Thanksgiving is a family day, a day when multiple generations gather to celebrate and remember the blessings they have in life.
This Thanksgiving Day I will be reflecting on what I am thankful for, and like most of you I will be thankful for my family, my work family, friends and our good health.
My daughter Lauren is bright and healthy and going for her doctorate degree in psychology. My wife and I have been happily married for 36 years. We have a home in a community we love. Our dog Max is about as healthy as a 13-year-old dog can be. I have a great team of very hard-working, dedicated Signal employees committed to putting out a great, quality community newspaper. I’m thankful to be able to give back to the community I love and call home.
Most importantly, I think about what we all should be thankful for and how truly lucky we are to live in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Yes, we do have our problems here, just like every community in the world. We have the growing pains of a city that is so desirable that many people want to move here. We have traffic congestion and a homeless problem.
We have debates over how many new homes to build and where to build them. We are still fighting a mega-mine that would greatly increase traffic congestion and reduce our air quality. This, we all believe, will certainly reduce the quality of life we have here in the Santa Clarita Valley.
But then, I think of what we could be dealing with, and the problems we could have and the problems other cities are facing.
We could have rampant crime in the streets, a murder rate reaching over 500 for the year, government corruption, gang warfare, brown water coming from our faucets, bad schools or a city with financial troubles.
I think about how lucky we are. We have good government here in Santa Clarita, and we have prosperity. We have planned growth that is the envy of the entire country, we have five City Council members with whom you might not agree all the time, but who are doing what they believe is the best for the city they live in and love. We have a great city manager and staff. We are one of the safest cities in the nation.
We have community leaders who give so much of their time and money, it’s incredible. Last week we announced our list of the 51 most influential people in the community, and what we found was all of them donate their time and money to the more than 100 nonprofit groups in the SCV that are trying to make our community a better place to live, work, go to school, shop and play.
These are not people who are community leaders because they donate their time and money. These are community leaders who care about the people in their community and then try to make it a better place by getting involved. Santa Clarita is defined by the great people who live and work here — the entire community of caring, giving people, people who support each other and make a difference.
Yes, I am thankful for the problems that we do have, because I know we could have far worse problems to deal with.
I love Santa Clarita.
Thank God we live in Santa Clarita.
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!
Richard Budman is the owner and publisher of The Signal.