Change is here and on the horizon for the Castaic Area Town Council, which welcomed a new member this month, and is looking to add another one in the new year.
At the council’s meeting earlier this month, longtime Castaic resident and real estate agent Hal Neff filled a months-long vacated seat in an unopposed election, bringing the total number of council members to nine.
There is still one seat open to bring the Town Council back to its regular 10 seats, after three-term Councilman John Kunak died of a heart attack Sept. 28. The council expects to fill his spot in January, according to Councilman Jeff Preach.
In the meantime, Neff looks forward to using his time on the council to beautify and enhance Castaic, he said.
In his years as a resident, he has been a member of Friends of Castaic Lake, coached at the Castaic Sports Complex and helped run the annual Castaic Lake Winter Magic and Lighted Boat Parade.
Even before he was on the council, he said he attended at least two of their meetings a year as a community member in order to stay informed.
“I’ve always been pretty heavily involved,” Neff said.
As his first order of business, Neff said he wants to get rid of the newly put in chain-link fences that have begun popping up in the area because he said they are an eyesore.
“Valencia is beautiful, and we should adopt their beauty standards,” Neff said. “That’ll be my top priority.”
He also hopes to welcome more people to Castaic in both its schools and neighborhoods. There significantly less students in the Castaic Union School District than there were in 2007, he cited. Also, he wants to encourage more housing development.
Additionally, he would like to see more people utilize Castaic Lake and its programs. Neff has ambitions to work to expand Valencia bike trails that end near Magic Mountain off Interstate 5 to connect them to the lake.