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Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett

While COVID-19 has taken up plenty of time and resources from the city of Tehachapi, our team still has other goals and objectives that must be completed as is our duty to the taxpayers. There is still a community to help build, maintain and operate. Those tasks do not fall by the wayside due to the fallout from a virus.

Where do we go from here? Well, that’s a question that was answered almost immediately in March when the first set of COVID-19 restrictions were placed on our community. The answer: The same place we were going back in January/February before our world was interrupted. There are still projects to take care of, private and public investments to turn into tangible results and a desire to continue our efforts that enhance community pride.

We’ve had some time to process the reality of the last several months while in the meantime continuing to move forward. If you drive around the city, you see a variety of new projects that are coming to fruition. These are the results of private business owners trusting and investing substantially in our community. These come in the form of new restaurants like Panda Express, Tacos El Superior, and Prime Bar & Grill along with the Towneplace Suites by Marriott and others that are either set to break ground shortly or buying into an existing business interest. The railroad safety corridor project also continues, which has already led to improvements along H Street and will ultimately address each railroad crossing, making them smoother for vehicles and safer for pedestrians.

These, along with proposed housing developments and capital infrastructure projects, have an eye on the future and in turn need our attention as well. The reality of the situation is that we continue to move toward those goals and evolve into something better each day. That doesn’t come without its challenges and uncertainty during COVID, but our world must continue, our city and community must continue to move forward for the long-term health of us all. Tehachapi will be standing as tall as ever once the dust settles.

If you look around I’d say we’re in pretty good shape; we have been blessed with a desirable situation for residents, potential investors and others who want to be part of Tehachapi. I would challenge every one of you to take your eyes off social media and the nightly news and look around. You will see the real world and realize the blessings of our situation considering the chaos that is being fed to us by the various forms of media we consume.

That has been the mindset of your city team during the last several months. We can’t allow the noise, the distractions, the uncertainty or the narrative of a national press to distract us from the reality that is Tehachapi. Our community’s ability to overcome this, just like we have other emergencies in the past, is an ongoing effort. It is seen in the resiliency of our small business owners who adapt daily to new restrictions and guidelines from the state, while keeping our friends and family employed. It is seen in your police department, which continues to protect and serve this community with plenty of support from the City Council and you the citizens; quite the contrary to the national dialogue. It is seen in the work being accomplished around us all in our real world that is Tehachapi.

There’s more to be done as we continue to move forward, but we continue on our way to a successful future. As always if you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 822-2200 or email ggarrett@tehachapicityhall.com.

Greg Garrett is Tehachapi's city manager.

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