Special session starts at 5 p.m. in council chambers

 The Taft City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday evening to discuss and draft its formal response to a Kern County Grand Jury report issued two months ago that sharply criticized Taft’s city government.

The meeting will start at 5 p.m. in the Civic Center council chambers and is open to the public.

The city received the report from the Grand Jury on Feb. 4 and was given 60 days to respond to the findings and recommendations. That means the response is due by April 4.

The Grand Jury made 28 findings on several issues ranging from the pay raises to a business relationship between City Manager Bob Gorson and Councilman Cliff Thompson.

It also said the council had “failed in its fiduciary duty of overseeing the city manager (and) demonstrated little knowledge of the Government Codes that govern operations of the City.”

The report made three “significant recommendations”:

•The City Manager be held accountable for inappropriate conduct as the City


•The City Council should direct the City Attorney to investigate the retroactive pay

raises and determine if a gift of public funds has occurred.

•The Citizens of Taft should become more involved in holding the City Council

members accountable for their actions and/or inactions.

The council will meet in closed session on Monday to discuss a separate investigation into allegations of a hostile work environment at city hall.