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Appointments divide at City Council

Politics: Discussion over 27 committees leads to argument over standards

Posted: January 26, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: January 26, 2012 1:30 a.m.
 


A Santa Clarita City Council meeting turned heated this week when council members shuffled membership in committees and subcommittees, leaving nearly every council member with fewer appointments to committees that discuss important local
issues.

With committees as varied as the Public Safety Committee, the Cemex Ad Hoc Committee and the Library Ad Hoc
Committee, Mayor Laurie Ender proposed dissolving some that haven’t held meetings for long periods of time and combining others that are similar in their goals and interests.

A list provided prior to Tuesday’s City Council meeting showed a total of 27 committees — most of which hold meetings that council members are not paid to attend.

However, some council members objected to the plan, arguing the committees are important to city business and should not be combined or eliminated.

One of the more hotly debated topics was the potential elimination of the Newhall Specific Plan Committee, and the forming of a new committee to discuss the future of redevelopment and the Newhall Specific Plan.

Councilwomen Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste both protested the potential elimination of the specific plan committee.

Councilman Bob Kellar argued the city shouldn’t have the right to change an individual property owner’s design, prompting McLean to retort that plans for Newhall had nothing to do with property rights.

“There is no one on this City Council who cares more about property rights than I do,” McLean said. “That’s not what this is about at all. This is about maintaining certain standards in a community.”

Ender intervened, and the City Council unanimously approve all the appointment changes — except a few abstentions for subcommittees that provide stipends.

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