By City Manager Ken Striplin
When the City Council declared a local emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Santa Clarita suspended a number of services and closed public amenities to limit the potential for public gatherings, and do our part as an organization to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
During the time that City facilities were closed to the public, City staff were working diligently on developing alternative programming opportunities, while at the same time identifying the steps needed to reopen services for residents safely.
As you may be aware, City Hall was able to reopen to the public with proper safety measures in place on May 18, allowing residents to access necessary services from the City Clerk’s Office, Building and Safety division, Permit Center and more. I am proud of the work done by staff to devise a strategy that enables residents to conduct essential business with the City, while also adhering to public health requirements.
Over the past few weeks, a number of City amenities have begun to reopen or have had services extended in accordance with Safer- at-Home orders. Among these are restroom facilities at City of Santa Clarita parks, as well as dog parks and City-owned tennis courts.
City of Santa Clarita paved trails, open space hiking opportunities and paseos have remained open to the public — thanks in large part to our residents following rules set for social distancing.
The Santa Clarita Public Library, which has been providing enrichment through virtual storytimes and craft sessions, has also started to reopen and is now offering patrons curbside service. While the three library branches were closed, due dates on materials were automatically extended and residents can now return their books using the drop boxes located in their branch’s parking lot.
In addition, Valencia Library patrons can now make use of a convenient and safe locker system to pick up materials they have placed on hold 24/7. Lockers will also be coming to the Canyon Country Library this summer.
To utilize the curbside service being offered by the library and learn about the locker system, please start by logging into your account at
SantaClaritaLibrary.com. There you will be able to request materials for pickup.
When you get to the library for your materials, you will park in a designated space and call the library to let staff know you have arrived. For more information, please visit the Santa Clarita Public Library’s website.
Due to restrictions on programming, the City was unable to host the popular Camp Clarita program. After reviewing guidelines and protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Camp Association, the new program KidzCare, will welcome children to seven locations starting this Monday, June 15.
This new program has extremely limited capacity but is a attributed to the innovation of City staff to provide alternative programs that bring value to our community.
This is just a small sample of City amenities that are available to the public. Each day, City staff in all departments are strategizing on how to best get every service back so that residents can once again enjoy high-quality programs and events, and re-establish normalcy.
The City continues to have conversations with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on plans to fully and safely reopen Santa Clarita as a whole so that residents can get back to work and businesses can resume operations. We are committed to doing what is best for our residents and the local economy.
I am thankful that many businesses and organizations are serving customers again — albeit in a limited fashion. As restrictions continue to be lifted, I urge you to show support for owners, employees and professionals by frequenting Santa Clarita businesses and helping to jump-start their financial recovery.
As the list of open amenities and sectors of the economy in Santa Clarita continues to grow, please stay connected with the City on Facebook and monitor SantaClaritaEmergency.com for the latest news and updates.
Ken Striplin can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.