Author photo

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

Councilman Sackewitz resigns

City Council Update

 

July 8, 2023

Marlan Woodside.

Councilman Keith Sackewitz in uniform as docent at the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum.

At the June 19 City Council meeting, Councilman Keith Sackewitz announced that he and his wife Lana would be moving to St. George, Utah at the end of June and this would be his last meeting.

Sackewitz is also on the Friends of the Tehachapi Depot Executive Board and had been given a royal send-off at their June 13 membership meeting.

Sackewitz spent much of his life in the Tehachapi area. His first job was with Chevron in Bakersfield where he learned about gasoline, they then sent him to Mojave to learn how to pump it. He and Lana were married in 1963 and their four children were born at Tehachapi Hospital. Their first child was delivered by Dr. Harold Schlotthauer.

In 1964, Keith went to work at the Cement Plant in Tehachapi where he worked until he was hired by Charles Brun Addressograph Multigraph printing machine sales and service. These machines were the forerunner of today's copy machines. The Sackewitz family moved to Las Vegas for a short while before being transferred to Bakersfield. Keith and Lana lived in Bakersfield for 38 years until problems with asthma forced them to move back to the mountains in 2008.

Keith has always loved being of service to the community. Over the years he was a coach for sports teams and took training to be a Boy Scout leader, eventually becoming a trainer himself.

He has always loved the trains that come through Tehachapi. Keith said he had wished he could work on the railroad signals, but the job involved too much dust.

While visiting a train show in Tehachapi in 2010 Keith bumped into Jim and Cheryl Wilson, who were members of Friends of the Tehachapi Depot. Cheryl told Keith he should be a docent at the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum. He liked the idea and the rest is history.

It was Keith's idea to wear a conductor's uniform when he worked. He was asked if he would do tours and, of course, he said, "Yes!" Whenever a tour bus arrived at the depot it was Keith who took them down to the Loop Overlook.

Keith came up with the suggestion for the new Loop Overlook platform, which he presented to the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council in 2018.

That presentation sparked a partnership between the County of Kern and Friends of the Depot. Together they gathered local resources to raise the money necessary to make the overlook a reality. The ribbon cutting of the Loop Overlook took place on July 21, 2021.

Keith was on the Friends of the Depot Executive Board for 13 years and was vice president for 8 years. He is the longest serving VP to date.

In 2022, when Christina Scrivner resigned from the Tehachapi City Council to run for a county office, Keith was among those who applied to fulfill the remainder of her term. He was appointed to the Tehachapi City Council in February, 2023. The Tehachapi City Council will be appointing a replacement for Sackewitz in July after advertising for the position.

Keith and Lana Sackewitz will be greatly missed in Tehachapi, but they have a son and daughter living in Utah, so they will be close to family. Keith has already said that he plans to return for the grand opening of the Southern Pacific caboose (currently next to Kohnen's Bakery) once it is moved and refurbished to become part of the Depot Railroad Museum.

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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