Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett

Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett

During this crisis, I’ll be regularly updating the community through a variety of avenues, including this publication, as we continue to both be proactive and reactive to the fluid situation surrounding COVID-19.

I’m on twice-daily conference calls with the leadership at Adventist Health. These calls include representation and updates from Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley locally, Bakersfield and occasionally regional and national leadership.

I’ve mentioned this before, but Adventist Health continues to be a blessing to this community. Thanks to their partnership with the citizens, as well as the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District, we are in a situation to have a national healthcare leader running a state-of-the-art hospital during this pandemic. If this would have happened a few years ago, we might not be as prepared as we are at this time.

Our essential city services continue; water, police, sewer and trash services continue. We’ve made changes to our operation to encourage more employees to work remotely to limit exposure to one another at City Hall or other city facilities. But they continue to produce quality work, many of them focusing on COVID-19 response and eventual recovery from this national emergency with tremendous local impact.

We continue to gather resources for residents, businesses and the local workforce. Our website, www.LiveUpTehachapi.com, has a COVID-19 resource page that displays everything from school information to which local restaurants are open with takeout. There are also resources for local business owners, links to Small Business Administration Loan paperwork and helpful tips on filling it out in hopes of keeping local businesses open and healthy.

This pandemic does not have a playbook, but I’m encouraged by the leadership shown by our City Council, our department heads, members of the city staff and the citizens for their cooperation and adaptability during these unique times. While dealing with emergencies is something myself and staff are prepared for, this was a wrinkle that nobody saw coming.

I’m also in regular contact with our neighbors, fellow city managers and Kern County Department of Emergency Services personnel. It is a testament as well to our focus on building relationships with our neighbors as we’ve received unsolicited phone calls from two large cities on either side of us, Bakersfield and Lancaster, checking in on our community and offering any assistance should we need it. Although now we are encouraging people to stay home, that’s why we made it a point to get off this mountain and be involved with the cities around us.

This situation will change, maybe even before you read this, so I encourage you to keep up with our social media, and regularly check our website for updates as we continue to operate our city.

Thank you as well for your cooperation. I hear stories from other communities and I am so proud of our residents for cooperating with orders, practicing social distancing and helping out their fellow man during this emergency. This too, Tehachapi, will pass. Thank you and keep up the great work.

Greg Garrett is Tehachapi's city manager. He can be reached at ggarrett@tehachapicityhall.com.