Fresno County Votes to Withdraw Support of High Speed Rail

Ton Tuesday, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to withdraw their support from the much-discussed high-speed rail project. The resolution to oppose the bullet-train plan was first introduced by Supervisor Debbie Poochigian. Supervisors Borgeas, Poochigian, and Larson supported the resolution, while Supervisors McNairy and Perea voted against it.

In 2009, the county voted to support high-speed rail, requesting the state Legislature to place the issue back on the ballot, but this current action rescinds the earlier decision. Other counties that have opposed the High-Speed Rail Authority’s plans include Madera, Merced, Kings, Tulare, and Kern. Kings and Kern have gone as far as to take the rail authority to court.

The discussion of the issue and subsequent vote revealed differences in how Fresno supervisors view the rail project. Supervisor Perea, who is a supporter of the rail project, clashed with several other council members over the resolution to withdraw support. 

Perea caused a stir when he asked if Poochigian and Borgeas had bartered for support of each other’s resolutions during the break. Poochigian called his question a “low blow,” and Borgeas called it “unbelievable,” and responded with “hell no.” 

Read more about the county's withdrawal here.