View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

3 arrested so far in ongoing billboard dispute

Posted: April 25, 2014 12:55 p.m.
Updated: April 25, 2014 12:55 p.m.

The ongoing Santa Clarita Valley dispute over electronic billboards between those petitioning against them and the “petition blockers” rallying in their support has netted three arrests and spurred several confrontations at local stores, a sheriff’s official confirmed Friday.

Two men, both from out of town, were put under citizen’s arrest Thursday, each on suspicion of interfering with public transportation.

Joshua J. Morrison, 23, of Anaheim Hills, and Timothy R. Middleton, 27, of Hillsboro, Missouri, were arrested following a confrontation at the Food 4 Less store, Lt. Mark Hershey said Friday.

Their arrest brings to three the number of people charged with misdemeanors during the past two weeks in the ongoing efforts of signature-gathering petitioners opposing the city’s approval of electronic billboards.

Last Saturday morning, Kimberly Shanklin, 45, of Belleville, Illinois, was arrested outside a local Walmart on suspicion of battery in connection with an alleged assault. 

Deputies, meanwhile, are frequently dispatched in response to reports of confrontations at other local stores, Hershey said.

Early Friday deputies were sent to a disturbance in front of Stater Bros. in Canyon Country, Hershey said.

“All we’re trying to do is keep the peace,” he said. “It’s very frustrating.”

“Store managers are getting frustrated as well because the customers are walking into the store complaining. They (managers) are asking us, ‘Can you make them leave?’” Hershey said, noting that the answer isn’t entirely clear.

When deputies respond to the reported incidents of confrontation, they typically tell the two groups to respect one another and for each to express views apart from the other side.

“They argue with each other, and one side always wants us to label them the victim,” he said. “We tell them, ‘You stand at one door and you stand at the other door.’ But when we leave they phone us to say the other person has crossed the line.

on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




EgbertSouse4U: Posted: April 25, 2014 1:05 p.m.

How could this be? Didn't Bob Kellar just tell us that the vast majority of citizens are all in favor of the 60-foot flashing billboards so there is no need for a vote? Is his crystal ball getting a bit foggy?

This whole thing stinks.

Unreal: Posted: April 25, 2014 1:12 p.m.

You know I signed in front of Stater Brothers a few days ago and did not have any issues. However I do remember a women kept coming up while I was signing and asking questions of the guy gathering signatures. I was tuning her out while I read the initiatives so I didn't hear most of it. She was annoying. Kept harping on something about money. Maybe this was one of the METRO people? the signature gatherer was trying his best to ignore her (and advised me to as well) and did not engage with her. She would walk a few steps away and loudly make angry statements about the billboard issue and not wanting people to sign. No violence though. The only description I have is female, 25-40 yrs. old. heavy set, and black. If this is an example of how METRO deals with a community then we really need to watch our backs with this deal that we are getting into for 50 years! Are they involved with some sort of union or something? Is it like Teamsters? It does remind me of what happens at Pickett lines at grocery stores. --edited.

stray: Posted: April 25, 2014 1:39 p.m.

Wow, this ruckus at the grocery stores is UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Well, the way I understand it is that IF there are not enough signatures, the matter will DEFINITELY be brought up for a vote. That way, we'll see how well Keller's crystal ball works! I personally don't believe a word that the MAJORITY of SC WANTS these electronic boards!

Is this the way METRO flexes their muscles ??? That is, harassing the same people who use their services ???

Unreal: Posted: April 25, 2014 1:39 p.m.

Nevermind I answered my own question. I researched and of course they are a UNION. There's the issue. UNION THUGS in Santa Clarita trying to stop our gathering signatures to allow Santa Clarita residents to vote on the billboard issue.

Unreal: Posted: April 25, 2014 1:41 p.m.

Stray: If we do not get enough signatures to allow us to put it on the ballot for a vote then the deal the city council signed with these UNION THUGS goes through.

stray: Posted: April 25, 2014 2:03 p.m.

@Unreal - "If we do not get enough signatures"

Interesting! The Metro guy at Walmart was telling me that by not signing the petition, it guaranteed the issue would definitely go to a ballot!

Talk about mis-leading the public!

chuckwillett: Posted: April 25, 2014 3:02 p.m.


Interesting how you went from a petition signer to a signature gatherer? What is your connection with this issue?

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: April 25, 2014 3:18 p.m.

chuckwillett: Have you considered the notion that maybe she just doesn't want to have these ugly flashing pieces of garbage in our town?

Never seen you on these boards before now..... what exactly is YOUR connection?

tpaul: Posted: April 25, 2014 3:29 p.m.

