City expected to look for new parks commissioner 

Santa Clarita City Hall

The Santa Clarita City Council is once again looking for a member of its Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission.  

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda announced Tuesday during council members’ reports that Rob Cruikshank, whom Miranda had nominated to fill the seat vacated by the death of Don Cruikshank, Rob’s father, was “releasing his appointment.” 

“After much thought, Rob Cruikshank, who was my nominee and appointed candidate, has had some second thoughts and he wrote a letter to the mayor, which, with your permission, I will share with everyone,” Miranda said.  

Rob Cruikshank’s letter stated “‘deep regret that I must withdraw my application for the position,’” according to Miranda’s reading.  

“‘Upon reflection, I have realized that the level of commitment required to fulfill responsibilities of this position would not be possible with my demanding work schedule,’” Cruikshank’s letter continued, according to Miranda’s reading.   

Rob Cruikshank also wrote that, in considering the significance of such a role, he thanked Miranda for the opportunity but while dealing with his family’s loss and some “harsh criticisms from some community members,” he had reevaluated his decision. 

“‘I have decided to release my appointment to another committed and deserving community leader who can serve the community with the full level of dedication it deserves,’” according to the letter Miranda read. 

Miranda nominated Rob Cruikshank to the role held by his father at the city’s Jan. 9 council meeting, which was unanimously confirmed by the council. There were only two applicants: Cruikshank and Di Thompson. He was expected to be sworn in next month. 

The application process was questioned, both by a frequent public commenter who raised a question about residency, and by Councilwoman Marsha McLean, who said she wanted to agendize a discussion about the appointment process. 

Her reasoning, she said, was the breach of the public’s trust during Rob Cruikshank’s appointment, declining to cite specifics during the meeting. 

After she made her request, Smyth put the item to the council, and both Miranda and Councilwoman Laurene Weste indicated they were happy with the current process. 

A city official said previously that the addresses for commission members are self-reported, and that they verify that the address reported is within city of Santa Clarita limits, which is a requirement to hold a spot on a city commission. 

The application process now starts over, according to City Manager Ken Striplin. 

Striplin said the city would formally declare another opening later this week, when it would then also post additional information about the timeline for the next appointment. 

Don Cruikshank died Nov. 24 and had served on the commission since February 2016. He was a longtime leader in the business community and known for his family-run event-rental businesses.  

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