- It’s the economy, stupid. OK, it’s not original and I do work for the economic development corporation, but understanding the Santa Clarita Valley regional, state and national economy is a critical function for any civic leader. But employment actually is the answer to a lot of problems. It’s the fastest way out of poverty or into upward mobility. It generates the taxes that help fund our roads, our schools, and our parks. Santa Clarita has just been named L.A. County’s Most Business-Friendly City, and a big reason is that the council actually thinks about the role that business plays in improving our quality of life. The commitment to a robust and diverse economy in the future must continue and is vital to our continued success.
- Santa Clarita is no longer a small town. One of the most pervasive misperceptions of the SCV is that we are still a small town with no real business or activity. In reality, Santa Clarita is the third largest city in L.A. County and the Santa Clarita Valley is home to a vibrant and growing business community. Household names such as Princess Cruises and Sunkist call the SCV home, along with lesser-known leaders in the aerospace, medical device, film, and manufacturing sectors. Our leaders need to engage with other leaders from cities across the region and the state to ensure that decisions and policy are favorable to the SCV. Our size and growth potential should enable us to be a significant player in the region.
- Remember that the post is nonpartisan. Some of the best public policy ideas are hatched in cities because party politics aren’t overly influencing the debates. Council members should work together to address the real issues facing our community. I generally find that there is more agreement than disagreement on issues when people sit down and really listen to each other. While there is much partisan bickering at the state and federal levels, I would like our council to work together and be an example of how cities can succeed.
- Think about the future. The SCV is growing and changing. We have an aging population but also have a growing youth population. Our young city is maturing, along with our infrastructure. We need to be thinking about the future and preparing for it. We have older infrastructure that will need attention whilst we need to invest in new roads, parks and schools at the same time. Technology is reshaping how we live and can also shape how our community works. We should be thinking long-term about our future infrastructure, governance and services to meet the demands of a modern society.