So one dude is from Anaheim Hills, and the other from Hillsboro, Missouri ?
Thanks for shopping in the SCV, now go home. We need to keep our crime rates down.

lars1: Posted: April 25, 2014 4:00 p.m.

They have collected over 10,000 signatures so far. better stir up some more, or else your big money deal will be done.
I cant wait until I see the voter ads saying the big electronic billboards are good. This is just like your proposal to put pay carpool lanes on every freeway in LA county. According to Kellar, everyone is for that deal also.

chuckwillett: Posted: April 25, 2014 4:05 p.m.

I am a 45 year old lifelong resident of Santa Clarita, who has been reading the Signal since you had to move the cat out of the way to submit a press release to their office in downtown Newhall. I am also using my (gasp) real name and fully expect to be held accountable for anything I post here.

I don't know much about this issue, so I clicked a link on The Signal's Facebook feed. I read the comments, and noticed that Unreal's first post documented what happened when they signed the petition. Then, less than 30 minutes later, they are saying "If WE don't get enough signatures" (emphasis mine), indicating that they are working with the petition people.

Since it is a common tactic to manipulate social media by creating multiple accounts and sock puppets, I merely asked a question regarding motives.

Does that clear up things a little for you, @EgbertSouse4U? --edited.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: April 25, 2014 4:12 p.m.

Yes, it clears things up quite a bit. You just admitted that you really don't know anything about the issue at hand. Thanks for the clarification.

stray: Posted: April 25, 2014 4:38 p.m.

@tpaul - "Thanks for shopping in the SCV, now go home"

That's FUNNY! But lately, it's been more like "QUIT SHOPLIFTING in the SCV, now go home!"

@lars - "They have collected over 10,000 signatures so far"

What is the goal number ??? I have read another article that states "Opponents have until May 5 to collect 13,000 to 17,000 signatures on petitions supporting the referendum"

Is there a more realistic goal number available ??? Either way, if you are correct lars, your numbers look good! We stand a favorable chance to get it on the ballot! Then, I want to see the council grandmas and Keller's expression if it becomes a moot issue!

lars1: Posted: April 25, 2014 4:45 p.m.

the city is not going to make any money on this sellout deal.

chuckwillett: Posted: April 25, 2014 5:39 p.m.

"The supporters of the referendum have 30 days to acquire the signatures of approximately 12,000 voters, a countdown that started in the first week of April, said Jim Cassie, executive director of the CSOAA."-from KHTS

The CSOAA is California State Outdoor Advertising Association, who are pro petition, anti billboard.

Hey Egbert! I'm learning about this issue. My previous comment was not about the issue, but about the questionable background of Unreal. I like to know where my info is coming from.

Berta: Posted: April 25, 2014 7:44 p.m.

I find it very telling that not one of the posters has mentioned that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority deal is not just about placing three freeway oriented digital billboards but the most important part is taking down most of the existing old billboards within out city limits without using city funds to accomplish, which residents like me have been requesting for 21 years. City formation folks 26 years ago wanted the billboards gone but costs were prohibitive to buy out.
In addition, it is important to mention that all of the billboard companies with billboards along the Metro right of way are currently being subsidized by us taxpayers since their for profit business has been paying below market rates on their Metro leases for years. As a result, Metro receives less revenue to use for our traffic improvements, and we taxpayers receive nothing from the current billboard companies. Edwards Outdoor has agreed to a buy out and CBS Outdoor Advertising has made a deal with Metro. Therefore, this referendum will benefit ONE for profit billboard company Clear Channel Outdoor who also has digital billboards in other areas.
There are currently about 110 billboards, most are in Canyon Country and Newhall’s older areas of the city, some have two advertising faces, some do not. Between the Metro deal and the recent Edwards Outdoor buyout, 87 existing billboards will be removed leaving a total of 23 billboards in the city. The Metro deal shares 65% of the net revenue with the city, which makes it possible to buy out over time the remaining 23 billboards or use those funds for other important city programs. Metro’s revenue share also returns to our area and benefits us via improvements to our transportation infrastructure.
Three people elected by the voters, two of them just reelected, to represent ALL of the residents approved this deal to beautify our older areas, gain some revenue for needed programs, and in exchange allow three modern, screened from residential neighborhoods, double faced digital billboards with free advertising space for city events like Cowboy Festival, Amgen Tour, Amber & Silver alerts, etc. and reduced rates for small business to advertise.
The folks pushing the petition drive financed by Clear Channel Outdoor, a billboard company with digital billboards elsewhere, if successful will either force the Council to kill the deal altogether or spend upwards of $250,000 taxpayer dollars to hold a special election so that voters in areas currently without any billboards, like Valencia and the newer areas of Saugus can vote to deny relief from this visual blight for my older community without offering any alternative means to buy out billboards without taking city funds from needed programs. If you are going to oppose the deal, at least be honest on what the deal involves.

chefgirl358: Posted: April 26, 2014 10:01 p.m.

