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Home » Santa Clarita News » Legislation Aimed At Boosting Representation On MTA Board

Legislation Aimed At Boosting Representation On MTA Board

Palmdale legislator proposes change to balance on MTA board to give more weight to north county.

A
legislative attempt to get more representation for the Santa Clarita and Antelope
Valleys on the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority board is working its way through Sacramento,
despite opposition from Los Angeles City
that is gaining momentum.

 

Newly-elected
Assemblyman
Steve Knight of Palmdale has proposed AB251, which would ensure that one seat
be rotated specifically between Palmdale, Lancaster and Santa Clarita.

 

Currently,
the board includes four representatives from Los Angeles; the mayor, one councilperson and two appointees; all
of the County Supervisors,
who represent the unincorporated areas, four members appointed from other
cities in the county (there are 88 incorporated cities), and one non-voting
member appointed by the Governor.

 

The
88 cities are divided into four different regions, with Santa Clarita, Palmdale
and Lancaster included in the north
county region along with 10 other cities. Former Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts
served on the group until he left office two years ago, when he was replaced by
Ara Najarian from the city of Glendale.
Najarian was just re-elected by the 13-city coalition to a four-year term.

 

Santa
Clarita’s Government Relations spokesperson Mike Murphy said that the city has
not taken an official stand yet, but are planning to meet with Knight’s office
to learn more about the bill.

 

“We
need to research the dynamics,” Murphy said.

 

If
approved as presented, the bill would take the three north county cities out of
the larger four-sector mix and create a new sector. Murphy says that might not
sit well with the other cities left behind. He also had questions about the
voting mechanism for the new sector.

 

One
thing that didn’t surprise him was the anticipated opposition to the bill from
the City of Los Angeles. That city’s
Council is expected to vote to oppose the legislation in today’s meeting. As
written, the extra seat created for north county would be taken from the three
allocated to the city of Los Angeles.

 

“If
I were in their shoes, I’d be taking a dim view of the proposal,” he said.

 

Santa
Clarita Councilwoman Marsha McLean was excited about the proposal. An unabashed
public transportation advocate, she has attended many MTA meetings to learn
more about plans and provide input.

 

“Our
representatives do a good job representing us, but they have a difficult time
helping the north county achieve the same amount of dollars and projects
warranted by our rapidly growing population,” she said. “The time has come to
add another voice to represent us.”

Legislation Aimed At Boosting Representation On MTA Board

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