City Council approves additions to monument

Santa Clarita’s City Council approved installing a granite monument which will honor 50 SCV residents who perished in wars from WWII to present.

The Santa Clarita City Council Tuesday night approved additions to the Fallen Warriors Monument to the tune of $84,500.

“I am just so proud that we’ve had such a huge community outpouring to make this possible,” said Bill Reynolds, representative for the monument and The Signal’s Director of Veterans Affairs. “It’s so gratifying that our councilmembers are patriotic and want to honor our fallen warriors. It’s a noble cause and they saw it as just that.”

Reynolds said when he initially proposed the monument in 2015, he expected City Hall to take full control but was surprised when the planning was turned back to him, allowing more community involvement.  Community donations to the monument totaled more than $55,000.

Discussion around Santa Clarita over the past year and a half about the monument illuminated Santa Clarita’s heart for veterans, especially among combat veterans, parents of veterans and veterans at College of the Canyons, according to Reynolds.

The idea for the monument began when Reynolds and his veteran friends were reminiscing about the sentiment of Reynold’s combat unit to remember their brethren who had sacrificed their lives in war.

“We never forget the fallen,” he said. “Honoring the fallen is just what we as American patriots do. I think it’s rekindled the magic of our veterans’ community.”

Councilmembers and community members gave their input on the most recent design of the monument, which features all known local fallen veterans who would be listed on the monument. The design, which the council approved 4-0, includes the extension of a pergola over the monument. Mayor Cameron Smyth was not at the meeting.

“I’m very much in support of this,” Councilmember Bob Kellar said. “There’s no question about it, the community is excited to have this project finished.”

Kellar said he believed the monument would add elements of both sensitivity and education to the community.

Councilmember Bill Miranda addressed an audience member’s concern to give funding to living veterans instead of putting funds toward the monument, saying there ought to be funding for both, not one or the other.  Also, councilmember Marsha McLean said she would like to see more foliage around the monument.

Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste said she wants there to be further investigation to verify all of the names of veterans who lost their lives in World War I.

In other business, an ordinance for revitalization of Old Town Newhall to amend the moratorium on certain businesses was open for public hearing, though no audience members spoke. The area will be pedestrian-oriented and only allow small and independent specialty retail shops, restaurants and arts and entertainment businesses for Main Street.

Additionally, city council approved an ordinance for library rules of conduct, multiway stops at Vista Del Rio Drive and West Creek Drive as well as Vista Del Rio Drive and Camino Del Arte Drive, a no-stopping anytime zone on Avenida Velarte, a resolution for the vacation of a sanitary sewer easement, the painting and maintenance of a paseo bridge and a resolution for a funding agreement for a new Metro project.

The council plans to put the subject of the fatal hit and run of Desiree Lawson and adding to the $20,000 reward to find her killer on the next meeting’s agenda.

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