RIDGECREST CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Rethinks Ridgecrest and Moves to Colorado

May 27, 2022

Ridgecrest, California

The news is out from The Daily Independent and the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce:

Smith resigns from Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce (The Daily Independent, May 26, 2022).

Goodbye Mr. Smith. Sorry to see that you’re leaving town. We recently bookmarked a “letter to the editor” in The Daily Independent by Tim Smith at the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce from just last March. He clearly understands the need to “Rethink Ridgecrest” and he’s leaving for reasons we all understand. The letter is thoughtful and worth revisiting:

Community voices: Rethink Ridgecrest (The Daily Independent, March 8, 2022)

When guidelines and mandates are instituted, whether we agree with the decisions or not,

When we feel frustrated, which we all have at different times throughout this season,

I hope we can slow down, rethink, and remember that Ridgecrest Rocks!

Tim Smith, Executive Director, Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce

We think Mr. Smith, being a rationally thinking individual in a dystopian world, is throwing us a hint and we’ll start by looking back on one of the issues we wrote about while endlessly re-thinking Ridgecrest nearly two years ago.

Which community does he speak of? The small business community, the corporate community, the government employee community or the 30,000+ people that live in the Indian Wells Valley and pay the taxes to support all of it.

We support the business community, but Starbucks and McDonald’s are not the kind of “community” we’re thinking of when we say that. We’ll choose La Fiesta, Pony Espresso and Classic Burgers over Chipotle, Starbucks and McDonalds every day of the week, as well as any locally owned businesses that try to compete with outsiders for customers or the Navy for employees.

Pointing Fingers is Easy

In his letter to the editor, Smith acknowledges the polarization in the community, much of it due to the Covid lockdowns and vax mandates, as well as the casino and the Groundwater Authority:

In this polarizing time, where it is easy to dig our feet in and point fingers, let’s bridge the gap and remember how great our country and community are. Let’s remember how supportive our neighbors have been. Let’s rethink what it means to build community.

Tim Smith

It’s hard not to point fingers, especially when one of the more “seasoned members” of the Chamber of Commerce he writes about hasn’t yet reached the end of her term-limited tenure on the City Council:

More Pointing of Fingers to Come

We also remember the words from the Mayor of Ridgecrest California from back in 2021, justifying vax mandates by government and businesses while providing his wisdom on freedom in America:

“You have the freedom to go someplace else” — Mayor Eric Bruen

Yes, Mr. Smith, you have the freedom to go to another hospital, another credit union or another state. You are “free” to go. That’s what we call freedom in Ridgecrest.

It doesn’t matter whether mandatory vax played into your decision, although it most certainly should if you care about your health and don’t trust the pharmaceutical and medical establishment. We can give you any number of reasons in one sentence: Mindless, unsustainable growth in a remote military town with an unsustainable groundwater basin in a nation-state that’s running out of reliable water and reliable electricity and that has the highest gas prices in the nation.

News Review, Rebecca Neipp

This is why the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce is the best way to promote Ridgecrest and all it has to offer, including local small businesses, in the place we call the Indian Wells Valley, and why “he will be greatly missed”

Best wishes to Tim Smith and his family. He’ll get his snow..

Finally, we’ll insert a clip from our record-setting post from last September combined with Mayor Bruen’s declaration of “Growth!” and plans to “build like hell”:

Here comes Mayor Eric Bruen, via The Daily Independent, and he wants to “build like hell”!

Mayor Bruen to run again: ‘[I plan] to build like hell if everyone is on-board with me’ By Jessica Weston For The Daily Independent May 19, 2022

But wait, there’s more from The Daily Independent’s story above (our emphasis):

“the Ridgecrest Police Department is down to 21 officers from a previous roster of 35 or 36. Bruen attributed the employee decline largely to non-competitive officers’ salaries”

September 15, 2021 from the above post:

  • Second, the City is facing an exodus of sorts, people are selling their homes and taking advantage of record high prices in order to leave the area for greener pastures such as Arizona (in the case of Mick Gleason) or Idaho (in the case of Mike Mower) or Nevada (in the case of high income NAWSCL retirees).

  • Third, because of mask and vaccine mandates, many employees of both the Navy and Ridgecrest Regional Hospital will quit their jobs or be fired due to the vax mandate. This is especially true for employees of the City’s Police Department.

“the Ridgecrest Police Department is down to 21 officers from a previous roster of 35 or 36. Bruen attributed the employee decline largely to non-competitive officers’ salaries”

Non-competitive salaries and mandates perhaps? We wonder whether Mr. Bruen supports vax mandates now that we have a public safety issue.


A Gentle Reminder to the Ridgecrest City Council and the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce: The General Plan for the City of Ridgecrest is due for an update and a little “rethinking”.

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