Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District board members discussed the hiring process for a permanent district manager and unanimously approved the filing of an exemption document for the district regarding a Proposition 68 grant at the Sept. 17 regular board meeting.

The district already submitted an application by Aug. 5 for funds available through Proposition 68.

"For the exemption piece, we have already disturbed land and this is an existing facility. We are not changing existing waterways; we are adding new pieces and it doesn't impact the amount of parking or traffic direction coming in or out of the facility,” said Ian Steel, board chairperson for the district.

The document listed two exemptions — new construction of a small building and minor alternations to land — that are releasing the district from conducting a California Environmental Quality Act study. Such studies look into public significant environmental effects of a proposed project and usually are conducted when there is a new large project.

The document is one of the last needed to finalize all paperwork for the grant, said Corey Torres, interim general manager for the district. It was submitted to the Kern County Clerk/Recorder's Office.

The district is hoping that possible funding through the Proposition 68 grant will help pay for West Park improvements regarding walking paths, reconstruction of parking, artificial grass replacement, completion of a drainage system, a new Ollie Mountain Skate Park, new basketball and pickleball courts, construction of another restroom and a new gymnasium or office building.

Additionally, the board discussed plans to soon hire a permanent district manager.

Torres was appointed by board members in April to fill the district manager interim position, but that agreement is only for one year, said Steel.

Board members discussed advertising for the position, organizing a committee for the hiring process, creating a separate email, renting a post office box, and meeting at a location other than the district office to conduct interviews.

“I think we want to do at least some type of advertising,” said Kaleb Judy, legal counsel for the district.

Steel added that the process could allow “all candidate information be separate and outside of our district office for no bias.”