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By Pat Doody 

Tehachapi City Council Update


June 9, 2018

The Tehachapi City Council had the sad duty of deciding how to deal with the council vacancy created by the death of Mayor Ed Grimes. Essentially they had two choices, to appoint a replacement to fill the position until the November election when a new council member can be elected to fill the remaining two years of Mayor Grimes term. Not appointing someone to fill the vacancy would leave the Council with four members and the possible inability to pass some measures for lack of a majority vote.

After much discussion, the Council finally voted to advertise for potential appointees. The Council has 60 days from the passing of a member to appoint his replacement making that deadline Aug. 20. Interviews are currently planned to be publicly held during open council session on July 16.

"That gives us 30 days to get the information out there," said Councilman Phil Smith.

As Mayor Grimes was elected for a four year term in 2016 under the old at-large voting system, his appointed replacement and the candidates running for the remaining two years of his term in November will also be chosen on an at-large basis. In 2020 that seat will convert to district voting.

City Manager Greg Garrett announced the resignation of Public Works Director Ryan Montgomery and thanked him for his years of service to the City. Montgomery has been with the City since 2012 and was appointed to the Public Works position in March 2017. He will be moving back to his home state of Indiana.

The City Council awarded the contract for construction of the Park and Ride facility on Tehachapi Blvd., between Pauley and Mill St., to R.C. Becker. The project came in about $300,000 over budget which can be covered with Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funds.

In response to the recent vandalism at Tehachapi High School in which more than 20 trees were cut down during the night, Mayor Pro Tempore Wiggins suggested the Council start a fund to replace the 15 year old trees with mature trees. She offered a donation of $250 in memory of Mayor Ed Grimes and suggested that the City Manager collect the funds.

"Let's plant a jungle," said Wiggins. City Manager Greg Garrett said the City would match the $250 and make sure that funds collected will be turned over to the Tehachapi Unified School District.


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