HEADLINES

The Town Councils in SCV are Irrelevant

Posted on: 08/07/2017 00:00

Some twenty-five years ago or so, then L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich had the vision to set up what was known then as rural town councils in the Santa Clarita Valley. He could see that the area was developing and becoming a refuge for young families looking for starter homes or the tranquility of bedroom communities. I was part of one of those young families living in a townhome while my current home was under construction. Master planned communities were beginning to move through the approval process and having the eyes and ears of residents—community leaders— living near these new neighborhoods was a forward-thinking concept.

I was one of those community leaders more than twenty years ago and was enlisted into one of the first councils by Dr. Richard Rioux. The Stevenson Ranch Town Council was a seven-member group of residents in the neighborhoods developed by Dale Poe. Over the years, the town council took an active role in looking out for the community we all lived in. We were responsible for changing how traffic lights were added to the community and making sure that new building conformed esthetically with what was already here, tying the community together visually. We also fought back against things that were detrimental to the community like density of housing and downgrading roadways to mitigate traffic.    

There were plenty of subdivisions pushing through the planning stage process at the County Department of Regional Planning. Westridge was only a dream. Valencia Marketplace just a thought and Southern Oaks rolling hills. There was a lot of activity and having residents weigh in on these projects was an intelligent thing to do. There were new schools to consider, traffic lights to be added for safety, and evacuation plans to be considered in the event of a catastrophic emergency—wildfire or earthquake.

Those have been dealt with over the years. Now the communities in West Ranch have been built out for the most part and the town council has run its course. Over the last several years there has been less and less attendance at the monthly council meetings. The reports being given by the Sheriff, CHP, County, Parks and Rec, and occasionally others typically outnumber residents in attendance. Sure, there is a swell when an issue pops up like the brine injection well but that was dealt with before the hysterical residents even showed up. The Johnny-come-lately types armed with misinformation, hurling insults, and demanding action, before they realized their own stupidity.

Read more here: Commentary: The Town Councils in SCV are Irrelevant


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