Healthcare: Council grants $21k deduction to build a new medical office
By Jessica Shillings for Daily Independent
Ridgecrest, Calif. — During a brief meeting, Wednesday, the Ridgecrest City Council unanimously granted a local doctor a $20,000 deduction in development impact fees owed for the construction of a new medical office — in light of other projects he is funding in the Ridgecrest Business Park.
With virtually no discussion, the council approved the in-lieu credit requested by doctor Daniel Taheri of $21,295. This is to be deducted from a total of $49,656 it is estimated he will pay in development impact fees to construct a new medical office in the Ridgecrest Business Park. Taheri requested the deduction because he is engaged in several projects that will benefit the entire business park when they are complete.
The only comment on this item, Wednesday, came from council member Steven Morgan who thanked staff and members of the Planning Commission for their work in determining what he said was a fair settlement.
Also Wednesday the council opted to table the first of two votes required to pass an ordinance, requested by Vice Mayor Jerry Taylor, that would have eliminated the title of vice mayor, a distinction Taylor said he believed was unnecessary given that Ridgecrest already has a mayor pro-tempore that typically fills in when the mayor is absent. While most cities have one or the other, Ridgecrest has both.
The members of the council chose to postpone the vote Wednesday evening, after Mayor Pro-Tempore Chip Holloway suggested that the title of mayor pro-tempore should be eliminated and replaced with vice mayor instead, in the interest of clarity.
Eliminating the title of vice mayor will be easy, commented City Attorney Keith Lemieux, since that office isn’t given many additional duties in the municipal code. To switch the titles however would require at least another look at the city’s laws.
While most members of the council seemed to like the idea, Mayor Ron Carter took a different view.
“I’d like to see all five of us have titles,” Carter said, adding that he believed these titles “open doors at the state level” and acknowledge the active roles the council members play in the community.
Even so, the title of “council member” should be enough to open doors, remarked the council’s newest member, Jason Patin.
The council also presented an award to Police and Community Volunteer Frances Simpson, who has donated over 10,000 volunteer hours to PACT since 1992.
Members of the public had a few questions for the council and members of city staff, Wednesday.
The first resident to comment was former council candidate Christina Witt, who asked that the council take another look at the rate Benz Sanitation is charging customers – specifically the charge associated with the construction of a transfer facility, since the city has expressed its intent not to build this facility after all.
Resident Jim Rachels, one of the council’s most vocal critics, asked why the city’s agenda Wednesday was so short, and did not include any items relating to the debate over trash and recycling service.
Resident Ray Hoffman, part of the local IWV Swim Team, said the council should consider building a new athletics facility that would accommodate many different kinds of sports. In fact Hoffman suggested, as Parks and Recreation Director Jim Ponek did months ago, that to make this a reality voters will have to pass a bond measure.
At the end of the council’s meeting Wednesday evening, the council again headed into the closed session discussions they started at 5:30 p.m.