4th district Supervisor David Couch is running for re-election, and tonight he held the first of six planned town hall meetings. About two dozen community members gathered at the town hall held at the David Head center in Lamont. The event touched on many issues, including education and water, and included leaders from various county departments.
“The hope is to touch base with the community and bring out some of the department heads that really are the lifeblood of all the services the county provides,” Couch said.
Couch is in the middle of what was supposed to be a four year term, but last year a judge ordered new lines be drawn for the fourth district after the old district lines were deemed not inclusive enough. The new district includes Delano to the north, Buttonwillow and parts of Bakersfield in the middle, and Arvin to the south.
Couch is challenged by Jose Gonzalez, Lamont Chamber of Commerce president, and Grace Vallejo, mayor of Vallejo.
In an interview with 17 News last week, Gonzalez said he believes it’s time for new leadership.
“These communities have not received the resources they deserve. They make those decisions as supervisors. That’s why I’m running, “Gonzalez said. “We need a new voice and a new choice in the community.”
Couch said he and his team have represented the community, noting Wednesday’s town hall was not about the election.
“I really wasn’t here tonight as a candidate. I was here in my capacity as supervisor,” the supervisor, who currently is in his third term, said. “What I’m learning is the people in Lamont, the people in Arvin, the people in Delano, the people in Buttonwillow, they want exactly what the people in Seven Oaks and Bakersfield want: clean community, clean schools, streets to be safe. No matter where we live, those are the things we’re interested in.”
Couch’s next town hall will take place in Delano on Oct. 18 at the Delano Regional Medical Center in the scarlet room at 6 p.M.
The third town hall is set for Shafter on Nov. 14 at the Shafter Veterans Hall at 6 p.m.
Three more town hall meetings are slated, including one in Arvin on Dec. 13, one in Wasco on Jan. 9, and on in McFarland on Feb. 13. All of those are at 6 p.m., with locations still yet to be announced.
Today marks 41 days until election day.