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Boydston announces council run

Canyon Theater director served 16 months as council appointee

Posted: September 29, 2009 10:24 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Former City Councilman TimBen Boydston announced this week he is running for a seat on Santa Clarita’s governing body in the April 2010 election.

The Newhall resident faces the challenge of unseating one of three incumbents. Mayor Frank Ferry and council members Laurene Weste and Marsha McLean are seeking re-election.

“It’s a good thing when somebody’s in there asking questions,” Boydston said Tuesday. “I have a lot to give to the people of Santa Clarita.

“I’m excited about the fact that so many people said, ‘please run.’”

Boydston was appointed in late December 2006 to serve the remainder of the term of Cameron Smyth, who’d been elected to the state Assembly. Boydston did not seek election in April 2008 after 16 months on the council.

Boydston, 54, said his chief concerns include traffic and infrastructure.

“Is the traffic better or worse since you moved here?” he asked. “We do not want to become the San Fernando Valley.”

In terms of campaign finance, Boydston said his plan is to cast a broad net and garner small donations from many people, versus a cache of fewer, but larger, donations.

“There’s no way I’m going to be able to buy this election,” he said. “I just need to get my message out to about 7,000 people.”

Santa Clarita historically sees a dismal voter turnout for City Council elections. A record number of about 13,400 ballots were cast in the 2008 election — 16 percent of the registered voters in the city.

“It’s a shame that more people aren’t involved, but I understand,” Boydston said. He described local government as a microcosm of state and federal government and said, “a lot of people feel somewhat disenfranchised.”

Boydston is the executive director of the Canyon Theatre Guild and is involved in the local arts community. He said he has also lent his support to numerous nonprofit efforts.

There are two roads to victory in a council race, said Carl Boyer, one of Santa Clarita’s first council members.

“It takes either money or popular support,” said Boyer, who said he spent $1,100 on his first campaign in 1987.

The longtime valley resident said Boydston has a track record and a chance at winning in April.

Boydston already has the support of Al Ferdman, chair of the Canyon Country Advisory Committee, who said Boydston asked “pointed questions” in his time on the council.

“We need (the council) to be more responsive to citizens,” Ferdman said. “That goes a long way to creating transparency.”

Boydston said he is still organizing a campaign management team, and that he intends to begin stumping for support immediately.

In pursuing a position on the council, he challenges three longtime elected officials. Ferry and Weste have been on the council since 1998, and McLean was elected in 2002. There are no term limits for the City Council.

Boydston and Ferry, particularly, locked horns several times publicly during Boydston’s time on the council.

During an October 2007 council meeting, Boydston questioned the wisdom of spending city money on site selection for a Big League Dreams baseball park before conducting a feasibility study. Ferry responded: “I hate when you say that. It’s crap. I’ve been elected. You’ve never been elected.”

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