By Samantha Cook
staff writer 

New beginnings and endings in sight at council meeting

City Council Update


June 24, 2023

Samantha Cook.

Tehachapi's new Chief of Police, Richard Standridge, was sworn in during the June 19 City Council meeting. Shown with Standridge (center) are Councilman Phil Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Joan Pogon-Cord, Councilwoman Susan Wiggins, Mayor Michael Davies, Councilman Keith Sackawitz and City Manager Greg Garrett. Standridge was previously Chief of Police in Bishop, California.

New police chief Richard Standridge will report for work on Monday, June 26, 2023 after being sworn into the position on June 19, 2023 at the city council meeting. Standridge comes to Tehachapi from Bishop where he has served as chief of the Bishop Police Department. Standridge has previously served in law enforcement with the Tulare County Sheriff Department and Porterville Police Department. Standridge's swearing in was met with support from fellow officers of the Porterville, Bishop and Tehachapi police departments, as well as Standridge's wife Dolly and son Ethan.

Tehachapi will also see a new summer event joining the weekend lineup for the 60th Anniversary Tehachapi Mountain Festival. Sponsored by the City of Tehachapi, the Green Street Get Down will feature live music, dancing and beer. The free event will take place on South Green Street on Saturday, Aug. 19 from 6 to 10 p.m. Assistant City Manager Corey Costelloe presented the event to the council as a way to bring back a long-time tradition of Tehachapi's dances. Three local bands, Soda Crackers, Muleskinner Revival and 3 Bad Jacks, will perform on a stage on South Green Street. Beer sales will be held at Centennial Plaza, sponsored by Westlane Brewing with participation from Local Craft Beer and Old West Brewing. Beer sales will require ID checks and wristbands to ensure safety.

Another notable celebration for the council was Mayor Davies' proclamation of Boys & Girls Club Week (June 26-30). Chairman of the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County Board of Directors Robert Duchow represented the organization and spoke about the local impact of Boys & Girls Club of Kern County, which has 64 school-based clubs throughout the county, making it one of the three largest counties for Boys & Girls Club nationally. The Tehachapi Club operates its after school program at Jacobsen Middle School and will expand to serve approximately 80 students in the 2023-2024 school year to focus on academic success, character building and teaching how to live healthy lifestyles.

Amid all of the excitement and celebration, Councilmember Keith Sackewitz announced that he will be resigning from the City Council in the near future. Sackewitz has represented District 2 since February of 2023 and has served the community of Tehachapi for over 10 years through his volunteerism with the Friends of Tehachapi Depot. Sackewitz thanked the community for being his family's home where he and his wife raised their children. He shared a heartfelt memory of Tehachapi when he and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their children by revisiting Tehachapi's landmarks including the old Tehachapi Hospital where his children were born. He expressed his gratitude for the community and his opportunity to serve on the council. Sackewitz does not currently have a date for his resignation, but the resignation precedes his upcoming move out of state.

The Tehachapi City Council meets on the first and third Monday of the month at 6 p.m. They are currently meeting at the Police Department Community Room, 220 W. C St.


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