|Fresno County, CA||November 7, 2000 Election|
Views on Issues Important to the People of Fresno
By Alan AutryCandidate for Mayor; City of Fresno
This information is provided by the candidate
Get Alan Autry's position on everyting from downtown revitalization, education, growth, and public safety to water meters and the city manager.Education
We must commit ourselves to the rehabilitation of our public school system. Every city across the country that has successfully renewed and revitalized itself points to a robust education system as the fundamental key to their success. All the factors that make up a quality city # safe streets, high paying jobs, strong neighborhoods # emanate from a strong educational premise. As Mayor, I would marshal support for bond measures and I would also endorse reform-minded school board candidates. In addition, within the first thirty days of my administration, I will appoint a "blue ribbon" task force to study our unique circumstances and require them to develop new and innovative processes that the city of Fresno, and its citizens, can help implement. A pre-school delivery of basic learning skills by a volunteer citizen force is one program that can be implemented quickly and effectively.
Unfortunately, crime is a war that can never be won so it must always be fought. Nothing is more devastating to a community than out-of-control crime. Especially when it is in the process of building a new and positive image. In fact, even the perception of a resurgence in crime can be enough to paralyze business momentum and destroy the sense of security that a vibrant and progressive city requires. As Mayor, I will make sure that our police and fire forces continue to get the resources they need to perform their jobs. If the federal funding were not renewed for our recently added police officers, and interim plan would have to be created to maintain them until pension obligation bonds are paid off in 2006. This will make available millions of dollars for their retention and, additionally, ease the strain on the general fund.
We can no longer let the threat of an early frost send a chill of fear throughout a large portion of our workforce. Diversification is the only answer. We must seek value-added industries like food processing plants, high tech research/development/production companies and call center operations that will compliment our ag-based economy and the varied skill levels of our workforce. Job training is also a priority and we must make it easier for existing businesses to grow and new businesses to start up. A new "jobs tax credit" is just one example of how we can start to realize a much needed positive change.
Fresno must have an orderly, affordable and environmentally sensitive regional growth plan that manages a healthy coexistence between the inevitability of progressive growth and out commitment to preserving prime farmland. The Landscape of Choice addresses those concerns and we should create a plan based on it, adopt it, have faith in it, implement it and stick to it.
If we don't have a healthy downtown, we don't have a town. Cities such as Indianapolis, Cleveland, San Jose, etc. understood this and made the commitment to aggressively undertake the total revitalization of their communities. SO MUST WE! A multi-purpose stadium is an absolute must in order to invigorate our downtown and simultaneously let the rest of the country witness that we can get things done. A lake, a promenade, entertainment villages are all creative ideas that deserve to be thoroughly studied. I will support public and private partnerships whenever appropriate in order to achieve our goal of a prosperous and vibrant downtown.
The key to truly rebuilding our central city on a vital and sustainable foundation is people. People to not only frequent the businesses there but to take up residence also. The solution is based on education, jobs and safety. Progressive and proven schools, good jobs and safe streets are the necessities that draw people to an area. We must also be willing to have the courage to invest in our city. We have been "penny wise and pound foolish" far too long.
Water is our most precious natural resource and while my personal side tells me I would prefer to not have my water metered, my practical side says we must. Not only because we are under the threat of losing our contract with the Bureau of Reclamation but also because it is the right thing to do. I will support the proposal to voluntarily meter but it there is a federal requirement that forces us to meter our water in order to renew our favorable contract then it would be irresponsible to do otherwise.
The selection of the city manager is one of the most important duties the Mayor must perform. The city manager is responsible for the proper and efficient administration of all city departments and is accountable to the Mayor who, in turn, is accountable to the people. I would look forward to, first, considering local candidates and then expand to a national search if necessary. The new city manager must have people skills as well as managerial skills plus a passionate desire to be part of a team that is dedicated to moving Fresno forward.
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