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Santa Clarita's 25th: Councilwoman shares her journey with Santa Clarita

Posted: December 15, 2012 4:00 a.m.
Updated: December 15, 2012 4:00 a.m.
 

In 1972 my family was looking for an affordable home and a school system in which we could have confidence. Our oldest son was just starting school. We drove over the hill from the San Fernando Valley and found this wonderful valley. We bought our first home for $25,000 and didn’t know how we were going to afford the $225 a month rent.

My dream was always to be able to be a stay-at-home mom and to be active in my children’s schools, to volunteer for nonprofits and be active with local civic government. Happily, as co-owner of our small business, I accomplished my dream.

In 1987 when Santa Clarita became a city, I was already involved with many issues; advocating for a strong business and education community, responsible development, new roads, open space, the preservation of Placerita Canyon Nature Center, water issues, protecting and enhancing older, established neighborhoods, law enforcement. I served on committees and task forces that addressed these issues.

We were deemed a rustic, rural community by folks over the hill and we were targeted for many unseemly projects that no one else wanted. But after 25 years, we have built new parks and improved the parks we inherited when we became a city, we have accumulated thousands of acres of open space, we have protected a major portion of the Santa Clara River, we are constantly improving our roads, implementing bicycle and hiking trails, and assuring our fiscal health with a 16 percent budget reserve. These 25 years of accomplishment have made us the third-largest city in LA County and a force to be reckoned with.

I was elected to the City Council in 2002. One of my goals for our city both before I was elected and still today is to make sure our city operates an open and accessible local government. In my opinion this is paramount to the success of our city. I want residents to know that our City Council is a phone call or email away. I personally answer all emails. If there is a problem that needs to be solved, the email is forwarded to our city manager who sends it to the proper department or staff member to resolve the issue. The city’s website is a place for any information desired, upcoming Council and Commission agendas; minutes of past meetings; live streaming of Council meetings; information on events, information and location of parks and programs, hiking and biking trails; information on elections and candidates; streamlining the process for building permits, etc. Just go to www.santa-clarita.com and see for yourself.

During my tenure as councilwoman, I have been active in and taken a leadership role in many regional organizations. I have interacted with councils and mayors of California cities. I can tell you unequivocally that the city of Santa Clarita is one of the most respected cities, with our fiscal responsibility, with our balanced budget and reserves, our capital improvement projects, our law enforcement and safety record, our open space and overall quality of life for our families and businesses. We can all be very proud.

Marsha McLean can be reached at mmclean@santa-clarita.com.

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