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As Mayor-Elect Brand Hires Top Aides, What's Next For Fresno City Hall?

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Lee Brand / Valley Public Radio
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Fresno Mayor-elect Lee Brand is set to take office next month

For the first time in eight years, Central California’s largest city is about to get a new leader. Last week Fresno Mayor-elect Lee Brand announced his transition team, plus the hire of two top aides to senior positions in his administration. Brand's former campaign manager Tim Orman will become the mayor's chief of staff, and former campaign rival H. Spees will become Brand's director of strategic initiatives, both with six-figures salaries. 

So what do these hires mean for the fledgling Brand administration, and for the city itself? And what about current city manager Bruce Rudd, who is slated to retire in the coming weeks? Veteran city hall reporter and current Central Valley Observer contributor George Hostetter joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the looming issues as Fresno gets a new mayor and two new city council members.

Writing for the Observer, Hostetter has reported on the hires of Orman and Spees as well as the challenges Brand faces in implementing Swearengin's numerous plans for development, revitalization and transportation. In addition to the mayoral politics discussion, we also explore the vote scheduled for later this week on Mayor Ashley Swearengin's proposed rental unit inspection plan, which has critics among both business groups and tenant rights activists. 

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.