The City of Santa Clarita has been continuously growing year after year with more planned developments close by. Many citizens, candidates, and periodicals complain each year about traffic and how it is getting out of hand. Traffic will only continue to get worse while affecting public health, citizen satisfaction, property values, and public safety.
Santa Clarita must look for traditional and nontraditional ways to solve this traffic crisis. It is imperative that we start a traffic study to determine the root cause, commuter habits, and citizen satisfaction criteria. While the surface observations help to identify the problem, simply addressing the symptoms will not lead to a long term resolution. When the city is armed with scientific data, it can then propose capital improvements to increase current services/departments (city bus service) and address this problem.
We should address development within the city’s area of influence to curtail suburban sprawl as it will affect the traffic and quality of life of everyone living here. Light rail and a reassessment of zoning should be considered to promote development upward to better take advantage of public transportation options. Ultimately, we need more incentives to use public transportation to will lower the number of cars on the road.
I support good paying jobs and businesses that provide those jobs. Fiscal responsibility is a must, and this must be balanced with the idea that local spending promotes the local economy. If elected, I will propose an ordinance that prioritizes local labor and materials as much as reasonably possible. We should partner with labor unions to promote good paying jobs and the excellent training opportunities unions provide. Currently, the minimum wage in Santa Clarita is below the county level, which means our residents have greater incentives to commute. We should raise the minimum wage to put Santa Clarita on an even playing field of Los Angeles County and bring more jobs back into the city.
Santa Clarita has experienced an increase in the homeless population. This issue is regularly brought to attention at City Council meetings and ordinances have recently been changed to criminalize homeless behavior. This change will only make matters worse by stressing sheriff services and giving a criminal record to those most vulnerable.
We must address this problem through cooperation between many of the city’s stakeholders. Santa Clarita should reach out to local charities, state grants, and LA County programs. The city should include in this outreach built-in programs and promotions in each of the community centers to gather the community around the homeless epidemic and humanize this circumstance. City council should be progressive in interfacing through public safety entities with the homeless population. If elected, this will be a major part of my priorities while serving the community.
The city of Santa Clarita has an issue with open and transparent contracts and the negotiation process. Finding a summary for active, past, and proposed city contracts and spending is cumbersome if not impossible. It's strange that the local publications have more information and have obtained information that the city will not freely offer up or post on the Santa Clarita website.
The city’s website needs a publication weblink that has non-confidential contracts, lobbying efforts data, and minutes of closed meetings held with council. Council members should be required to maintain a record of any lobbyist contact and give a summary of conversations had between lobbyists and council members. Also, to promote more interaction with the populace during council meetings live broadcasting through youtube and facebook should be considered and experimented with. I will fight to make sure residents know what is happening at the local level and that we are working in your best interests.
As a parent, I am deeply concerned with the traffic patterns in school and residential zones. Currently, loosely organized chaos surrounds the schools during drop off and pick up of students. The city is the best-positioned stakeholder to add or remove speed humps, paint traffic patterns, and add signage to support an organized, efficient, and safe student arrival and departure. Additionally, coordination with the local sheriff department could be prioritized to have more deputies in areas surrounding the schools to protect from human trafficking, underage drug use, and drug distribution. Our children are our most precious resource and we need to do more to protect them.
As a veteran, I understand what the experience of transitioning to civilian life is like and how difficult it can be. Many of the homeless population are veterans as well, struggling to readjust and find gainful employment. The city needs to promote the hiring of veterans by giving preference to those who have served. Veterans are revered in the community through monuments and landmarks but not in the way of general direct support through a leg up in the hiring process. It is a small way that can mean a great deal for those veterans seeking an excellent employment and long prosperous careers after serving our country.