Council pay, contracts on city agenda  

Members of Water Tower perform bluegrass music hits for the people in attendance during the second day of the Cowboy Festival on Main Street in Old Town Newhall, Calif., on Sunday, April 23, 2023. Chris Torres/The Signal

The Santa Clarita City Council is expected to approve a pay increase and several contracts for upcoming events during the council’s meeting on Tuesday. 

Those items are on the council’s consent calendar, which bypasses discussion unless an item is requested to be removed from consent by a council member.   

The contracts include the spending of a little over $1.5 million from the city budget for a Class-I trail off Bouquet Canyon Road, spending on new lights at Central Park, Concerts in the Park and next month’s Cowboy Festival, among other items. 

Council pay 

The pay-increase discussion on the City Council agenda is a second reading, meaning the wage increase for council members could be approved at this meeting. 

City staff initially put an item on the March 12 meeting agenda that would have allowed for a 10% increase. After that discussion, the council modified the motion to a 5% pay increase.  

When Councilwoman Marsha McLean quickly motioned to give the council a 10% raise during that discussion, Councilwoman Laurene Weste balked. 

In voting against the pay increase, Weste hit on a couple of topics — “districts or no districts, I will continue to represent every citizen in this valley,” she said one point in explaining her no vote — adding she’s fed up with everything being “impossibly expensive,” she said. 

“I don’t think people are trying to be mean when they say you shouldn’t have a raise, I think they’re just frustrated with what’s going on out there,” said Weste. 

“It’s my only way to say, I’m just tired of it, so there it is,” she added. 

Councilman Bill Miranda voted in favor of McLean’s motion.  

Councilman Jason Gibbs abstained on McLean’s motion to raise the pay by 10%, which then required a second motion, since council pay is set by a city ordinance and there are three yes votes needed to change an ordinance.  

Gibbs said he could reconcile the 5% hike, which was consistent with past pay increases for the council.  

“You know, this is really something, because we have a city of about 230,000 people and I don’t see them sitting out there and railing on us for every little thing, so I think we’re doing OK for a great city,” McLean said, before proposing the 5% increase. 

“But for us to sit here and say, ‘Well, I don’t really want it,’ well that’s fine, I know I can use it,” she said. “I don’t make a ton of money out there and I spend a bunch of my own money and my time.” 

Mayor Cameron Smyth was absent for the March 12 meeting. 


Saugus Phase I: Bouquet Canyon Trail to Central Park includes multiple contracts the City Council will have to approve to add a Class I trail intended to improve residents’ bike and pedestrian access to Central Park.  

The project will construct a separated Class I trail that will use the existing southerly maintenance access road along the Bouquet Creek Channel. The trail will have access points along Bouquet Canyon Road north of Espuella Drive and at Central Park’s west driveway entrance. 

The improvements include pavement rehabilitation, striping and fencing on the existing maintenance access road, and new trail construction through Central Park, and the contracts are expected to cost around $1.5 million. 

The council will also be discussing an item Gibbs requested regarding the moving of funds from an account designated for a Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station art installation to one that will help provide for the Central Park River of Lights project. 

City policy calls for 1% to be set aside for an art installation in capital projects — not to exceed $1 million, but the city budgeted less than that to cover the art installation for the approximately $69 million SCV Sheriff’s Station. The council is expected to discuss moving about $229,000 to support the Central Park River of Lights project.  

Production costs for the city’s popular summer concert series comprise just one of the entertainment items on the budget. 

The city is looking to spend up to $104,000 with SOS Entertainment for sound, stage, trussing, lighting and power services for the 2024 Concerts in the Park series. The company’s bid beat out the nearest competitor, another local company, by about $70,000. 

The city is expected to approve a pair of contracts for services involving the upcoming Cowboy Festival, which includes nearly $42,000 for equipment from AV Party Rentals, which was the lone bid. 

The city also is expected to spend about $39,000 on sound, stage and trussing for the 2024 City of Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. 

The city’s annual 22-minute pyrotechnic Fourth of July Fireworks Show held at the Valencia Town Center is expected to cost around $37,000, based on the cost from previous years. 
The same company has hosted the display for the past two years. There was no bid this year, so the city contacted and negotiated a deal for about $2,000 more than last year’s with Pyro Spectaculars North, according to the city’s agenda.  

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS