Local Candidates Speak at Fresno City College

March 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
"I'm someone who suffers from seasonal allergies." So it's no surprise that air quality is Teresa Espana's priority when choosing a candidate for Fresno mayor. She had a few favorites going into Saturday's forum at Fresno City College but whittled them down after what she says she didn't hear from one of them. "One of the candidates didn't list air quality as their top 3 issues so that made me reconsider that candidate," says Espana.

At times the number of potential politicians was greater than those in the audience. Even so Helen James believes these events are important. "I don't get into politics very much but it's time to. We're going to have a new mayor and I'd like to know about who is going to represent me."

Ten of the 11 mayoral candidates talked about what they consider the biggest issue concerning Fresno. City Councilman Mike Dages said "The gangs and the drugs are the number one issue in this community."

"That is preserving our community, heritage, and our neighborhoods," said Doug Vagim.

Ashley Swearengin believes "jobs and the economy are number one."

The forum also gave Fresno county supervisors a platform. Incumbent Fresno County Supervisor Susan Anderson played up her background against her two opponents for her district two seat. "I have the experience I worked hard as a county supervisor."

Fresno City Councilman Brian Calhoun, "I've been on city council for two terms, elected and re-elected."

Accountant Paul Dictos who is also vying for the district two seat said, "The County for the last 4 years it exceeded its legally mandated debt limit."

Only one of the two candidates for the county's district five seat showed up -- but Clovis Nathan Magsig made the best of it with his sense of humor. "Can I rebut myself real quick?"


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