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Frank Ferry: I would be honored to have your vote

Posted: February 19, 2010 10:44 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 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.

When I made the decision to run for City Council, it was because I wanted to make a difference in the community I call home. I wanted to make sure that our city residents received the highest level of police services; that graffiti was cleaned up quickly; that new roads and state-of-the-art traffic systems were being added; and that our community's youth and seniors received the services and facilities they needed.

Over the last four years, we've seen a continued decline in our crime rates because our city continues to fund the necessary staffing and programs that contribute to these declines - both on the front end with sheriff's deputies on the streets and on the back end with proactive education and prevention programs in our parks and schools.

Last year we saw large reductions in both gang and juvenile crimes. Crime prevention has always been a very high priority for me, and I will continue to make sure the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station receives adequate funding and support to keep our community safe.

Traffic has improved on our local roadways, with new roads built by the city and expenditures for programs like our Intelligent Transportation System and traffic signal synchronization.

This spring, the cross-valley connector will fully open to the public. (The grand opening is March 27 at 11 a.m.) The construction of this roadway has been one of my top priorities and will dramatically reduce cross-town commutes.

Last year, the city opened the expanded Magic Mountain Parkway/Interstate 5 project that widened that intersection, including the freeway onramps and offramps.

Graffiti prevention and eradication is effective in the city of Santa Clarita because the city spends the time and money to clean it up fast.

The city spends about $500,000 every year to clean up, track and prevent graffiti in our community. (You can report graffiti anytime by calling 661-25-CLEAN.)

Old Town Newhall continues to be an important work effort for our city as we break ground in March for a new, two-story, 26,000-square-foot library.

The new library, combined with the second phase of the streetscape project, will help revitalize this area of our city. Over the past several years, the city has built the Veterans Historical Plaza, the Newhall Community Center, the Jan Heidt Metrolink train station and completed the first phase of the streetscape on Main Street.

As the economy turns the corner, we expect to bring new businesses to this area, including new restaurants and a movie theater, helping to make it a true arts and entertainment destination.

Unlike many other municipalities, the city of Santa Clarita has a 100 percent track record for producing a balanced and on-time budget with a 15 percent reserve. We do this by always spending within our means, cutting spending to make sure our budget is balanced when necessary, and always planning for a rainy day with our reserves.

Last spring, the city opened a 40,000-square-foot skate park that continues to be a big draw for local teens, helping to provide them with a great physical outlet that is also local. The Sports Complex also includes a recently added sand volleyball court and doggie park, as well as three beautifully maintained swimming pools, including an Olympic-sized pool that is well-used by our local swim teams.

Over the past several years, the city has been successful in bringing nearly 4,000 acres of land into public ownership, forever preserving this land and protecting it from development. Through the city's Open Space Preservation District, this effort will continue, resulting in a beautiful green belt surrounding our city. This is truly a legacy for future generations.

New roads, state-of-the-art traffic solutions; beautiful parks and facilities like our Sports Complex, Aquatics Center, skate park and Transit Maintenance Facility; a balanced and on-time budget; ample funding for sheriff's services; a responsive local government; and a top-notch city staff are what I will continue to do as your City Council member. I'd be honored to have your vote.

Frank Ferry is a Valencia resident, a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and candidate in the 2010 council election. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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