Parks commissioner to move to Texas

Kevin Korenthal stands next to his road bike as he talks about his prepartion for a 600 mile bike race to raise money for challenged athletes in 2013. Dan Watson/The Signal.
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City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commissioner Kevin Korenthal is taking his career, family and bicycle to Northern Texas in April, he announced at the City Council meeting Tuesday.

The commissioner and avid cyclist has lived in Santa Clarita since 1982 and said it is with a heavy heart that he is moving away, and will miss his seat on the parks commission and the valley’s bike trails most of all.

“I really wish I could take Santa Clarita with me,” Korenthal said. “This is the sort of town that I’d always love to live in.”

An economic opportunity for work with a construction trade association has led Korenthal and his family to Texas, but he said his heart will always be in the Santa Clarita Valley.

His involvement with the city has made him want to continue to pay close attention to the local government in his new town in Texas, he said, and his role as a commissioner has brought him a newfound sense of understanding and empowerment.

“It’s left an indelible mark on me as always wanting to be involved in my community,” he said.

According to Korenthal, his involvement on the Newhall Redevelopment Committee was among his favorite times because it brought up healthy debates and allowed for conversation between the city and citizens. He said he hopes Santa Clarita city officials and residents can continue to have productive and civil dialogues and find ways to agree after he leaves.

Korenthal said he hopes the next commissioner who fills his position will be as much a proponent of building more multi-use trails as he had been.

With the help of social media and livestreaming of city meetings, he said he plans to stay informed on conversations happening in Santa Clarita.

“I don’t plan to take my attention away from what’s going on in this valley,” Korenthal said.

Councilmember Bill Miranda said Santa Clarita has a “tremendous” parks system, credited in part to Korenthal, said councilmember Bill Miranda. Korenthal’s move will be a big loss and it is City Council’s duty to appoint someone who can match Korenthal’s work.

“Kevin has been a fantastic head of the commission,” Miranda said. “He’s leaving very big shoes to fill.”

City Council will appoint a new parks commissioner within the next few weeks, according to Miranda.


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