Fresno Mayor Opens the Phone Lines

July 30, 2009 12:49:11 AM PDT
"This is Ashley Swearengin, Mayor of Fresno and you are tuning in to Fresno's first Tele-Town Hall..."Manning the phone with staff members at her side, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin opened the phone lines ... and got a lot of calls.

Caller: "We have cars that cut through our neighborhood doing 45 miles an hour."

Caller: "But when I had, I received my taxes, they went up."

Caller: "It turns out a conditional use permit will cost just about 8 grand."

Caller: "I want to tell you, going through the pool permit process at the City of Fresno was basically a nightmare for somebody who's never done it before."

The Mayor listened patiently and responded to all the concerns and complaints.

Mayor: " We'll add that to the list of things to check into as well."

Calls included questions about water meters and the homeless ... and why the police department has so many administrators.

Caller: "Now we have more deputy chiefs, more lieutenants, sergeants, captains, why do we not cut back on these positions?"

Mayor: "When you compare Fresno to other cities our size, we are actually very lean, and very thin when it comes to administration in our police department."

Swearengin says the tele-town hall meeting reached out to about ten thousand people. Only two dozen got to talk, but the Mayor thinks it was worth it.

She said, "I can't think of any other way to reach out and touch ten thousand people in two hours for 25 hundred dollars I really can't. So it's a good use of time and money and a great way to get people involved in their local government."

Swearengin used tele conferences like this during her campaign, and plans to do more.

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