and respect for one another.”
Mendes, who was chided for his frequent use of the gavel during his year as chairman, was given a traditional plaque with a gavel on it. Pacheco also gave Mendes a special gift, a large plastic blow-up “Big Bopper” gavel. The gift drew gales of laughter from the audience, Mendes’ fellow supervisors and even Mendes himself.
“Everywhere we went, he was known as Mr. Gavel (this is) … for when he is in his office reliving the past,” Pacheco said, passing him the blow-up gavel. “We hope we’re not going to be using that this coming year.”
Quintero thanked friends and relatives for their years of support.
He said he looks forward to “working together regionally so we can provide the best services to our county residents.”
Magsig thanked his family and friends, as well as Fresno County voters.
“What matters most is the people of Fresno County endorsing me and putting their trust behind me …and that is something I don’t take lightly,” he said. “I can promise you I will give you my very best.”