I'm writing this column before the hearing decision on the re-drawing of Kern County Supervisor map but regardless one thing is evident: for the first time in more than 20 years Ridgecrest could have a representative who does not live in town.

At least the “lay of the land” gives that scenario. It will come down to Tehachapi voters vs. Ridgecrest voters and the candidate who can sway Kern River Valley and East Kern Voters to the south of Ridgecrest.

It could be an all-out turf war.

The MALDEF lawsuit victory did not go unnoticed by the Kern High School District board in Bakersfield.

Rather than fight and spend thousands upon thousands of taxpayer dollars the district board of trustees agreed to re-draw its district boundaries after a meeting of the minds between the two sides’ lawyers.

KHSD has a Latino population base of 65% and the district governing board is made up of four white men and one Latino.

Talk about a redraw — it will be huge. The current boundary map gerrymandering would make any Sacramento politician proud. Two of the sitting trustees will be in trouble when it comes to the 2020 elections.

Congress is poised to fight President Trump’s tariff plan at all costs. They are currently looking at any means to stop implementation of his steel and aluminum tariff plan.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has openly clashed with the President as have other key GOP elected officials. On the other hand, Democrats and Union leaders have rallied behind President Trump.

Yep, politics makes strange bedfellows.

Kern County’s budget, already bearing the burden of low oil prices, may well see a hit in agriculture dollars, too.

Grapes, almonds and pistachios are the lead exports of the industry. China, Mexico, Japan and Canada are the top destinations for our commodities. Not a good situation moving down the road.

Considering the big picture, the state’s $21 billion export of Ag products could well pay the price.

— John Watkins is publisher of the Daily Independent and Taft Midway Driller. Contact him at jwatkins@ridgecrestca.com.


The views expressed are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the official stance of the Daily Independent.