Kern Co. officials hone in on pitch for sales tax: overloaded, understaffed

Ryan Alsop, Chief Administrative Officer for Kern County wanted to make it clear to residents that the county is not trying to get residents in an unincorporated areas to vote for Measure K on the November ballot.

They’re holding workshops to let residents know the serious financial challenges the county is under and how Measure K would help quote “Stop some of the bleeding”.

Tuesday night at the Stockdale Country club, Kern County administrators, Ryan Alsop and James Zervis talked about how Sacramento regulations against oil have cost Kern County millions.

County agency heads like Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood says they are very understaffed right now.

“In July of 2021 we had 303 vacancies in the Sheriff’s Office, today we have 413,” Donny Youngblood, Sheriff for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, said. “In 14 months we’ve lost 100-people that don’t fill positions anymore that are vacant.”

He says this past weekend something happened that is not sustainable.

“Over the weekend, for the first time in my history as being the Sheriff, we had to call the state of California and ask for mutual aid for coroner’s investigators to respond to dead bodies,” Sheriff Youngblood, said. “We did not have enough staff to handle over the weekend.”

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.