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Office space fight between Fresno mayor and council is over. Lesson learned?

A Fresno City Council decision about office space that prompted a veto from Mayor Lee Brand earlier this month has been resolved.

Council member Miguel Arias announced the deal Thursday, and the council did not vote on Brand’s veto — the first he’d ever used.

Back in April, the council voted 5-1 to assign office space currently used by the city manager’s office for council purposes. Brand called that move a “power play” that backed him and his administration into a corner.

But it was clear by Thursday the council members and mayor’s office put aside their differences.

The mayor, his chief of staff, City Manager Wilma Quan and Council Members Arias, Esmeralda Soria and Luis Chavez met Wednesday to iron out the deal.

All sides expressed satisfaction with Thursday’s deal.

“The agreement results in dedicated parking for our council staff and additional council office space for support staff and interns with transition time for implementation,” Arias said.

Brand said the agreement allows city officials to focus on the bigger, more important issues facing the city, such as working on the budget.

“I always try to find the route of diplomacy,” he said. “Hopefully this is a lesson for both the council and the mayor and the city manager that we need to work together to solve the problems in the city.”

The deal provides for the deputy city manager to move from a cubicle into another office; adding a partition for privacy between the assistant city manager’s office and the council offices.

The assistant city manager’s office would revert back to council space if and when it becomes available. The deal also designates parking spaces for council staff in the south parking lot next to city hall.

The changes are expected to go into effect July 1.

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