Wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday season!
Zack, Christina, Zachary, Robert, Jane and Jacqueline Scrivner
 
 
As 2021 draws to a close, my family and I reflect on the many blessings of living in a community that has pulled together to persevere in a year full of challenges. We wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and much success and happiness in the New Year!
It is an honor and privilege to serve you on the Kern County Board of Supervisors, representing District 2, and the following are some highlights from the past year.
 
 
Kern County 2021 – Year in Review
 
The County of Kern is an organization grounded in ideas, energy and innovation, and we are a driving force in California, the world’s fifth largest economy.  We are destined for a bright future, but it is a road not without challenges. 
The County continues to face significant financial headwind due to anemic year-over-year growth in property and sales tax revenue, while costs associated with maintaining critical services across our large county continue to increase. A global pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on County resources, public health and quality of life. We continue to deal with the problems of homelessness, addiction and mental health, which affect all areas of our community. Recruitment and retention of law enforcement personnel is a significant challenge nationwide, and one that affects our own county’s public safety priorities. Federal and state sponsored regulation and policy decisions, particularly in energy and water, continue to be a major threat to our county’s ability to provide the standard of quality of life our residents expect and deserve.
This past year, the Board of Supervisors continued to meet head-on the biggest challenges we face, while working to position our County for the future.
Budget
 
Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors adopted a budget that not only positioned our county to address the ongoing recovery and strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which we’re all continuing to deal with, but it also placed an absolute priority on the most critical and urgent needs of our community, providing $1 billion to fund a variety of critical public safety, emergency preparedness and response services, investments to mitigate homelessness and the impacts to our community due to homelessness, investments in public health and mental health, investments in parks, maintaining library services, increasing funding for important services like pet spay and neuter programs, and many others. Read More
 
Around District 2 In 2021
 
2021 saw the County continuing to lead the local effort to address a global pandemics impact on our communities. 
We’ve implemented a COVID-19 vaccine infrastructure of more than 100 providers, operated a mass vaccination clinic that administered just under 100,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, providing funding and other resources for mass vaccination efforts led by community organizations, coordinated countywide COVID-19 testing availability, and distributed hundreds of thousands of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the public, small business and medical staff.
The County led efforts to assist with hospital medical staffing during times of surge, including strike teams, National Guard teams, and millions of dollars in funding for ICU nurses, to support local hospitals. 
Additionally, the County has maintained an online dashboard with real-time local case information, managed the pre-hospital emergency medical services system and developed and implemented a system surge plan, served as liaisons for schools and businesses in interpreting state policies, provided vaccinations in the homes of our homebound residents, launched multiple robust educational campaigns, implemented a robust infection control program in our skilled nursing facilities, provided door-to-door information through neighborhood canvassing, and operated a COVID-19 information hotline and information booths. 
The Tehachapi Loop Overlook
Nestled in the Tehachapi Mountains is a world-famous engineering marvel completed in 1876 by the Southern Pacific railroad. It allows trains to negotiate the steep climb up the Tehachapi mountains as they make their way from San Francisco to Los Angeles and beyond. Known as the Tehachapi Loop, a train over 4,000 feet in length, will pass over itself as it ‘loops’ up the grade.
The “Loop" was registered in 1953 as a California Historic Landmark and honored in 1998 as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. While concrete monuments mark the best place to see the trains, the viewing area lacked a spectator overlook platform to see them safely.
My office, with the help of our Kern County Public Works Department, many volunteers and donors, united with Friends of the Tehachapi Depot to build a safe viewing overlook for visitors local and worldwide.
In August, the new viewing platform was completed!
Homelessness in Kern County is a visible epidemic. Not only does chronic homelessness affect the community and private enterprise, but it also raises quality of life concerns for those without housing and who are living on the streets. Public safety, community health, and personal wellbeing are at the forefront of efforts to provide intervention and resources to those experiencing homelessness. The County elevated efforts in the fight against homelessness during 2021, building on the work we have done to build and operate two low barrier navigation centers in the County.  
District 2 Constituent of the Year is
Boron Resident
Jerry Gallegos
Jerry led the community fundraising for the refurbishment of the Boron Community Swimming Pool, helping raise more than $65,000. He continues to be an active part of the Pool Refurbishment Committee – stepping in to help with the design, planning, demolition, and locker-room remodel.
Jerry volunteers at The Boron Senior Center. Sometimes he is cooking tacos or purchasing provisions (out of his own pocket) to sell during BINGO, to help raise the much needed dollars to help replace the roof at the Center. He also contacted a roofer and was able to get the labor donated – without cost!
Jerry, a retired US Borax employee, worked with the US Borax Visitor Center Foundation to raise money to replace decades old carpet at the 20 Mule Team Museum. Carpet replacement work will take place in January 2022.
Jerry volunteers at the 20 Mule Team Museum, many days a week, ensuring that the town of Boron continues the story of its mining legacy. If someone calls in sick, he drops everything to keep the doors open.
Jerry volunteers every week at his church (St Francis Catholic Church). He maintains heating and cooling systems, mows and trims the foliage, repairs plumbing and electrical problems. He loves the work and says that it “keeps him out of trouble”.
Together with his wife Debbie, they check on elderly neighbors, making sure they are safe, warm and fed. Debbie is known for her baking skills – Jerry delivers bags of cookies to friends in every neighborhood.
Jerry always picks up the phone to answer a call for help. He is quick to dig in and get things done. Most recently, he has volunteered be a board member of the Boron Chamber of Commerce.
He just never stops and when you ask him why he does it, he says “it’s for my neighbors, it’s for the kids and the elderly. Everybody needs someone watch out for them.”
This past year, the Board of Supervisors continued to prioritize public safety services, particularly investment in the both the Kern County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) and the Fire Department. 
The national problem of recruitment and retention of law enforcement personnel is also a challenge locally. The Board of Supervisors continues to focus on assisting our Sheriff and his office in this challenge, and in placing more Sheriff’s Deputies on our streets in communities throughout our County. 
A big part of this effort starts with compensation for our Sheriff’s Deputies, as well as our Detentions Deputies. This past year the Board elevated compensation for both our patrol and detentions deputies at the KCSO, further building on across the board compensation increase we delivered just two years ago, also including large bonuses for lateral transfers from other law enforcement agencies. For example, the Board has increased entry-level Sheriff’s Deputy Compensation by 45% since 2018. Because of these efforts, our Sheriff’s Deputies are among the highest paid of any comparable county across the Central Valley. We must continue to be rigorous in these efforts. Ensuring our law enforcement officers are paid a competitive wage assists in both recruiting and retention, along with morale. However, it is not the sole solution.
The Board has instructed an all hands approach to assisting the KCSO to implement operational changes at the direction of the Sheriff. Optimizing patrol operations, staffing and resource placement throughout the county will be a catalyst to increased public safety efficacy and outcomes for the communities served by the KCSO. We’re assisting the Sheriff in reorganizing staffing in various facilities throughout the county, including and most importantly our detentions facilities, with the goal of ramping up jail staffing with detentions deputies, and moving our patrol deputies from the jail to the street. These efforts will require meaningful investment of both time and money, but we have begun the journey and are setting a pathway to make these critical changes a reality.  Continue Reading
 
