As 2020 has turned out to be a year like no other, I wonder what history books will say about it. Our world appears to be unraveling at the seams, and it is unnerving to watch. In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, we have been asked to do many things that have frustrated, if not infuriated, many of our community members.
Not only are schools, restaurants, bars, movies, gatherings, council meetings and churches closed to prevent us from having a good time by closely associating with our friends and neighbors, but also we have had to put up with wearing masks, keeping 6-foot separations, all while we experience a lack of many convenient local services. Plus, how do you smile at someone when your face is covered in cloth?
“Shop local” has morphed into shop online and it is becoming more and more obvious, many local small businesses will be going out of business, instead of returning to our neighborhoods to serve the community. Stores providing residents with a small-town-like experience may become just a memory. Currently, politicians are doing what they do most of the time, by pointing fingers at each other, while we wait for a medical breakthrough to save us all. So, if any of you think a politician has the ability and knowledge to save the world from COVID-19, you are delusional.
My take on the problem is, the current pandemic was created by the sewing machine manufacturers association, in order to sell more machines to feed the growing home-spun mask manufacturing craze. OK, calm down, I am just kidding. The real issue is knowing how to deal with a pandemic, caused by a new viral strain when humanity has no immediate solution in their tool kit. We have not experienced anything like this since polio was a major problem in the world, and since a solution was found for polio, I am sure a solution will be found, in time, for COVID-19.
But in the meantime, life must go on. With the Moose Lodge remaining closed by state and county mandate, the Canyon Country Advisory Committee has been dark and unable to meet for the past six months. So, we have decided it is time to roll with the punches and get back to work, even if it must be in the virtual world.
Starting in 2006, and for every City Council election cycle after, the Canyon Country Advisory Committee has provided either “City Council candidate forums” or “meet and greets.” Our goal has always been to provide each candidate a fair and equal opportunity to get their message out, along with a venue so the community can hear it. To make it happen, we will be streaming the entire forum online, and a video of the event will be loaded on YouTube, with links provided on our website and Facebook page. To be fair to all, the Canyon Country Advisory Committee as an organization, will not provide any candidate endorsements, fact checking, or analysis of the content.
To qualify as a participant in the Canyon Country Advisory Committee Forum, an individual is required to have been recognized as one of the “Confirmed City Council Candidates,” identified by the city of Santa Clarita City Clerk. Currently (listed in last name alphabetical order), the 2020 City Council Election candidates are Aakash Ahuja, TimBen Boydston, Kenneth Dean, Kelvin Driscoll, Douglas Fraser, Jason Gibbs, Cameron Smyth, Selina Thomas and Christopher Werthe. The Canyon Country Advisory Committee sponsored Santa Clarita City Council Candidate Forum will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 7 to 9 p.m. All nine candidates have been invited to participate.
Think about it. This could be a remarkably interesting and possibly groundbreaking election. With two of the five City Council seats to be chosen, and only one incumbent looking to be re-elected, it is possible the majority of our City Council could be made up of members elected over the last three years. It also might be the last “at-large” election in Santa Clarita before a transition to “district-based elections” is accomplished.
We still could use your help. If you have any suggested questions you would like the candidates to be asked, or if you want to be directly notified by email of forum URLs or YouTube links, please email Rick Drew at [email protected] We will be happy to send you the information.
Alan Ferdman is a Santa Clarita resident and a member of the Canyon Country Advisory Committee board.