Summary of Kern LWV Positions on Issues
Support of sound financing of public education; equality of educational opportunity and public understanding of relations between school employers and employees, or specifically:
- Financial and administrative structure of public education in Kern County which economically and efficiently meets educational needs and furthers equalization in the Kern County High School District, Kern Community College District, and Bakersfield City School District.
- Public notice of and information on negotiations between school employers and employees within the limits of the law.
Support the present role of Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield; efficient administration and governance of KMC; the development of outreach programs; and the public management of KMC.
Support of measures which assure quality care of a kind most appropriate to the needs of all mentally disabled persons. Basic principles of the above position include support of:
- the concept of community care insofar as community facilities are available,
- the retention of state hospitals as needed to supplement community care,
- the coordination of mental health services to utilize available public and private resources,
- follow-up programs for discharged patients or for those who have been professionally identified as needing mental health counseling, and
- personnel standards for care providers which would assure the personal qualifications for their responsibilities.
Support of measure that will improve environmental quality in Kern County, including:
- Regional approach to the regulation of air pollution.
- Adequate financing for air pollution controls.
- Land use decisions that are based on the following concepts:
- Property rights, like all other individual rights, should be subject to regulation in the interest of the general welfare.
- Physical development in Kern County should be compatible with the inherent capabilities and limitations of land, air, and water resources.
- Retention of the basic concepts of the California Land Conservation Act, namely:
- to preserve the state's agricultural and open space lands, and
- to permit tax assessments designed to encourage continued availability of these lands, with the recommendation that changes be made in the administration of the Act and in statewide and local zoning laws.
- Effective enforcement of environmental quality rules, regulations, and laws at the local level.
Support of the equitable treatment of juveniles under the law; adequate mental health services for juveniles; and effective programs of delinquency prevention in Kern County, specifically:
- Adequate, efficient, fair and non-discriminatory handling of juveniles by the probation department and the courts, including;
- funding the adequate number of personnel in the department,
- implementation of state standards of personnel qualification and caseloads per probation officer,
- programs for intensive care of cases, and
- volunteer programs throughout the probation department.
- Adequate health services for the predelinquent and delinquent juveniles, including:
- services of a full-time psychiatrist for the Probation Department,
- adequate funds for growth in county-wide programs as need increases,
- a coordinated approach to mental health services, and
- use of professional counseling.
- Adequate and strong juvenile delinquency prevention (JDP) programs which evidence positive results, by means of:
- program standards that meet the goals of JDP,
- public participation in the evaluation of programs and standards,
- cooperation through a coordinating council of the involved agencies, public and private, to establish standards and specifications for JDP programs, and
- both public and/or private funding for JDP programs.
- Civil Service ~ Support of the concept that there should be no change in the civil service status of appointed county department heads except by vote of the electorate. Also support periodic review of the performance of civil servants.
- Library Financing ~ Support for adequate funding of Kern library budget and financial assistance from the City of Bakersfield.
Support of agencies in Kern County to improve the quality of life for the aging, with special emphasis on adequate housing, transportation, health services, and recreational facilities.