Mayor Lee Brand outlines long-term vision for Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno mayor Lee Brand outlined his vision for the city Tuesday.

Brand has spent 133 days in office, and he says he's ready to unveil the most ambitious economic development plan in city history.

He believes Fresno will soon change its trajectory now that Ulta Beauty has selected Fresno for a parcel distribution center. And the mayor is confident online retail giant Amazon will follow with a new fulfillment center.

"We have all the ingredients here to make Fresno a hub for e-commerce," he said.

But money must first be spent on infrastructure improvements to effectively market Fresno to company site selectors. Brand has set a lofty goal of 10,000 new jobs over the next eight to 10 years.

"If we are able to land Amazon, we'll find out in the next 30 days or so," he explained. "A high-speed rail maintenance yard of 1,500 people, we'll probably know this year. If those two came through, we're going to be halfway there."

But the mayor says Fresno can't transform itself without collaboration. In an upcoming joint meeting, Fresno city and Fresno County leaders will discuss different areas where they might be able to operate more efficiently.

"Communications," Brand exclaimed. "The county's on one system, and we're on a different system. CHP, Clovis, just making all kinds of moves where we're on the same communications system."

And in Brand's new budget proposal, more money will be set aside to expand the Fresno Police Department's ShotSpotter technology.

City and county leaders will also discuss marijuana ordinances and animal control issues during that meeting in two weeks.
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