Berta, I don't mind the old billboards at all. I HATE the digital billboards beyond belief. To me there is NO contest, the digital ones should be totally banned in every possible form.

lars1: Posted: April 26, 2014 10:14 p.m.

Metro has scammed us. They will be charging us for toll carpool lanes, that we already paid for with a sales tax increase. The pay carpool lanes are only on the 5 freeway here, as free carpool lanes have been built on the 5,14,101,170,118,210 freeways in the SFV.
I find that dishonest and stealing from the citizens of santa clarita.
after billboard expenses,
santa clarita will make NO MONEY from the billboard deal.

the toll carpool lane approach was tried in orange county, and it was defeated with the support of the local city councils.
the city councils there represent the citizens, not big business.

here, our city council does not care about the citizens, they only care about making money for their campaign contributors. it was no secret that metro funded a donation party for weste and mclean. dirtbags in my opinion.
they were bought off for their support for the pay carpool lanes, and also for the ugly electronic billboard deal.

If you complain about the blight of the billboards in canyon country.
how about the telegraph wires that are rampant in our city?
how about the abandoned house nest to the metrolink station on soledad?
how about the toxic waste site?
the billboards were no big deal. they did provide a service to local business, that the new electronic billboards will not.

it is really amazing that there are people who say some billboards are a blight and billboards somewhere else are not a blight. Please be consistent.
If you said all billboards are a blight, at least you are being honest.
You comments state alot about the money. that is the real reason why this deal was made.

berta, some evening drive by on the 118 freeway from simi to the 405.
it is an impressive view.
we will not have that view here. it is already gone with the stupid wall around the metro community on soledad. its ugly in my opinion.

There will be a vote on this "deal", and the people will will not approve it. the city council was afraid of getting voted out of office, and that is why they rushed it through.

scvforall: Posted: April 26, 2014 11:28 a.m.

I'd much rather spend the money for an election then sit back and watch some of the Council destroy our hamlet.

Berta: Posted: April 26, 2014 1:52 p.m.

Lars1 you ask:
how about the telegraph wires that are rampant in our city?
how about the abandoned house nest to the metrolink station on soledad?
how about the toxic waste site?
the billboards were no big deal. they did provide a service to local business, that the new electronic billboards will not.
1. Edison owns the Edison power lines. I personally was responsible for the undergrounding of power lines along Soledad between Camp Plenty Road and Sierra Hwy when Edison still had a grant program for undergrounding power lines in older neighborhoods. After coming out of bankruptcy Edison released our previously approved grant funds but I believe discontinued that program so there is no more “free” money for further undergrounding of existing lines.
2. Buildings on Whittaker-Bermite property are part of property in bankruptcy. I have been trying for years to have those buildings removed. The city cannot just go in and tear them down without notifying legal property owner and allowing them to fix or tear them down. Without legal ownership/title available to grant permission, city is reluctant to abate lest they/we be sued for destroying their property by whoever winds up with legal ownership.
3. The Whittaker-Bermite property is in the process of remediation (cleaning) and that clean up is under the control of the State of California Department of Toxic Substance Control, not the city.
4. The billboards may not be a big deal to you but they are to many of us living near them. New digital billboards will offer a discounted rate for small business to advertise on them and pay in to a fund, $15,000 for Metro $15,000 from city, to help small business advertise.
5. Old billboards, some with floodlights that have a lot of light spillover and peeling paint of varying sizes and heights, do not compare to new digital billboards with louvered downward focused LED lights screened by trees from residential neighborhoods. Your comparison is not equal.
6. If the City Council were afraid of being voted out of office because of this issue, they would have postponed making ANY decision until after the election.

aSCVmom: Posted: April 26, 2014 7:54 p.m.

My ONLY issue is the issue of those gathering the signatures... NO MATTER THE ISSUE !!!...there is a law in L.A. County, requiring a " signature gatherer " to be registered, AND wear his/ her official badge... NONE of those gathering signatures had
official badges !!!... YET...LOTS AND LOTS of shopper willing put their name, address, AND signature on the petition... let me see... can you say... ripe for identity theft, ripe for home break-ins... you're obvouisly not at home...SHOPPERS... be alert !!! purse left in shopping carts, NOT giving your personal info. to complete strangers !!!!

lars1: Posted: April 27, 2014 10:36 a.m.

