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Our View: Boydston must think of his constituents

Posted: June 17, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 17, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

When Santa Clarita Councilman TimBen Boydston appeared in front of The Signal's Editorial Board prior to April's City Council elections, he gave an impressive performance.

He had reasonable responses to hard questions asked of him about his maverick behaviors during his previous stint as an appointed councilperson.

His campaign had its moments but was not overly contentious or polarizing. We thought, here is a candidate who has turned the corner, and we said in our endorsement editorial that we "recall the divisiveness he brought previously to the council. We trust that, should he win, the statesman will be the individual who takes the council seat."

We also told Mr. Boydston that we would hold him to his words to us. Today, we are doing that.

After two short months, Boydston is at the center of controversies of his own making. He told the Editorial Board that he wanted to "represent the people," but now seems focused on representing himself.

Perhaps, we should have seen this coming when Boydston ordered up a special podium so he could speak at his swearing in.

In contrast, Councilman Bob Kellar, who was also sworn in, remained at his council seat for his remarks as is customary.

Good theatrics on Boydston's part, not so good for integrating into the council of five who must make decisions as a group.

Boydston also claims to be a victim of unfair treatment by the city because of a change in the council benefit package enacted prior to his election.

He should have known about this change, enacted in 2010 and effective January 2011, going into the race.

This change applies equally to all new hires and elected officials - not just Boydston.

The council's action on trimming the benefit payout was a good one, designed to contain the spiraling cost of government particularly as it pertains to government employees and retirees.

We ask the councilman, is being on the City Council really about the money and benefits?

Boydston needs to focus his attention on what the people need, not what he wants.

It comes across as arrogant that Boydston feels council members should be treated better than city staff.

Boydston's objections to the political-sign ordinance are off base.

The city's ordinance pertaining to political signs is more than fair. If anything, it is not strong enough. It is the obligation of all candidates to know and comply with the rules.

The Signal also does not believe that the cost burden for noncompliance to the ordinance should in any way be shifted to the taxpayer. These are fair candidate rules with fair candidate consequences.

We support the notion that elected officials should become educated and knowledgeable about their responsibilities.

They should also be aware about whether they are efficiently using taxpayers' money and city staff time efficiently.

We trust that this time upon his election Councilman Boydston got on the committees he wanted.

A lack of committee appointments in his previous term was cited by Boydston as the reason why he was viewed as divisive - he said he could not work effectively behind the scenes and therefore had to bring all his issues before council meetings.

We note that he has been appointed to six of the 20 committees, and also to serve as an alternate to another three.

Some of those appointments address weighty issues that deserve serious deliberation, such as Cemex, economic development and legislative issues. It is issues such as these that the council should be focusing its time on.

Mr. Boydston is a councilman with fresh ideas that are worthy of discussion and consideration. But he was elected by the people, to serve the people, not serve himself.

We hope that he will take these words to heart and his council conduct does not become an impediment to that.

 

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