Council, residents to get first look at city budget

Santa Clarita City Hall

City Council members, the public, city staff and city commission members will get their first look at the city’s planned budget Tuesday during a study session at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Century Room at City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd.

Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean said the study session is an informal setting for the city council to meet with the Planning Commission, Arts Commission and the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission, as well as members of the community.

“It does give the public the opportunity to see how (the city) is spending their money,” she said. “We urge people to come.”

The study session agenda, which is available online, said the budgetary process takes about six months from January to June resulting in “the adoption of a balanced annual budget.”

Councilman Bob Kellar said the meeting typically lasts about an hour and called the meeting “a great opportunity for us to come together.”

Councilman Cameron Smyth called the study session “the kickoff of our budget planning season” and said residents will want to hear about the city’s capital projects, specifically the new sheriff’s station slated to be on Golden Valley Road just south of Centre Pointe Parkway, the proposed library in Saugus and the planned community center in Canyon Country.

As for items they want to see in the budget, the councilmembers pointed to a variety of concerns.

Smyth said he sees need to expand parks and recreation facilities in the city and his family is a regular visitor to the city’s parks.

“I see the need firsthand for us to grow,” he said.

Kellar pointed to the city’s longstanding fight to prevent a sand and gravel mine to be established just outside the city’s eastern border in Soledad Canyon. The city disclosed last month that it has spent approximately $12.15 million in fighting Cemex, the company hoping to excavate millions of tons of sand and gravel from the area.

“If we lose that battle, the ramifications to our valley would be devastating,” he said.

Kellar also said he has been proud of other budgeted programs, such as the $5,000 hometown hero banner program.

But McLean was cautious in highlighting specific budget items.

“I think each one of us is concerned about all of it,” she said. “Each one of us looks at the overall picture.”

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