Alan Autry ... Life after Politics

December 26, 2008 1:46:45 PM PST
As Alan Autry winds down his final days as mayor of Fresno he's talking about not just moving on to a new chapter in his life but also sharing his thoughts about the issues, things he regrets along with the wisdom he will take with him... It might surprise you to learn that he has few regrets from his eight years in office. He does have advice for the next mayor, Ashley Swearingen though and he's ready to renew his seat at the nation's 'Entertainment Table'. Loyal Fresno fans of lawman 'Bubba Skinner' from Autry's popular television series In the Heat of the Night had no trouble accepting him in the job of as Fresno's mayor. He feels great pride in that, "I haven't done anything singly; I feel I've led a charge, a renaissance, here in the city of Fresno." He is though ready to return to the business he still loves, "If they got a role for an old, beat up ex-mayor, hey, I'll be right there."

Meantime he'll keep his acting and entertainment company, Dirt Road Productions, in northeast Fresno open and active. He plans to continue classes and projects here in his adopted hometown, "I have my production company, our acting classes; I'm really excited about teaching kids."

Still, as he looks to a future outside of politics, he does have a regret or two about issues he didn't shepherd as he might have, "I regret I didn't get the police auditor done, an independent set of eyes to be involved in our police department along with internal affairs and the district attorney's office and I wish I'd gotten further along in the homeless issue."

Both issues were battled in the media and the homeless in the courts. Some might say Autry's lost legal fight did do the homeless a good turn. And he has something else in mind as he moves on from politics, "I'm pretty sure I'm gonna pull the trigger on this one and involve a movie here in Fresno dealing with the homeless."

Despite the hate mail and death threats Autry doesn't regret his public support for Propositions 8 to ban gay marriage in California, any more he says than San Francisco's mayor Gavin newsroom would regret having opposed it, I felt that as newsroom had decided to make that stand at city hall I was morally obligated to make our stand at city hall. You can support marriage remaining between one man and one woman and support the constitutional rights of gay people."

He advises the next mayor not to pull any punches either, no matter the issue or where the fight breaks out, at home or in Sacramento, " Don't go looking' for a fight but you better be willing to fight. Because it's going to be a fight, she's (Ashley Swearengin) a very talented lady and I think she can take this city places I never could."

The blending of his past, present and future is definitely on his mind these days, along with what he's learned in two terms as Mayor about letting go, "You can't let something become so big that you'll have nothing left of you it goes away."

He's traveled lots of different roads; I'm looking forward to seeing where the next one takes him. Stay tuned.

www.dirtroadproductions.com

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