After stepping down as Bakersfield’s mayor in December, Harvey Hall still gets requests to participate in community events in his former role, and he has to politely remind them that the job now belongs to someone else.
During an appearance on the Feb. 14, 2017 “The Richard Beene Show,” Hall discussed his time as mayor but what he’s now focusing on post-mayoral retirement.
“There’s no way that I can’t miss it because the community still wants to engage me as mayor and I remind them there is a new mayor elect and they want me and I try to accommodate them as much as I can,” said Hall, who served 16 years as the city’s mayor.
One of Hall’s most cherished traditions is when he dresses up as the “Cat In The Hat,” and reads Dr. Seuss books to children all across Bakersfield.
“Last year, I did nine schools in that week wearing my “Cat In The Hat” outfit,” Hall said. “We are into scheduling that. They remember my appearances with the “Cat In The Hat” and I’m happy to go back and do it again.”
Hall said the foundation for his mayorship was based off the community work he did to build his business, Hall Ambulance, and by learning from another former mayor — Don Hart.
“He told me that you’ve got to be a part of people,” Hall said. “You’ve got to reach out enthusiastically, and whenever you can give acknowledgment and recognition of good deeds.”
Throughout his tenure as mayor Hall did just that, passing out more than 12,000 certificates of recognition for good deeds in the community.
Hall said one of his proudest achievements was that he was able to donate the money he earned as mayor to local students in the form of scholarships to attend Cal State Bakersfield or Bakersfield College.
“In the 16-year period we offered $257,000 in scholarships,” Hall said.