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‘Extreme Neighborhood Makeover’

Posted: November 6, 2009 9:13 p.m.
Updated: November 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
TV shows are great when you see them on TV. You know that most of the time blood is tomato juice and tears and anger are fake.

This year the residents of the Bonelli tract in Saugus started receiving harsh letters from the city of Santa Clarita, some of them sent without officers’ names and with illegible signatures. Almost every letter cited numerous city code violations like “dead vegetation” and “weeds in plain view.”

A city officer overseeing the implementation of the “Extreme Neighborhood Makeover” program made numerous visits to the neighborhood, threatening people with liens on the house, citations, jail time, calling people’s front yards “crap,” taking pictures without introducing themselves — in short, intimidating people.

“Extreme Neighborhood Makeover” targeted small areas of the city in Newhall and Canyon Country, but with the Bonelli tract in Saugus they hit an outrage from the residents. Residents lost patience. It was time to stop incompetent and lacking professionalism community preservation officers.  

Numerous Saugus residents attended the Oct. 13 City Council meeting and spoke or supported other speakers. Anger and tears were real and they were shown on SCVTV Channel 20. Most of the anger and tears were caused by the city officers lacking professionalism and understanding when dealing with sensitive issues.

As a result, the City Council members apologized to the residents during a public outcry on Oct. 13, but behind the scenes they were continuing to defend their stance on the “Extreme Neighborhood Makeover” and justify their actions, taking selective single interviews from the residents who were not hurt or insulted by the “Extreme Neighborhood Makeover” program.

The city’s argument is that Bonelli tract issue in Saugus is very specific. It has nothing to do with other areas of the city.    

It looks like all Santa Clarita residents are not really welcome at events hosted by their city. Are Canyon Country residents simply considered second-class citizens by the city? Or were there tears and anger in Canyon Country that were not recorded on camera?

I hope the media will be able to clarify that.


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