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UPDATE: Billboard referendum meets minimum signature requirement

Council has choice of repealing ordinance or putting matter to vote

Posted: June 6, 2014 4:38 p.m.
Updated: June 6, 2014 5:39 p.m.

Petitions that sought to block a plan for digital billboards on Santa Clarita Valley freeways in exchange for removing older billboards in the center of town have qualified for a referendum, officials said Friday.

County officials who spent a month working to verify 18,544 signatures on petitions collected around the Santa Clarita Valley ruled 11,370 signatures were sufficient to qualify the petitions.

Opponents of the City Council’s billboard decision to swap the old for the new needed at least 11,170 signatures to qualify.

City Council members now have to make the decision whether to rescind the ordinance outright or call for a public vote on the item.

“I’m thrilled,” said resident Patti Sulpizio, who was one of the leaders of the drive to force the City Council to review its decision.

“Now I hope the City Council will do the right thing and repeal the ordinance and forget about putting digital billboards anywhere in the city of Santa Clarita.”

“An election would be costly, and it doesn’t to me make sense because the people of Santa Clarita have already spoken” through the petition signatures, she said.

The city should consider adding a prohibition of digital billboards to its sign ordinance, she added.

The petitions were submitted in opposition to an ordinance that gave the go-ahead for a proposal from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to remove 62 billboard structures along the Metro right-of-way inside city limits in exchange for giving Metro the right to construct three, double-sided digital billboards on city-owned property off Highway 14 and Interstate 5.

In a notice sent out Friday, city officials said the “letter of findings” from the county was obtained electronically by the city.

The 11,370 signatures were “found sufficient,” meaning they were deemed to come from active, registered voters in the city of Santa Clarita, according to city spokeswoman Jessica Jackson.

The other 5,126 signatures were “found not sufficient,” and 141 were deemed “not sufficient because duplicate,” according to the county letter.

The city is now making arrangements to pick up both a hard copy of that letter, as well as the boxes of petitions, from the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office in Norwalk early next week.

The letter of findings, as well as the Santa Clarita City Clerk’s certification of the results, will be presented to the Santa Clarita City Council for consideration at the council meeting on Tuesday, June 24, in City Hall, according to a news release from the city.





castaicjack: Posted: June 6, 2014 6:25 p.m.

I hope the Santa Clarita council members who supported those billboards like eating crow with a heaping helping of egg dripping from their faces...

KARENINVALENCIA: Posted: June 6, 2014 7:52 p.m.

Thank you all who signed the petitions.

chefgirl358: Posted: June 7, 2014 9:40 p.m.

Awesome!!! Get bent to all of the council members who voted for this and screwed over all of the citizens.

lars1: Posted: June 7, 2014 6:30 a.m.

HURRAY! The people has spoken on this issue. The people have won.

To the city council members (mclean and weste) who received a fundraiser from Allvision's Arthur Shoikian, I say shame on you.

Shame on you for attempting to rush this through, fearing that you would be voted out in the election.

Shame on you weste, mclean and kellar for doing nothing about Allvision's hired blockers.

Shame on you weste, mclean, ferry and kellar for totally ignoring the concerned citizens who came to the city council meetings to state their objections to a horrible electronic billboards rushed decision.
Shame on you for voting to change open space land, paid by our taxes, to billboard use.

Shame on you mclean for lying in you campaign, that you would always be available to answer questions from citizens.
Note: the nice acura that came from MR ACURA.

Shame on you tom cole santa clarita director of community development,
City Manager Ken Striplin, City Attorney Joe Montes, and the rest of the sleazy city workers who worked on a backroom real for 3 years, without city council or citizens knowledge.

Shame to everyone at the city who lied to the citizens, the citizens are both the city's employer and customer.

And last, a very grateful thank you to Timben for being the only city council members who represents the citizens, and not the special interests of the bought off city council.

stray: Posted: June 7, 2014 7:08 a.m.

LMAO !!! The city council members are still wiping off the "pie in their faces" over this!


EgbertSouse4U: Posted: June 7, 2014 8:03 a.m.

LOVE IT!!!!! Finally a win for the citizens over special interests. In your face, Kellar!! HA HA HA!!!!

SReilly12: Posted: June 7, 2014 8:31 a.m.

No Stray - I should have baked them a cake! LOL!!!

Yea for the us!!!!

stray: Posted: June 7, 2014 8:38 a.m.

Yes SReilly - you should have baked them one of your gourmet cakes!

cj64: Posted: June 7, 2014 9:07 a.m.

Can we start a petition to get Tom Cole, the Santa Clarita Director of Community Development fired for being the mastermind of the "Billboard Deal"?

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: June 7, 2014 11:01 a.m.

