A group of community leaders filed a petition Tuesday morning at the Kern County Clerk’s Office calling to enact term limits on members of the Kern County Board of Supervisors.
Those calling for terms limits say term limits help builds true representation for the diversity of Kern County and fosters imagination and fortitude to lead the county to a brighter future.
“The term limit petition is the first step in holding the Board of Supervisors accountable for their leadership and decisions on the county’s services, programs, and resources available to the residents of Kern County,” said a news release from the Service Employees International Union. “The Board of Supervisors have become entrenched in their positions, and it’s in the best interest of all residents to hold these positions of power accountable, just like any other governing body in California like city councils and state legislators.”
Those proposing the term limits say the Supervisors do not respond to or meet the needs of the majority of county residents and claim there has been no significant investments made for years with increasing rates of crime, homelessness, poverty and neglect of public services, according to the news release.
“Our libraries and public buildings are running on shoestring budgets and roads are crumbling, all the while the BOS is squirrelling away money for a rainy day,” said Sonja Bennett of Bakersfield. “Well, that rainy day has turned into rainy years but the BOS never looked back and ran our county like a for-profit business, and made any decisions necessary to build a strong bottom line. But that’s not the objective for local governments. It’s time for a new election system that produces fresh ideas and bold leadership.”
On Thursday, September 9, proponents of the term limits petition will hold a press conference to discuss the petition further. Speakers will include Maria Teresa Herrera, a parent leader from the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Sonja Bennett a retired Kern County worker and member of Service Employees International Union Local 521, and Sandy Moreno, an IHSS home care provider and member of the United Domestic Workers.