Today, City leaders and Cemex officials appeared at a press conference together to announce a year long truce between the two. They have battled for years over Cemex’s proposed mine off Soledad Canyon Road that would pull resources out of the ground in epic proportions less than a mile away from residential areas in Santa Clarita.
The purpose of the truce is to take some time out from working against each other to try and work together.
“We are at a place of new beginnings,” said Councilwoman Laurene Weste. “Cemex and the City of Santa Clarita have agreed to spend 2007 working in tandem.”
The agreement between the City and Cemex hinges on four points:
Cemex will not pursue any applications for the next year.
Both sides will cease all negative advertising.
The two will jointly hold a conference with congressional delegates.
The two parties will work together to find a mutually agreeable solution.
While the announcement did little to tell anyone what exactly would be done, it was praised on both sides as a positive step forward.
Cemex official Rick Shapiro said that while Cemex and the City have attempted several times to reach a solution; “Nothing has worked, that is, until now.”
“We at Cemex are committed to this truce,” Shapiro also said.
There is no doubt that this truce signals loudly that the City’s efforts have not been in vain.
The truce does not, however, mean that this problem is settled.
“We are working together on this to find a satisfactory solution. This is still not a five minute process,” said Councilman Bob Kellar.
City officials thanked the public and community leaders for their work on the issue, and insisted that they will continue to work in Santa Clarita’s best interest.
“We have engaged in a multi-year fight to maintain our quality of life and our City’s character,” said Kellar. “We will continue to hold high your values.”
A question was asked of City Manager Ken Pulskamp by KHTS Owner Carl Goldman: “What’s different today?”
Pulskamp replied that now they’re speaking directly to each other, and that they’ve both made promises to halt actions that would otherwise make their discussions less effective.
There is a possibility that both the City and Cemex will go after legislation that will result in a compromise, however Cemex's Rick Shapiro said that there are other options they will look into as well.
Senator Diane Feinstein chimed in with a statement as well, that said: “Let me congratulate CEMEX and the City of Santa Clarita for agreeing to work together to find a solution on the Soledad Canyon mining project. It is clear to me that the problem is a serious one. At the highest projected levels, mining would result in over one thousand truck trips per day and would disrupt the community. It is my hope that an agreement can be reached that will satisfy both CEMEX and the City.”