Business leader Thompson named to fill parks opening 

Di Thompson, right rear, gets a hug from daughter Morgan as Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda presents a certificate from the city during her recognition ceremony from State Senator Scott Wilk for 2024 Black History Month at City of Santa Clarita City Hall on Friday, 022324. Dan Watson/The Signal
Di Thompson, right rear, gets a hug from daughter Morgan as Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda presents a certificate from the city during her recognition ceremony from State Senator Scott Wilk for 2024 Black History Month at City of Santa Clarita City Hall on Friday, 022324. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Local Realtor Di Thompson has been experiencing a streak of good will at Santa Clarita City Hall these past few days. 

After being named the 2024 Black History Month honoree by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, in the lobby of Santa Clarita City Hall on Friday, she was back again Tuesday in Council Chambers.  

There, Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda named Thompson as his choice to succeed Don Cruikshank on the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission. 

Just days after a small crowd packed the lobby for a brief ceremony to recognize the Realtor’s community involvement — serving as chair-elect of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, leader of the Black Business Council, and a board member for the Child & Family Center, among others — Miranda asked her to serve once again. 

“Honestly I thought this would be a great way to be more engaged civically and just a great opportunity to give back,” Thompson said Wednesday in a phone interview.  

She also thought it was a great fit for her skill set, she added.  

As a parent, she said she cannot tell enough people about how the city’s resources were an immense help to her from the time her now-adult daughters were enrolled in Primetime Preschool. As a business owner, she’s frequently telling people about how the city’s emphasis on parks and community services will help their quality of life and their property values, she said. 

“The selection was a very difficult one for me and those who advised me,” Miranda said Tuesday, referring to an abundance of talent in the nominees. “But as (Mayor Cameron Smyth) once said seven years ago, as I was sitting out there seeking an appointment (to City Council) — ‘There can only be one,’ and that’s tough, that’s tough when you have a lot of candidates.” 

Miranda credited Thompson as a 20-year resident who raised her family here, Wilk’s honor the previous week and her involvement in various community organizations. 

The commission plays an advisory role to the council and the city’s Recreation and Community Services Department, the purpose of which is to “develop and implement quality, value-based programs … and celebrate the community’s diversity, and to provide planning and administration to offer quality recreation, social, and cultural activities,” according to the city’s website.  

Before the council unanimously confirmed the selection, Smyth corrected the quote, “There can be only one,” and credited the original source, the 1983 movie, “Highlander,” which he added he “highly recommends.” 

Thompson was chosen out of seven applicants: Kenneth Dean; Sharlene Duzick-Johnson; John Estrada; Christian Gadbois; Mark Hudson; John Lite; and Thompson. 

This was the second round of the city’s attempt to fill the seat, which originally was going to be filled by Don Cruikshank’s son, Rob Cruikshank.  

Rob Cruikshank filed a letter recusing himself after the council approved Miranda’s nomination of him.  

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