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The Shafter Press 

Letter to the Editor - Aug. 15, 2019

Former mayor says city ‘deserves better’


August 15, 2019 | View PDF

To the editor:

I considered it an honor and privilege to have served the City of Shafter for 20 years as a member of the City Council, eight of those years serving as mayor. Throughout those 20 years, the council worked together to maintain a financially sound position for the city. The council also set priorities of providing a safe environment to live and raise a family by maintaining and adequately staffing our Police Department. Other major goals were to create a business environment conducive to companies locating here to provide jobs and financial stability to our city.

As a council, we held yearly planning meetings to gather input to be able to set direction with the city staff, to continue to build upon Shafter’s growth and to address community needs. We also invested in team building so we could be a positive team to achieve the goals set for our community.

Today, I see a divided council without a clear set of goals and objectives for the council, the city staff or the community. We have some council members not acquainted with how a city operates or how a council needs to interact to achieve a common good. Some council members have not invested time in learning Shafter’s form of government as a charter city versus a general law city. I don’t believe there is a clear concept of our city’s history or understanding of the reasons behind decisions in the past that were made to enable the city to be in the financial position Shafter currently enjoys.

It appears that some have a pre-set agenda for personal gratification or power rather than the well-being of the city as a whole. The ideal of serving the people of Shafter for the advancement of health, safety, business development and growth has been set aside to quarrel over issues of power and personal agendas.

If our council does not come together with a cohesive plan and put their differences aside to move our city forward, we are destined to regress. Our city deserves better.

Garry Nelson



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