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City's biggest issue: Quality of life

Posted: March 16, 2008 1:56 a.m.
Updated: May 17, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Quality of life is the key issue in this election for city council. My campaign is about not only maintaining but continually improving our quality of life here in Santa Clarita which is why I have earned the endorsements of Congressman Buck McKeon, Council member Marsha McLean and Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Ferry.

Making a difference in the community is my passion. I have been active throughout the SCV with my involvement in many organizations including the Parks & Recreation Commission and as President of the SCV Council PTA. I also co-chaired, along with former Mayor Clyde Smyth, the Measure V Bond effort which provided $152 million for the construction of Golden Valley and West Ranch High Schools and the modernization and renovation of other campuses including Canyon and Saugus High Schools and Arroyo Seco Junior High. Additionally, I served as chair of the Measure E Bond campaign which raised $48 million for the Saugus Union School District, allowing construction of new schools and the much-needed upgrading of school facilities.

Improving our quality of life requires that we focus on many different areas of concern. From healthcare to traffic to education, we need to ensure that Santa Clarita continues to be the best city to live and work in. The expansion of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, and the effort to stop the CEMEX mega mine are two important issues in this race and I have taken a strong stand on both fronts.

Expanding hospital
While other candidates have played politics with the question of expanding the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, I have made it clear that I am in favor of expanding this facility and improving our local healthcare. Rather than accepting that it's fine to drive through our already congested freeways to the San Fernando Valley to seek medical treatment, we need to do a better job providing healthcare options within our city limits. It's a simple fact that the Santa Clarita Valley's population has outgrown Henry Mayo. We need members on the council who have the political courage to push for the effective expansion of our hospital.

We must keep the fight to stop the CEMEX mega mine on the front burner. The mine would congest our roadways and pollute our air throughout the entire Santa Clarita Valley. This battle has been going on for many years and it's time to step it up and work together to put an end to the mega mine once and for all. As our community grows, we must grow responsibly in order to preserve our quality of life, and we need determined leaders on our city council to get this done.

The concerns surrounding the Materials Recycling Facility are similar to those surrounding CEMEX -- primarily air pollution and traffic.

State law dictates that we build a MRF in our community or face enormous fines. However, we must look at other possible locations for the site and ensure that it not be placed in an area where it will have a negative impact on our quality of life. I've joined with Councilman Frank Ferry to oppose the current proposal to place the MRF in the Newhall /Canyon Country area.

Public safety plays a big role in ensuring our quality of life.

Sheriff's Capt. Anthony La Berge and the officers in his department deserve credit for the FBI recently rating Santa Clarita the eighth safest city of its size in America.

I serve on the city's Parks, Recreation and Community Services commission which oversees both the Anti-Gang Task Force and the Graffiti Task Force. I want to make clear that we will not give up one inch of our neighborhoods to the criminal element that grips the San Fernando Valley.

Specifically, we need to put more cops on the street and give Capt. La Berge more help to fight the problem. Additionally, we need to add a Sheriff's Substation in Canyon Country, expand Neighborhood Watch programs and training and fully implement the recommendations of the Anti-Gang Task force, including opening a community center in Canyon County.

We need more parks, more playgrounds and more open space. Our current lack of field space is unacceptable and I will be relentless in my efforts to provide more healthy recreational opportunities for residents of all ages.

And while our neighbors in the city of Los Angeles have to send their children to poorly performing and unsafe schools, we have the good fortune of sending our children to some of the best schools in the nation. I am proud of the work I have done with both school bonds and my many years of volunteer service with our schools which has helped ensure that our facilities are top-notch and are doing a great job educating our children and preparing them for the world that awaits them.

I look forward to working with Congressman Buck McKeon, and Council members Marsha McLean and Frank Ferry in not just maintaining but improving your quality of life. I pledge to continue to make a difference in this city we love, the city of Santa Clarita.

For more information about me or my positions on issues, or to volunteer, please visit my Web site at www.ElectEnder.com or e-mail me at ElectEnder@aol.com.

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