Council holds brief, routine meeting

Council holds brief, routine meetingBy BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

Brevity was the soul of Wednesday’s meeting of the Ridgecrest City Council. After taking about 20 minutes to recognize Emergency Medical Services Week and Public Works Week, the council took about half an hour to cover the rest of the agenda.

Before moving on to the consent calendar, council and members of the public took a quick minute to sing “Happy Birthday” to public-comment regular Dave Matthews.

The council approved consent items – previous meeting minutes and a proclamation to recognize the retirement of Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent Ernie Bell – with no further discussion.

Also approved was Mayor Pro Tem Lindsey Stephen’s appointment of Kyle Blades to the Ridgecrest Planning Commission upon Jessica De Haan’s departure. Blades “has a good knowledge base and is willing to serve,” said Stephens. He was born and raised in Ridgecrest and is a systems engineer at China Lake.

Councilmember Scott Hayman said he planned to make his appointment at the next meeting following the resignation of his previous appointee, Derrick Mackey.

City Manager Ron Strand proposed that the city enter into an operational area disaster response mutual aid agreement with other Kern County cities and entities. The city has had an agreement with local entities since 1995 to pool resources in times of emergencies, but this formalized agreement would be specific about natural disasters.

“If Ridgecrest has an earthquake and we need building staff to come from Bakersfield and Shafter to help us red tag buildings, they will come and assist us,” said Strand. “And under this agreement, we won’t have to reimburse them directly.

“And vice versa, if they have a major incident in Bakersfield or Cal City, we will assist them.”

He added there would be the ability to be reimbursed by state or federal agencies for assisting other entities. The proposal passed 4-0 with Vice Mayor Wallace Martin absent.

Council also approved appointing Hinderliter, de Llamas & Associates to assist the city in the collection of city sales, use and transaction taxes and approved annual assessments for a landscape and lighting district and a drainage benefit assessment district, as discussed earlier this month.

See future editions for more council coverage.

Story First Published: 2019-05-17