Marsha McLean: Getting Started on an Exciting Year in 2019!

Marsha McLean is sworn in as the next mayor of Santa Clarita at City Hall Tuesday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Vision and planning are essential elements in preparing for a successful future to ensure our city continues to provide the high quality of life we all enjoy. Our Santa Clarita 2020 Plan, a five-year strategic plan, was developed in order to help guide city projects so we can best prioritize resources and achieve specific milestones by the year 2020. We are one year away from 2020, and many of the projects we planned and dreamed about are becoming a reality! I am looking forward to all that 2019 holds and I know it is going to be another amazing year!

As a strong advocate for regional transportation, I am pleased to share that we will be focusing on updating and taking a fresh look at our transportation system through the Transportation Development Plan.

After reviewing public feedback, we are working with a consultant to make necessary adjustments to the plan to ensure Santa Clarita Transit meets the mobility needs of the community, both presently and across a 10-year planning horizon. Examples of the improvements we are considering include routes to new areas within the city, additional services and much more.

I also plan to continue to fight to protect our community from any adverse impacts of the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) project, which is proposed to connect from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

In September of last year, CHSRA staff released their preferred alternative alignment for Palmdale to Burbank. The preferred alignment proposes an underground tunnel to be built through part of Sand Canyon in Santa Clarita before heading east toward Palmdale, partially above ground through city-owned open space.

Although designed to be underground through Sand Canyon, the City Council wants to make sure the alignments do not have surface impacts, such as loud noises or vibration, that could cause harm to nearby homes and neighborhoods. Our additional concern is that the proposed route could affect the wildlife corridors in our open space. Our stance is that if the project does eventually get built, the only acceptable option is a fully underground alignment between Burbank and Palmdale.

To stay updated on the progress of the proposed California High Speed Rail project through Santa Clarita, please visit santa-clarita.com/HSR.

As we discovered in the results of our 2018 Public Opinion Poll — traffic is an important community issue. In response, this year we will push to get planned roadways built. These include the expansion of Magic Mountain Parkway, Santa Clarita Parkway and the extension of Via Princessa.

Speaking of getting things built, another major project that falls within our Santa Clarita 2020 Plan is our new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. This state-of-the-art facility will be the first station built in the valley since the current station opened its doors nearly a half-century ago. It will be the home base for our hard-working deputies!

Under the leadership of Capt. Robert Lewis, we have seen a significant drop in part 1 crimes, building upon our city’s reputation as one of the safest communities in the nation.

This year, we also will officially break ground on the new Canyon Country Community Center. Much work has already been done on the site — but this will be the official kickoff to construction — meaning we will be one step closer to providing the community with a new hub for learning, activity and enrichment.

To ensure that every community in our city has access to our top-notch library services, we will continue to make plans for a new library, arts and community center in Saugus.
On top of all these exciting projects, we also have our full slate of popular events coming back this year.

From the Cowboy Festival to Concerts in the Park and the Amgen tour of California, there will be many opportunities to gather as a community and enjoy all Santa Clarita has to offer.

It is truly an exciting time to live and work in Santa Clarita. Our beautiful city continues to improve every year, and it is in part thanks to the hard work of our city staff and support of our residents! Thank you for your commitment to the city.

To learn more about the Santa Clarita 2020 Plan, please visit SantaClarita2020.com.

Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at mmclean@santa-clarita.com.

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