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Arts Commissioners, City Council members give nod to master plan for public art

Posted: May 9, 2014 9:40 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2014 9:40 p.m.

Cars travel around the roundabout at the end of Main Street in Newhall on Friday.


Following discussion on the role and form of art locally, Santa Clarita City Council members and Arts Commissioners gave the nod this week to moving forward with a master plan to take an overarching look at art in the community.

The consensus to move forward with developing the master plan came during a joint study session Tuesday where Arts Commissioners and City Council members discussed both the historic development of art in the city and what the future holds for art development citywide.

“I think it will be a great guide for the Arts Commission and the council and the community,” Arts Commission Chairwoman Susan Shapiro said of a master plan. “I just think it’s the right time.”

The notion of a master plan for the arts in Santa Clarita re-entered the public eye last year following debate over several public art installations, namely the proposed finalists for a public art piece to accompany the since-completed Newhall roundabout.

Following discussion and public comment on the matter, City Council members decided in November that the roundabout would feature landscaping when it opened, leaving open the possibility of adding art later.

Shapiro said Thursday that she thinks a master plan would provide a good general outline on the role of art in Santa Clarita, not just in terms of public art installations, but in what kind of amenities are needed and how the arts can be used as an economic engine.

“I think it’s important because it will create a vision and some overarching strategies for the arts that are tied to the community’s needs and priorities,” Shapiro said.

Ingrid Hardy, community services superintendent for the city of Santa Clarita, said the city’s growth is part of the reason why a master plan is now needed.

“As our community continues to grow and evolve, we feel it’s important to take a strategic look at what the expectations from the community are and explore ways to meet those expectations,” she said Thursday.

The topics the master plan will cover are not yet finalized, but some that have been discussed include public art, arts funding and how to use arts as an economic tool.

“I think everybody’s very excited about the potential that can come out of a master plan,” said Mayor Laurene Weste.

City officials also said the process will include a public outreach component.

“I think the community will set the tone with lots of great concepts, and there will be lots of great opportunities to do so,” Weste said.

Shapiro said the master plan, when developed, will help position Santa Clarita’s artistic future.

“In 10 years, in 20 years, how do we make certain that Santa Clarita is vital culturally and artistically?” she asked. “I think this will help us answer that.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



Baddog1: Posted: May 9, 2014 4:19 p.m.

Let the games begin!

BBennetts: Posted: May 9, 2014 7:54 p.m.

How about this. Why doesn't the arts commission find private donors to fund this 'art.' I really don't think that our city should be funding cutesy little caricatures to be placed around the city. Who cares? If people really care, let them pay for it privately and not with taxpayer money.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 9, 2014 8:04 p.m.

I second what BBennetts says, let someone other than the city and taxpayers for the bill for this, which they won't, so at least let actual resident people and not these art geeks vote on which pieces are chosen. If these are the same people involved in the previous pieces like the bouquet bug and proposed roundabout art...then they have zero credibility to begin with.

IamNewHere: Posted: May 10, 2014 12:08 a.m.

The city seems to manage it's money just fine. "As of June 30, 2013, assets exceeded liabilities by $952.9 million."


For all previous years:

Bring on the arts. --edited.

lars1: Posted: May 10, 2014 6:31 a.m.

How about spending money to fix the streets?

ruth: Posted: May 10, 2014 6:52 a.m.

Keep a homeless shelter open year round?

ohhyaa: Posted: May 10, 2014 9:10 a.m.

wow that roundabout looks amazing. I can't believe that it only cost 2 million dollars. It's such a great legacy for this city we really should give big bonuses to everyone involved. About 4 million for the traffic circle seems about right to me.

IamNewHere: Posted: May 10, 2014 9:26 a.m.

If you want something from the city, e.g. homeless shelter or a street fixed; go to the council meetings every month and speak at the public comment, provide your own research and nag them until you get it. If you are really motivated, run for office and do something.

Also, roundabouts are pretty rad... if you know how to use them. I wish we had more instead of stop signs or lights at small intersections.

And if you are not aware, costing for any public project, be it city, state, or federal is significantly different from costing a project for your home. As home owner, you can elect to take risks and cut corners with your project to keep the cost down; public agencies can not. Because of that, the cost is higher. --edited.

lars1: Posted: May 10, 2014 1:44 p.m.

IamNewHere; you are wrong.

If you want something from the city, take a city employee to lunch, or contribute to a city council members campaign fund.

