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Ask the Expert

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Marsha McLean: The City Council is here to serve your needs

Live from City Hall

Posted: May 29, 2010 12:40 a.m.
Updated: May 29, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

When Santa Clarita incorporated 23 years ago, one of the biggest reasons residents gave for forming a city was so they could have their own locally elected officials.

They were tired of traveling to downtown Los Angeles, where one elected person was responsible for nearly 2 million people, and more often than not, their local concerns were lost in the perceived greater needs of other areas in the county.

Santa Clarita residents wanted the ability to meet locally and speak directly with their elected representatives on mutual matters of interest that impact life in Santa Clarita.

In 1987, residents got that and more with the incorporation of the city of Santa Clarita.

Local home rule also means that 100 percent of locally generated tax dollars stay right here in Santa Clarita, allocated for new parks, trails, roads, open space, recreation centers, landscaping/beautification, excellent law enforcement services, 24-hour graffiti removal, a top-notch transit program, a responsive city staff, special events like the free Concerts in the Park series and the Earth Day Festival and so much more.

Like every other city resident, City Council members all live within the city - shopping at the same stores, driving the same roads, visiting the same parks and events as the 180,000 residents of the city of Santa Clarita.

More than just a demographic commonality, this shared lifestyle provides our City Council with important insight and experiences similar to those of the people we serve.

If there is a traffic light out, a pothole on the roadway or graffiti on a bridge, chances are a Santa Clarita City Council member will see it and get it taken care of. If a need arises in the community such as a new program to help special needs children, improving traffic flow at a local intersection, or adding landscaping to center medians, members of the city council who are out in the community each and every day will be aware of these needs.

And when an emergency occurs such as fires, floods and earthquakes, the city of Santa Clarita responds with its Emergency Operations Center, preparedness plans and city staff to help manage the crisis. For residents, a local phone call (259-CITY) to one of five locally elected councilmembers, gets the ball rolling to address these and many other important issues.

Twice a month, televised City Council meetings address an agenda of local issues that improve the quality of life in Santa Clarita.
Within the last several months, the City Council has voted to build a new $26 million library in Old Town Newhall, fund the new Discovery Park, a 25-acre passive recreation area in Canyon Country and add more bike lanes to local streets.

The City Council led the charge to prevent a landfill from being located in Elsmere Canyon and continues to work to prevent a large-scale mining operation from setting up in Soledad Canyon. These decisions and many others have continually improved our quality of life in Santa Clarita. (Check out the Santa Clarita City Council meeting live on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. on Time Warner Channel 20; ATT U-verse 99 or via the web on www.santa-clarita.com or www.scvtv.com.)

City Councilmembers are accessible to residents via e-mail, telephone and one-on-one meetings. All of your City Councilmembers regularly attend local events at schools, parks, churches and nonprofit fundraisers. Most importantly, your City Council truly cares about our quality of life in Santa Clarita and continues to work hard to make Santa Clarita an amazing place to live, work and play.
For a complete list of City Council contact information, log on to: http://www.santa-clarita.com or call the City Council office directly at (661) 255-4395.

Marsha McLean is the Mayor Pro-tem for the city of Santa Clarita and can be reached at: http://mailto:mmclean@santa-clarita.com. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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