The recently elected members of Santa Clarita City Council named their annual appointments to the city’s committees Tuesday during their first meeting of 2023.
With Marsha McLean, Bill Miranda and Laurene Weste all re-elected during the Nov. 8 election, the incumbents had the option to keep their appointments the same, but there were a couple of changes from the dais.
Patsy Ayala was named to the Planning Commission, replacing Dan Masnada, former longtime general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency, which eventually became the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency.
Peggy Stabile, who taught for years in the William S. Hart Union High School District and founded PFLAG SCV to support the LGBTQ+ community, was named to the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission by Councilwoman Marsha McLean. She’ll take the spot held by Dianna Boone, who did not seek re-appointment.
Masnada applied for re-appointment. Miranda indicated via a text to Masnada that the councilman was pleased with Masnada’s work but wanted to go in a different direction that better aligned with the city’s future, according to Masnada.
When reached for comment Wednesday, Miranda mentioned several factors in his decision, saying Ayala was “head and shoulders” above the others who were available to him.
“Also, Sen. Scott Wilk’s strong endorsement factored in my decision,” Miranda wrote Wednesday via text message. “Finally, Patsy represents an under-represented segment of our community. Latinos are approaching 40% of our population and obviously deserve a seat on the commission if qualified. Patsy is very qualified.”
Ayala, a longtime figure in Santa Clarita herself, was named a 2013 Woman of the Year for the state Senate’s 21st District and previously ran Our Valleys magazine with Miranda — an SCV-based Spanish-language publication no longer in circulation.
Most recently, Ayala also worked as a senior field representative for Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares in the 38th District, which encompassed most of Santa Clarita. She also previously worked in Wilk’s office when he represented the 38th Assembly District.
Santa Clarita City Council candidate Denise Lite also applied for a spot on the commission.
Lisa Eichman, who has served on the commission since 2012, was reappointed by McLean for a fourth term.
Dennis Ostrom, a Sand Canyon resident and earthquake-risk consultant, was re-appointed by Weste. He’s served on the Planning Commission since 1998.
Don Cruikshank and Rebecca Skye Ostrom were re-appointed to the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission.
Michael Millar, Patti Rasmussen and Susan Shapiro all were re-appointed to the Arts Commission by their respective council members.
There were three applicants to the city’s Financial Accountability and Audit Panel — Sandra Cattell, Wendy Langhans and Susan Orloff — who were all reappointments to the committee.
Heidi Heinrich was reappointed as the city’s representative to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.