Mayor Brand Tables Gas Tax Spending Proposal After Heated Debate Between Council Members


City Council members from North and South Fresno are engaging in a war of words over how the gas tax money should be spent. This forcing Mayor Brand to table the project. 

Fresno City Council members, Garry Bredefeld and Steve Brandau held a press conference on Tuesday in response to a press conference held on Monday. 
In that press conference, Council members Esmeralda Soria, Luis Chavez, Miguel Arias and Nelson Esparza said SB1 money should stay in South Fresno. Brandau and Bredefeld said ‘no way.’ 

“This is the wrong direction for the City of Fresno, we should be a cohesive group not a divisive group. We should not be pitting one part of Fresno against the other,” said Garry Bredefeld, Council member. 

The tax will provide $12 million to the city for road improvements including bike lanes and sidewalks. Mayor Lee Brand’s spending plan would use this for neighborhoods in South and Central Fresno.

Council members from South Fresno said that part of the city has been neglected for far too long.

Bredefeld and Brandau are calling them out for leaving North Fresno out of the deal. 

“Nobody’s life is more important than another’s, we all deserve safe streets and we all pay the gas tax to make that happen,” said Steve Brandau.

City Council members Soria, Arias and Chavez said in a press conference on Monday, it is simple South Fresno needs the money more.

“It’s not about being equal it’s about equity. If you have cracked sidewalks and streets you should invest it in the areas that need it the most,” said Luis Chavez, City Council member. 

The city risks losing the funding if no agreement is reached by May 1st. 

Brandau will be leaving the council soon to join the County Board of Supervisors, giving those opposed to the mayor’s plan a stronger edge.  

But now Brand wants to have individual meetings with council members to come up with the best solution.


For local and breaking news, and to get weather alerts, download our mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.