Miranda sworn in as new mayor; Gibbs replaces Kellar on council

Santa Clarita City Councilmember Bill Miranda is sworn in as mayor after a vote Tuesday evening. December 08, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Bill Miranda was chosen as mayor for the next year as Jason Gibbs was sworn in and numerous local leaders spoke to thank outgoing Councilman Bob Kellar for two decades of service and former Mayor Cameron Smyth for his leadership during a difficult year.

Miranda was given the gavel and sworn in as the first Latino mayor of Santa Clarita after serving as mayor pro tem to his predecessor, Smyth, who was also sworn in as a council member for a four-year term. The council unanimously approved Miranda as mayor.

“I’m honored to serve this great city as its 14th mayor,” said Miranda. “I’m committed to 

continuing the excellent leadership of the prior 13 mayors. My love for Santa Clarita is because of its people, who not only helped my family and me, but who are open and willing to help one another.”

Smyth, who was re-elected in November, transitioned to council member after serving his fourth one-year term as mayor. Smyth earned 31.26% of the vote, or 56,919 votes, the highest tally ever for a Santa Clarita City Council candidate.

In an emotional speech, Smyth thanked his family and staff for their support during what he described as the “most challenging year the city has faced.”

In a moment of levity, Santa Clarita City Councilmember and incumbent mayor Cameron Smyth feigns reluctance when handing over his gavel to incoming SCV mayor Bill Miranda. December 08, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal

“I am proud to have served as mayor this year, but I’m equally proud to pass the gavel to Mayor Pro Tem Miranda,” said Smyth. “So to the council, staff, my family: Thank you, I couldn’t have made it through this year without everyone’s support.”

The council also congratulated Kellar on his retirement, recognizing his 20 years of serving on the City Council, which included four terms as mayor. Gibbs, whom Kellar endorsed for his seat, is filling Kellar’s spot on the dais.

“I am so thrilled a guy named Jason Gibbs is going to be taking over this seat,” said Kellar. “I know that we have got a top-quality guy, we hit another winner, and he’s going to do a fabulous job. I take great pride in turning this seat over to him.”

Gibbs recounted his decision to run for a seat on the City Council, and thanked his family and the residents of Santa Clarita. “I got to be honest — it’s surreal,” he said as he took his seat.

Kellar was recognized by dozens of community members, including Rep. Mike Garcia of the 25th Congressional District, Supervisor Kathryn Barger of the county’s 5th District, Sen. Scott Wilk and many other education and prominent community members for his years of service within the city of Santa Clarita.

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