This Week at City Hall - Fiscal Sustainability, Electric Rates, New Online Project 
03/19/2012
A Busy Week Ahead – Fiscal Sustainability, Electric Rates, New Online Project
 
Issues as varied as the City’s financial situation, a new tool to showcase Fresno’s diversity and creativity, and a proposal to create energy savings for businesses will take center stage in the City of Fresno this week.
 
Enhanced economic development rate --On Monday, Mayor Ashley Swearengin will be joined by business and local government leaders from Fresno, Kings and Madera counties at an event in support of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s proposal for an enhanced economic development rate that would provide significant benefits for the region.
 
PG&E earlier this month asked state regulators for the right to offer a competitive electric rate to attract employers to California and convince other employers already in the state to maintain or expand their operations rather than leave.
 
The rate would provide businesses with a 35 percent discount on their electric bill if they expand, locate or remain in a high unemployment area within PG&E’s service territory.  The rate is potentially a powerful economic development incentive that will benefit 22 counties in PG&E’s service territory, including all of the San Joaquin Valley counties that are served by the utility.
 
“Gotta Love Fresno” --On Tuesday, Mayor Swearengin will help launch “Gotta Love Fresno,” a new tool that will showcase the incredible diversity and creativity in the area.  “Gotta Love Fresno” is an online community aimed at sharing, commenting on and contributing original video content.
 
Fresno is one of six pilot cities selected from across the nation for Comcast’s Project Open Voice (POV) initiative.  Under the pilot program, Comcast is working with local businesses, community-based organizations, city governments and independent producers to improve the reach and broaden the diversity of local content, including public, educational and government (PEG) media.
 
Fiscal Sustainability Policy --On Thursday, the Swearengin administration will present a workshop on its Fiscal Sustainability Policy at the Fresno City Council meeting.  The policy details a comprehensive series of actions required to both meet short-term cash flow challenges and address long-term structural issues.
 
The Fiscal Sustainability Policy is intended as a policy framework seeking to accomplish four outcomes:
  • Setting a course to restore the City’s overall financial health and credit rating;
  • Achieving spending and minimum financial reserve targets;
  • Adopting employment compensation policy changes to be negotiated as employee contracts are opened for negotiations; and
  • Directing immediate actions seeking to match expenditures to revenues and identifying options for savings in employee compensation and other costs.
The administration will ask Council to approve the policy at its March 29 meeting.  More information on the Fiscal Sustainability Policy is available on the City’s website at www.fresno.gov/budget.
 
Please visit the City’s website at www.fresno.gov throughout the week for additional information on these issues.
 
Mayor Swearengin’s Activities
 
While some of these activities outlined below are not public meetings, these are some of the issues being addressed this week by Mayor Swearengin:
  • Participating in a meeting of the PBID Partners of Downtown Fresno board of directors;
  • Conducting a series of meetings on high-speed rail;
  • Speaking at a staff meeting of the California Raisin Marketing Board in downtown Fresno;
  • Participating in meetings on the Learn2Earn adult education initiative;
  • Participating in the Fresno Council of Governments monthly board meeting.
‘Go Green and Clean’ at Lafayette Park
 
The “Go Green and Clean” park beautification program will be held at Lafayette Park, 1516 E. Princeton, on Saturday, March 24.
 
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.
 
This Week’s Meetings
 
Here are city-related meetings this week:
  • General Plan:  Alternatives Analysis and Preferred Plan Recommendation, Daley Charter School, 3135 N. Harris Ave, Monday, March 19, 6 p.m.
  • Planning Commission meeting and General Plan briefing, City Council Chambers, Wednesday, March 21, 6 p.m.
  • City Council meeting, City Council Chambers, Thursday, March 22, 8:30 a.m.
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.