I'm writing about how to address the open Ward 1 Bakersfield City Council seat: whether there should be a special election or if the City Council should appoint someone to fill the vacancy created when the incumbent left office. There was a meeting in the ward on Dec. 10, attended by both the city clerk and the city attorney. They were there to explain the city charter and the pros and cons of having a special election.
One view promoted was that the community should choose another council member via a special election. This would require a petition and a cost to the city of approximately $100,000. I believe taxpayers from throughout the city of Bakersfield should not have to pay for an election in Ward 1, especially when the person's remaining term on the council will be for only two years. That money should be used to partially hire and train another law enforcement officer in the city.
Several years ago, Ward 1 had a problem and the City Council appointed the Rev. Oscar Anthony to the council to complete the term. Anthony did a wonderful job.
People interested in the open seat should forward their resumes to the City Council and let the council make the decision on who would best represent the ward for the next two years.
Vereen has previously indicated that he will run for the Ward 1 seat if there's an election and wants to be considered if there's an appointment. -- Editor