Graffiti of anti-Semitic and racial slurs on play equipment in West Creek Park in Valencia had been removed by an anonymous community member when the city’s graffiti response team arrived at the park on March 15, according to Michael Villegas, the city’s community preservation officer.
Councilman Cameron Smyth alerted the city manager of the graffiti after Smyth received a text from a community member on March 14.
Smyth was not aware that the graffiti had been removed by an anonymous community member when The Signal contacted him for a comment Thursday.
“That makes me feel even better about our community,” Smyth said when he heard the news. “Whether it’s racist or gang-related, they would have done the same regardless of the nature of the graffiti.”
“That’s what Santa Clarita is about,” Smyth added. “Not the few incidents of tagging or racist comments, it’s a community of action and pride in responding.”
The city has five full-time employees for graffiti removal, Villegas said, noting that approximately 90% of their work is proactive.
The remaining 10% includes requests like the one routed through Smyth.
“We receive those throughout the day,” Villegas said. “Those are the first things that are handled.”
When community members remove graffiti, the city’s graffiti response team may have to follow up to ensure the graffiti was properly removed.
“In this particular case the individual or resident, whoever removed the piece of graffiti, did a very good job and there was really nothing further for us to do,” Villegas said.