Who Runs This Town?

City Hall


Fresno City Hall 

Fresno City Hall is located on 2600 Fresno St, 93721. The city is run by 12 people including the mayor, 6 council members, 1 council president, 1 city manager, 1 city clerk, the police chief, and the fire chief. The mayor, Jerry Dyer, serves as the 26th mayor of Fresno starting on January 5th, 2021. Jerry Dyer worked for the Fresno Police Department for 40 years, the last 18 as police chief, before becoming mayor. He was the city’s longest-serving police chief.

Born in Fresno but raised in Fowler, California, he has a bachelor’s degree in criminology from California State University, Fresno, and a master’s degree in management from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. The mayor is now taking charge of an organization called Beautify Fresno which is his top priority, with a mission to inspire everyone to take pride in their community and to show them that we can all take action to make our community a clean and beautiful place to live. He states, “We have allowed the new norm to be one of blight, litter, and debris within our business complexes, streets, neighborhoods, and freeways. The trash is so visible, yet many drive by without even noticing it. That must change.”

The main goal of Beautify Fresno is to host year-round cleanup and beautification events throughout Fresno and provide training – and trash bags – to residents who organize their own neighborhood cleanups through a new Adopt-A-Block, Adopt-A-Trail, and Adopt-An-Alley programs. 

Tied in with the City Hall Council Members is Police Chief, Paco Balderrama. He’s the first Latino police chief in Fresno and he leads more than 800 officers and hundreds of civilian staff at the police department after a year of record-high number shootings and most murders in 25 years, during the pandemic. Balderrama is 45 years old, born in El Paso, Texas although he lived his early years in Chihuahua, Mexico. Before starting school, he moved back with his mother to El Paso, TX in government housing apartments.

His mother set high expectations for him. He had several relatives in law enforcement positions: sheriff’s deputy, state trooper, and El Paso police officer. “These guys were our heroes” said Beto, Balderrama’s brother. Balderrama was being groomed to be the next chief in Oklahoma City excelling in every role placed in. Former Oklahoma Policy chief discouraged Balderrama from applying to any other departments except Fresno. His wife encouraged him to apply.

Balderrama was recommended by Hanford police Capt. Karl Anderson who was Balderrama’s roommate in FBI Academy in 2017.  Anderson said Balderrama would be an “amazing fit” for Fresno police as his life experiences are similar to many San Joaquin Valley residents. “He really cares about doing a good job in law enforcement,” “You can feel the care and compassion he has for being a law enforcement professional,” states Anderson.

Chief Balderrama figures building trust with the community is the most important part for him. Building trust and accountability was a big factor in communication with department and community members. “We have to be accountable to not just the police department and our policies and procedures, but we also have to be accountable to the community,” said Balderrama.