The longtime public works director for Kern County has died at the age of 84. Dale Mills presided over a period of unprecedented growth and change in Kern County.
Some say he worked passionately to improve metropolitan Bakersfield's transportation infrastructure. Former supervisor Gene Tackett remembers Mills as an ethical, straight-shooting, no-nonsense public servant.
"He was a wonderful public servant. He was a great engineer. No sense of humor, he just did his job. He was in the Seabees too so he got some construction experience in the military. He was a dear friend and I feel the loss. The community's lost a terrific public servant and someone who helped change the face of Kern County," said Tackett.
In spite of his many accomplishments as public works director, Dale Mills was unsuccessful in overcoming the politics and public pressure that resulted in the demise of plans to finish Highway 58 which, to this day, dead-ends in the middle of Bakersfield.