Steve Petzold | Long Shadow Cast on City Process

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Rob Cruikshank did the right thing by withdrawing his application and appointment to the Parks Commission, but his stated reasons were unapologetic and misleading. 

In a written statement sent to Mayor Cameron Smyth, Rob said that upon much personal reflection that he decided he was too busy at work, suffered continuing grief over his father’s untimely passing, and experienced harsh criticism from community members.

(It appears as if) the address of his principal residence lies outside of city limits. As such he (would be) ineligible to be nominated and appointed to the seat. 

Cruikshank’s lack of candor cast a long shadow across the city’s appointment process and exposed the frequent cronyism that frequently rears its ugly head. This discourages qualified individuals from placing an application for an open position.

It will cost our city a substantial amount of time and money to go through yet another appointment process.

It was completely shocking to me that Councilman Bill Miranda — the so-called nominating authority — felt compelled to state that he did not ask for Cruikshank’s withdrawal and would not have. That should tell you a lot about Bill Miranda. There was no humility or effort to take responsibility. Bill was desperately searching for plausible deniability.

At last Tuesday’s meeting (Jan. 23) Councilwoman Marsha McClean made a courageous effort to get her fellow council members to revisit and review the appointment process as spelled out in Resolution 91-194. 

She failed to get the support of another council person, despite that fact the current resolution is incomplete, vague and obsolete given the fact that council elections are based on districts rather than at large.

It is amazing that council members Smyth, Laurene Weste, Jason Gibbs, and of course Miranda claim to be comfortable with the process as it is. After this debacle? Are they truly blind to the need for change after over 30 years ?

Santa Clarita needs virtuous council members like Marsha McLean who have the courage to make changes when faced with the fact that the current appointment procedure is outdated and seriously flawed.

I hope that you will join me and other concerned citizens at the council meeting on Feb. 13 to demand reform to a process that encourages cronyism rather than encouraging active and wide-ranging citizen participation.

What say you?

Steve Petzold

Santa Clarita

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