 
A Model of Excellence in Managing our Workforce
This year, the Board of Supervisors achieved new employment contract agreements with every one of the County’s employee bargaining groups. These new contracts, the majority of which are through 2024, not only provide across the board Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA’s) for the County’s entire workforce, the first in recent memory, but they also completely reform the County’s compensation system for all employees, moving from a 5-year compensation step increase system, to a 10-year step system. 
 
New Engine For Station 15 in Rosamond
 
 
I had the pleasure of joining Kern County Fire Chief Aaron Duncan to deliver a new engine to Station 15 in Rosamond.
The new engine replaces an old existing engine that had roughly 330,000 miles on it; the old engine will be retired from service and used for training of new firefighting personnel.
 
R.A.P.I.D. – Removing and Preventing Illegal Dumping
▪ 55 dump sites cleaned on District 2 roadways in November 2021
▪ 606 dump sites cleaned on District 2 roadways in 2021 YTD
▪ 75 tons collected countywide in November 2021
▪ 867 tons collected countywide in 2021 YTD
R.A.P.I.D. Clean-ups November 2021
Developing and Growing a Thriving, Resilient Regional Economy
2021 saw the completion of an extensive, County-funded, region-wide market assessment by the Brookings Institution, done in partnership with the City of Bakersfield and other economic stakeholder institutions and leaders from all across our county, known as B3K. B3K will ensure and sustain region wide strategies on economic growth and inclusion, and will serve as a foundational catalyst for our county’s economic diversification in the years to come. We are going to attract and support new business in sectors such as carbon management and renewable fuel production, securing our county’s position as a national clean energy and carbon management center of excellence, and aerospace, business services and advance manufacturing. 
Kern County will be the very best place to start and grow a business in this state, by developing and practicing long-term, comprehensive land use, permitting, and other public policy aligned with regional economic development strategies and industry preferences, by strengthening and sustaining a supportive environment for entrepreneurship and business ecosystem development, support and success, and by continuing to promote and apply our Advance Kern and workforce development incentives to attract, develop and retain new and existing business ventures.  The Board of Supervisors is please that these efforts have directly led to the creation of thousands of new jobs in our county in just the past few years.
Importantly, we will continue to promote and support our position as a national energy and agriculture leader.  This means further strengthening our position as the alternative energy leader among all other counties in this state.  This means doubling down and strengthening our position as a national leader in oil and gas production through responsible, streamlined permitting, long-term planning and industry evolution.  Governor Newsom, and his administration, is leading an all-out, zealous attack on our oil and gas industry. The Newsom Administration’s actions threaten tens of thousands of jobs in our community, along with hundreds of millions in local tax revenue the County relies on to fund critical services for our residents, particularly public safety services provided by the Sheriff and Fire departments.
We believe Newsom’s actions our outside the scope of his authority, and are outside the scope of current state law, which allows for the clean, responsible production of oil and gas in California. This year, the Board of Supervisors filed a lawsuit against the Governor and his administration over these decisions, and we will pursuing this legal action with vigor, on behalf of the nearly 1 million residents of Kern County.
The Board of Supervisors will also work to continue Kern’s position as a national agriculture leader. The State of California is failing to implement smart water supply policies that support our local farmers who are feeding the world. This means supporting and advocating development of state policies on innovative water reuse, banking, surface storage, water capture and conjunctive use.
 
I’m proud of the work our Board of Supervisors and dedicated county managers and employees accomplished this year, despite all the enormous challenges. Thank you all for your continued support. May God bless all of us in 2022. It’s an honor to serve you on the Kern County Board of Supervisors.  
 
 
 

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