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Key member of Santa Clarita City Formation Committee to be honored

Posted: May 12, 2014 1:53 p.m.
Updated: May 12, 2014 1:54 p.m.

Mayor Laurene Weste will be hosting a “Lifetime of Service Tribute” to Connie Worden-Roberts, one of the original members of the city’s first Planning Commission and a leader in the formation of the city of Santa Clarita.

The event will be held at Hart Hall, located at William S. Hart Park, 24151 Newhall Avenue, on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

Connie Worden-Roberts was a leader in the city’s formation committee in the 1980’s, personally gathering 2,000 of the 24,000 signatures needed for the petition for cityhood. She recalls the formation committee seeking a 70-mile boundary for the City but receiving a 39-square mile city instead.

“We were very proud that when the vote was taken, there was an overwhelming vote to favor the city formation and at the same time, elect the city mothers and fathers for the City Council,” recounts Worden-Roberts in the City’s 20th Anniversary History Book.

Connie Worden Roberts became a member of the City’s Planning Commission shortly after incorporation and chaired numerous transportation committees in the Santa Clarita Valley. She also served on many local boards including the Chamber of Commerce, Valley Industrial Association, Zonta, Friends of Hart Park and the Boys and Girls Club.

“Connie has served so many so well for so long, she deserves to be recognized for her lifetime of dedication to Santa Clarita,” commented Mayor Laurene Weste.

The tribute event is free and open to the community. For more information, contact the City at 661-255-4314.

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CoastalSage: Posted: May 14, 2014 9:52 p.m.

Another oft forgotten contribution Connie made to the Santa Clarita community is that about 16 years ago she and Laurene Weste spent days and days in the offices of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), digging through mountains of files, learning as much as they could about the contamination of Santa Clarita's ground water and air by the former operations of Whittaker Bermite, a munitions manufacturing and testing facility on a 996 acre piece of property in the center of the city.

It was Connie Worden Roberts who was the person who took the initiative to use the DTSC law to form a "Community Advisory Group" to press DTSC and Whittaker to get the contamination of the community's drinking water wells stopped, and the source of the contamination cleaned up. Connie understood how important it was for the community to protect its natural clean water supply.

Connie was the first Chairman of the Whittaker Bermite Community Advisory Group ("CAG"), which began to meet in 1999. Under Connie's leadership, the CAG publicized the facts, and held the state's feet to the fire in terms of prioritizing the clean up of the drinking water wells and enforcement of the toxic clean up laws against the polluter.

It's only fitting that Connie receive this award during the same month the DTSC has announced the technical details of the final plans to clean up the underground drinking water and is calling on the community to come forward to learn about those details.

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