Fresh, new ideas are necessary and I supply those ideas every day. I don’t normally toot my own horn and a lot of the work I do as a councilwoman, to guarantee our city remains one of the best cities in the nation well into the future, is behind the scenes, so some may not be aware of my work on regional issues. A partial list:
1) The governor’s high-speed rail bullet train – The California High Speed Rail Authority initially chose a route through Santa Clarita that would have taken out two schools, a church and several homes in Sand Canyon. Because of my long-term engagement with high-speed rail officials (even though I have opposed their train, I remained respectful), I was able to convince the CEO at the time to come out and take a look. Because of that, we recently learned that the route was changed. That’s great, except, they still will be barreling through city-owned open space. There’s still work to be done.
2) Transportation dollars – I have spent years building up the necessary relationships to make sure Santa Clarita receives its fair share of the money for new and improved roads and improved Metrolink service. I am relentless on transportation issues. Working with Supervisor Michael Antonovich and Supervisor Kathryn Barger, we now have a new Metrolink Station at the Burbank Airport so we can take a train directly to the airport with a free shuttle to the terminal. There is a study in the works for increased Metrolink Service. Since I have been on the City Council there has been $300 million invested in new roads, working with all levels of government, there was a $47 million TIGER grant awarded for new truck lanes on Interstate 5. No one just gives the money. It takes years to build relationships to gain credibility and I have done that. There is still work to be done.
3) Working with the League of California Cities, there is $1.3 million that stays in Santa Clarita’s budget and not Sacramento’s.
4) There is a Los Angeles County ballot measure Listed as Measure W. If it passes there will be a parcel tax on homes and businesses. Our residents already pay a yearly fee for stormwater cleanup. There were months of stakeholders’ meetings that I attended to make sure there would be language so we would not be double-taxed. While I was assured this would be adequately addressed in the measure, the language remains vague. No one has the knowledge or relationships I have gained to follow through, if this measure is passed, to make sure the county gives our businesses and residents credit for what is already paid.
There is something to be said for experience in order to maintain our city’s great quality of life that we now enjoy and to take us well into the future.
Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean