Sal Quintero, chairman of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, addresses a crowd of about 840 attending the annual state-of-the-county address today at the Fresno Convention Center. Photo by David Castellon
Written by David Castellon
Fresno County needs to put more money into public safety and do more to confront the problem of homelessness, county Supervisor Sal Quintero said during his state-of-the-county address Wednesday.
“We are remiss in providing for them the necessary resources to keep this county safe,” he said of sheriff’s deputies and firefighters before a crowd of about 840 attending the annual luncheon held at the Fresno Convention Center.
Quintero, chairman of the board, noted that in 2000, Fresno County’s population was estimated at 801,000, and today it exceeds 1 million, and keeping those people safe is a priority.
Another priority is to deal with people living on the streets, “both to have the courage to help them and yet to enforce the rules of our community,” he said.
“We need to achieve better, safer living conditions for people on the streets, which translates to better public safety for all,” said Quintero, who offered no specifics on what actions the county should take on either the homelessness or the public safety funding issues during his 42-minute address.
Quintero also discussed recent accomplishments and those in the works by the county government, particularly in Calwa, an unincorporated community near southeast Fresno, and Mayfair, a county island within the city.
In Calwa, county agencies partnered with the City of Fresno, the county Ag Commissioner’s Office and volunteers from the East Fresno Kiwanis for a major neighborhood cleanup project in which 93 tons of trash, debris and weeds were collected and hauled away.
In addition, bad pavement in alleys were ground down to level them out, and the county is partnering with Pacific Gas & Electric to fund the installation of lighting in those alleys to create better lines of site for county deputies patrolling them, Quintero told the crowd, the largest to ever attend a Fresno County state-of-the-county address.
“Additionally, we are working to rebuild the Calwa Park Swimming Pool” closed for nearly two decades, he said, noting the $250,000 project will be fully funded by private dollars.
As for Mayfair, nearly $750,000 has been put into repaving neighborhood streets, the supervisor said, adding that “All total, nearly over $4.5 million will be invested in the Calwa and Mayfair areas,” Quintero said.
Additionally, Orange Avenue is being paved though a $1.3 million partnership with the City of Fresno, “and if you have driven Orange Avenue in the past, you know it’s a nightmare,” he said.