Santa Clarita wins 2020 Helen Putnam Awards

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal
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By Ken Striplin

City Manager

Supporting Santa Clarita residents and maintaining the high quality of life we all enjoy remains a top priority for the City of Santa Clarita. From offering several opportunities to enjoy unique art and artists to our outstanding libraries, support of local businesses, environmentally-friendly programs and more, the City Council works hard to ensure residents’ needs and interests are supported in all areas.

In fact, the City was recently recognized for two of our programs by earning the League of California Cities prestigious Helen Putnam Awards of Excellence. 

One of the programs recognized this year is the City of Santa Clarita’s College Internship Program. The goal of this program is to train new staff in the public sector before the retirement of the aging workforce. This allows our organization to develop the next generation of employees.

From the College Internship Program’s 2018 inception, we have been fortunate to host 17 interns, with 11 receiving full-time job offers from public agencies at the conclusion of their internship. The program has only continued to flourish over time, allowing Santa Clarita to be an integral part of the development and success of future public employees.

The second 2020 Helen Putnam Award that the City of Santa Clarita was lucky to take home was for everyone’s favorite mascot, Sammy Clarita.

If you have yet to encounter Sammy Clarita, he is a fun horse character that was created as a nod to our community’s western heritage in honor of the City’s 30th Anniversary. Sammy has become an integral part of countless City initiatives, providing a great way for younger residents to build awareness and interest in City programs and services.

For example, miniature Sammy Clarita dolls are regularly placed throughout the City for residents to find, which offers an opportunity to become familiar with different locations, trails and parks within our community while participating in an exciting scavenger hunt.

Sammy Clarita also became the star of a children’s book series titled “Meet Sammy Clarita,” which are available at all three of our Santa Clarita Public Library branches for children to enjoy.

Sammy Clarita’s successful debut in 2017 has led to new versions being released yearly, each with Sammy sporting a new outfit to promote different City programs and milestones. His presence has created a wonderful opportunity to engage children, families and even local organizations while cultivating community pride!

Both Sammy Clarita and the College Internship Program highlight the City of Santa Clarita’s focus on innovative solutions to continue providing top-quality service for the community.

Amidst the difficulties and uncertainties that 2020 has brought forth, it is refreshing to receive these recognitions from the League of California Cities.

This also highlights that despite the challenges that arise, the City Council and the City of Santa Clarita as a whole will continue working hard to deliver thoughtful solutions, programs and initiatives to support the well-being of residents.

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. 

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