The interaction within the city of Tehachapi is as unique as the day is long. Working with and talking with community volunteers, citizens, visitors and residents means interacting with people from all walks of life.
Nothing served as a reminder of this more than an experience a few weeks ago. Myself and a few other members of the city staff were invited as guests to witness President Trump sign new federal guidelines aimed at helping Kern County farmers receive more water from the State Water Project in Bakersfield. Politics aside, because it was not a campaign rally, but an official visit, the experience was memorable, the legislation meaningful and the intent honorable. It was a long day with lots of security lines, standing around and waiting and the like, but important nonetheless.
The next day we had our monthly Coffee with the Mayor and City Manager, which is a marquee event when it comes to interacting with the community. It’s a great opportunity to meet the public in a comfortable space, talk about issues and address concerns over a cup of coffee. That day waiting for us was "The Bee Man," a semi-local gentleman who spends time with the local beekeeping group in Tehachapi. I made the mistake of telling him some months ago that I’d be interested in donning a beekeeper's suit and trying his craft; now he’s ready to make that a reality.
"The Bee Man" is fascinating. He's a Marine Corps veteran, very smart and a champion of his craft. His presence is completed by the custom-made "Bee Man" baseball cap he wears. I’m sure you all will get a chance to meet him at this year’s Main Street Farmer’s Market as he’s a regular vendor of honey and other products.
Our interaction with him was a great reminder of the broad spectrum of individuals we have the pleasure of contacting. One day we’re in the presence of the president of the United States, considered the most powerful man in the free world, the commander-in-chief of our military, and the next day we’re discussing beekeeping and honey varieties with "The Bee Man" — and for the record, both experiences were awesome.
This applies to businesses as well. The 114 new business licenses filed in the city of Tehachapi last year represented new large businesses like Walmart as well as small home-based businesses hoping to grow to that level if all goes well. We deal with each one the same when they walk through the door of City Hall; it’s a livelihood for those involved and therefore their investment, large or small, matters to this community.
Every day is different in a small town, every person is different and it’s the diversity, that variety of people interacting with us and interacting with each other that aids in the success for all. There can be no city of Tehachapi without residents like you, or people like "The Bee Man" who offer unique services, but absolutely necessary for certain aspects of our community.
I’d like to thank the variety of readers who take their time to read these words and as always offer my contact information if you have any questions about what is happening in our city: firstname.lastname@example.org or 661-822-2200.
Greg Garrett is Tehachapi's city manager. He can be reached at email@example.com.