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Henry Schultz: Making Santa Clarita an even better place to live

Posted: February 19, 2010 5:41 p.m.
Updated: February 21, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Editor's note: This is one in a series of columns from candidates in the 2010 Santa Clarita City Council race.

Santa Clarita is a great place to live. It is so good that we retired here. Is it perfect? No.

There are still things we can do to improve the quality of life in the SCV. The main issues revolve around water and development. Regardless of the current spate of wet weather, we are still in a drought with the State Water Project promising only 5 percent of its promised allocation.

What can we do? First, we can practice water conservation by making sure our plumbing is efficient and our gardens use as little water as possible. Furthermore we must be realistic about how much new development we can sustain with the water that we project will be available.

This means rejecting those projects that are unsustainable. To make sure there is sufficient water in our local aquifers we must ensure our rivers and tributaries are not channeled with concrete, so recharge may occur.

The Santa Clara River is almost entirely owned by individuals and companies. To make sure the river is protected, it will be necessary to bring the river and its buffer zones into public ownership. The city and other agencies are already pursuing this goal.

The quality of water is already impacted by past toxic land use. For example, the former Whittaker-Bermite property is contaminated by perchlorate. Every effort must be made to continue the remediation of the site, and there has been good progress.

I recommend that the best use of that property is for an industrial park, preserving the southernmost portion or open space.

One of my major goals is to reduce the density of new development so traffic and air pollution are reined in as much as possible. Part of this plan involves generating as much open space as we can.

The city's open-space policies and the recently approved open space district are big steps in that direction.

My vision has long been a publicly owned green belt around the city, from Placerita Canyon Natural Area to the Santa Clarita Woodlands Park, to the high country of the Newhall Ranch project and Highway 126.

Projects such as the one considered by Casden Properties (at 13th Street and Placerita Canyon Road) are much too dense and incongruous and should not be built.

The argument that this area is served by Metrolink does not make it any better. Remember, no amount of new roads will improve our traffic.

The claim is made that the new cross-valley connector will improve traffic. But a perusal of the River Park project EIR shows that every impacted intersection will be worse off at buildout.

Most new development in the Santa Clarita Valley occurs outside the city limits. County development is not obligated to blend seamlessly with our city.

These county areas use our buses, schools, law enforcement, parks programs and much more. Because of the obvious benefits of annexation, all these areas will eventually annex themselves into the city.

In my view the greatest efficiencies will occur the faster these annexations are completed. The city must aggressively welcome our county neighbors into the fold.

I believe in the concept of One Valley, One Vision. The actual OVOV plan itself needs work. For example, it claims that with its policies, traffic will be reduced. This is just plain silly.

Development that would be good would include amenities for the east side of town including a hospital, senior center and community Center. With the current fiscal situation, this will take extra effort but can be done. I am a fiscal conservative and believe that the city's current fiscal policies are sound. We are in pretty good shape considering where we've been the last year.

A way to help achieve this vision is to vote for me, Henry Schultz, on April 13.

The three incumbents have been in office for 12, 12 and eight years, respectively. That's too long. Vote for change. We can make it better.

Do a Google search for "Youtube Henry Schultz," to see me giving a bio and answering audience questions on three video clips, or contact me at (661) 284-5613 or to talk, put up a sign or help in some other way.

I am not beholden to developers or power brokers - I am taking no money for this campaign. Pass the word. I have served the city as a parks and recreation commissioner, a member of the Transportation Advisory Committee and currently serve on the Open Space Audit Panel.

I am a 30-year resident of the SCV and have run for council twice before.

Henry Schultz is a Saugus resident and candidate for the Santa Clarita City Council. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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