With 2006 leaving Santa Clarita behind, it seems clear that the year was at the very least, a full one. In fact, looking back at last year may only bring more questions about what will happen in 2007.
I find it to be fitting though. Our city grows every single day and luckily for us, the city staff and residents alike have taken up the fight in preparing for the future of Santa Clarita. There have been rallies, parades, campaigns stubborn protests. It has been an emotional mix of voices this year, and most issues have yet to be settled.
So I will look back at glorious 2006, but I find that a very serious look at curious 2007 is also in order.
The Cross Valley connector, one of the largest projects this city has ever taken on, took first shape last year. Now the section from the 14 freeway to Soledad canyon road are open, and another piece between the 126 and the industrial center should be open soon.
So far, the project that was in the hundreds of millions of dollars has been whittled down to somewhere in the 15 million dollar range.
The city launched Community Court. Now our kids are being tried for their juvenile crimes here in Santa Clarita, with community service also being done here.
The Cemex battle became personal. The city and residents bound together to put on rallies, a letter writing campaign, and negotiate national press coverage on our plight.
Laurene Weste, Bob Kellar and others went to Washington DC and met with Diane Feinstein, reps Brad Sherman and Buck McKeon. When they came back, the attitude was more positive than it had been in a long time. While I still don’t know the details of what went on in those meetings, I absolutely find this fresh optimism to be promising.
Buck had a competitor. Our congressman, Buck McKeon is a long time resident and every two years in elected overwhelmingly. This year, a young guy by the name of Robert Rodriguez game Buck surprising opposition, and put up the most respectable fight against him in recent history. Buck still won by a good amount, but the splash made by Rodriguez was heard by many. He even went as far as to enlist Sherman Oaks Congressional Representative Brad Sherman in the fight against Cemex.
The City Council Waved goodbye to Cameron Smyth, and hello to a big mess of picking his replacement.
Cameron Smyth won his race for the California State Assembly, replacing the termed out Keith Richman. In less than a month of duty, he has already released two bills. One to make it harder for Cemex to mine here in town, and the other to tackle issues with LAUSD.
In the wake of Smyth’s departure came a process to appoint his replacement. The process included community panel interviews and blind rankings, which all worked as they should. But when the issue reached the council, it became a two day event that was about as fun as volunteering for student dentistry. Deadlock vote after deadlock vote, TimBen Boydston was picked to serve as a placeholder.
Henry Mayo got more than they bargained for. Henry Mayo, and their partner G&L Realty got hit with a storm of public disdain at their proposed 25 year mast plan for tripling the campus size. A standing room only crowd added flair to a planning commission meeting that went until 1 in the morning the night they passed the plan narrowly.
Surely, most of these issues are just begging to unfold.
Tomorrow, we’ll see what these issues will mean for next year.
KHTS AM 1220 News