Every week, I’ve been using Couch’s Corner to inform you of things we’ve been trying to do in District 4. I hope you’ve learned a little about how I’ve tried to serve you and improve the quality of life in all the communities of the district: Lamont, Delano, Wasco, Shafter, Arvin, to name a few. This week, I want you to inform me.

You use the county parks. You gather with your families, you participate in activities, you know what park amenities are needed that could make your parks and communities better.

We’re not asking you to do our job. We’ve already made major efforts in improving the county’s parks in District 4. In Lamont, the county has applied for an $8 million state grant to turn Lamont Park into a major jewel of the county park system with improvements that could be truly transformative for that community. In La Colonia, near Shafter, we’ve managed to set aside some funds to site a community center there, something that will allow kids, seniors and everyone in between a place to gather, play a little hoops or soccer, and a place to celebrate their history. In Delano, the major improvements we’ve made to Delano Memorial Park have made the Little League experience dramatically improved.

But it’s time to hear from you on things that might help. We don’t have unlimited funds. Rather, we’re talking about $250,000 that we have set aside in our District 4 budget for an additional round of improvements. To get a sense of value, this amount is enough to build a walking or jogging trail, improve a restroom, get some lights installed or put a canopy over a court or playground so that it can be used year-round. Other improvements to consider might be converting playground surfaces into that soft rubber foam material, improved landscaping and irrigation systems, LED lights, bleachers, baseball field scoreboards, to name just a few.

We make decisions all the time about how to spend your money. This time, we want you to provide greater input. You use the parks, you know what might be needed, you know first-hand what irritates you or what you wish these parks had. Now is a time to tell us.

I believe this is the way government is supposed to work, where you tell government officials what is needed and we listen. Not all do but I’ve made it my life’s work to serve the communities I represent in this way, where your input drives the initiatives. I hope you take me up on my offer to get your input and chime in on what you’d like to see in your parks, or for that matter, any issue where your county government can serve you.

Why don’t you give it a try? Call the District 4 office at 661-868-3680 or email us at district4@kerncounty.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

David Couch represents Kern County’s Fourth District.

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