Santa Clarita City Council is set to swear in its newly elected members Tuesday at the city’s meeting at City Hall.
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City officials will also be discussing Santa Clarita‘s $18.8 million contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, moving the city’s election date and the discussion of several pieces of legislation with potential impacts to Santa Clarita residents.
New Santa Clarita City Council
Dante Acosta is set to be sworn in for his first term, and Councilwoman Marsha McLean and Mayor Laurene Weste will join him on the dais for their fourth and fifth terms, respectively.
Acosta was elected to fill the spot vacated by Councilman Frank Ferry in one of the closest elections in city history.
Related article: Santa Clarita City Council Race ’14: Dante Acosta Takes Third
Weste garnered 6,210 votes, McLean had 5,677 and Acosta had 4,937. Alan Ferdman finished with 4,833 votes,Gloria Mercado-Fortine, who came in fifth, garnered 4,633 votes, and Duane Harte ended up sixth with 4,506.
This was Acosta’s first attempt at seeking election in the Santa Clarita City Council race.
Acosta sought the seat of Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, in the June 2012 primary election, eventually losing out to Democrat Lee Rogers and McKeon.
Sheriff’s Department contract for Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station
The city’s contract with the Sheriff’s Department is the largest in Los Angeles County because Santa Clarita is the largest contract-services city in the county.
“Contracting with the County’s Sheriff’s Department provides many benefits over the city having its own police department,” according to the city’s agenda. “Through this partnership, the city has access to regional resources such as special weapons and tactics (SWAT) units, crime labs, special investigative units and many more.”
The contract sets a number of minutes for patrol Sheriff’s Station officials must meet within city limits, and additionally calls for a compliance rate of 98 percent. Should the rate fall below 98 percent, a meeting with the city manager and the Sheriff’s Station captain would be held.
However, such an occurrence rarely happens, according to city data.
Since 2009, the average compliance rate for law enforcement services provided in the City is 99.98%. The county has met the city’s deployment service levels consistently for the past five years, and the city does not anticipate the need for requiring a future plan for resolution from the Sheriff’s Department, according to officials.
The agenda item touts several accomplishments by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, namely a drop in its Part I crime rate in 2013 (year-over-year reductions over the previous year in arson, robbery, aggravated assault and grand theft auto), as well as Santa Clarita’s status as one of the top 10 safest cities of its size, according to FBI data.
The primary activities provided by the Sheriff’s Department through this agreement include continuous neighborhood patrol, traffic enforcement, accident investigation, detective functions, Crime Prevention Unit (CPU), helicopter patrol, Juvenile Intervention Team (J-Team), Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives (VIDA) unit, Detective Bureau, parking enforcement, community policing services, and supplemental service during special city events.
Legislation from Sacramento taken up by City Hall
Santa Clarita’s Legislative Subcommittee, comprised of Councilmen Bob Kellar and TimBen Boydston, discussed several bills being discussed in Sacramento and proposed several recommendations.
AB 1707, which was authored by Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, would amend the Health and Safety Code to require scientific peer review of proposed rules, specifically including Total Maximum Daily Loads, adopted by regional water quality control boards.
Related article: Chloride Decision To Be Appealed By Santa Clarita Valley Officials
The reason for the legislation is a recommendation by the state’s Regional Water Quality Board mandating lower chloride levels in the water sent downstream via the Santa Clara River.
The chloride issue is an expensive and contentious one, Boydston said.
“This could cost the taxpayers of the Santa Clarita Valley $350 million easy, and on something that’s not based on science,” Boydston said, noting the bulk of the data relied on literature review and not studies.
LARWQCB Executive Director Sam Unger argued the level was based on historical levels and science, which has been the basis behind the mandate and subsequent dispute.
While this bill would have no direct effect on the chloride TMDL issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Santa Clara River, it would require scientific peer review for all proposed TMDLs adopted on or after January 1, 2015, the effective date of the measure, should it be enacted into law.
Santa Clarita City Council members are also looking at legislation involving a film tax credit, standards for massage parlors and mandated district based elections.
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Source: Santa Clarita News