I read Jack Barnwell’s story in Thursday’s Daily Independent headlined, “Youngblood discusses sales tax, deputy shortage with Chamber.”

Promoting a proposed 1-percent sales tax for the unincorporated areas, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce about the unfilled vacancies, departing deputies and a lack of manpower to fill those voids.

He brings up a lot of valid points in pushing for the tax. Since the price of oil dropped, the county’s revenues also dropped, forcing cuts in the budget, including the sheriff’s budget.

These cuts resulted in the closure of the Ridgecrest Jail as well as cuts in staffing for the local area.

However, I would like to see a budget for those tax revenues. For example, would such a spending plan include the reopening of the local jail? How many more deputies can we expect in the local area?

I read Jessica Weston’s story in Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s papers headlined, “Council candidates share views at forum” and “More responses from City Council candidate forum.”

A couple of questions caught my eye. The first was, “If elected, are you willing to pledge to conduct yourself in a civil and mutually respectful manner and how would you work to see that others do the same?

It is too bad a question like this is necessary. It seems people cannot have differences of opinions these days without becoming angry at each other.

Another question was, “The East Kern Economic Diversification Study is beginning its implementation stage. What involvement do you expect from the city of Ridgecrest in implementing the diversification study?”

I think a better question would be what do you think the city needs to do to create a favorable business climate to help diversify the economy?

In past years, the city has demonstrated a knack for being difficult when it came diversifying the economy.

What will Congress look like after the November election? That will be interesting to see.

I read the Associated Press story headlined, “GOP decries Dems’ mob rule.”

It was reportedly an effort “to flip the script to amp voters prior to midterms” the story stated.

It seems one party is just as bad as the other. If the Democrats regain control of one or both houses, the roles will undoubtedly be reversed. The Republicans will become the obstructionists to everything the Democrats want to do. Right now it is the other way around.

— John V. Ciani is a retired Daily Independent reporter and contributing columnist.


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