Dear Kern County Resident,
My name is Brian Smith. I’m a Marine veteran, retired Assistant Chief of the California High Patrol, and the author of Cop Tales, a weekly column in the Bakersfield Californian.
Now, I’m asking for your vote as I campaign to protect taxpayers, defend our local industries, and directly address our crisis of rising crime as the next member of the Kern County Board of Supervisors. I decided to run for this office after becoming a crime victim myself and I'm determined to win this election in order to make the changes necessary to protect law-abiding citizens.
I’m asking for the opportunity to serve because I have the hard-earned leadership skills to make a difference during this crucial time and because I love our Bakersfield community.
Moving to Bakersfield as a young man was the second best move I ever made; second only to marrying my wife, Nancy. Bakersfield is where I raised my family. And, it’s where we prospered together.
After leaving the Marine Corps and joining the California Highway Patrol, I promoted my way up through the ranks. At the conclusion of my service, I oversaw more than 1,500 employees as an Assistant Chief, a multi-multi-million dollar operations budget, and award-winning response times.
Through my experience serving in law enforcement leadership I’ve learned what most elected officials never have a chance to learn – how to make government work for you instead of against you.
I didn't learn how to manage government by cutting ribbons or answering phones for a politician. I had no choice but to learn how to make government work because lives were at stake. So, I know how to straighten out government and protect the liberty that is the catalyst for private sector growth, but I never thought of myself as a “politician” and I still don’t. NHL hockey recruit, maybe. Politician, no.
But, then, someone broke into my truck and I found myself looking for shattered glass every morning for months afterwards as I started my day. And, I saw families who were too afraid to use the parks near where I live. Families shouldn’t be too afraid to go to the parks.
I decided to run for office. Here’s what we’ll achieve working together:
First, our communities will once again be some of the safest in the Central Valley. It's hard to believe, but no current member of the Board of Supervisors has worked in law enforcement or served in the military and, that's a problem during a crisis of rising crime. Our County is losing fine deputy sheriffs and struggling to handle an increase in crime and homelessness. Public places, schools, and parks are overrun in District 3 by homelessness, litter, and needles. But, working together we will set new standards in public safety. I've proposed a plan to use empty beds at our county jail to house homeless people who have committed misdemeanor and felony crimes because countless people have told me that addiction is too often the root cause of the criminal behavior and incarceration at a jail with medical facilities and recovery programs centralized in one location is often the only realistic path to rehabilitation.
Second, we will create an economic environment that grows jobs and opportunities for people who work here. We’ll see out-of-county investment money coming in to support local business, new industries rise, and jobs that people can be proud of. As a former President once said, “A good job is the best social program.” I won’t delegate efforts to pitch our community to businesses around the state. I’m a worker and I’ll put in the work myself. I’ll streamline the path to success for homegrown businesses. Our agricultural and oil businesses are some of the best in the world and are of a vital national interest, too. We should be proud of them, and when I’m elected, I’ll be a fierce advocate for every farmer and every one working in the oil patch. But, I’ll also be a champion for our small businesses, too, and every single taxpayer.
Third, I’ll bring integrity back to politics. I cringe when I hear elected officials tell us that they have to vote on a bill or ordinance before reading it. I won’t do that. And, I’ll challenge my colleagues to also refuse to vote unless they have read and researched first. We might not have a fix immediately, but my office will answer every single telephone call within 48 hours. I’m excited about the changes we can bring in terms of transparency and making government accountable to residents, again.
I’m Brian Smith and I respectfully ask for your vote to serve as your Kern County Supervisor on the June 7th ballot.