This Week at City Hall - Grant to Study Food Manufacturing
City of Fresno Receives Grant to Study Expansion of Food Manufacturing Industry
The City of Fresno has been awarded a $95,000 federal grant to help expand the Fresno region’s food manufacturing industry.
The grant will be used for a feasibility study that will assist in maximizing the use of areas in south Fresno for industrial development, specifically looking at ways the City can create a sustainable, shovel-ready food manufacturing district for companies looking to expand and/or relocate in Fresno.
The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
“Fresno is the ideal location for food-related companies to start, expand or locate,” Mayor Ashley Swearengin said.  “We’re already home to over 100 food processing companies in our city, and Fresno County produces 350 different crops and feeds over a third of the world's population every year.  Expanding the food manufacturing industry will have significant benefits for our region by creating jobs and diversifying our economic base.”
As part of the City of Fresno’s involvement in the federal Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) program, expanding Fresno’s food manufacturing has been designated a top priority for Mayor Swearengin’s administration.    The federal SC2 team played a key role in helping the City obtain the grant, Mayor Swearengin said.
Rasmussen Named City’s New Director of Office of Independent Review
Rick Rasmussen, currently the administrator of Salt Lake City’s Civilian Review Board, has been selected as the director of the City of Fresno’s Office of Independent Review.  Rasmussen started work on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
 As director of the Office of Independent Review, Rasmussen will work independently of the Police Department chain of command to provide City policymakers and the public with an objective, third-party analysis of internal investigations to ensure those investigations are conducted in a thorough, fair and unbiased manner.
“Rick Rasmussen has earned a reputation across the country as one of the leaders in his field,” Scott said.  “His commitment to transparency and communication helped restore public confidence in Salt Lake City’s Civilian Review Board, and those qualities, along with his integrity and problem-solving ability, will be critical to the success of our Office of Independent Review in Fresno.”
Rasmussen has served as administrator of Salt Lake City’s Civilian Review Board since March 2008.  The 14-member board investigates allegations of misconduct by members of the Salt Lake City Police Department.  In addition, Rasmussen serves as deputy director for emergency operations and planning and gang coordinator for Salt Lake City.
A news release announcing Rasmussen’s appointment is available here.
Participants Still Being Sought for Fresno Citizens Academy
Participants are now being sought for the upcoming session of the Mayor’s Fresno Citizens Academy, an initiative that allows Fresno residents to learn more about their government by hearing directly from top policymakers and decision makers at City Hall.   
The next session of the free, eight-week program begins at City Hall on Monday, Sept. 24, and ends on Monday, Nov. 13.  Sessions will be held each Monday from 6-8 p.m. 

Over the course of the program, participants will hear about a wide range of topics, such as how the annual budget is developed, how public safety resources are deployed, and what the City does to promote and support the local economy. 
Mayor Ashley Swearengin, City Manager Mark Scott and all department heads provide presentations at the Academy.  The sessions also include a presentation by the Fresno Historical Society on the history of the city as well as information about boards, commissions and civic engagement.
To apply for the program, please visit the City’s website at
This Week’s Events
  • Planning Commission, City Council Chambers, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 6 p.m.
 ‘Go Green and Clean’ at Roeding Park
The “Go Clean and Green” park beautification effort will be held at Roeding Park, 890 W. Belmont, on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 9 a.m. to noon.
In the program, volunteers participate in basic park care through litter removal, flower bed raking, pruning, painting, graffiti removal and other light tasks from 8 a.m. to noon.
Volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants, hats, gloves and sun block and bring plenty of drinking water. Basic work tools and supplies will be provided by the City of Fresno.  Each volunteer will be required to complete a volunteer form and waiver.
Follow Mayor Swearengin, City of Fresno on Twitter
For up-to-date information on happenings related to the City of Fresno, follow Mayor Swearengin on Twitter @MayorSwearengin or the City of Fresno @CityofFresno.