Bakersfield City Council homeless meeting

The Bakersfield City Council bow their heads in prayer before a meeting in which they debated adding a new homeless shelter to the city on Wednesday.

The Bakersfield City Council narrowly voted to purchase the headquarters of Calcot Limited for a new homeless shelter site at a meeting on Wednesday.

In a 4-3 vote, with Councilmembers Chris Parlier, Willie Rivera and Jacquie Sullivan dissenting, the council voted to move forward purchasing the multimillion dollar corporate office on East Brundage Lane.

The city said 17.24 acres at Calcot would cost $4.9 million to purchase, with $2 million to construct homeless facilities on the site and $315,000 in infrastructure improvements.

In separate votes, the council also voted to develop an agreement to help Kern County pay for its own new shelter on Golden State Avenue and develop neighborhood improvement plans for the two areas that will be impacted by the shelters.

As has occurred at previous meetings, a relatively large outpouring of the public attended, hoping to either advocate or object to various options set before councilmembers.

The issue of where the city should place a homeless shelter has been the subject of intense debate for months. The council pushed back a decision in November after fierce disagreement developed within the council over the viability of the city’s top choice at the time, Calcot.

The council had the ability to select from four options presented by city staff on Wednesday. Either the council could have chosen one of three potential sites for the shelter, or councilmembers could have decided to pay the county to run its shelter site near the intersection of O Street and Golden State Avenue.

The city brought back Weill Park, which is close to the county’s shelter and was previously the frontrunner before the city backed away from the option, as a choice. The city also presented an industrial property at 601 Brown St. and the corporate office of Calcot Limited at 1900 East Brundage Ln. as places where the shelter could go.

Councilman Andrae Gonzales strongly pushed for Calcot, saying it was the only choice that prevented the city from potentially searching for a new site in the future if the shelter becomes full.

"We have a homeless crisis that will continue to grow," he said.

He added that Calcot's shelter plan was modeled after successful shelters in other counties.

"How do we know it will work," he said of the new shelter. "Because it has worked in so many other communities throughout the state."

Community opinion has been divided since spring of 2019, when the city first began searching for a homeless shelter site. Residents near the Brundage Lane site have been especially vocal about their objections to the location. The residents say the neighborhood has been ignored by the city for too long, and is in bad need of municipal improvements like improved roads and sidewalks before a shelter should be placed in the area.

Community advocate Arleana Waller submitted a petition with over 1,000 signatures to the city in opposition to the Calcot site.

“For the first time in decades, this community feels like it has hope,” Waller said. “And then we talk about adding a low-barrier shelter in a double-digit unemployment area, that’s inhumane.”

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

(21) comments

Desperado

How nice. East Brundage will soon look like a scene out of the Walking Dead.

Mrknowitall

Open yer eyes. E. Brundage ALREADY looks like WD scene. Sheeeezz!

So what? Ya wanna infect an entire new area? You seen the show: CONTAIN the savages. Otherwise it’s spreads and all is lost.

Besides—Valley Binle claims your be that site’s neighbor—-so I’m certain the leaders and that congregation will step to the plate and patrol and engage the area. That’s what good neighbors do, right? They rallied in droves to protest the Center so we know they can quickly muster the troops and set out the welcome wagon for the newest members of their congregation. I’ve heard the newbies will descend in great numbers on Sundays—and other days—to enter The Great Hall and partake of the brotherly bounty certain to be eagerly shared. Ain’t life grand?

rtguy53

As a Bakersfield native - now living elsewhere-I’m not disappointed by several of the previous comments. The “good ol’ boys” are alive and well.

All Star

#WhyNotJR

clsoca

My thoughts exactly!!!!!!!!

Inconvenient Truth

#WhyNotJR

yorkies2014

Calcot probably should of just donated the land....some of these homeless are probably descendants of the cotton pickers that made them rich......

