County government reporter
James Burger covers politics and governance at the County of Kern.
Burger joined The Californian in 1998 and covered real estate, banking, and transportation before taking over the city government beat in November 1999.
He got his feet wet with the controversial City Center project and proposed Downtown baseball stadium. Since then he’s covered everything from Wal-Mart Supercenters and collapsing canal crossings to explosive fireworks rules and the plight of abandoned animals in Kern County.
He got some awards for the animal stories.
Since moving over to cover the county of Kern he has followed the legal challenges to Kern County's sludge ban, chronicled the deaths of abused children, and followed the troubled development of Kern County's most recent budgets.
In 2010 he spent a lot of time writing about local politicians who were suspected of, arrested for or admitted to some sort of wrongdoing.
No one has been convicted yet.
Burger graduated from U.C. Santa Cruz with a degree in literature and history and started his journalism career at his hometown newspaper, The Porterville Recorder.
He likes coffee - especially before he settles in for a nine hour public meeting.