The special election to decide who will represent people in Bakersfield's Ward 5 is today.
The Ward 5 seat was vacated in January following the death of newly elected councilman Jeff Tkac, leaving an empty seat on Bakersfield's City Council.
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The Council could have just appointed a City council member to replace Tkac.
Instead, it decided on a special election to let Ward 5 residents decide for themselves.
County officials say that special election, set for Tuesday, will end up costing $143,000.
That money comes from the general fund and will be paid by the City of Bakersfield to the Kern County Elections Office.
So who are the candidates up for the job?
First there's Ryan Nance. A local carpenter who says his experience as a builder can help shape the future of Bakersfield.
Next there's Bruce Freeman. A retired real estate developer who says his experience of building some of Bakersfield's best landmarks gives him the knowledge to move the city forward.
Then there's Noel Pineo - former Delano High School science teacher. An educator of more than 15-years he says if elected, one of his first agenda items would be to get BPD officers body cameras and to restore trust between police and the community they serve.
If you live in the southwest Bakersfield Ward 5 area, you should have received a ballot in the mail. Those mailing in their ballots should have sent them off by now.
If you haven’t mailed it by now, you’ll need to stop by a county drop off site or vote in person.
If you're voting in person polling sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you are still unsure of where to cast your vote - you can contact the elections office at 661-868-3590.
23ABC will have continuous coverage of the special election all day online and our 23ABC Facebook Page.
Three measures will be on Tuesday’s ballot for voting.
The first, within the Kern Valley Healthcare District, is parcel tax Measure C. The parcel tax will be $98 per year and will help keep medical equipment up to date, expand the Emergency Room, and help the hospital to become compliant with state law.
The measure needs a 2/3 vote to pass.
The other two measures are within California City:
- Tax Measure A – The city will tax marijuana businesses $7 per square foot for cultivation and not to exceed 6 percent of gross receipts for all other cannabis businesses. The money will go toward general municipal expenses like police and fire. The business is estimated to generate $3.4 million annually. The measure needs a majority vote to pass.
- Tax Measure B – The city will extend the special parcel tax of $150 for another three years. The tax will generate around $7.5 million in annual funding for public safety. The measure needs 66.6% of votes to pass.