The following is a copy of a letter sent to Santa Clarita Mayor Bill Miranda.
As an original member of the cityhood formation committee, I am terribly dismayed at the crisis that the City Council faces with the threatened lawsuit.
Changing the city into districts that can only elect one representative will have a declining, destructive effect on the city. It will become a divisive act with two immediate consequences.
First, as a citizen of Santa Clarita, I currently have five representatives. If I have a grievance or concern, I can bring it to your attention. If I find you unwilling or insensitive to my plea, I can immediately pursue my cause with another council member and another until I find a sympathetic ear. Each council member must consider my issue as an equal constituent, so I have five viewpoints and opinions to consider my concerns. If another council member feels my concern has merit, they can discuss it with you or the others as peers. Two outcomes are possible: Another council member may convince you that my concern is legitimate and deserves action. Or, you may point out to the other council members the lack of merit in my position. In either case, I am able to seek a plurality of decision-making.
Secondly, should districts be adopted, that plurality of representation is absent. Now, I will only have one elected representative. The odds of that person being responsive to my needs has been reduced to 20% — and I have little other recourse. It is inevitable that creating districts will become divisive as each council member no longer has to consider the welfare of the entire city, but only their individual districts.
Has anyone provided an example of a city that has been improved by the adoption of districts? This is why California statutes prevented us from creating districts when we adopted cityhood. When all elected officials are kept accountable to all the electorate, they are most effective and responsive to the people.
I strongly urge the City Council to resist Mr. Scott Rafferty’s threats. His interests are his own, not for the betterment of Santa Clarita. His cause for minorities and under-represented communities is a false premise and has ZERO evidence of success. It is my hope that the City Council will stand up to this bully and expose the false merits of his threatened lawsuit.
Thank you for your consideration and I wish you courage in the battle for what is best for Santa Clarita!