The margaritas will be flowing tonight at my house. I will tip my glass to the twin grannies, ex-mayordud, and Bob the Opportunist. Have a great summer.

lars1: Posted: June 7, 2014 11:11 a.m.

Apparently this is not the end.

In response to timothymyers02: who said...
This is a quixotic attempt, bless their hearts. There is absolutely no way in this universe the CABB folks will be able to gather 11,000 valid signatures by May 5.

Even though the number of people who signed the billboard referendum,
exceeded the number of people who voted in the last election, the city council may decide to spend taxpayer money on putting the issue to a vote.
Since the anticipated income from the electronic billboards in the 50 year deal would be 500 million to almost a billion dollars. The city, allvision and metro are starting to form PACs.
The PACs threaten the majority of citizens who object to this wrong deal.

Please call the city council members, and say that the majority of people
If they say the public is misinformed and that the majority want the electronic billboards, they are just lying.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: June 7, 2014 11:21 a.m.

The city council LYING????? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dazzled: Posted: June 7, 2014 1:11 p.m.

We get to keep all the ugly billboards?
This will show McLean, Kellar and Ferry??
Boydston worked with the billboard lobbyists to spite the other city councilmen and prevent billboard removal?
Hurray!!! --edited.

citizenal: Posted: June 7, 2014 2:23 p.m.

“Now I hope the City Council will do the right thing and repeal the ordinance and forget about putting digital billboards anywhere in the city of Santa Clarita.”

I won't hold my breath waiting for these people to do the right thing. This whole sorry episode has shown what happens when voter apathy allows awful, unscrupulous people to worm their way into local government. One good thing that has come of this though is that people are starting to wake up. The fact that there were hired goons brought in to harass and threaten people from signing a petition in front of local supermarkets certainly woke me up. Deeply disturbing. Not only should these people, with the exception of Boydston, be voted out of office, they should be run out of town on a rail.

stray: Posted: June 7, 2014 4:52 p.m.

"They should be run out of town on a rail"

I say they should be run OVER on a rail...

cj64: Posted: June 8, 2014 10:59 p.m.

All the petition materials will be returned to the city.
The city will retaliate against the citizens who signed the petition, costing the city hundreds of millions of dollars.

cj64: Posted: June 8, 2014 5:12 p.m.

Here is the final tally.

Of the 18,544 signatures submitted, the County Registrar's office looked at 16,496 signatures before stopping. In all, they found 11,370 valid signatures, a 69% validity rate. At that rate, an examination of all the signatures would have yielded about 12,800 signatures, or 1,630 (14.6%) more than the 11,170 required.

This shows that if the bought off city council decides that this should go to a public vote, and spend taxpayer money to hold a special election, the Metro/Allvision Billboard deal will be defeated.

If you think that you can fool the citizens again with photoshopped pictures showing the billboard gone, think again.

One of your arguments was that there was not sufficient funds to buy out the Edwards billboard company. You found the money and put her out of business. You also found $600K to give to the lawyers in the Voting rights lawsuit. Your poor decision was made before an election where a minority candidate was elected, disproving any voter rights claim.

You are all just a bunch of bought off liars, and the people are starting to become aware of your actions.

lars1: Posted: June 8, 2014 6:58 p.m.

cj64, I totally agree that the city council is very dishonest. When they reconvene June 24, allvision will tell them to put the digital billboard proposal to a public vote. the council will say that the voters who signed the referendum, STOP DIGITAL BILLBOARDS, were misinformed and did not know what they were signing. they will say, how can anyone object to something that will make metro, allvision and the city hundreds of millions of dollars, and eliminate local billboards. its a win, win, win, proposition.

allvision has already formed a PAC

just a scummy law firm "the Sutton law firm"

their name is Citizens for Billboard Production. they will use strong arm tactics to get the money they want, just like the blockers they hired to stop the voters from signing the referendum.

Unreal: Posted: June 9, 2014 6:32 a.m.

Dazzled: We would only have gotten rid of the billboards along the railroad tracks, not the others around town.

And for getting rid of the billboards on the railroad tracks we would be stuck with 3 MEGA double sided digital billboards at the entrances to our city along the freeway and on the open space area on the 14.

These signs would not be advertising the local hospital or most local small business like a lot of the billboards do but strip clubs, Casinos, etc.

Does anyone have the measurements of a regular billboard and the measurements of the MEGA signs? I would like to be able to tell others how many times bigger than a regular billboard these are.

timothymyers02: Posted: June 9, 2014 3:50 p.m.


I am very excited that this referendum was actually perfected! In addition to a blow against the Council majority for not listening to the people it is also a blow against crony capitalism since CBS Outdoor and Clear Channel invested substantial funds for paid signature gatherers to get this over the top, because the City allowed AllVision to sole source this deal after the intervention of a prominent local lobbyist and fixer.

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