Serving the community since 1922

Council welcomes new economic development director

The Shafter City Council welcomed a new economic development director Tuesday night.

Fernando Guerra comes to Shafter after more than two decades working in the economic development field in some of the largest markets in the world. Guerra has worked for the Los Angeles Economic Development Agency, as well as a city agency in New York City and a stint in Chicago. Guerra is a graduate of USC and received his masters in economics and international business from John Hopkins University. He is originally from Italy and will be marrying his fiancé in April in his homeland.

"I am experienced in projections of economic growth and potential, and I can tell you that the city of Shafter's economic future is very bright," Guerra said. "I am so excited to be working for this city and help them fulfill this potential."

On the agenda, the council approved a resolution to address Shafter's unmet transit needs. These include a discussion with the Wonderful Industrial Park and finding out what their needs are and the people that work out there. "We will be finding out what we can do to help with any transit needs for the employees out there, including providing transportation to and from the park," said Administrative Director Roger Sanchez, who gave the presentation. "We will be looking into the unmet needs of this city and address them to help our city keep moving."

In the presentation portion of the meeting, Mayor Chad Givens read a proclamation declaring February as Safely Surrender Month in the city. Safely Surrender is a program that saves infants every year that might otherwise be harmed or abandoned when not wanted by the birth mother. The program gives any mother an opportunity to surrender their newborn infant to any fire station, hospital or clinic without repercussions. Since its implementation over 10 years ago, the program has served over 20 babies just in Kern County.

The council also approved an agreement with the County of Kern to secure a block grant to use for a project that includes a new chess garden project at the Shafter Library and Learning Center.


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