Some burned out street lights are back on in some Fresno neighborhoods thanks to the work of Fresno City Councilman, Steve Brandau. He is volunteering his time to personally replace broken light bulbs and sensors to improve safety.
Brandau oversees district two which covers a large chunk of northwest Fresno.
At the intersection of Fremont Ave. and Bendel Ave. Friday morning, Councilman Steve Brandau climbed into the basket of a boom truck hoping he can fix a street light.
“I'm not afraid of heights and I can drive a truck, so I thought I would put my hands in this little chore,” said Steve Brandau, Fresno City Councilman.
Brandau has received proper training on how to use the city's equipment. He doesn't deal with electrical issues or try to repair lights copper wire thieves have hit. The first thing he's been taught to do is replace the photo sensor.
“This is what tells the light if it's nighttime or not,” explained Brandau.
That didn't fix the problem, so next up is the bulb. Once a new one is installed, Steve tests it by covering the photo sensor. He has to trick the light into thinking it's dark outside.
“It looks good,” said Brandau.
Nearby homeowners were pleased to see their light finally fixed.
“this was a serious safety issue and it's wonderful to see an elected individual, who I’m sure has a lot of other things to deal with, take our problem in hand and fix it,” said Lin Faeth, a homeowner.
“It’s unusual, but it shows that he cares about the area he represents,” said Max Omandam, a homeowner.
City hall appreciates brandau's effort as well because with 3,200 lights out and money tight, crews cannot get to all of them.
“It means that we're going to get to what is a very long list of work to be done on lights a little bit sooner,” said Patrick Wiemiller, Director of Fresno’s Public Works Dept.
Back during Brandau's election run, voters told him that repairing streetlights was their number one priority. He promised to do something about it and so far, Brandau has fixed about 40 lights in his district all by himself.
“At the end of the day we're paid to serve our citizens and to spend our tax dollars wisely and I think I’m doing that by changing some light bulbs,” said Brandau.
It’s important to note that you should not try to change these lights yourself. Instead, report the problem by calling (559) 621-CITY.
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