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Government & Politics

Swearengin Talks Long Term Goals In Final "State Of The City" Speech

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin delivered her final State of the City address Wednesday.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin delivered a message about long term changes in the city's direction Wednesday in what will be her last State of the City speech.

It was something of a victory lap for Swearengin who is nearing the end of her second and final term in office. Before a crowd at the Convention Center, she touted improvements over the last seven-and-a-half years in a number of areas, from the city’s financial health to Fresno’s shrinking homeless population. 

She also included an admission that many of her administration’s biggest projects remain works in progress, like new water infrastructure, the removal of the Fulton Mall and bus rapid transit. 

“The truth is that mature cities aren’t afraid of big hard complicated work that takes ultimately years of effort to reach a successful conclusion,” said Swearengin.

She told the crowd that her years in office have been a struggle, between the status quo and new approaches to solving Fresno's problems.

“Every big decision we’ve faced over the last eight years, there have always been two clear choices: what’s comfortable and what we’ve always known versus charting a new course for Fresno," said Swearengin.

The mayor's speech also looked to the future, anticipating what the next mayor might do, such as implementing a new parks master plan that is currently being developed, and continuing to build the city’s financial reserves.