REMUDA

5 of 7 is required for a supermajority 2/3 vote. This may fall under that California general law city requirement:

Section 36937(b) provides the City Council with the general authority to adopt ordinances "[f]or the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, containing a declaration of the facts constituting the urgency...." These ordinances must be adopted by a four-fifths vote of the Council.

"General law cities are governed by voting requirements in State statutes. To have a quorum to transact business is the first place, requires a majority to conduct business. (Government Code Section 36810.) When it comes to most matters, a majority of the total membership of the legislative body is required. For example, matters such as resolutions, orders to pay money, and all ordinances require a majority vote of the total membership. (Government Code Section 36936.) There are some situations that require a super-majority vote, e.g. urgency ordinances and resolutions of necessity (See Government Code Section 36937(b) ("[f] or the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, containing a declaration of the facts constituting the urgency, and is passed by a four-fifth vote of the city counsel"), and Government Code section 65959 (interim ordinances), and Code of Civil Procedure Section 1245.240 (recognizes that different vote requirements may be imposed by special statutes). "

REMUDA

Perhaps this is also a limiting factor to pass such a resolution:

"2009 California Government Code - Section 25120-25132 :: Article 7. Ordinances

California 2009 Code

GOVERNMENT CODE

SECTION 25123

(d) Those for the immediate preservation of the public peace,

health, or safety, which shall contain a declaration of the facts

constituting the urgency, and shall be passed by a four-fifths vote

of the board of supervisors."

Tree Dweller

Bakersfield is a "Charter City" not a "General Law City" so, for this type of thing, the rules of the Charter would apply, not the Government Code.

dlc

The Good Old Boy network in action. The city's $50mm tax increase is burning a hole in their pocket. Sad....very poor excuse for local government.

Stephen

The CalCot headquarters building on E Brundage Ln. is a local design midcentury modern masterpiece by, I believe Clifford Harding, AIA. It's eligible for local historic recognition for its distinctive period style type and execution.

Note, in particular, the book matched birch veneer paneling in the boardroom among other features including the front floor to ceiling plate glass that views a private screened landscape garden. (this may not have been maintained)

dlc

I'm sure the city will just rip all that out and replace it with cubicles and cots.....

Miss Milis

The boardroom is paneled with California redwood, not birch. The front floor to ceiling plate glass was eliminated in a remodel in the 60s-70s.

yorkies2014

its a fitting site............Library of Congress...... .https://www.loc.gov/item/2017771219/ ...Buttonwillow, California. "Company" cotton pickers camp, after picking season. Some families remain for tag ends of picking and for pulling bolls, or for lack of other winter quarters

yorkies2014

oh the good old days ....when cotton was king and all those bales stacked high.....and back then that drive across town had a overwhelming smell at times.... maybe it was the sewage plant...

Mrknowitall

So glad that Valley Bible will have a brand new neighbor! Howdy Neighbor... the savages will be strolling over to your neck if the woods for a neighborly cup of coffee and any change your congregation can spare. Don’t bother passing the basket at services—your new friends prefer to panhandle free-style in yer parking lot. Should score some nice change there.

So Valley has a magnificent opportunity to recruit new sheep to The Flock. That should do their hearts good. See: it all worked out in the end.

R1313

WWJD?

dlc

Mrknowitall appears to hate Christians...and everything else....what a way to go thru life....wow!

Mrknowitall

Thank you for the kind words. However:

MrKnowitall is a devout Christian with a parochial school background and a legacy of charitable contributions and participated in many community endeavors. Mr Knowitall absolutely adores the youth of America and consistently wishes them well. Family is a hallmark and calling card for Mr. Knowitall. The poor, underprivileged, underserved,, the elderly and the handicapped have a welcome place in his over-sized heart. Mr. Knowitall neither tolerates nor brooks much tomfoolery or nonsense of the privileged. Mr Knowitall carries a torch for justice, societal safety n norms and love YOU.

All Star

Good. According to Google maps the East Brundage facility is 12 miles from my neighborhood.

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