This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information becomes available
The Metro Executive Committee decided Thursday to delay approval of a billboard deal Santa Clarita City Council members OKed last month, officials said.
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“Eventually, Supervisor Michael D Antonovich recognized the fact that there’s a signature petition drive, and asked the committee to take a 30-day continuance, so the board can act unencumbered knowing the facts of the case,” said Michael Cano, transportation deputy for Antonovich.
The Los Angeles County Metro’s Executive Management Committee voted 3-0 to OK the continuance, acknowledging a successful referendum would likely make their vote a moot point.
“We’ll see what happens with the petition,” said Cano. “If (the referendum is successful), either the city has to rescind its action, or there has to be a vote put to the people so it would alter the course of the program that would put it out of the hands of the county board.”
Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar was at the meeting representing the city and speaking in favor of the billboard proposal brought to city officials by Metro. Through the deal, the city would see 118 billboards on Metro property removed in exchange for six large electronic billboards, one alongside Interstate 5 and two near Highway 14.
Related article: Santa Clarita City Council OKs Metro Billboard Deal In 3-1 Vote
“I did speak in favor of it,” Kellar said, “and gave a detailed description of what the proposal was all about.” Kellar advocated the deal on the grounds it would reduce “billboard blight” throughout Santa Clarita.
“We’ve talked about trying to get rid of billboards, or some number of them, for years,” Kellar said, explaining the purpose behind the Metro deal at the CIty Council meeting in March when it was approved. “To just simply buy (Edwards Outdoor) out is too expensive.”
Ideally, two billboards would be better than three, he said, however, the revenue figures didn’t justify the deal for Metro.
However, a small contingent of Santa Clarita residents, including Santa Clarita City Councilman TimBen Boydston, spoke in opposition to the plan, successfully asking the county board for time to consider the signatures.
Boydston was there not to represent the city of Santa Clarita, but to represent the citizens of Santa Clarita, he said, many of whom filled Council Chambers and angrily decried the way their opposition was treated and the manner in which Santa Clarita handled the billboard proposal.
“I think it’s great that the executive board of Metro decided to wait for the people to weigh in and to see if their referendum is successful,” Boydston said. “I know that a lot of people in Santa Clarita are unhappy about this.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News