FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — An advisory committee consisting of Fresno government and business leaders was announced Wednesday by Mayor Lee Brand to discuss best practices on how to restart the city’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brand’s Fresno Recovery Committee aims to advise the mayor on how to get the people of Fresno back to work within the parameters of community health and safety in conformance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s six critical indicators, said Mark Standriff, city spokesman.

CNN reported that Newsom’s indicators include: expand testing to identify and isolate patients, maintain vigilance to protect seniors and high-risk people, be able to meet future surges in hospitals with a “myriad of protective gear,” continue to collaborate with academia on therapies and treatments, redraw regulations to ensure continued physical distancing at private businesses and schools and develop new enforcement mechanisms to allow the state to pull back and reinstate stay-at-home orders.

The committee’s plan to reopen Fresno’s economy involves three phases.

Phase one consists of taking a look at the state’s criteria to allow the phased re-opening of non-essential businesses and disccuss relaxing local restrictions, Standriff said.

The second phases involves reviewing available local, state and federal resources to help Fresno businesses in recovery from the impacts of pandemic-related closures and advocate for more assistance for businesses and job training.

Standriff said the third phase will create plans to bring new business to the city to expand the area’s recovery and provide more good-paying jobs to the community.

“We need to start planning now so our residents and businesses can be fully prepared for the gradual process of economic recovery and a return to normal routine,” Brand said. “I am engaging community leaders from every facet of our economy to provide essential input so we can be ready to move forward in a deliberate and reasonable way without jeopardizing the health of our residents.”

Brand’s Fresno Recovery Committee will meet using Zoom to follow social distancing protocols.

The advisory committee includes:

  • Lee Brand, Mayor of Fresno (FRC Chair)
  • Jerry Dyer, Mayor-elect of Fresno (FRC Vice-Chair)
  • Miguel Arias, Fresno City Council President – District 3
  • Mike Karbassi, Fresno City Councilmember – District 2
  • Luis Chavez, Fresno City Councilmember – District 5
  • Buddy Mendes, Chairman, Fresno County Board of Supervisors
  • Nathan Magsig, Fresno County Supervisor – District 5
  • Dave Pomaville, Director, Fresno County Dept. of Public Health
  • Michelle Von Tersh, Senior Vice-President, Community Medical Centers
  • Carole Goldsmith, President, Fresno City College
  • Nathan Ahle, President/CEO, Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce
  • Lee Ann Eager, President/CEO, Fresno Economic Development Corp.
  • Henry Perea, Calif. High-Speed Rail Authority Board Member
  • Tony Canales, Vice-President, Central Labor Council
  • Mike Shirinian, State Board Member, California Restaurant Association
  • Sal Gonzales, Co-President/COO, Lance-Kashian & Company
  • Emilia Reyes, CEO, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission
  • Tim Rios, Senior VP, Community Relations Sr. Manager, Wells Fargo
  • Cary Catalano, Commissioner, Fresno Housing Authority
  • TJ Miller, City of Fresno PARCs Director, Emergency Operations Coordinator
  • Lupe Perez, Economic Development Director, City of Fresno
  • Tim Orman, Chief of Staff, City of Fresno

“I have assembled a very bright group of people with proven track records as problem solvers to help shape our efforts going forward,” Brand said. “This is a marathon, so we need to think long-term and create a dynamic plan for recovery for the next 12 months and beyond. I would like to also stress that ‘when’ we can start getting people back to work will depend on meeting specific health criteria that we will monitor and communicate to give businesses plenty of time to prepare.”

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