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Proposed Santa Clarita budget includes new hiring

Posted: May 8, 2014 6:40 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2014 6:40 p.m.

Art Slam, an event hosted by the city of Santa Clarita as part of its "Thursdays@Newhall" series, featured art of the human figure on May 1. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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In addition to funding for capital improvements and services, the proposed Santa Clarita city budget includes funding for a number of new positions, city officials said this week.

The spending plan for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which was discussed Tuesday during a joint study session between Santa Clarita City Council members and city commissioners, includes funding for some new hires: arts and events coordinator, groundskeeper, street maintenance worker and vehicle maintenance technician, according to city spokeswoman Gail Morgan.

“We are requesting these positions because they are needed,” Morgan wrote in an email.

It’s been several years since the city has seen this level of new hiring activity, according to Morgan.

Ingrid Hardy, Santa Clarita’s community services superintendent, said an additional arts and events coordinator is needed to help out.

“Essentially the motivation is to help manage the existing workload that we have in Arts and Events,” Hardy said Thursday. “The number of events we have has grown significantly.”

Some notable city events throughout the year include the “Thursdays@Newhall” series, the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, the Santa Clarita Marathon and the Concerts in the Park series.

“We have a tremendous amount of arts and events and you desperately need another person there,” Mayor Laurene Weste said Thursday.

The city is also in the process of filling two existing positions: human resources manager and city clerk, according to Morgan.

The city’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, is $191.5 million, according to City Manager Ken Striplin.

Striplin said earlier this week that city general fund revenues are back to pre-recession levels.

“Everybody has worked really hard to make sure that we were not only conservative but ultraconservative, to make sure we did not end up in the situation other places have,” Weste said.

Several California cities declared bankruptcy during the Great Recession.
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