Measure L members reappointed

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Members of the Citizens Oversight Committee for Measure L were reappointed by default at last week’s Ridgecrest City Council meeting. Although sitting members Scott Garver and Andy Anderson were the only applicants for the position, members of the council were mixed on speculating why no others threw their names in the ring.

“I was really, really disappointed to see that,” said Vice Mayor Jason Patin, who said at a previous meeting that he hoped to see some new faces on the committee — which has often butted heads with the current council over whether the city has upheld its pledge to citizens to spend the local sales tax on police and streets.

“I hoped to see other step up to serve. That’s very frustrating. We have people come up in public comment [and complain], but they won’t step up to be a part of the solution.”

Councilmember Lori Acton said the lack of other applicants could also be interpreted as a tacit endorsement of the current members.

The latter opinion was echoed by residents in public comment.

“I didn’t apply because they are doing a good job,” said Christina Witt.

Paul Vander Werf added that the initial makeup of the committee — which includes a district attorney (Garver), a veteran and retired educator (Anderson), a pastor (Eddie Thomas), a cost analyst (Phil Salvatore) and a rocket scientist (Mike Petersen) — represented a broad spectrum of expertise and community interests.

“I think people are satisfied with who is there,” said Jerry Taylor, who noted the initial call for applications yielded much higher returns. For validation he pointed to the community rallying behind the committee when the mayor threatened to appoint new members.

“My comment was not about them doing a good or bad job, it was about giving other people a chance,” said Patin. “They are doing a fine job. But I have my own opinions about the amount of effort they are putting into their jobs.”

Story First Published: 2013-07-24