Jose Gaspar: Candidate for Mayor Irvine is square | Jose Gaspar – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2020-10-11 18:00:00 –

One of the most interesting local races in Kern County is to see who will be the next mayor of Irvine. It may not be a booming metropolis, but about 21,000 of the cities have caused a great deal of turmoil and are powerful when the city council adopts an ordinance restricting drilling 300 feet from the city’s boundaries. The oil industry paid attention. I’ll explain this in a little more detail.

How incumbent candidate Jose Gurrola and current city council challenger Olivia Trujillo will lead Kern County in a recent debate hosted by KGET-TV17 colleague Perla Shehene. I talked about. The fifth largest city. I also had the opportunity to ask about former police chief Scott Kimble. Remember Kimble, who didn’t object to tampering with documents when he was a McFarland police chief?

The same Kimble who had a checkered past during his tenure in Banning? Yeah, that guy.

I wanted to know how Glora and Trujillo could give their blessings to hire this man.

“We made the decision based on what the background investigators told us that Mr. Kimble was able to serve as police chief,” Gurrola said. “I knew he was respected by his peers.”

What makes me confused about the answer is that, for some reason, those “background investigators” never asked why Kimble quit his job at McFarland. Trujillo said that when Kimble applied for a job at Irvine, she was very impressed with the “thick binder” Kimble presented, including illustrious praise and his many years of service at other police agencies. I did.

“It wasn’t dawn for me to look up something like that,” Trujillo said. “At that time, I was new to the city council and had no clues.”

To be honest, neither candidate had any clues about Kimble and admitted to hearing the words of Mayor Jerry Breckinridge, who recommended Kimble as Topman. Both candidates promised to be more diligent in the future in finding more information about the next person they would hire as their top cop.

Irvine has a large Spanish-speaking population, emphasizing the need for bilingual police officers. Glora’s plan is to have the city train its own police officers through a police explorer program and have candidates attending a police academy pay the city. The idea is to try other cities such as McFarland.

Trujillo agrees that more bilingual officers are needed, but asks where the city will get the money to pay the candidates attending the academy. In addition, she claimed that the Irvine police station was low in morale and advertised that it was she who was assisted by police. She said her answer to getting more bilingual executives was to focus on generating more revenue by attracting more companies to the city.

Another problem the city is facing is how to get residents to stop large social gatherings. A family celebrating anything without wearing a mask. COVID-19 spread recipe. Of course, Irvine is not the only one in this regard. Just visit Heart Park on the weekend and you’ll see what I mean. In May, the city council approved an ordinance requiring all city employees and local business people to wear masks while working. Still, not all are compliant.

“We have to educate the community,” Gurrola said.

But what kind of coercion? “We don’t have the money to enforce this,” Trujillo said, saying the city lacks the money to hire a full-time police officer to enforce the law.

On the topic of whether the city complies with a proposed voter called Major L, which was approved in 2008. A one-cent excise tax hike was promoted because it was needed for street maintenance, park improvement, and public safety. However, some argue that the city is spending money on something else, not what it intended.

“The money wasn’t spent on maintaining the street because it was supposed to be done,” Trujillo said. “The street has been abandoned, it’s a city of potholes.” The Irvine Chamber of Commerce agrees with Trujillo. In a letter to the city, the Chamber of Commerce claims that the minimum amount of money is spent on road repairs. Not true, shot back Gurrola.

“Bill L was a general tax, so it can be used for anything,” he said. In addition, the incumbent mayor said most of the money raised under this measure would be used to pay the city’s contract for fire protection with the Kern County Fire Department. Glora, a member of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, said he was the campaign manager for Trujillo. “Maybe that’s why the Chamber of Commerce says it’s wasting money,” Glora said.

There was an agreement on some issues. Both parties agree that the city needs to continue to support the marijuana and hemp industry as it can generate the long-awaited income. But it’s also personal to Trujillo.

“I’m a cancer survivor. Sometimes I need cannabis because of pain, right?” She said. “You need to go to Bakersfield for a pharmacy (of medical marijuana).”

“People who are talking about getting educational institutions to study cannabis and hemp have already seen it,” Glora added.

Now, about the details of the oil problem. Both candidates agree to separate the county from the use of fossil fuels and uphold the governor’s executive order banning the sale of new gasoline-dependent cars by 2035. Of course, oil is holy in Kern County and the industry is considerable Political influence, which is why the majority of local politicians dare not speak out against it. Except for Jose Gurrola. He did not apologize for it and led an ordinance in 2018 banning new oil and gas wells within 300 feet of residential and commercial areas.

“We need to help create renewable green energy jobs,” Gurrola said.

Both candidates are lifelong Irvine residents who seem to want the best in their city. On November 3rd, voters will choose one.

Contribution columnist Jose Gaspar is a newscaster / reporter for Telemundo Bakersfield and KGET. Email him at The views expressed here are his own.

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