Six applicants, so far, for Council vacancy

The five candidates for Santa Clarita City Council - news in santa clarita ca
The five candidates for Santa Clarita City Council in attendance wait for their next question during a debate attended by more than sixty people held at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyon in Valencia Sept. 2. Candidates from left, TimBen Boydston, Alan Ferdman, Bob Kellar, Cameron Smyth and Mark White. Dan Watson

Facing a Friday deadline to apply for the vacant Santa Clarita City Council seat, six residents had stepped up and filed as of Tuesday – four of them also-rans in the November race for the municipal governing body.

The names come from an examination of records at the City Clerk’s office.

Former Councilman TimBen Boydston, who finished third in November, when two seats were up, was among those to file applications — a move he had promised even before his term expired on Dec. 13.

Boydston had sought re-election but finished third behind Bob Kellar and Cameron Smyth, garnering 17,108 votes, or 13.42 percent among the 11 candidates on the ballot.

Also filing for the Council seat – made vacant when Dante Acosta stepped down to ascend to the state Assembly – were Alan Ferdman, Kenneth Dean and Mark White, who finished fourth, fifth and eighth, respectively, in the November race.

Joining them in filing applications were political newcomers Marcus Hershey, a retired Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station lieutenant and Santa Clarita resident, and Rick Hood, a retired teacher who lives in Valencia.

So far, those are the six contenders for the vacancy that the other four Council members will look to fill when they hold a special meeting on Jan. 17.

Despite calls in some quarters for the Council to call a special election to fill the Acosta seat, the body on Dec. 13 voted to fill the seat via appointment.

At that Dec. 13 Council meeting, numerous public speakers warned that the appointment process could leave the vacancy open to backroom dealing, as well as limit diversity of opinion on the body.

But Smyth, now the mayor, was a proponent of this process over the special election route – and over a process of convening a citizens’ advisory committee to pre-interview applicants and make recommendations to the Council for final appointment. The latter process was undertaken in 2006, the last time a Council vacancy needed to be filled.

Smyth cited “a time crunch,” as the council is up against a state-mandated Feb. 2 deadline to appoint an Acosta successor. A special election would have left the Council at four members for even longer.


The Council set a deadline of Friday, Jan. 6 at 5 p.m. for anyone interested in the vacancy to file an application – available at City Hall or on line at – with the City Clerk.

Applicants will go before the Council on Jan. 17 and get three minutes to state their case, with members allowed to stretch that time window to ask questions.

Ferdman drew 12,106 votes in November, while Dean garnered 10,101 and White 3,976.

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