Castaic Town Council asks residents about cityhood on Facebook poll

Stenciled image of a gnome on road sign at "Gnome Island" in Castaic. Signal photo by Ryan Mancini.

An unofficial Facebook poll by the Castaic Area Town Council sought input from Castaic residents this week on a question of governance: to incorporate or not to incorporate.

A question on the social media site asked Castaic-area residents—because the Town Council also covers Val Verde and immediate surrounding communities in the same advisory capacity— two options:

“Castaic is currently an unincorporated town governed by LA County. As a Castaic resident, if you had your choice for Castaic to be annexed into Santa Clarita or… Castaic to become its own city, which would you prefer?

“Annexed by Santa Clarita.

“Castaic Cityhood.”

Town Council President Jessica Chambers said it was important to note that officials were unable to input a third option, which would have been something to the effect of, “keep the status quo.”

Residents from Region No. 3 brought the issue to the Town Council, Chambers said, adding that this was really just an effort by the council to see if there was widespread interest.

City of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County officials both said there’s been no formal discussion. Santa Clarita officials noted the original annexation plans for the city included Castaic, as well as the area that contained Six Flags Magic Mountain. The city is currently at about 66 square miles, which includes more than 20 square miles of acquisition since the December 1987 vote to incorporate.

The council is aware that a Facebook poll would likely draw a sample of residents far too small to be a significant factor in the discussion, Chambers said.

“(The survey) is literally the very first piece that would happen if we were to do anything,” Chambers said, adding there was no formal discussion by the Town Council on incorporation before the poll was submitted.

“There are no current annexation plans for Castaic,” wrote city spokeswoman Carrie Lujan, in response to a question about the Facebook poll.

Tony Bell, spokesman for L.A. County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, which governs Castaic as an unincorporated area, said the county is dedicated to ensuring a high level of service for area residents, but did not weigh in on the discussion.

“We strive to ensure that the residents of Castaic receive the very best representation, responsiveness and quality of municipal services,” Bell said. The Town Council operates in an advisory capacity to county governance. The county does not have oversight of the elected body.  

“Our office is always open to answer questions or to respond to concerns that residents may have,” Bell added, sharing the contact number for Rosalind Wayman, Barger’s Santa Clarita Valley field deputy 661-287-3657.

As of 6:30 p.m., about 10 hours after the poll was initially circulated Wednesday night in a couple of areas on Facebook, including the Town Council’s page and a Castaic 411 Community Page, there were about 172 votes cast, and of those votes cast, 54 percent favored the “cityhood” option.

If the Town Council wanted to explore such a move further, it would require much more widespread, legitimate outreach, Chambers said.

“We would need to find some way of properly polling and voting (on the subject),” Chambers said. “If people want annexation, they have to understand what that means, and, honestly, this whole thing would be an educational process for how this could go.”

The Castaic Area Town Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month, with the next meeting held June 20.

The meetings are hosted in the Castaic Union School District board room, which is located at 28131 Livingston Ave.

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