by Lorie Lewis Ham
A few years ago KRL did a series of interviews with various members of the Reedley City Council. We decided it was time to chat with some of them again in 2022, so in May we interviewed one of the newer members, Matthew Tuttle. This month we interviewed long-time council member, and Mayor, Mary Fast.
KRL: Are you originally from Reedley?
Mary: I was born and raised in Reedley, one of 6 siblings, grew up near the Community Center, we called it East Reedley! I attended Immanuel High School, Reedley College, and Fresno State with a degree in Recreation Administration.
Mary: Married to husband Brad, and we have three adult children and 8 grandkids. Lisa and Andrew Shinn, live in Beijing China, where he works as a foreign service officer at the US Embassy in Beijing. Mike and Amy Fast live in Kuna, Idaho, Mike is a dry bean scientist. Brian and Sarah Fast live in Kingsburg, Brian teaches science at Reedley High School, and he coaches baseball.
KRL: How long have you been on the City Council?
Mary: I have been on the Reedley City Council for 15 years. I was Mayor from 2008-2012, and again in Dec 2020 to current. The City Council is the executive arm of the City Government, so as Mayor, I lead each council meeting. We have a great City Manager and staff and get asked often about how we have kept such a great downtown community. Reedley is a great community filled with so many citizens that volunteer to make this a better place to live. I really enjoy representing Reedley at local, regional, and state events.
KRL: What did you do before joining Council?
Mary: I worked as the first full-time Senior Citizens Coordinator for the City of Reedley many years ago and started the Gleaners program at that time. Retired from farm accounting after working over 35 years in the office, but I enjoy representing Reedley on Regional Water Boards, hoping to help keep water flowing to our area for Reedley groundwater recharge, as well as ample water for agriculture too. My Grandpa said that God kissed this ground here and knew he could grow anything on his land – and he was right. I am so thankful for all the produce grown for the world right here in our Valley.
KRL: What sort of things do you like to do in your spare time?
Mary: I like to bake – Cobblers and nut breads are my favorite. My favorite line to my farmer friends is, “You bring me fruit and I’ll bake you a Cobbler!!”
I also like to work on family history, genealogy, and enjoy sewing and hand work. I actually made my wedding dress and veil, and my husband’s going away “leisure suit” in olive green with paisley printed shirt! He was really IN STYLE for the times!! I think this really dates us!! I’ve got to laugh! I like to attend ball games, especially when kids or grandkids are playing. We enjoy short trips with our “’tiltin’ Hilton,” a little house trailer, to the mountains and to the Coast. California has so many interesting places for us to visit and learn about. Brad and I enjoy volunteering in our community and at our Reedley MB Church.
You can find more Reedley articles in our Reedley News section.