The late Ed Grimes worked his entire life toward bettering our small town of Tehachapi. Because of his loving efforts, teenagers like myself were fortunate enough to grow up in a community that cared and wanted better for its members.

These were the values I grew up with, until this recent election season. Today, when I go on social media or overhear small talk from community members, I come across people who are vehemently against Measure R, a bond specifically designed to better our community. This bond, if passed, would help Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District build a community center, and in addition, refurbish many parks and facilities in our town.

I was fortunate enough to have my first job at TVRPD when I attended Tehachapi High. Working as a lifeguard in the summers, I became well acquainted with one of the many recovering patients who frequent the pool. She — along with many other community members — used the pool therapeutically after having surgery.

I wish I could say that this story ends with her using our facility to finish her recovery process, but I can not. Because the pool is old, run down, and inadequately prepared for the winter, the facility had to close before she could make a full recovery. Unfortunately, most of Tehachapi's communal facilities are like this; not there for those who need them.

Communal facilities matter, and if we do not work on improving them, then we take away from the lives of those living in the community. Please vote yes on Measure R. Think of yourself; think of your family; think of your community.

Taydin Macon, Tehachapi