People to Watch in 2015: Chris Parlier

Bakersfield City Councilman Chris ParlierThe Bakersfield Californian had a recent article titled “People to Watch in 2015“. It was a nice surprise to see the following excerpt written by Theo Douglas @TBCCitybeat.

Chris Parlier, Ward 7 councilman

Campaigning to represent south Bakersfield taught new Councilman Chris Parlier how much he didn’t know.

“I thought I knew the ward pretty well, but there were some areas I had never been back into,” said Parlier, 52.

Two weeks after being sworn in Dec. 10, he has a strategy.

“I try to get in a different area of the ward every day,” said Parlier, a businessman. “If I consistently do that, I think I’ll have a good pulse on what’s going on and the needs of residents in Ward 7.”

He’s already focusing on public safety, meeting with Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson to suggest reopening a substation in neighboring Ward 1 at 106 E. White Lane that was closed about four years ago.

Parlier also suggests using reserve or non-sworn officers to transport prisoners to jail during peak hours for crime — freeing up sworn officers to stay on patrol.

“If an officer arrests somebody, if the jail gets really busy down there, you can basically be stuck in traffic down there behind other BPD officers, highway patrol, sheriff’s department, probation,” Parlier said.

He’s also talked to city staffers about sprucing up Wible Road between Panama Lane and Pacheco Road — the city’s so-called auto mall corridor. And he’s interested in improving the median on Akers Road near Pacheco Road, and in either replanting or filling in unused sidewalk street tree planters.

“Anything we can do to conserve water I think is a good idea, whether it’s xeriscape or some other low water (plan),” said Parlier, who’s also mentioned leaky sprinkler mains on Akers Road to city staff, “to mitigate not only the water loss but the inconvenience to residents.”