Congratulations to Bill Miranda for being chosen Tuesday night to fill the empty Santa Clarita City Council seat. I have known Bill and his wife, Virginia, for more than 25 years, and their contributions to the Santa Clarita Valley have been immense.
First and foremost, the City Council should now consider a process of filling any future vacated seat. Moving to a higher elected office, illness, or job relocation will find a City Council seat open again.
A simple solution they might consider is looking back at the previous election runner-up to fill the position.
This time, the arduous City Council selection process brought forward 50 applicants, and we have to thank The Signal and KHTS for being responsible civic leaders to assist in the vetting.
As one of the participants, I found a silver lining as I became “up close and personal” with many of the applicants.
I got to meet and hear two attorneys, Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy and Brent Braun, who enthralled me with their ideas and background.
Two EMTs, “Tyger” White and Matthew Hargett, on their emotional connection to the public. Two law enforcement officers, friend Mark Hershey and Dikran Melkonian, delineating their community involvement and awareness.
Jack Levenberg, a retired pharmacist who understands our social problems with drug abuse. And a unique successful businessman, Ken Wiseman, who believes in giving second chances and who treats his employees like family.
Our stalwarts in the community, Diane Trautman, TimBen Boydston, Alan Ferdman, and Gloria Mercado-Fortine, whose guidance and understanding of government has shaped the city we have today.
And the venerable founding father, Ken Dean, whose work created the structure of our present city.
Rising stars include my neighbor, Tim McLaughlin; and Cristen Farrell and Kevin Rosenberg, who went to school with Robin’s daughter.
Others I know who will hold the City Council’s feet to the fire in the future are Tito Gonzales, Bret Mouser, Jason Gibbs and Jackie Thomas.
Michael Cruz will someday be a member of the City Council. And finally, highly impressive Dr. Robert Cooper, who must expand his wings into governmental affairs.
For some of the applicants, this was their first foray into the realm of local politics. I hope it will not be their last.
The quality, caliber and character of these citizens revealed by this process will allow our city to move forward, thrive, and prosper.
Let the fire continue to burn in all of you. Come to City Council meetings and continue to let your voices be heard.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D., is a Saugus resident and also was among the candidates for the vacant Santa Clarita City Council seat.