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Ender named city mayor

Kellar passed over for mayor pro tem position

Posted: December 14, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: December 14, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Santa Clarita Mayor Laurie Ender, left, is joined by her husband, Chris Ender, as she accepts the mayor’s gavel after being sworn in in the Santa Clarita City Council Chambers on Tuesday.

 

As expected, Laurie Ender was named Santa Clarita’s mayor for 2012.

Unexpected was Councilman Bob Kellar being passed over for mayor pro tem in favor of 45-year-old fourth-term Councilman Frank Ferry.

At a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall on Tuesday, the mayor’s gavel was passed to Ender, who asked that her family join her at the council bench for her moment in the spotlight.

Then came the issue of mayor pro tem, at which point Ferry nominated himself.

Outgoing Mayor Marsha McLean seconded the motion.

There were no other nominations for the pro tem position.

Kellar was the only “no” vote for the motion to have Ferry sit on the right hand side of the mayor.

“I would prefer to go with the usual progression,” Kellar said publicly when polled for his vote. “I vote no.”

He was referring to the tradition of rotating council members through the pro tem position in consecutive order.
Kellar would have been next in that progression.


Some council members approached after the vote said the tradition of rotating through a set order was rescinded a decade ago. The council member serving in the mayor pro tem position is routinely made mayor the following year.

“There is no rotation. We did away with that tradition about 10 years ago,” Ferry said, after the swearing-in ceremony.
Asked when he decided to nominate himself, he said a health scare last year heightened his appreciation of life.

“It was one of those things that, now, I value every day,” he said.

About a year ago Ferry was hospitalized for more than a month after suffering life-threatening complications after surgery.

When Councilwoman Laurene Weste was asked about the pro tem vote, she noted simply that everyone on the council has now served at least one term as mayor.

McLean said she thought Kellar and Ferry had discussed the issue and settled it between themselves before the meeting.

Kellar, however, was not without his admirers Tuesday.

During the presentation of a special certificate of appreciation to Bill Kennedy, founder of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. and former city Planning Commission member, Kennedy heaped praise on Kellar as the man who set him on the right track.

“We leave here with a deep regret, having to leave so many close friends, and having to leave the magic of Santa Clarita, ” Kennedy said, talking about his pending move to Colorado.

“It’s not easy for us to leave this great town,” he said, speaking for himself and his wife, Cathy.

“I can tell you, too, I owe a very special debt of gratitude to Mr. Bob Kellar,” Kennedy said. “He appointed me to the Planning Commission and I was grateful for that opportunity.”

“Laurene Weste talked about (former California Assemblyman Dr.) Keith Richman earlier, who is the most incredible person Cathy and I have ever known in politics, who would only do what was right for the people wether or not it was to his political gain. Well, Bob Kellar is cut out of that same cloth,” he said.

“He said, "I’m just going to give you one piece of advice.'" Kennedy said of Kellar. "In 10 succinct words he wrapped it up. He said: ‘Just do what’s right for the people of Santa Clarita.’

“In 10 years, I’ve been associated with the man, he has lived up to that every day,” Kennedy said. “I know nobody who is more open with the way he feels about this city, that is more concerned and deeply involved with the people of this city.”

When the presentations were done and the City Council got down to business, Mayor Ender was at the helm.

“I look forward to an exciting and goal-oriented year and a quarter-century of cityhood,” Ender said during the ceremonial passing of the gavel, which preceded Tuesday night's regular City Council meeting.

“This is a very exciting night for me and the start of what I know will be another wonderful year for our city,” Ender said.

“Over the last two dozen years, the City Council, our city staff and our residents have worked together to create a community we can all be proud of,” she said.

“As mayor for 2012, I want to continue this good work and high level of achievement,” she said. “Our city will lead the way to improve our neighborhoods, build our infrastructure and assure that Santa Clarita residents and businesses love to live, work and play in California’s best city.”


One of the issues Ender wants to tackle is heroin.


Citing the city’s partnership with the Sheriff’s Department, school districts and nonprofit agencies, Ender expects results.

“We will go into high gear next year as we tackle teen use of drugs and alcohol with the continuation of our Heroin Kills campaign and a new citywide drug education program,” she said.

Also topping her priority list are: public safety, promoting business, revitalizing Newhall and preserving open space, specifically land in the Newhall Pass.

“One of the new programs for 2012 that I am most excited about is the launch of our new Civic Leadership Program,” Ender said.

“This program will be geared to attract, train and equip emerging community leaders, assuring that local boards, agencies and our city have interested and engaged residents participating and involved in our community’s future.”

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