Elections, whether they involve candidates running for student body office or president of the United States, should be based on three things - competence, social skills and an impressive track record. A candidate should possess the ability to intelligently make decisions, as well as measure conflicting demands of the constituents in a respectful, ethical and socially acceptable manner. This takes finesse, perseverance, fine-tuned listening skills and a deep regard for others.
I encourage everyone to vote in our City Council election on April 8. This election is a critical one because two of the five City Council seats are in contention and the challenges of the past will appear relatively easy compared to the difficulty and seriousness of the issues ahead of us.
While looking through an old copy of "Look" magazine circa 1958, I couldn't help but notice the number of cigarette advertisements so boldly touted in its pages. It was a different time and a different way of life 50 years ago.
It's a right, it's a hard-won privilege, and yet it's often taken for granted. Did you know that the government that actually impacts your life on a day-to-day basis more than any other is your local government? It's true!
Did you see the massive coverage of the five Santa Clarita City Council candidates splashed across The Signal's Sunday Opinion page last weekend? How could you miss it?
Yes, spring HAS sprung in the Santa Clarita Valley. The hills are a beautiful, beckoning green, wildflowers adorn the hillsides with a blaze of color. It is the most wonderful time of the year! Thursday marked the official start of spring, but we've been celebrating spring in the SCV now for a few lovely weeks.
Symphony's Family Concert
Because of the wide variety of friends that I have made over the years, I often find myself in the company of people who do not necessarily agree with my politics. Whether it is hanging out at a Super Bowl party or at fundraising events for elected officials, I always seem to attract people to conversation about politics. And many times these people are my political opposites.
During a recent trip to San Francisco, I accidentally discovered that a vast array of eager, pleasure-oriented female (and male) "dates" is easily available through that city's Yellow Pages.
Probably the most eye-opening aspect of the governor's 10 percent across-the-board state budget cuts is the immediate release of 22,000 dangerous felons onto the streets of California. If Gov.Schwarzenegger's intention was to scare our state legislators into action, let's hope the action taken doesn't initiate abject pandemonium.
Santa Clarita has an oak on its city seal and has long been a "Tree City, USA," holding annual arbor day events to promote local tree planting. This year's Arbor Day celebration will be held on April 12, and we hope to see you there again at our Friends of the Santa Clara River booth. It is wonderful that the city promotes this event and acknowledges the importance of urban forests. Now the city needs to be more proactive about protecting our native trees during the land-use process.
This past Friday, Carrie and I made a quick trip to Brooklyn to visit our two sons living in New York. Jon had kindly arranged for us all to see Patrick Stewart playing Macbeth at the incredible Brooklyn Academy of Music. So it was to be a wonderful weekend, full of fun with our boys and with seeing fabulous Stewart in that riveting Shakespeare play.
Another week of governmental inactivity in Washington D.C. has passed. Granted, 2008 is a presidential election year, and substantive legislation traditionally takes a backseat to politics, but the United States House of Representatives has literally fallen asleep at the switch.
As we heard in the debates, there are many "hot button" issues this campaign season. Having been elected twice by the voters to work on tough issues like water supply and the cleanup of the Whittaker-Bermite property, I respectfully offer that public office isn't about one issue, it's about handling everything so residents can enjoy their daily lives.
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.
I had the honor of spending 25 years protecting the public as an LAPD officer. While serving in the San Fernando Valley I witnessed the deterioration of a place that had a strong sense of community to one that is now gang-infested, fear-ridden and in many areas lacking hope.
I remember seeing a poster somewhere proclaiming "Readers are Leaders." Certainly the basic truth here is evident, but I greatly fear there is need for some additional specificity. I'd vote for expanding it to say "Readers who read the right things are leaders."
Congress missed another opportunity to curb the outrageous spending that is taking place in Washington. The tense political climate prevented a prolonged but necessary debate on the debt ceiling.
Years ago, city leaders pushed to pass the open space initiative, buying land around our city to prevent development and maintain scenery.
As a longtime Santa Clarita resident and a real estate professional, I know the importance of community. Santa Clarita is home to several vibrant neighborhoods, each with its own identity.
Black History Month has passed, but I remain inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream that we would not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.
The record dry year we are in has been in the news. Primarily the editorials and citizen feedback have been calls for more conservation.
It is a rare occasion that I write nice things about a Republican politician. Very rare.
I wasn't expecting an ethics lesson when I turned on the Winter Olympics, but one jumped out at me anyway.
Over the past decade, Safe Action For the Environment Inc., the city of Santa Clarita and other community leaders have battled to save Soledad Canyon from the planned Cemex mega-mine, seeking cancellation of two 10-year contracts in which 56 million tons of aggregate would be extracted from the proposed mine site just outside Santa Clarita city limits.
As most readers know by now, I am in the midst of finishing out my last few weeks as a Santa Clarita City Council member.
President Barack Obama is undeniably thin-skinned when it comes to allowing any credence to anyone who disagrees with his policies.
Well, the Health Gestapo are at it again. According to a Feb. 25 Los Angeles Times story, "A Los Angeles City Council panel on Monday endorsed an array of restrictions on e-cigarettes that would prohibit the vapor-emitting devices from being used in most workplaces and a number of public spaces.
Many proposals have been put forward to address California's drought crisis, from more water recycling and groundwater cleanup to desalination plants, better conservation, and the latest state proposal to build $25 billion to $52 billion worth of new canals to transport Bay Area water to Southern California.
We are in the midst of another campaign for election to Santa Clarita City Council, and a number of candidates can be expected to talk about the usual: jobs, good schools, recreation for youth and beautification among them.
They say we're headed for a pretty good rain later this week. The comfortable moisture on our skin and fresh scent in the air might have us feeling "everything's better again," but wishful thinking won't fill half-empty reservoirs.