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Castaic Town Council president to rescind email to county

A truck moves up a work road leading through the proposed expansion site in the foreground, looking north-west at the high walls of the existing land fill site of the Chiquita Land Fill in Castaic on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Castaic Town Council members voted Wednesday to rescind an email written by their president to the Los Angeles County Planning Commission.

In July, President Lloyd Carder wrote an email to the commission inquiring about retracting approval of the Landmark Village development, citing health concerns as a result of proximity to Chiquita Canyon Landfill, and signed it as the president of the council.

Some council members also had an issue with Carder including Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment (SCOPE) on the email, of which Carder is a member.

Of the six town council members in attendance at the meeting Wednesday night, with Carder abstaining, four voted for him to write a retraction of the email, saying Carder’s personal views were not reflective of the whole council.

“We all agreed he has the right to say whatever he wants as a personal citizen,” town council member John Kunak said.

The permitting process Carder was trying to rescind is a “pain,” according to council member Jeff Preach.

“It’s a big deal and you have no business reversing it,” Preach said. “He can ask all he wants but he can’t do it as town council president.”

Preach said Carder’s email served the purpose of a formal letter, which he said Carder did not have the right to do.

“He had an agenda and I do not agree with it,” Preach said. “Lloyd is playing dumb and I think it was totally intentional.”

As a result of the vote, Carder will write back to the planning commission saying he retracts his first email. The other council members will review and approve his letter first.

The council discussed that it is only appropriate to speak on the group’s behalf after they vote to do so, according to Kunak, though he said he thought this was clear before this incident happened.

Moving forward, the Castaic Town Council will work on “clarifying procedures,” he said.

In a separate motion, council voted three to two not to have Carder step down from his position as president for “misrepresentation” of the council, with Kunak and Preach voting in favor of his removal.

“I made the motion, though I was uncomfortable with it because I really like Mr. Carder,” Kunak said. “I felt we needed to take this drastic measure to avoid that type of action by a president on behalf of the council (in the future).”

Carder will continue to serve as president through the end of the year.

“I’m not upset with the council deciding to keep him as president for those two months because he does what he can to represent the area and his community,” Kunak said. “The goal is to make sure the council stays united.”

Carder did not wish to speak to The Signal on Friday.

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