Many people on the Wasco City Council are natives of the town and have interesting stories to share on why they joined. Some members run local business, while others work in social institutions such as the schools. For Carl Joe Hively, a Physical Education teacher at Wasco High School, he had a passion to serve the people in his little town. As a former student of his, it was a pleasure listening about his journey.
Hively was born in Wasco in 1953 and raised as well. He attended all public schools in Wasco, excluding John L. Pruitt and Teresa Burke Elementary. He knew by the time he was in his junior year in high school that he wanted to become a physical education teacher. So, by 1971, Hively graduated from Wasco High School and went on to pursue his education by starting at Bakersfield College. After two years, he transferred over to Fresno State and graduated with his Bachelor’s in Physical Education and a minor in history within three and a half years. Along with the diploma, he received his teaching credentials.
However, Hively couldn’t obtain a teaching position back in Wasco due to the lack of jobs at the high school. For about ten years, he worked for a local winery until 1986. At that time, a teaching position was open, but it was for history. Hively took the position and after a few years, he was transferred to teach physical education.
Fast forward to current times, Hively has been always involved with the community, as well as serving with the recreation board of Wasco and the Festival of Roses committee. He said he felt the need to “step up” to the city council and applied to replace a former councilmember in 2006. Since then, he has been running for council and two out of the three times he has ran, he’s been part of the council.
Upon starting his position in the city council, Hively said that there was some controversy among other members and felt the he needed to be a “cohesive unit.” By cohesive unit, he meant that he would bring the members close so they can work together. Along with making the members get acquainted with each other, Hively strived for bringing more business to the little town in order to give the residents more employment opportunities, such as the Wal-Mart being built at the moment and other major business up and down Highway 46 – the hub of Wasco’s top businesses.
“There’s always challenges,” said Hively as he explained how it can always be difficult maintaining the community, “because you cannot make everybody happy. You’re gonna have certain people that are not happy with the rising prices on their water rates or garbage and sewer. But, you have to maintain cost, you have to create a balance, and make sure we’re not going broke as a city…”
Hively prioritizes his family first, but when it comes to his passion, teaching comes next then the city. He feels that helping the students will make them grow and be able to take on the future. The city is another priority because he wants to see his city grow and prosper that is safe and secure. He wishes to maintain the current social state of the city, but believes that the city will grow and might have to hurdle through some more challenging obstacles.