Changes to Fresno Politics

June 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There are some changes on the political scene in Fresno, but not all the faces are new.One Fresno County Supervisor has won back her old job. Susan Anderson beat out Brian Calhoun and Paul Dictos. But Fresno's City Council will get two new faces. Lee Brand won District 6 over Michelle Jorgensen and Matt White; and Andreas Borgeas has won District 2 over Michael Karbassi.

The next step for all of them is a break, but after that, they have a lot to do to prepare for four years on the job.

Anderson celebrated a hard fought victory in northwest Fresno. After running unopposed four years ago, this time around she faced off against Fresno City Council Member Brian Calhoun, who had about the same name recognition as she has. Winning the election means she'll have to deal with the county's difficult financial situation. "Of course, we have big budget issues," she said. "Those are real issues: basically figuring out how we stay ahead of the economy."

Former Fresno Planning Commissioner Lee Brand will also focus on finances when he gets his new office in the Fresno City Council. "This is just the first stop," he said. "The road to victory and the election... The real start is in January when I take office. There are a lot of challenges facing the city. The foremost challenge, I think, is the budget crisis."

The new council member from District 6 is no stranger to politics, having served on the planning commission.

On the flip side, Andreas Borgeas is a political newcomer. He says he's learned a lot about what to do in office just by talking to people in District Two, but he wants to make sure he knows even more by the time he starts his job. "I'm going to spend the next six months or so making sure that I hit the ground running," he said.

All the candidates say they want to take a little time off after the campaign. But supervisor Anderson will have to wait. She has meetings for the county on Wednesday.


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