CEO Of Fresno? Mayor Swearengin Changes Job Title On November Ballot
By Erik Rosales
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) — Would you call Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, the Chief Executive Officer of Fresno?Last week, the Republican nominee for State Controller changed the title of her job, from "Mayor, City of Fresno" to "Mayor/CEO".Critics say she completely dropped anything to do with Fresno and is now calling herself a Chief Executive Officer.Political Insider Paul Betancourt says, "A few points here or there is going to make a different, and having CEO at the end of her name is a few thousand votes. That is the difference between winning and losing in this race."Betancourt says it's all about marketing.He says, "For people outside of Fresno who are going to look at this ballot and see her title that will have a little different feel to it than just having mayor on there."Under the California Elections Code, candidates may use "words designating the elective city, county, district, state or federal office which the candidate holds at the time of filing the nomination documents to which he or she was elected or appointed."But CEO of a city?Betancourt says, "At the end of the day every mayor has to work with the city council, with the employees groups, with the community, to get things done. There is no pulling rank in the mayor's job."However, Swearengin's campaign consultant, Tim Clark, says he stands by the title.Clark says "Fresno has a strong mayor form of government, and the city charter stipulates that the mayor is the "Chief Executive Officer" of the city of Fresno, which is a municipal corporation consisting of 3,200 employees and a $1 billion annual budget."But critics say as of today, the word CEO does not appear a single time, in the mayor's official biography on the city of Fresno's website.Swearengin's campaign manager also says, "The State Controller is an executive position, and her current ballot title emphasizes her executive experience."But is that experience a true representation?The voters will decide come November 2014.
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