The Santa Clarita Valley Signal and College of the Canyons will host a public forum next week so Santa Clarita residents may meet and question their potential new council member. With just 11 days between the last day to file and the first day of City Council interviews, the forum will be a scramble to arrange but is important, Publisher Chuck Champion said, in the interests of transparency in city government. It will be held Thursday, Jan. 12, in the University Center of the College of the Canyons’ Valencia campus. After former Councilman Dante Acosta was elected to the Legislature to represent Assembly District 38 in November, the Santa Clarita City Council found itself without a member for the first time since 2006. Faced with a choice of holding a costly special election and appointing a new member, the council in 2006 pulled together a committee of community interests to interview and rank replacements for the former councilman at that time. However, this year the council voted to appoint the replacement itself following a brief interview with each applicant and no public input. The Signal called council members to re-think the process, without success. A public forum, it is believed, will give residents at least some voice in the process. The Signal will email questions to applicants and publish answers before the forum to get the conversation going.
Residents are invited to attend the public forum Thursday starting at 5 p.m. and also to send questions they have for applicants to The Signal at firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered during the public forum question session.