The best quotes can surprise, delight, bring tears or convey important information. They may capture the essence of a speaker's thoughts.

We've compiled some of the most compelling quotes found throughout the year in our pages and at TehachapiNews.com.

The dates that follow indicate when the quote appeared in print.

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"I can say with certainty that in Tehachapi in 2018, we're hiring good people to fill important jobs within our community." — Greg Garrett, Tehachapi city manager (Jan. 3)

"It's really unbelievable because everything I do in Tehachapi, for Tehachapi, I just do from my heart, and I don't do it for recognition. I just do it because it is the right thing." — Mary Beth Garrison, on her nomination as Citizen of the Year 2018 (Jan. 17)

"Finally, women can speak up and speak out, and feel safe in doing so." — Susanna Monette, a participant in the Bakersfield Women's March (Jan. 24)

"I tell my clients that anytime they have an 'L' attached at the end of their sentence, you're not getting out of prison." — Sharon Beth Marshall, attorney for Sabrina Limon, convicted of murder along with Jonathan Hearn for her role in husband Robert Limon's death in a Tehachapi railyard (Feb. 21)

"Although we are getting rain, dead trees are still dead trees and they will remain dead trees. We have to get those out before we have a mega-fire." — Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall on the plan to remove thousands of dead wild and pine trees killed by bark beetles and drought, including those in Tehachapi and surrounding areas. (March 21)

"Now it's time that I put my girl on a sailboat, learn of her again. We have been co-workers for over 10 years, and now it's time for new adventures with my bride." — Bob Souza said of his wife, Patty, after the couple sold Souza Family Vineyard, the first wine-producing vineyard in the Tehachapi Valley (April 11)

"If the walls could talk, we would hear how people came together to worship during WWII and how families celebrated the Allies' victory." — Rev. Nancy Bacon said of the Tehachapi Community Church, UCC, celebrating its 90th anniversary. (April 11)

"I've learned that there is so much more than just one problem on social media to be occurring. There is sleep problems, there is nutrition problems...The hard part is to have to overcome that. It can be very consequential to people's lives." — Jacobsen Middle School student Jack Pepaj said of the ways social media impacts the lives of young people (April 11)

"When you are in the city, many times you don't say hello, but when you see somebody on the trail you feel comfortable. It's some spoken understanding." — Deanna Jackson, a Pacific Crest Trail hiker, said of her experience traveling on the more than 2,000 mile trail during a visit to Tehachapi. (May 16)

"He was an outstanding community leader and a beloved friend. He gave his heart, time and resources to our city. He wanted to make every day a better one for our community." — Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh said of Hall Ambulance founder Harvey L. Hall, after his passing. (May 23)

"He cared about the city, he cared about his family, he cared about the church; honestly, I'm not sure there was anything he didn't care about." — Michael Grimes said of his father, Tehachapi Mayor Ed Grimes, during a memorial service held for his dad. (June 6)

"We are taking every lead that we can and the community has rallied around and it's been amazing how many calls we have had to donate trees." — Principal Scott Heitman said after Tehachapi High School was vandalized and more than 25 trees were cut down. (June 6)

"I love working with customers that come in and giving them a solution with something I know how to build." — Alfredo Burgueno, a Home Depot manager who built a walker for Echo, a boxer who suffered from a genetic spinal disease common to the breed known as degenerative myelopthy. (June 13)

"So many people have rough lives, and they kind of let that rule them, and we kind of want to teach them a different way of looking at those situations." — Samantha Johnson after she and her stepsister, Amy Langston, were given a Rising Star of the Year Award as co-owners of Johnny's Take and Bake. The pair purchased the popular eatery in 2017 after losing three family members in a boating accident the year before. (June 20)

"My three children are struggling with tax payments and I don't want them to be burdened." — Beverly Billingsley, a resident of Sand Canyon who opposed Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District bond Measure R, which failed in the Nov. 6 election (June 20)

"They're sitting in these glass towers making up rules, when the real people like you and I have to work best we can with what we have." — City Manager Greg Garrett on Kern Transit's plan to expand the Dial-A-Ride program (July 18)

"We have resources for adult rehabilitation in order to find a job and a place to stay. It's rare that somebody says they need help in the area. If they are ready to say yes, we take them at no cost. If they are committed to it, they will come out changed people." — Salvation Army local coordinator Sandy Chavez, discussing homelessness in Tehachapi (Aug. 22)

"You have to assume someone is watching and looking for an opportunity to steal your car. It's frustrating for us. We are trying to increase our presence at night and in parking lots to deter this crime." — Tehachapi Police Chief Kent Kroeger, on the rise of vehicle thefts reported in Tehachapi for 2018 (Sept. 12)

"It's addictive and so much more than just the competitiveness of it. It's a journey and I enjoy being around those who share my passion." — Cory Lockwood, after remaining undefeated and being crowned "king" in the annual GranFondo bike race (Sept. 19)

"I'm thrilled to have a big hospital and I don't have to go out of town to get medical service." — Longtime Tehachapi resident Jesus Luna, at the new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital tour (Oct. 31)

"We want people in the community to be healthy. If you are healthy, you are going to live a much more whole life. I've been doing this for 35 years and had significant highlights in my career, but I think this was the most proud moment because I know how hard everybody has worked and it's a huge team effort." — AHTV President Jeff Lingerfelt, announcing the hospital would open Nov. 7. (Nov. 7)

"This is my third gig today. I have to say, by far, I'm a little overwhelmed by what you guys have done for our heroes right here in the middle of this gym. This is absolutely amazing. I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit choked up, but a middle-aged Marine does not cry in public." — Jeremy Staat, a third-generation veteran and keynote speaker at Tehachapi High School's annual Veterans' Day Assembly (Nov. 14)

"Our problems aren't going away. We as a community need to choose whether to invest in our parks. I've been working on a backup plan. We can attract new families and if we don't reinvest we die. Our kids matter and we matter." — Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District Manager Michelle Vance, after Measure R failed (Nov. 14)

"The purpose of the board is for us to do the best we can for our students with the resources we have, and today's a great example of that." — Tehachapi Unified School District Board of Trustees Vice President Jeff Kermode, during the groundbreaking ceremony for the sixth-grade building project at Jacobsen Middle School. (Nov. 21)

"Don't let anybody tell you that it wasn't scary, because it was the scariest time of my life. Cambodia was a very intense place. It was very scary, and I learned a lot about how to stay alive." — Jim Rice, Vietnam veteran and guest speaker at the Veterans Day ceremony (Nov. 21)

"The biggest things to attract new residents to our community are the downtown revitalization, Walmart and the new hospital." — Sally Lawrence, Realtor at Advantage Real Estate in Tehachapi, regarding the outcomes of the Downtown Tehachapi Master Plan. (Nov. 28)

"I'm sure Joel (Beckmann) is up there beaming and just thrilled. This was his dream, and he asked me just before he passed to make sure that the STEAM Center gets opened and it gets finished." — Laura Lundberg, chairman of AST, about the near-completion of the STEAM Center, a project of late AST Chairman Joel Beckman, who died before it was completed. (Dec. 12)

"Jim's (Wallace) commitment to Tehachapi area cancer patients is heartfelt and authentic. He has taken a very personal experience and made it into a positive effort to improve the lives of friends and neighbors battling cancer." — Mary Beth Garrison, president of Cheers to Charity, after presenting Jim Wallace, co-founder of the Tehachapi Cancer Foundation, with a check for $7,000. (Dec. 12)