‘Campaign’ for Santa Clarita mayor begins
By Kevin Kenney
Thursday, November 10th, 2016

For all you political junkies going through campaign withdrawal after two whole days without, relief has arrived: The race for Mayor of Santa Clarita in 2017 has officially begun!

Well, technically, it’s not a race – it’s only a decision that has to be made on Dec. 13, when the council swears in the two victors from Tuesday’s city council election and then picks a mayor from among the body’s members to serve a one-year term.

And don’t expect any campaign pyrotechnics, either – The Signal spoke to all the potential candidates on Thursday, and not one of them said anything negative, nasty or remotely mean-spirited about any of the others.

No, under the city’s Council/Manager form of government, the next mayor will ascend on Dec. 13 after a month of civil discussion among council members – Mayor Bob Kellar (re-elected to the council on Tuesday), incumbents Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste, and the newly elected Cameron Smyth (returning after a 10-year absence).

A fifth member will need to be seated – through a process yet to be determined — early in the next council’s next term, as Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Dante Acosta will be leaving to join the state Assembly, a post he won on Tuesday.

Normally, the Mayor Pro Tem would automatically transition to the mayor’s spot – but Acosta’s leaving has created the tiniest bit of “campaign” intrigue this time around.

The mayor’s job is largely ceremonial, and carries no more power than any other council member. But it does entail more of a time commitment for all manner of city business, including chairing council meetings, and public appearances.

“I jokingly say to my husband, ‘I’ll see you next year,’ ’’ said Weste, who has served as mayor four times.

As for who might become mayor this time around, Weste – like the other members interviewed — said, “I have not had an opportunity to think about it, but we’ll start thinking about it.’’

“We have good quality of people (to choose from),’’ Weste added – pointing out that she, McLean, Kellar and Smyth have all served as mayor multiple times before.

Said McLean, who has been mayor three times and was Kellar’s immediate predecessor:  “This is going to be interesting.’’

“The normal succession would have been Dante. Now, with Bob’s term being up and Dante not there to move up, I have no idea how it’s going to go. We’ll have to discuss it when we convene, and see what the council wants to do.’’

“Any one of us would be just fine — we’re all experienced, and we’ve all done it before. At the meeting, somebody can speak up, if they want it,’’ McLean said.

Kellar is not technically barred from serving consecutive terms, but he said it’s “highly, highly unlikely” that would happen.

“I expect it would be either of the two ladies,” Kellar said, “although there certainly hasn’t been any discussion about it yet. Typically, we’ve rotated through the council.”

Kellar said he “will be surprised” if the job, at least this time, goes to Smyth, since Smyth has not been a council member for 10 years.

Smyth isn’t lobbying for the job, either.

“It’s been a decade since I’ve been at City Hall,’’ Smyth said.

“I have meetings set with city managers and other department heads to get up to speed as quickly as possible. … I want to hit the ground running.”

 

kkenney@signalscv.com

(661) 287-5525

 

About the author

Kevin Kenney

Kevin Kenney

Over 30-plus years, Kevin Kenney has been a writer and editor for United Press International, the New York Post and Fox Sports, among other outlets. He joined The Signal in 2016.

‘Campaign’ for Santa Clarita mayor begins

For all you political junkies going through campaign withdrawal after two whole days without, relief has arrived: The race for Mayor of Santa Clarita in 2017 has officially begun!

Well, technically, it’s not a race – it’s only a decision that has to be made on Dec. 13, when the council swears in the two victors from Tuesday’s city council election and then picks a mayor from among the body’s members to serve a one-year term.

And don’t expect any campaign pyrotechnics, either – The Signal spoke to all the potential candidates on Thursday, and not one of them said anything negative, nasty or remotely mean-spirited about any of the others.

No, under the city’s Council/Manager form of government, the next mayor will ascend on Dec. 13 after a month of civil discussion among council members – Mayor Bob Kellar (re-elected to the council on Tuesday), incumbents Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste, and the newly elected Cameron Smyth (returning after a 10-year absence).

A fifth member will need to be seated – through a process yet to be determined — early in the next council’s next term, as Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Dante Acosta will be leaving to join the state Assembly, a post he won on Tuesday.

Normally, the Mayor Pro Tem would automatically transition to the mayor’s spot – but Acosta’s leaving has created the tiniest bit of “campaign” intrigue this time around.

The mayor’s job is largely ceremonial, and carries no more power than any other council member. But it does entail more of a time commitment for all manner of city business, including chairing council meetings, and public appearances.

“I jokingly say to my husband, ‘I’ll see you next year,’ ’’ said Weste, who has served as mayor four times.

As for who might become mayor this time around, Weste – like the other members interviewed — said, “I have not had an opportunity to think about it, but we’ll start thinking about it.’’

“We have good quality of people (to choose from),’’ Weste added – pointing out that she, McLean, Kellar and Smyth have all served as mayor multiple times before.

Said McLean, who has been mayor three times and was Kellar’s immediate predecessor:  “This is going to be interesting.’’

“The normal succession would have been Dante. Now, with Bob’s term being up and Dante not there to move up, I have no idea how it’s going to go. We’ll have to discuss it when we convene, and see what the council wants to do.’’

“Any one of us would be just fine — we’re all experienced, and we’ve all done it before. At the meeting, somebody can speak up, if they want it,’’ McLean said.

Kellar is not technically barred from serving consecutive terms, but he said it’s “highly, highly unlikely” that would happen.

“I expect it would be either of the two ladies,” Kellar said, “although there certainly hasn’t been any discussion about it yet. Typically, we’ve rotated through the council.”

Kellar said he “will be surprised” if the job, at least this time, goes to Smyth, since Smyth has not been a council member for 10 years.

Smyth isn’t lobbying for the job, either.

“It’s been a decade since I’ve been at City Hall,’’ Smyth said.

“I have meetings set with city managers and other department heads to get up to speed as quickly as possible. … I want to hit the ground running.”

 

kkenney@signalscv.com

(661) 287-5525

 

About the author

Kevin Kenney

Kevin Kenney

Over 30-plus years, Kevin Kenney has been a writer and editor for United Press International, the New York Post and Fox Sports, among other outlets. He joined The Signal in 2016.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 19 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]