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By Greg Garrett
Tehachapi City Manager 

Pushing forward into 2021

From the City Manager


January 2, 2021

Greg Garrett

We arrived, we saw, we survived 2020. If this were the Scouts, we would receive a badge. I guess one day we will all look back at living through this year and wear it like a badge of honor, much like our ancestors did the Great Depression or the Spanish Flu pandemic. This was not the start to a decade we envisioned 12 months ago.

But we are here, a little more broken, a little more scarred and maybe even in some cases a little more confident in our ability to live through trials and tribulations. I know that was the case with the City of Tehachapi this year. Weaving through shutdowns, re-openings, guidelines, guidance and executive orders, with your help we managed to steer the ship so to speak, to minimize the damage. We were not completely unscathed by COVID-19, political disagreements, calls for social reforms and the realities that faced every other community in this State or this Nation in 2020. Life is a series of moments and we had a lifetime of moments this past year as a City and community, but we are still standing tall.

From City Hall to City Council, we shared in the frustrations of the confusing, sometimes nonsensical and contrarian regulations passed down by Sacramento on everything from restaurants to special events, from church services to office space. We lost events, businesses and our residents lost livelihoods. We did our best to support those businesses negatively impacted by such regulations in many ways, some seen, others unseen.

If 2020 was a chapter in a book it would not qualify as a page-turner, but I believe we are still writing an amazing story in this City as seen by the number of new businesses opening their doors, including five new restaurants during one of the toughest years for the restaurant industry. It is also evident with new residents choosing Tehachapi as home while record numbers are electing to leave this State. Our contrarian story to our State's struggles is also seen in the groundbreaking of new projects, both public and private, and home developers lining up to build someone's dream in our community.

We have now arrived at the New Year embarking on it with modifications this year; but here we are, we have made it together to this important time of year. I do not believe all problems with COVID-19, political landscapes or other issues will magically disappear when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2021, but I think we can reasonably see an end in sight. We have adapted together, smiled more, cried more, prayed more, increased compassion and exercised grace in this community to stay above the noise created by others. A direct by-product of the attitude of our residents, I thank you for that.

We have positioned ourselves for success in the coming year, having been able to look back at 2020 and still find reasons to be proud of what we accomplished, what we survived and how we have set up our next 12 months. I still believe in this community. It's obvious others do as well. We are doing something right and we are doing it together.

Please enjoy your holiday however you feel safe and appropriate doing so. Maybe the simplicity of this New Year holiday will continue to fuel our path forward and re-energize our ability to re-build after COVID-19. We have the tools, we have the people and we have the right City to do so. Thank you for weathering 2020 with us. We look forward to pushing forward into 2021 together, continuing to write an amazing story with a fresh chapter to do so.


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