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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Message from Mayor Cameron Smyth | 03-01-2017
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March 30
1993 - Federal govt. declares coastal California gnatcatcher (bird) a threatened species [story]


The beginning of 2017 was marked by an incredible example of citizen engagement, with 51 community members throwing their hat in the ring, volunteering their experience, skills and knowledge, by applying for the vacant city council seat. However, as I said at the January 17, 2017 council meeting, “There can only be one.” Fortunately, there are ample opportunities for everyone in our community to get involved, make a difference and serve our City.

I would like to encourage all of those who applied for the council seat, and everyone in our City, to strongly consider taking part in one or more of the following citizen engagement opportunities:

City Council Meetings – Held on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month in the City Council Chambers at City Hall at 6:00 p.m. Members of the public may address the Council on the topic of their choice under Public Participation. Speaker cards must be completed and turned in before Public Participation begins and there is a three minute time limit per person. Speaking to the Council is a great way to make your voice heard and develop your public speaking skills! For more information, please visit Santa-Clarita.com/CityCouncil.

Register and Vote – Do your civic duty and be part of the process.

Apply to be on a Board or Commission – The City of Santa Clarita has an Arts Commission, Parks, Recreation & Community Services Commission, Planning Commission, Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel (FAAP), and Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (District) Board. When seats are available for these boards and commissions, the City will send out a notice and post the information on its website, Santa-Clarita.com/Commissions.

Volunteer Opportunities – Volunteering with the City of Santa Clarita is a highly rewarding experience. Have fun, meet new people and learn new things – all while participating and helping your community! For more information, please visit SantaClaritaVolunteers.com.

Santa Clarita Public Library – Both adult and teen volunteers ages 14 and older are needed for assistance at the Valencia, Canyon Country, and Old Town Newhall libraries. Volunteer opportunities may involve such responsibilities as clerical assistance, sorting of library materials and supporting City staff during events. For more information, please visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com.

CERT – Twenty years ago, the City of Santa Clarita partnered with the Los Angeles County Fire Department to begin offering residents Community Emergency Response Training (CERT). This nationally certified course is designed to help families, neighborhoods, schools and businesses understand basic emergency/disaster response skills through training. For more information, please visit Santa-Clarita.com/CERT.

Trail Ambassadors – The Trail Ambassador program is a free educational introduction to Santa Clarita’s open space and trails for the young and young-at-heart. Trail Ambassadors are enthusiastic advocates of Santa Clarita’s open spaces, willing to share their open space skills and experiences with other hikers and adventurers in the City. Ambassadors report trail conditions, contribute hike photos and much more. To sign up as a Trail Ambassador, visit HikeSantaClarita.com.

Santa Clarita Emergency Communications Team
(SCECT) – Comprised of licensed, volunteer and amateur radio operators that offer their time, talents and equipment by supplying emergency communications to the City of Santa Clarita and partnering agencies. Not only are they trained and available to support the City, they also support numerous city events with communications needs such as the Santa Clarita Marathon, Amgen Tour of California, Cowboy Festival and many more! For more information, please visit Santa-Clarita.com/SCECT.

Social Media – The City of Santa Clarita has a robust social media presence that will give you the opportunity to ask questions and comment on topics, events and info. For more information, please visit Santa-Clarita.com/Social-Media.

Resident Service Center – This web portal (also accessible on mobile phones through the Santa Clarita App, available in the App Store and Google Play) allows you to submit comments, complaints and service requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The City of Santa Clarita is dedicated to providing excellent customer service to its citizens to ensure they enjoy a high quality of life. Your service request will be designated to a City department that will follow up to ensure the request is resolved in a timely manner. For more information, please visit Santa-Clarita.com/RSC.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Volunteer on Patrol Program – Volunteers work in volunteer vehicles in a volunteer uniform assisting in the field as additional eyes and ears in the community. For more information, email Deputy Fanny Lapkin at Flapkin@lasd.org.
Getting involved in your City will increase your personal connection to our community, allow you to make a difference, have your voice heard and could lead to a role in public service down the line. Thank you to all our volunteers and public servants who make the City of Santa Clarita such an amazing place to live. For more information, please visit SantaClaritaVolunteers.com.

Sincerely,

Cameron Smyth

Mayor Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at csmyth@santa-clarita.com.

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