While taking part in a candidate forum hosted by the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce, Zack shared his vision for enhancing the business climate in Tehachapi and eastern Kern. During the forum, Zack spoke about several topics including upgrades and changes to Highway 58. From the Tehachapi News:
“What would help us is getting Highway 58 changed to Interstate 40,” said candidate Zack Scrivner, the Vice Mayor of Bakersfield. “It would put our area on the map and lead to upgrading the infrastructure.”
With the increasing load of intermodal transport and distribution centers in the region, he said, “We need to fight for our share of state and federal transport dollars to expand the capacity of existing roadways.”
Scrivner also railed against over-burdensome regulations which stifle job growth in Eastern Kern.
“The biggest issue is jobs in East Kern,” said Scrivner, who is active in Republican politics. “We need to focus on streamlining the permitting process in renewable, wind, solar, geothermal. Our job as a county is to be a customer-oriented entity.”
Scrivner also advocated establishing an Enterprise Zone in East Kern.
Where Scrivner really differentiated himself from the other candidate, however, was over the issue of public pension reform.
The issue of public sector pensions is what sets the candidates apart and is the big elephant in the room.
Scrivner has made it a keystone issue, saying that the “skyrocketing retirement costs in Kern” are what’s driving the $37.5 million county budget shortfall.
“What was 60 percent at 30 (60 percent of the salary at 30 years) is now 100… 105… 110 percent” of when the employee worked.
The fire chief gets 50 percent more in retirement than when he worked, Scrivener said., and employees haven’t paid into their pension and health plans.
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