IamNewHere: Posted: May 10, 2014 2:01 p.m.

Lars, I appreciate the cynicism. I am a realist and realize that the supreme court considers money as free speech. At the state and federal level you probably need to attach a check to your idea. But, at the local level, city or county, it is much easier to get things done. I have worked on several projects with the county and have not paid them a dime. It's pays to do your own leg work. --edited.

balld13: Posted: May 10, 2014 5:35 p.m.

Thanks for the much needed art, and forget about the many needs the citizens of Santa Clarita actually have......stupid is as stupid does. This valley will look like the SFV very soon if this keeps happening.

castaicjack: Posted: May 10, 2014 6:56 p.m.

Of course, as with the roundabout, ample feedback was elicited from the citizens of SCV. It's just like the electronic billboards that the overwhelming majority of residents of SCV want in their face every time they venture forth on our freeways. Folks, let's get with the program!

verakb: Posted: May 10, 2014 7:07 p.m.

This city really has no self-concept. What are its goals? What does the city want to be when it grows up? I wish those in charge would research an existing successful city where residents who have been asked their opinions and their primary issues are addressed. Do more study on reducing crime in this valley. Being a 'safe' city sells more real estate than calling it 'awesometown'. I'd rather be walking the streets and paseos knowing I'm safe, than driving by some random piece of art.

IamNewHere: Posted: May 10, 2014 8:22 p.m.

Verakb, you should feel pretty safe. When comparing SCV to other cities in LA county with similar population sizes, SCV comes out safest.

Pasadena Vs SCV: SCV is safer,+ca-vs-pasadena,+ca/

Glendale Vs SCV: SCV is Safer,+ca-vs-glendale,+ca/

Torrance Vs SCV: SCV is safer,+ca-vs-torrance,+ca/

Even when comparing it to smaller cities that are extremely safe like La Canada Flintridge, SCV comes out on top:,+ca-vs-la+canada+flintridge,+ca/

I was surprised to hear you say that, since I consider SCV to be a very safe city. Decided to look up the stats myself and was happy to see that we are indeed, pretty safe. --edited.

lars1: Posted: May 11, 2014 7:15 a.m.

IamNewHere: you made a poor choice of moving to santa clarita.

It is not as safe as alternative places such as simi valley, thousand oaks, and moorpark.

using your won comparisions.... sc is not that safe anymore!,+ca-vs-simi+valley,+ca/,+ca-vs-thousand+oaks,+ca/,+ca-vs-moorpark,+ca/

Those places have a lot better weather than santa clarita.
They also have reduced sales tax.
they don't have toll carpool lanes on the freeways,
and they don't have big ugly electronic billboards!

I know the city council cant do anything about the weather or the sales tax,
but safety and reducing crime should be a first priority over "artwork".
there is a lot of thefts from car and garage a few months ago, it seemed like every day there was a car theft outside a gym.

the signal publishes a lot of arrests in the paper.
how many are crimes are committed without arrests?

IamNewHere: Posted: May 11, 2014 12:11 p.m.

My point was simply, that compared to other cities of similar size in LA County (except) for LCF, SCV faired pretty well in the safety aspect. TO and SCV are statically a draw, within ~5%. Every city has some crime. But, overall SCV is not unsafe at all. 1486 total crimes across a population over 170K. If we extrapolate that number into a per-capita basis, you are looking at .009 per person. Thats pretty damn low. Now, I am not saying there is not room to improve, but are more cops going to help? Cops aren't going to help you if you leave your garage open and give a thief an opportunity. Cops aren't going to help at the gym either; but, having an onsite security guard in the parking lot and installing closed circuit camera will help. At some point you reach a point of diminishing returns with respect to cops/crime ratio. This funding is only talking about part of the master plan. There is a funding profile in the master plan for public safety. If you feel the current allocation is insufficient, get involved and work with city planners on the master plan to allocate more resources to public safety. As far as moving out here, it was good move for us. We can afford a larger home and have access to good schools and the community is really nice. The only drawback is the commute. Its not too bad, but its longer than my five minute commute before. I noticed on the signal there is a lot dissatisfaction with the local council. I have not been here long enough to form an opinion either way. But, if you are truly dissatisfied you can take action. Its not an impossible task to affect change. Call city managers, attend meetings, write op-eds to the signal. You have to become an active participant to shape the community the way you want. I am sure the folks that take the time to comment on here are actively involved. But, I can tell you that the the message is lost when its laced with sarcasm and cynicism. Politicians and city leaders read these comments. If you want them to listen, they need to be constructive and provide solutions. They are willing to listen to solutions, but they will tune out vitriolic rhetoric. --edited.

lars1: Posted: May 11, 2014 6:34 p.m.

