Front-runners in Fresno Mayoral race discuss business and homelessness

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The two front-runners in the Fresno Mayoral race took the stage downtown at Cornerstone Church.

Members of the Fresno Rotary Club naturally wanted to hear what can be done to make the city more business-friendly.

"I've heard many times when you go to cities like Clovis, they roll out the red carpet," says former Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer. "And when you come to Fresno, we roll out the red tape."

Dyer said as mayor, he would assess the city's planning and permitting process.

Fresno County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Janz explained he knows several people whose planned downtown businesses have been put on hold.

"We've seen us over the years bend over backwards for large corporations like Amazon and Ulta, who come to Fresno and create some jobs," Janz said. "I think what we need to do is really roll out the red carpet for small business owners."

Both candidates see homelessness as one of the biggest issues voters are concerned about. The solution is not a simple one.

"It has to be a comprehensive one," Janz said. "There is no easy solution. We need to make sure that we do better in terms of preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place."

"The vision I have, the plan I had is to create navigation centers as well as bridge housing in sprung up structures in our city that allows us to bring those individuals inside," Dyer said.

Moderator Al Smith gave each candidate a chance to ask the other a question.

Neither went on the attack. Janz asked Dyer how he was able to balance his home life with obligations to the community.

Dyer asked Janz why he continued to run during a time his wife was about to have their first child.
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