City receives awards for two of its programs

Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean accepts Helen Putnam awards on behalf of the city at the League of California Cities Annual Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Courtesy Photo

The city of Santa Clarita just added two more Helen Putnam awards to its collection after being recognized for two of its programs during the League of California Cities Conference.

On Wednesday, Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean accepted the awards on behalf of the city at the conference in Long Beach.

“We are once again ecstatic to be honored for two innovative projects that are making a difference in the lives of Santa Clarita residents,” McLean said in a statement released by the city Thursday. “The city’s priority is to develop and execute programs that are forward thinking and provide beneficial solutions for all.”

Santa Clarita’s Community Court Diversion Program received recognition under the Intergovernmental Collaboration category, which offers an alternative to the juvenile justice system for first-time, non-violent offenders.

The program offers Community Court, established in 2006, for lesser offenses such as petty theft and vandalism, and Teen Court, since 1995, for those facing charges like assault or possession of a controlled substance.

In collaboration with the city, the Sheriff’s Department and the William S. Hart Union High School District, more than 4,000 youth have participated. Teens have completed about 40,000 hours of community service locally through the program, according to the city news release.

The second award went to the Santa Clarita Business Incubator, which helps local entrepreneurs groom their cutting-edge ideas and connect them to resources necessary to thrive. The program offers startup companies access to funding, customized training for tenants and one-on-one business consultations.

Since the program launched in 2014, the news release stated, 19 new jobs have been created within city limits and by 2017 two companies had graduated from the program and transitioned into nearby operating locations.

“This year’s award-winning programs may relate to vastly different sectors in our community, but they also highlight the well-rounded approach taken by city staff to maintain the high quality of life in Santa Clarita,” McLean said.

For the 13th year now, the city has won a total of 17 Helen Putnam awards. Last year, its Heroin Kills program, which offers outreach on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, won in the category of Public Safety and its Employee Development program for internal administration.

The Helen Putnam Award for Excellence recognizes California cities that have made unique contributions to communities through outstanding efforts and innovative solutions, the Helen Putnam website says.

For more information about the award-winning programs, contact communications manager Carrie Lujan at 661-255-4314 or [email protected].

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