This Week at City Hall - A Big Victory for Fresno
03/27/2012
A Big Victory for Fresno
 
The City of Fresno received great news Friday when Mayor Ashley Swearengin joined Congressmen Jim Costa and Devin Nunes and Maj. Gen. David S.  Baldwin, Adjutant General for the California National Guard, to announce that the 144th Fighter Wing has been protected from federal budget cuts.
 
Recent federal-level discussions on how to best deal with the required Department of Defense budget cuts included a proposal to eliminate the 144th Fighter Wing.  However, current cost-cutting proposals no longer include eliminating the 144th.
 
“The 144th Fighter Wing has been an important part of the Fresno community and the state of California for more than 50 years,” said Mayor Swearengin, who met with National Guard officials in Washington, D.C., last week about the future of the 144th.   “When we heard about discussions regarding cutting the 144th, we realized that such a move would pose a threat not just to our area’s economy but to our overall national security efforts.
 
“Our delegation of elected officials in Washington, working with Gov. Brown’s office and the California National Guard, moved quickly to make a compelling case for keeping the 144th Fighter Wing operating here.  I want to particularly thank Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Congressmen Devin Nunes, Jim Costa and Jeff Denham for all of their hard work.”
 
Mayor Swearengin also thanked Fresno City Council member Larry Westerlund for his long-time support of the 144th.  Westerlund led the effort for the City in 2005 to save the 144th during the Base Closure and Realignment Commission process and continued to support the 144th during this latest potential threat.
 
As a result, the Fresno area will continue to receive the economic benefits of the 144th Fighter Wing, Mayor Swearengin said.  According to the California National Guard, the 144th Fighter Wing employs more than 1,050 Airmen, a number that will increase with the conversion to the F-15 aircraft.  The 144th Fighter Wing is home to more than $950 million in equipment and facilities, and more than $70 million is spent annually to sustain operations.
 
Plans to convert the 144th Fighter Wing from F-16 to F-15 aircraft are continuing.  The first F-15s are scheduled to arrive in August.  By December, 16 of the 21 F-15s will be in Fresno, and the remainder will arrive early next spring.
 
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:
  • Speaking at a number of events in the community, including:
  • The San Joaquin Valley Regional Economic Summit;
  • The Cesar Chavez commemoration sponsored by the Fresno Adult School and El Concilio de Fresno, Inc.;
  • West Fresno Health Care Coalition’s 10th Anniversary; and,
  • Kings View Corporation’s 60th Anniversity Celebration.
  • Meeting with mayors from California’s largest cities to discuss issues of mutual interest.
  • Visiting the student bank site at McLane High School and observing a class where financial literacy is taught.
‘Go Green and Clean’ at Sunnyside Park
 
The “Go Green and Clean” park beautification program will be held at Sunnyside Park, 5279 E. Butler, Lafayette Park, 1516 E. Princeton, on Saturday, March 31.
 
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:
  • Housing and Community Development Commission, City Hall Room 2165, Wednesday, March 28, 5 p.m.
  • City Council meeting, City Council Chambers, Thursday, March 29, 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.