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Live from City Hall

Posted: May 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 4, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

For the past few months, the city of Santa Clarita has hosted a series of local town hall meetings in Saugus, Canyon Country and Newhall to share important community information and hear from community members regarding issues of importance to them.

Santa Clarita prides itself on having an open and inclusive local government. The town hall series is one of the ways we’re encouraging residents to engage with us and play an active role in shaping our city’s quality of life.

If you haven’t had a chance to come out, the City Council and I would like to invite you to attend the final town hall meeting on Wednesday, May 8, in Valencia at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of Valencia Valley Elementary School, located at 23601 Carrizo Drive.

These meetings have been a great way for the city to connect with community members, answer their questions and provide information about projects in their neighborhoods, as well as offer feedback on issues of importance.

For example, did you know that the city has a 100 percent track record for an on-time balanced budget with 16 percent reserve fund totaling $12.2 million, and a Triple A credit rating?

Santa Clarita is one of a handful of cities that can state this, and it’s information that we are proud to share with our residents.

Some other information highlighted at previous town hall meetings include updates on the city’s $65 million capital improvement program budget, which provides for city-wide improvements to roads, traffic, parks, trails, and public safety.

These projects include: park enhancements, expansion efforts for the Safe Routes to School program, slurry seal and annual overlay project updates, the McBean Regional Transit Center Park & Ride project, bridge-widening projects, various beautification projects, open space plans, and traffic improvements such as city-wide traffic signal synchronization.

The content for each town hall meeting is tailored to the specific community in which the meeting is held. Each town hall meeting includes presentations from the mayor, city manager and police chief about various issues the city is addressing throughout the community.

Following the presentations, attendees are encouraged to interact with officials from all city departments in an informal workshop-style setting.

Attendees are provided with several tables set up with information on various topics of interest, including: parks, recreation, the arts, drug education, law enforcement, traffic, roads, street maintenance, transit, code enforcement, graffiti, open space, trails, bike paths, economic development and filming.

In addition to the town hall meetings, the city offers other ways for residents to provide feedback to local leaders. Community members are always welcome to offer suggestions and engage with us at City Council meetings, public hearings, study sessions, special meetings or workshops, as well as connect with us online, by email, or through social media.(visit santa-clarita.com to connect with each of these).

In today’s fast-paced world, it is important that our city provide a variety of avenues for residents to communicate with it. That’s why we’re also asking residents to participate in a communications survey being offered right now.

We want to understand how residents want to be communicated with, when, where and on what types of issues.

Results from the communication survey will be analyzed and used in the creation of a new citizen engagement plan to be prepared later this year in collaboration with the community.

To participate in the quick, 10-question survey, visit: www.santa-clarita.com/survey.

For more information about upcoming town hall meetings or the survey, please contact the city’s Communications Division at 661-255-4939 or online at: Santa-Clarita.com.

Laurene Weste is Santa Clarita’s mayor pro tem and can be reached at lweste@santa-clarita.com

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