Printer Friendly

CALIFORNIA CITY MANAGERS PRAISED BY GRAND JURY.

Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer

CALIFORNIA CITY - Kern County's grand jury praised California City for its professional government conduct and its economic development efforts.

In an early release of portions of its 2003-2004 report, the county's grand jury delivered an upbeat appraisal on the state of the city.

The report's only recommendation, other than making copies of the grand jury report available to the public and other government entities, was to create a committee to help bring county services to the community.

``The community has expressed that they feel like a `lost relative,'' the report said. ``The committee felt after its investigation that the city government has (proved) to be a progressive and efficient local government, which has strong community support.''

The grand jury described the city as not a lost relative but rather a ``golden child of Kern County.''

One area the city was said to need improvement was in working with county officials to establish county services for which residents now must drive to Bakersfield, Mojave and Tehachapi.

The city's wish list for county services includes a county-roads maintenance yard; health and human services such as women's shelters, child protection services, counseling offices, and senior services; planning and permit services; educational services; a district attorney's branch office; and services for property tax collection and deeds, recording services and property records access.

The grand jury recommended establishing a committee of City Council members, city staff, business leaders and concerned residents to work toward providing those services.

``Some services, due to county budgeting problems, could be provided through a satellite office, rather than a full-time facility,'' the report said.

Mayor Larry Adams said the city will follow that recommendation, saying this has been an issue with him for several years. He said the only county service in California City now is the library.

Adams said he expects the grand jury report will help with efforts to extend a special tax that helps fund city services.

With the $75 per parcel annual tax due to expire in June 2004, city voters will be asked in the March primary to approve a tax of $85 a year, which would raise approximately $3.5 million a year for city services. If approved, the tax would be in effect for five years.

The city created the parcel tax in the 1980s to augment its budget. The tax, then $53 a year, was in effect until the 1990s when voters rejected four different attempts to reinstate it.

The rejection of parcel tax measures during that time was attributed to a distrust of the city's government.

The tax, upped to $75, has since been approved twice. Supporters attribute the measures' passage to direct involvement by citizens in figuring how the money should be spent. An advisory committee was formed to determine how the money should be used and to monitor those expenditures.

``The special tax is the key to our recovery,'' Adams said. ``Basically, we had money from the special tax to dig us out of a hole. In 1992, 1993, this city was close to bankruptcy.''

The grand jury report singled out City Manager Jack Stewart for praise, stating good local government begins with the quality, expertise, organizational skills, and work ethics of the city manager.

``The current city manager is to be commended for a job well done,'' the report said.

The grand jury described the city's finances as being in order and its financial reports are presented in a professional manner, praised the efforts of city staff in seeking out grants and praised the city's economic development efforts.

The grand jury report can be viewed on the Internet at www.co.kern.ca.us.

Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743

james.skeen(at)dailynews.com
COPYRIGHT 2003 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 30, 2003
Words:620
Previous Article:LOCALS GIVE HANKS FILM EXTRA EFFORT PLAIN FOLKS GET TIME AS BACKGROUND COLOR.
Next Article:SENIOR HOUSING IN WORKS PALMDALE PREPARES TO MOVE FORWARD ON PLAN FOR DOWNTOWN.


Related Articles
SIMI, T.O. ONE UP ON Y2K; SOME CITIES PREPARED, BUT OTHERS NOT SO READY FOR 2000.
MOORPARK READY FOR Y2K, CITY OFFICIAL SAYS.
BRIEFLY : VALLEY ATTORNEY APPOINTED JUDGE.
SUSPENSION ROILS COUNTY GRAND JURY.
JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM A MESS, GRAND JURY SAYS; `COUNTYWIDE EMERGENCY' CITED.
EX-GRAND JUROR FINED FOR SPEAKING TO REPORTER.
JURY HAILS CARE UNIT.
SUPERVISOR SEES HOPE FOR COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM.
BRIEFLY MAN GETS 15 YEARS IN MURDER OF TEEN.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters