[KHTS] – Hundreds gathered at the Conference Center at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Thursday to celebrate Santa Clarita accomplishments at the city’s annual State of the City luncheon.
Video presentations from each of Santa Clarita’s five City Council members highlighted everything from school safety to construction projects to renovations to the city’s parks and trails at the event.
“This is an opportunity to share with the community what we’ve accomplished in the last year, what we’re working on right now and what we’ve got up and coming,” said Gail Ortiz, spokeswoman for the city of Santa Clarita.
“We have a $180 million budget and a $40 million capital project budget, and there’s projects ongoing in all four of our communities right now,” she said. “We’re very busy.”
The event was more about communicating the positives in the city, said Santa Clarita Councilman TimBen Boydston.
“This is kind of a day for celebrating the accomplishments of the city,” Boydston said, adding “the city has a lot to be proud of.”
Photo by Gary Choppe
Kellar set a light mood early on with his opening remarks aimed at himself and his dais peers.
City officials put thumb drives at dozens of tables in the ballroom where most of the community’s leadership was eating, which contained information and pictures about some of what’s happened in the city in the last year.
Kellar joked that City Councilwoman Laurene Weste tried to use it as a dog whistle, a nod to her affinity for nature, while Boydston took a bite out of it, and then tossed it away. When Kellar first found the device, he thought it might have been a hearing aid placed at the table by his wife, Kathy, he said jokingly.
The two-hour luncheon touched on everything from the two new lighted ball fields at Central Park to tent shades at David March Park and the Golden Valley bridge-widening project that’s beginning this year.
Hart district Superintendent Rob Challinor was one of dozens of local officials on hand to celebrate the city’s work.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with the city of Santa Clarita,” said Challinor, the head administrator for all of the public junior highs and high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley. “With the cooperation between the agencies… I feel like we’re so supported by the city.”