IamNewHere; once again you are uninformed about what really happens in santa clarita.

First, politicians and city leaders could care less about what the public wants. that's a fact. the decision are made only for the special interests. city decisions about the library takeover and the electronic billboards was met with much public opposition. to that public dissent, the city "leaders" response was arrogance and bullying. one city council member, kellar, made his decision even before there was a public comment process. he said his decision was made from listening to his friend..."mr acura".
the city was deceitful and dishonest in notifying the public about this "deal". the city council hastily rushed the 50 year deal through its approval process. it appeared to be like a used car dealers line "buy this now or else the deal is off the table". since that time, over 18,000 public citizens have signed a petition to throw out their electronic billboard decision.

kellar, weste and antonovich "our politicians" also voted to increase our property taxes hundreds of dollars each year. most people do not know their taxes are being increased. weste even voted to give a private company, that she was a director, $1 Million to convince us to pay more taxes. Oh, by the way, the money is going to provide water for the wealthy developer newhall land and farm. there is the 20,000+ new home development being built at the intersection of the 5 and 126. they need free water, that is paid by the taxpayers, and approved by the bought off politicians.
these statements are facts. they are not opinions.

IamNewHere: Posted: May 11, 2014 7:10 p.m.

Some of these issues I have read about, some I have not. Forgive me for not jumping into support the hive mind and waiting a bit so I can form my own conclusion.

Thank you for the information and your point of view.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 11, 2014 8:05 p.m.

Iamnewhere, we have an utterly inept and crooked council. Believe me, hundreds of us have turned out at meetings in protest on several issues...and they vote them in anyway. This city sucks and I can't wait to move out of here.

cms96: Posted: May 12, 2014 8:01 a.m.

I think the city can take care of all their art issues with one word. MUSEUM!!!!

Unreal: Posted: May 12, 2014 11:01 a.m.

I think I read they do want a Museum. Of course in downtown Newhall!

SCV4ALL: Posted: May 12, 2014 12:13 p.m.

@iamnewhere - I partially agree but I think with a city our size we NEED OUR OWN POLICE DEPARTMENT. - a city of our size needs to have Police more in touch with our community, in a good way. Not just to right tickets and harass our juveniles. We are bigger than Burbank and Glendale - BOTH HAVE THIER OWN POLICE DEPARTMENTS.
When is our city council going to actually do what the people want???

IamNewHere: Posted: May 12, 2014 1:32 p.m.

That's a good call SCV4ALL. SCV should have it's own PD instead of contracting out to the sheriff's department.

Unreal: Posted: May 12, 2014 2:14 p.m.

I think a police dept. where the cops did not cut their teeth in the prisons before patrolling our streets might help with the attitude many of the deputies have with the citizens in our town.

Yes, I know the cost is huge not to mention the liability issues. We should at least explore the dollars involved and ask for community feedback.

bbcalvin: Posted: May 12, 2014 2:43 p.m.

Having our own police department would be too expensive. Burbank spends $50 million and Glendale $75 million on their police departments. Santa Clarita spends about $22 million and is safer than those communities. I would rather have our funds go to park and recreational programs.

Definitely not in favor of it.

chefgirl358: Posted: May 12, 2014 3:06 p.m.

It's ridiculous to have our own P.D. and WAY more costly. We get a great deal with LASD for the services they offer AND almost all of the folks who work at SCV, live here too so they have a vested interest in this community.

timothymyers02: Posted: May 12, 2014 4:15 p.m.

Don't let the people in Newport Beach see this one:,+ca-vs-santa+clarita,+ca/

ccboy: Posted: May 14, 2014 6:25 a.m.

So people complain that our sheriffs write too many tickets and harass our teens and need to be kinder and gentler. The way I see it is that there are way too many people dying because of stupid drivers and way too many young people overdosing in Santa Clarita so maybe they aren't writing enough tickets and need to beef up enforcements. Maybe if they did harass more teens (as some claim) they may just save a life or two by resolving the drug problem. But too many parents want to put on blinders and say not my kid and make excuses, kinder and gentler does not always work, and what makes you think our own PD would be any different than the sheriffs.

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