The city has done NOTHING about the abandoned, dilapidated property on Soledad. It is the biggest eyesore in the City, and it the first impression people have when the get off the MetroLink train. I have picked up out of towners at the train station, and while driving to Canyon Country, they are appalled at the state of this property. They have asked, doesn't the city have zoning laws regarding this?

The property VIOLATES every city code possible.

It has been that way for over 20 years.
My guess is that the property owners have bought off the city,
to look the other way at the public nuisance.

lars1: Posted: April 27, 2014 10:58 a.m.

Oh Berta, let me get this, you said.....

The city cannot just go in and tear them down without notifying legal property owner and allowing them to fix or tear them down.

This has never happened!

But you say its ok for the city to threaten Edwards billboard company with eminant domain, where the city would take over the Edwards business with no

We all know Edwards was threatened by the city to sign over her business or be forced to loose everything without any financial compensation.

Berta: Posted: April 27, 2014 12:28 p.m.

Lars1, as I said you have to have a legal owner to notify, and that property has not been in that state of disrepair for twenty years, it has been that way since the property went into bankruptcy.
In addition, I never said any such thing since eminent domain was never part of the discussion on the Edwards Outdoor issue. Edwards LEASES their spots from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and under the terms of the LEASE, Metro can give them appropriate notice according to lease terms and Edwards must VACATE. No different than in any other LEASE case where the property owner retains ownership and the ability to terminate the lease or evict any TENANT, like Edwards. The city paid Julie Edwards-Sanchez much more than any compensation required by law for her LEASED sites and had she sold as her dad wanted to while living none of this would have affected her. Please at least try to get your facts straight.

lars1: Posted: April 28, 2014 9:38 a.m.

Berta, as a candidate running for city council, you have some of the qualities of the present members. You lie.
Edwards was threatened with eminant domain, where they would loose their business with no compensation, unless they signed over their business.

The house on soledad has been abandoned for over 20 years.
There is NO EXCUSE TO SEE THAT! bankruptcy, etc are just excuses!

you also lied in the "petition wars" article in the santa clarita gazette.
you stated....the petition collectors provided incorrect information, such as, 'Sign this and the billboards will come down,' 'Sign this because they made a backroom deal...'
if 11,000 people sign the petition, the billboards will loose in a general election. a backroom deal was brewing in the city for the last three years. nobody, including city council members, knew about it until last december.

you alse state that since the petition collectors are out of the area, the petition process is not a pristine, local, grassroots effort.
In your opinion , the people who sign this petition are misinformed by "out of area interests"

For your info, Allvision.420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1601, New York, NY 10170
is the "local" company going to benefit from this deal. Edwards, the local company is "out of business".
allvision feels, they are above the law. they can buy off people, along the way, to get what they want.

Of the 13 candidates for the city council election, you were next to last with 00% of the vote. the last place candidate was totally unknown.
Although you have a right to say what you want, what you offer is not
what 100% of the residents want.

Berta: Posted: April 28, 2014 1:24 p.m.

Lars1, no point in trying to have a civil conversation with you since you make outrageous insulting claims like “you lie” with NOTHING to back up your claim. I do not lie, I don’t need to or want to, but I also will not waste any more of my time on someone who resorts to insults instead of offering cogent arguments for discussion.

lars1: Posted: April 28, 2014 2:19 p.m.

if 11,000 signatures are collected, the billboards will come down.
the billboard deal was made behind backroom doors at the city.
they are going to do this whether you like it or not.

you stated in the gazette that these statements were "incorrect information"

well, 11,000 signatures by angry citizens is a good indication that they will not vote for the "billboard deal"
the billboard deal was made by the city without any discussions with the public. That's a backroom deal.
the city council voted for this deal over the objections of the majority in attendance at the council meeting. the city council stated " a majority of people wanted the new electronic billboards". they lied!

stray: Posted: April 28, 2014 3:41 p.m.

@lars - "The city council voted for this deal over the objections of the majority in attendance at the council meeting"

And, as I seem to remember, one grandma councilwoman threatened to have people removed from the meeting! Yes indeed, the entire SCV want e-billboards!

You need to be a registered user to post a comment. Please click here to register.

The Signal encourages readers to interact with one another, following the guidelines outlined in our Comment/Moderation Policy. Click here to read it.

To report offensive or inappropriate comments, e-mail The content posted from readers of does not necessarily represent the views of The Signal or Morris Multimedia. By submitting this form you agree to the terms and conditions listed above. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...