Author photo

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

Council vacancy, awards and pickleball at Feb. 5 meeting

City Council Update


February 17, 2024

Pat Doody.

The City Council voted unanimously on Feb. 5 to direct the city to publish a Notice of Intent to fill by appointment the District 5 City Council vacancy created by the resignation by Councilwoman Susan Wiggins, who is moving out of state.

A second option for filling the vacancy would be to hold a special election that would cost the city more than $20,000. In either case the vacancy would be filled only until the next election in November 2024. The cost of the ad is estimated to be about $250. The council has just 60 days from the date of resignation to fill the vacancy.

Mayor Mike Davies presented a Certificate of Recognition to Don Marsh and Tyler Napier of the Public Works Department for having reached 1,000 days without any lost time. From April 21, 2021 to Jan. 24, the department of 28 employees put in approximately 145,000 consecutive working hours or almost three years without any injuries.

Marsh also reported that after the success of the two "Pickleball With the Police" events this summer, the city and the police department proposed to turn the east half of the PD parking lot into four permanent public pickleball courts. There are currently very few public places in Tehachapi where citizens can go to play pickleball. Over 150 adults and children came out for the two events that gave children and police officers an opportunity to play and learn a new sport.

As the parking lot is currently configured, it has numerous vacant spaces every day. Marsh proposed that four permanent pickleball courts, which are approximately 20 feet by 44 feet, be installed by public works at the police department located at 220 W. C St. After an application of a slurry coat, a four-coat acrylic paint system would be applied over the asphalt base. Four permanent net systems would then be installed along with perimeter chain-link fencing. The project was unanimously approved by City Council.

City Manager Greg Garrett reported to the council that the city's finance department, lead by Finance Manager Hamed Jones, has received two prestigious awards for the 2023 city budget. (See article at .)

Community Engagement Manager Key Budge told the council he has had numerous conversations with people at city events and over social media about the value of more healthy activities within the city. After some research, the creation of a walking group, similar to "mall walkers," seemed a great place to start as it provided physical, mental and social connections, as well as a way to be active and provide the community with an opportunity to communicate with city staff.

The weekly walks are planned for Thursdays at 11 a.m. beginning on March 22, as long as the weather cooperates. City staff will lead the walkers through downtown during business hours so they can window shop and include some of the local walking and bike paths. The walks will end at a local eatery where the group can enjoy lunch. It is hoped that this project will encourage other organizations to form their own walking groups.

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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