Meet the Candidates: Christian West

Ridgecrest Mayor

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Meet the Candidates:  Christian WestChristian West has lived here most of his life, and wants to make a difference — particularly for the young people who live here.

“Basically, I’ve lived her for 26 years. I got my first job at Fastrip at 14. I graduated from Burroughs High School, and straight out of Burroughs I went into the Navy.”

He spent four years on the USS Carl Vinson, then moved back to Ridgecrest. Since then he has worked as a machinist — first in Trona and now on base.

West said that when he realized Peggy Breeden would not be pursuing a fourth term as mayor, he thought it was a good opportunity to run.

“So, I had all of my friends and family telling me that I should try it out. Then I started talking to people and stuff like that and getting involved in the community as far as asking people what they want to change and stuff like that, ’cause the people that I spoke to in the community, at least, anytime they bring an issue up to the council members nothing would ever get done or change.

“Like, their voice wasn’t heard, almost. So I feel as if I will be an open ear for the community to actually help the community.”

West said that because of his history, he knows what the community needs. “I know what I needed when I was younger, what I feel would have been cool growing up and working here my whole life. Basically I feel like I could help as far as that goes. And I worked my whole life so I know what hard work is. I feel like I could bring hard work to the community, basically.”

He said that he thinks the proposed groundwater replenishment fee was “pushed through a little too fast. Since there is no set dollar on anything I feel they could have just delayed it.”

The casino was another issue that was pushed through, but “there’s nothing we can really do about it at this point. As far as that one goes, I feel like it will drive more business to our community. I can see where people feel it will drive more bad business as well, so, I mean, there’s an upside and a downside to it.

“But as far as number’s I’ve heard, it will bring $400,000 a year for the first five years, then $1.2 million a year after that. So the numbers that they give the community will be good.”

His priorities on the council will be roads, street lights and schools. “Education would be a big thing, especially due to COVID. We don’t know how this thing is going to go when we do get back to school.”

He said that he would like to see more money go to education. “Obviously we don’t have extra because it goes somewhere, maybe the community could promote fundraisers for teachers and staff.”

West said that he thinks the city is not friendly to new businesses.

“Right now I feel like it’s just the same restaurants,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind seeing the city grow. So if the city could just grow within the next five years that would be awesome.”

He recalled that when he was growing up the community had a bowling alley and putt-putt golf course. “Now there’s nothing at all. Obviously they’re going to do a pool, which is great. When kids don’t have things to do, what are they going to resort to? Drugs and bad things.”

He said he is the only candidate without social media. “I don’t touch it — it’s drama and I don’t want social media to grow my kids. I want to be the one to teach my kids. Social media is a huge problem in this town. If kids had something to do they wouldn’t be looking at their phone all day, basically. And there’s nothing in this community for people who have children. We need family-oriented things.”

Story First Published: 2020-10-09