Thursday, March 5, 2020

New City Manager Christian Clegg meets the press, Supervisors Couch and Perez who strength in their respective districts and Justin Salters hangs his own shingle as a public relations specialist

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other person or organization.

Bakersfield's new city manager, Christian Clegg, held his first press conference this week, introducing himself to local reporters and vowing an "inclusive" administration that will take time to listen to the City Council and community about our priorities. Interesting,
perhaps in reference to the recently retired Alan Tandy, Clegg said he was not a "bull in the china shop" and instead hoped to have a more collaborative process. Clegg spent nine years in Stockton as an assistant city manager and said he plans to stay in Bakersfield for a long time.

 * ... ELECTIONS: Super Tuesday was just super for a handful of local candidates, predictable in many ways and highly instructive in others. First, the victory of Supervisor David Couch over Emilio Huerta is proof that hard work does indeed pay off. Couch was handed a new district he had to work (thanks to the federal court ordered redistricting) he was up against the son of civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, and he still steamrolled to victory, a testament to his tireless campaigning and work on behalf of his district. The same can be said for Supervisor Leticia Perez, who also waltzed to victory despite her troubles with the law when she was charged with a conflict of interest because of her husband's cannabis consulting business. Like Couch, Perez knows her district, works it and proved voters will show their loyalty to politicians who care. Mayor Karen Goh may prove to be one of the most popular politicians in town, and welcome Philip Peters to the Board of Supervisors after he won easily the race to succeed Mick Gleason in District 1. If Peters plays his card right, he will be a supervisor for many years to come thanks to the political machine that helped put him into office.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "I consider my self to be a capable, somewhat intelligent, middle aged man. However, I just double-tapped a photo in a magazine to see it better."

 * ... JUSTIN SALTERS: Congratulations to Justin Salters, a veteran political consultant who just launched his own public affairs and strategic communications company, Salters Associates. A CSUB graduate who is active on the alumni board, Salters has a decade of experience and hopes to focus on clients in the San Joaquin Valley.

 * ... MISSION BANK: Mission Bank held its official "grand opening" at its new location this week, capping off a month's long move from its old facility just a block away. The bank took over the old San Joaquin Bank building at the corner of 17th and L street, remodeled it and updated the exterior. The bank was founded in 1998 and in 2012 merged with Mojave Desert Bank.
A.J. Antongiovanni serves as its president and CEO.

 * ... VULTURES: Check out these turkey vultures that descended on my street downtown and took up temporary residence in a tree across the street.

* ... MEMORIES: Check out the old Rosenthal's Pacific Sales Company
located at 1621 19th Street in 1918 . Thanks to Art Moore and the Kern County History Fans Facebook page for this one.

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