By Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean
Happy New Year!! I hope you enjoy these New Year quotes from years past, but still relevant: “Happy New-year! Happy New-year!” It is the day of hope and a fresh beginning. Old debts shall be forgiven; old feuds forgotten; old friendships revived. To‑day shall be better than yesterday. The good vows shall be kept. A blessing shall be wrung from the fleet angel Opportunity. There shall be more patience, more courage, more faith; the dream shall become life; to‑day shall wear the glamour of to‑morrow. Ring out the old, ring in the new!” ~George William Curtis, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, January 1887
“Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.” ~Michael Josephson (b.1942)
As we pass from 2017 to 2018 we look back on what has taken place in our City this year, from breaking ground on the new development in Old Town Newhall to planning for the new community center in Canyon Country, the new library/community center in Saugus, improvements to Valencia, improvements to our roads, to the opening of trails and new businesses throughout Santa Clarita. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the residents of Santa Clarita as Mayor Pro Tem this next year, and I believe that 2018 will be our best year yet for opportunities and successes!
Last year was not without its challenges. The firestorm that engulfed Southern California caused widespread damage, but could have been much worse without the help of our public safety officials. They are spending weeks on the fire lines, working around the clock to save lives, homes and property. Some even worked through the holidays to ensure the Thomas Fire was contained. We send our heartfelt thanks to these men and women who risk their own lives to protect ours.
As we get ready to usher in the New Year – let’s each vow to make our first responders’ jobs a little easier. Let’s all make smart, safe decisions for our New Years’ celebrations.
Whether you are at a New Year’s Eve party at home, a friend’s house or one of the many events planned throughout Southern California, even after just a single drink, it is never a good idea to get behind the wheel. There are many ride share services available that can get you where you need to go safely and without putting anyone else at risk. For example, Designated Drivers of Santa Clarita offers to get you and your car safely home anywhere in the Santa Clarita Valley for just $20. They can be reached from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. at 661-313-8336. Another option is Safe Rides. This non-profit organization is dedicated to making our community a safer place by providing teens a ride home as an alternative to drinking and driving. This free and confidential service is available Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information call 661-259-6330.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies will be on patrol looking for intoxicated drivers as well. Drinking and driving is not worth the threat to yourself, pedestrians and other drivers, let alone the fine and jail time you will receive.
Another area of public safety concern involves the firing of guns into the air on New Year’s Eve. While folks participate in this tradition in many communities every year, they put themselves and others at risk because bullets will return from the sky and have the potential to strike someone. Celebratory gunfire is also illegal and the City is warning residents to not shoot guns in the air.
Finally, we want to remind residents, please do not light fireworks. Doing so is against the law and also poses a significant fire danger. With the recent fires that have devastated several communities in our region, we know all too well that a single spark into dry brush can bring devastating consequences.
As we saw during the Fourth of July celebrations, fireworks continue to be an issue in Santa Clarita. This is why the City Council decided to establish a $500 reward for those that are able to provide information that leads to a citation for setting off fireworks. We hope this will incentivize residents to report this illegal activity to sheriff’s deputies so we can keep our communities safe. To report persons setting off fireworks, please call the Santa Clarita Valley Sherriff’s Station at 661-255-1121.
We wish everyone a very happy and a very safe New Year’s Eve. I’ll see you in 2018!
Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.