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Two more enter Santa Clarita City Council race

Alan Ferdman and Dante Acosta will run for Santa Clarita City Council; both express desire to bring

Posted: March 16, 2013 9:34 p.m.
Updated: March 16, 2013 9:34 p.m.

Longtime Canyon Country Advisory Committee Chair Alan Ferdman announced Saturday his intention to run for Santa Clarita City Council.

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The 2014 Santa Clarita City Council race got even more crowded Saturday when former Congressional candidate Dante Acosta and longtime Canyon Country Advisory Committee Chair Alan Ferdman announced their intentions to run.

And both cited similar reasons for doing so.

“I think it’s time for a change,” Ferdman told The Signal Saturday morning. “I think we need some new ideas and some fresh eyes on things.”

“I think people really want some fresh perspectives,” said Acosta in a separate interview Saturday. “They want someone who will look at things with a fresh and bold approach.”

The desire to bring a new perspective to City Hall has been a common theme in an election that is already heating up more than a year before voters actually head to the polls.

With the announcement from longtime Councilman Frank Ferry that he will not run again in 2014, a seat that has not changed hands in more than a decade has come into play.

But Acosta and Ferdman both said Ferry’s decision did not play any kind of role in them deciding to run.

Ferdman formed an exploratory committee a few weeks ago to see what kind of support there would be for him as a candidate in the April 2014 election. Saturday, he decided he had heard enough and decided to enter the race.

Ferdman said he wants the election to be one based on issues, not on name recognition.

“In no way do I want this to become a campaign of personalities,” Ferdman said.

Acosta said he decided to run because he wants to ensure the continued success of the community.

“I don’t want to look forward another 20 years and say, ‘Where are my kids going to live and work when they graduate from high school and college?’” Acosta said.

Both men named improvements to roads as one of the city’s biggest needs, saying ongoing projects like the Via Princessa extension should be finished as soon as possible.

Both also said economic growth should continue to be a priority.

“The city’s doing well, we have a surplus,” Acosta said. “But we need to make sure as our city matures we continue that.”

Ferdman also said the economy remains a concern, particularly as the state and county examine moving forward with proposals like the California high-speed rail project and the now-tabled “Clean Water, Clean Beaches,” storm water cleanup fee.

“We’re in a time when families are struggling, yet it seems like from everywhere we’re besieged with all these new fees and charges,” Ferdman said.

Acosta and Ferdman both live in Canyon Country and are longtime residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Another Canyon Country resident, Berta Gonzalez-Harper, told The Signal Saturday that, while she has not yet decided for sure, she is leaning toward a run for City Council.

Gonzalez-Harper said she wants to make sure she would stand a serious chance of winning before committing, however.

“It’s a serious commitment,” she said. “Running a campaign means an investment of my efforts and my money.”

Saugus resident Diane Trautman, a member of the Santa Clarita Planning Commission, also said Saturday she is leaning heavily toward seeking a council seat but hopes to make a concrete decision in the next month or so.

Trautman, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for City Council in 2008, said she is still making sure she can deal with the time constraints of running for office and potentially being elected.

“It’s important to me to be able to fully commit, as I think one should, to serve in this capacity,” Trautman said. “So

I have to make sure everything is in order before I can commit to a run.”




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