“In the township, as well as everywhere else, the people are the source of power; but nowhere do they exercise their power more immediately. In America the people form a master who must be obeyed to the utmost limits of possibility.”
— Alexis de Tocqueville,
“Democracy in America,” 1835
While traveling in the United States on a research commission from the French government, Alexis de Tocqueville, a French diplomat, political scientist and historian, remarked on the decentralized power featuring local government in the New England region. The efficiency and accountability to the individual citizen was in stark contrast to the centralized government power of his native country.
Residents of the city of Santa Clarita have begun receiving their vote-by-mail ballots for the election to take place Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Whether voting by mail or at their designated polling location, citizens will choose their representatives in a local election for three positions on the City Council in a tradition that precedes our founding as an independent nation, state and city.
By almost any measure, whether it be quality of life, schools, tax base, crime rate, city services, fiscal management, etc., the city of Santa Clarita is a well-run city that serves the interest of its residents.
I wish to maintain the quality of life my family and I enjoy in Santa Clarita and that’s why I’m writing today to endorse Jason Gibbs for Santa Clarita City Council.
I had read Jason’s columns in The Signal with interest and since meeting him in person last spring, we’ve had hours of discussion regarding our community, past, present and future.
I was and have been impressed by Jason’s knowledge of the city government and various commissions. Also, his engineering experience enabling sound cost/benefit analysis and execution of projects on time and on budget was a plus. This while listening intently to the input of his neighbors and demonstrating heart for their concerns in multiple outreach meetings.
What resonated most with me is Jason’s appreciation for the quality of life in Santa Clarita that’s enjoyed by him and his wife Chandra, and their two young children, Aiden and Avery. As a professional couple, he noted it took both of their incomes to afford a home. Also, that there were opportunities for the city to improve safety and transparency while addressing the perception that the City Council was insular and out of touch with the concerns of young families.
His call for establishment of a Public Safety Commission is an excellent means to formally and holistically approach crime, opioid abuse/fatalities, traffic safety, homelessness, etc., on a monthly basis to receive input from residents and transparently communicate how the city is responding to their ideas and concerns.
Additionally, Jason’s support for local commercial development to attract businesses that provide mortgage-paying jobs right here in our community will help reduce long employment commutes and traffic while broadening the city’s tax base to fund services.
Santa Clarita’s city employee pension system is tied to CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) and it is significantly underfunded, exposing the city to obligations to fill the gap due to state fiscal mismanagement. Jason has a plan to work with city staff to review aggressive payment of obligations now, so our kids and grandkids won’t be saddled with unsustainable payments.
Sacramento and the majority of Los Angeles County Supervisors have priorities that are out of synch with our community values. We need a principled, able and accountable voice on our local City Council to manage these risks and intelligently chart our way forward in a way that protects our wonderful community.
Please join me in supporting Jason Gibbs for City Council this November.
Ron Bischof is a Santa Clarita resident.