Serving the community since 1970

City Council appoints Michael Lynch to open seat

The City Council appointed Michael Lynch to replace Council Member Teofilo (Tilo) Cortez for the unfilled term of office through Nov. 8

“I appreciate the chance to fill this spot and will do my very best to make the position honorable as I set out to serve the city,” Lynch said during the meeting Tuesday night.

Lynch, a private investigator, retired police officer and fire chaplain, is a longtime Wasco resident. He fills the position left open with the retirement of Cortez in December.

City Manager Scott Hurlbert celebrated the applicants for the vacant seat in District 4.

“I would first like to thank our candidates for being here tonight, including Eduardo Saldaña and Myron E. Williams,” he said. “I appreciate them for being a part of the process and for their desire to contribute to Wasco.”

Mayor Gilberto Reyna encouraged the candidates that were not selected to get involved in the different areas related to the city. Council Member Vincent Martinez added that all candidates were immensely qualified and was challenging to decide. He invites them to participate in the council’s various boards and commissions to learn more about the city.

Council member Martinez summed up the discussion on Wasco’s Wasco Task Force to eradicate the local homeless problem, “It is not as simple as just going out and arresting people or moving them to another neighborhood because we don’t have a shelter,” he said.

“Right now, I think we have a small enough homeless population in Wasco that it is something we can work to solve before it becomes a big problem as you see in larger cities. Luckily we have some community support working to find a long-term sustainable solution.”

With February as Safety Surrender Babies Month, Joe Appleton of the Kern County Fire Department thanked the council for their proclamation. He shared that there are two places a baby can be safely surrendered, at a local hospital or any fire station. The Wasco Fire Department is one of those fire stations. If someone were looking to surrender their baby, the fire station or the firefighters on duty would handle that.

“Just in the last year between 2020 and 2021, six additional babies were surrendered in Kern County. If there is anything we can do to save even just one baby or to help a family out and give that baby a home, we are happy to do so,” Appleton said.

The council took time to recognize Toni DeRosa, editor of the Wasco Tribune, upon her retirement this week. She was noted for her service to the community and efforts to communicate what was going on to its residents.


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