Among seats coming up for election in November are directors of two special districts.
The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District and Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District are tax-supported special districts, both with five-member boards.
Three four-year seats and one two-year seat are up for election on the healthcare district board. Three four-year seats are up for election on the water district board.
The filing period for these and other local seats up for election this November opens July 18 and ends Aug. 12 — although it may be extended until Aug. 17 for any seat where an incumbent doesn’t file for election by Aug. 12.
Information about how to file for election to these seats is online at kernvote.com.
The Tehachapi Valley Hospital District was formed in 1949, following the passage of the Local Hospital District Law by the state legislature in 1945. It was later renamed the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District. The district collects property tax revenue and also passed bonds to help build the new hospital.
The district is not divided into any divisions. Any registered voter within the district can run for a seat and all can vote for each seat.
Up for election this year are three four-year term seats held by board President Mike Nixon, Treasurer Duane Moats and Secretary Christine Sherrill. The three were the top vote-getters in the 2018 election, which had four additional candidates.
Moats joined the board in July 2012 when he was appointed to fill a seat previously held by Dr. Susan Hall. Nixon was appointed in October 2013 after the resignation of Dr. Gary Olsen. Along with Dr. Kim Horowitz, Nixon and Moats were reappointed after no one ran against them in the November 2014 election. Horowitz then resigned in March 2015 and Sherrill was appointed to fill the vacant seat.
Also up for election to a two-year term seat is Carl Gehricke, who was appointed in October 2021 to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of long-time board member Dr. Sam Conklin, who died last year. Director William Steele is not up for election this year.
For many years the healthcare district operated Tehachapi Valley Hospital. And although it still owns the new hospital that opened in November 2018, the facility is leased to Adventist Health.
After demolishing the old hospital on West E Street, the district’s board has explored options for its future and has plans to build a community resource center on the site.
The district has two paid staff and operates out of a rented office at 116 W. E St., Tehachapi. The board typically meets at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month and also operates committees that meet monthly.
More information about the district is available online at tvhd.org.
Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District was formed by voters in 1965, replacing the Tehachapi Cummings Valley Water Conservation that was formed in 1960. At the time, much of the area was experiencing serious water shortages and formation of the district led to a contract for imported water and a system for delivery.
The district is divided into five divisions with one director from each division. However, voting is at large, meaning that all registered voters within the district can vote for a candidate in each division. Seats up for election this year are Division 1, Division 3 and Division 5. Incumbents are Kathy Cassil, James Pack and Robert Schultz, respectively. Pack has said publicly that he does not intend to run for reelection.
Division 1 is a territory that includes a portion of Golden Hills and the city of Tehachapi as well as rural areas to the north and east. Division 3 includes areas mostly south of Highline Road and Division 5 includes an area roughly described as Brite Valley and the southern portion of Cummings Valley. These descriptions are approximate. Check with the Kern County Elections office to be find out which division you are in if uncertain.
Cassil, Pack and Schultz were incumbents who faced no challengers in the 2018 election and were reappointed. Pack was first elected in 2014. Cassill was appointed in December 2018 to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of David Worden (Division 1). Schultz was appointed at the same time to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Jean Prel (Division 5).
Directors Jonathan Hall (Division 2) and Rick Zanutto (Division 4) were elected in 2020 and have two years remaining on their seats.
The district headquarters is located at 22901 Banducci Road, Tehachapi. The board typically meets at 3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month.
More information about the district is available online at tccwd.com.
A great place to learn about local elections is the county Elections Office website, kernvote.com.
There you can find a candidate guide with information about the nomination process and rules and laws that govern campaigning, raising funds and other things candidates need to know.
The website also offers an archive of county election results back to 2000 so you can see who ran for election and how many votes they received.
Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of the Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.