Fresno Mayor Delivered a Bombshell

May 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Mayor Swearengin dropped a bit of a bombshell during her address Thursday afternoon ... She said in six weeks this homeless encampment of more than 300 people will be cleared out.Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin said, "Maybe you didn't hear me, I said in the next six weeks we expect the encampments to be cleared out ... and the people to be living in permanent housing across our city, we're doing it the right way."

Mayor Ashley Swearengin has big plans to move the city forward and she's starting with two homeless encampments. It's part of her plan to forge ahead with bringing back Downtown Fresno.

"Now some people are still saying that we are going to revitalize Downtown Fresno and when I hear them say that I correct them and I say downtown is revitalizing, the process has started. Some will notice it before others but it's underway," said Mayor Swearengin.

When it comes to money and facing a tough budget year. Swearengin said something that may surprise many. She said, "It may seem like we don't have enough money, but I can assure you that we do. We have what we need."

Several councilmember's said they felt inspired by her speech.

Blong Xiong said, "I liked it. That's what I was looking for was some strong leadership and positive energy in times of the difficult challenges we have in front of us."

Lee Brand said, "I liked just her positive attitude, the singular focus which I think I have I know she has. That what it's going to take to resolve these monumental problems Fresno's had for years."

The mayor left attendees with a lasting thought. She said, "It's different this time. Oh, we've been to state of the city addresses people always say such triumphant things. But nothing ever changes, no it's different this time."

The mayor says case workers are helping to relocate the homeless people that currently stay here. The cost is $550 thousand dollars ... It's coming from a contingency fund for homeless.

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