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Battle over billboards

City Council to vote on sign referendum in Tuesday’s meeting

Posted: June 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Santa Clarita City Council members will discuss whether to repeal a controversial billboard ordinance or put the matter to a public vote during their meeting Tuesday.

Opponents of the ordinance — which gave the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority the right to construct three, double-sided digital billboards on city-owned property off Highway 14 and Interstate 5 in exchange for removing 62 billboard structures along the Metro right-of-way inside city limits — collected and submitted some 18,544 signatures on petitions demanding the council either put the matter up for a public vote or repeal it outright.

Following a review process, it was determined that opponents of the proposal had collected enough signatures to qualify for a referendum.

The petition drive followed several contentious meetings where many local residents spoke out against the proposal.

Some raised issue with the potential aesthetic or safety impacts of the proposed digital billboards while others said they did not think the city handled the matter in a transparent enough manner.

“They gave this to us as a fait accompli, ‘You’re going to love this because we’ve been working on it for years,’” said Steve Petzold, a local resident who was involved in the petition drive.

At a previous City Council meeting, Councilman Bob Kellar said he thinks that many of the people who signed the petitions were not fully aware of the full details of the proposal.

“I will tell you, if all those people knew what they were signing, we would not be having this conversation right now,” he said at the time. “I believe that in my heart.”

City Council members will decide how to proceed on Tuesday. In the meantime, Metro officials are holding off on action regarding the deal, pending resolution of the referendum process, according to spokesman Paul Gonzales.

Should council members vote to repeal the ordinance, a similar ordinance could not be brought forward for one year from the date of the motion.

If they elect to put the matter to a vote instead, council members would have to determine when to hold the vote, either by scheduling a special election or seeking to consolidate with the upcoming state general election on Nov. 4.

“County staff stated that they support consolidation of the city’s measure with the general election,” reads the council agenda item. “According to the county, the estimated cost for such election has been approximated at $208,000.”

The earliest a special election could be held on the billboard matter, according to the council agenda item, would be Sept. 23.

However, the election could be scheduled on any Tuesday following that date, provided the date does not conflict with a state holiday.

“The cost for a non-consolidated special election is estimated to be $224,000,” the agenda item reads.

Tuesday’s council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in Santa Clarita City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd.

Signal City Editor Lila Littlejohn contributed reporting to this story.
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chefgirl358: Posted: June 23, 2014 5:15 p.m.

Kellar you tool, EVERYONE knew exactly what they were voting for! That's why 100 people showed up at every single city hall meeting protesting this BS, that you tunnel vision jerks voted for anyway, in SPITE of public opinion. I hope you put this to a vote, you crooked jerks will get creamed on this one. You all tried to circumvent and hide this from the public, and ram it down our throats. I hope you all get your a**es handed to you. You are all so far out of touch with reality and what the people who live here actually want it's ridiculous. Go ahead, I DARE you...put it to a vote. Put your money where your mouth is if you think everyone would vote for it. Prove it. Seriously, I dare you.

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: June 23, 2014 5:30 p.m.

Kellar and Co. have already been bought and sold. Don't expect ANY honesty from these people. They have lost all credibility and they know it. Really anxious to see how they will STILL try to force this deal through...... crooks.


cj64: Posted: June 23, 2014 5:32 p.m.

Hey, All Vision.... I will vote for your billboards if you pay me money just like you did for Kellar and McLean.

lars1: Posted: June 23, 2014 8:29 p.m.

There are more people who are corrupt than those in the city council.

Kellar , Weste, and Mclean are what the people see. The city workers in the backroom deals are getting their share also.
Since they lost, the "staff" will be recommending the council put the issue up for a public vote. They have put the "costs" of the billboard election out there.

Who is going to pay the $200K+ costs for the election?

They will scam the citizens to pay for it.

SReilly12: Posted: June 24, 2014 12:34 a.m.

Going to bake these folks one of my cakes - theme to be "The Night The Lights Went Out in Santa Clarita" - Think I'll use burnt out light blubs for their heads......

ElizaS: Posted: June 24, 2014 11:23 a.m.

lars1: Of course the citizens are going to pay for the election. That is how all elections are paid for. No scam there.

It should go to a public vote to ensure what the citizens truly want and therefore the people should pay for it. What's wrong with that.

lars1: Posted: June 25, 2014 2:21 a.m.

Elizas: Over 18,000 people voted.
They do not want digital billboards along the freeways. End of Story.

Putting the issue to a public vote will return the AllVision scum back to Santa Clarita. They hired blockers to prevent our California Constitutional right to sign the referendum. They have bought off our city council, with the exception of Tim Ben. They will do anyting to destroy our Valley and make hundreds of millions. Their hired goon, Mr Sohikian, was responsible for buying off our city and getting the AllVision deal approved.

I don't trust our city and city council anymore!
I am not alone in this opinion. A majority of people feel this way.
Here are the dishonest people that top my list.

City Worker who dreamed up this deal Mr Cole.
City Manager. Mr Striplin.
City Attorney. Mr Montes.
City Council Members Kellar, Acosta, Mclean, Weste.

All dishonest, deceitful people who totally ignore what the people want,
and do what those who buy them off want.

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