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Ask the Expert

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Our View: City Council needs to focus on the future

Posted: April 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

With all the recent drama concerning the ouster of Mayor Laurie Ender and the election of TimBen Boydston to the City Council during recent Santa Clarita balloting, it’s time for the council to turn its attention to moving ahead.

After the election resulted in the unseating of a sitting mayor for the first time in the city’s history, many were left scratching their heads, wondering who would serve for the remainder of Ender’s term. But the solution seems simple.

Though the official decision will be made next week via a vote by the council, Mayor Pro Tem Frank Ferry should be next in line to serve in the ceremonial role of city mayor, given that he nominated himself as mayor pro tem in January, and the resulting council vote sealed his position. That’s essentially what the mayor pro tem role is for — taking over the duties of the mayor if he or she is unable to perform. It has also become the proverbial on-deck circle for the mayor position.

We see no reason why this change wouldn’t take place at the next council meeting. Pro Tem Ferry takes over for departing Mayor Ender, and then the council, including the recently elected Boydston, vote on a new pro tem.

As Ferry himself has said, and we second, the position should go to the recently re-elected Bob Kellar, who led the four-member candidate pack with 27.4 percent of the votes cast.

Many will remember that Kellar was next in line for the pro tem position at the beginning of this year, but Ferry’s seemingly out-of-the-blue self-nomination for the spot resulted in Kellar taking a backseat. It’s time to put Kellar in the role he was due four months ago, meaning he’ll be mayor of Santa Clarita when Ferry’s term is up in January 2013.

Another matter we hope City Council will look into is a review of all committees. Doing further evaluation of any unnecessary or unutilized areas of council business will result in a more streamlined operation and a more efficient city government.

Along with this is the hope that the committees, especially the ones with seats left open with the departure of Ender, will be accessible to Boydston.

As he said on the campaign trail, during his abbreviated tenure on council in 2007-08 to fill in for Cameron Smyth after he won a state Assembly seat, Boydston was forced to use open sessions to get anything accomplished because he wasn’t able to take part in the important and influential behind-the-scenes committees.

This may have caused him to earn a reputation of being a divisive and argumentative force on the council.

But we are hopeful things will be different this time. Boydston ran a modulated, yet vigorous campaign sticking to the issues, and we hope that as a full-term councilman he will do the same.

We hope that all of the council members will work effectively together for the good of the city.

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