By Ken Striplin
The New Year is officially here and with it comes the promise of new beginnings, aspirations, plans and hope. Looking back at all of the challenges our nation and the world endured throughout 2020, it only makes sense to head into 2021 with a more positive and hopeful outlook.
In Santa Clarita, the coronavirus pandemic has caused its fair share of difficulties for our community, but I am proud of the strength, resilience and compassion demonstrated not only by our Councilmembers, but by our City staff, local businesses and residents as well. Despite the tough year we all had, the City of Santa Clarita remains committed to providing excellent services, exhibiting innovation and maintaining fiscal responsibility to uphold the high quality of life we all enjoy.
In regard to our City’s fiscal responsibility, did you know that Santa Clarita recently ranked in the top 6% of fiscally healthy California cities? The City earned this ranking from the California State Auditor’s Fiscal Health Analysis for assessments within fiscal year 2018-19.
Some of the categories that contributed to the City’s high ranking were perfect scores in liquidity and general fund reserves. This low-risk designation serves as a reminder that the budgeting, analysis and forecasting processes that the City regularly completes to preserve positive and sustainable fiscal health, continue to benefit our community as a whole.
Under guidance from our City Council, it is remarkable to see the City’s efforts to maintain fiscal stability receive great recognition. Apart from the accolades, a healthy financial standing for our City is beneficial to every resident.
This affords us the opportunity to continue providing the services and amenities you love, while also improving and enhancing our community. Some of these include developing and maintaining parks, hosting events such as Concerts in the Park (once events are allowed again), increasing library programming, supporting startup businesses through the Business Incubator Program, offering school programs to promote healthy lifestyles amongst our City’s youth and providing countless recreation opportunities to cater to varying interests and needs.
The wide variety of programs and services the City of Santa Clarita is fortunate to offer illustrates the importance of fiscal responsibility.
I am grateful for the work of the City Council and staff to keep strong fiscal health a priority for Santa Clarita. The awards and recognitions received are due to their outstanding efforts year-round.
Additionally, the conservative budget practices displayed have allowed our City to weather the storm brought forth by COVID-19 without diminishing our good financial standing. As we stride closer toward normalcy for our community, it should bring residents comfort and confidence, knowing that their City continues to be fiscally responsible while also making exceptional service and innovation top priorities.
Looking forward to the initiatives and projects planned for the coming months, I do not doubt that the City will continue to excel in each of these areas and further improve the quality of life for Santa Clarita residents.
Ken Striplin can be reached at kstriplin@santa-
clarita.com. The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.