[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
71°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 22
2000 - Historic Larinan house in Pico Canyon burns down [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieHear ye! Hear ye! All ye citizens of the town of Castaic: Know ye that your Town Council is seeking people who want to join that merry group by election in November. You must file your application for the election by October 15 – next week.

I’m hoping that maybe this time, folks will elect Castaic Area Town Council members who are more interested in the community as a whole and not what some company can give them at the expense of the First Amendment rights of just about every citizen of Castaic.

This is a great opportunity to have a Castaic Area Town Council that will listen to the entire town area and not just the money being offered by the Chiquita Canyon Landfill.

Hey, I can dream can’t I? Judging by the last election, not many people voted, and there wasn’t a single seat that was a contested race. This means the current council wasn’t really elected, since nobody ran against the folks now serving. Some volunteered, and next thing you know, the election was called off and all of those who applied became members. At least that is what I read in the Town Council notes on their website.

So I guess they really speak for the people, don’t they? Few volunteered for the job, and nobody got to vote. Sometimes that is considered just a little strange.

Six of the 10 folks on the council voted to accept the money from Chiquita. None of the six lives near the dump. But what does it matter? We don’t know how they were elected because at least some of them were just reappointed and continued to serve.

I’d really like to know how many folks voted in the election of the Castaic Area Town Council the time before last. If it was anything like a West Ranch Town Council meeting a few years back, the total vote count was around 74, if my memory serves me right. Was that anything like the Castaic Area Town Council’s last balloting? Just how many people vote for the Castaic Area Town Council, anyway? What percentage of the Castaic area population takes the time to vote for a “council” that is advisory and has no real power?

But it makes some folks feel like a real community to know they have a Town Council advising the county supervisors about the concerns they have – unless it is the community of Val Verde. That part of greater Castaic may as will have duct tape covering their mouths. They have no real voice as long as the rest of the Town Council acts on the offer of money and not on the welfare of Val Verde.

So, I ask you, this Castaic Area Town Council that has had elections in the past – just how many people voted in your last election? Was it a few thousand? A few hundred? Or just around 74 like your counterparts in West Ranch a few years back?

I’ve not been able to find the results of your last election. I did find the results of the races you’ve held that were sponsored by the dump. That seems to be a very important subject on your website. But to have your own election results not posted is another strange little part of the Castaic Area Town Council.

Along with posting your election results, you should also post your Form 700s that by law you’re required to submit. I only ask this because six of the 10 members of the Castaic Area Town Council who voted for the landfill expansion would certainly have to have a payoff of some kind to ignore the facts of pollution, illegal dumping of material not allowed by the current permit, the stink and smells that are rivaled only by the smell of those six voting in favor.

Maybe I’m giving too much weight to the real input the Castaic Area Town Council has from the community. Maybe the community of greater Castaic doesn’t know about the dump or the council, or doesn’t care one way or the other.

In researching an article about the West Ranch Town Council a few years ago, I found that most folks care little about what a town council does. They are usually more worried about what an HOA can do.

I love the way the Los Angeles County supervisors can point at the various town councils dotting the L.A. County map and say, “See? We have folks who help us listen to the people.”

No, they don’t. Town councils are really just a way for the supervisors to look like they’re listening. If they really wanted input from folks, they would provide funding to operate the councils. If the supervisors provided operating funds, the councils wouldn’t have to accept “gifts” from companies like Chiquita.

Imagine if there weren’t a promise of money for the Castaic Area Town Council to consider. Imagine if they had to vote on the dump expansion based on the facts of past performance.

If y’all can elect four new Town Council members in the Castaic area who will do that, I urge you to vote for them.

Land use should be based on the merits of the use requested and not on how much money the “developer” is willing to give for the community to shut up about the development.

If it were a real elected office, that person would be prosecuted for fraud, graft, corruption and all sorts of other things.

But the Castaic Area Town Council has proven it only wants money and not justice. Maybe the hundred or so folks who vote on new council members will remember that.

One thing for sure: It appears the current Castaic Area Town Council and maybe the future members won’t have a “mandate” from the community.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com. His older commentaries are archived at DManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Susie Evans says:

    OK, am I missing something? Their email said there was a $50 filing fee. For a voluntary non-paid position?

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Monday, Jul 2, 2018
In her July message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste wishes residents a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July, and recaps a bit of local history.
Sunday, Jul 1, 2018
The Mojave rattlesnake or “Mojave green” is a highly irritable and unpredictable pit viper. By comparison, the Pacific rattlesnake you might be accustomed to is fairly tame.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, and to be protected from discrimination.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
California voters just bought the feel-good tax proposition that was stated to raise yet another $4 billion for “clean water” funds. Days later, Brown declared it isn’t enough. There will be another ballot measure in November to raise another $8 billion.
Friday, Jun 8, 2018
Our state leaders are finally working together to address one of the greatest inequities in higher education – funding for California community colleges that serve high need students.
Wednesday, Jun 6, 2018
Not every decision on the table must be made within the next week. When it comes to deciding how to fund community colleges, it would be wise to hit pause and devote more careful consideration to the discussion.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2000 - Historic Larinan house in Pico Canyon burns down [story]
1952 - 7.5-magnitude Kern County earthquake devastates Tehachapi; damage spread from San Diego to Las Vegas [story]
The L.A. County Superior Court on July 17 sided with Los Angeles County and dismissed a portion of Chiquita Canyon LLC's complaint, which challenged 13 conditions of the county's conditional use permit governing how the landfill operates, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Friday.
Court: Chiquita Landfill Must Comply with CUP, Pay County $12 Mil.
Four men allegedly stole a van and crashed it at Cinema Drive and Valencia Boulevard late Friday afternoon, breaking gas and water lines and snarling rush-hour traffic in the center of the city.
Suspected Van Thieves Crash, Rupture Gas, Water Lines in Valencia
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission has announced $4,518,000 in two-year grants to 216 nonprofit arts organizations through its Organizational Grant Program, and the Santa Clarita Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival are among the grantees.
Santa Clarita Philharmonic, Shakespeare Festival Win County Arts Grants
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's board of directors voted in its Tuesday meeting to revise its per-diem payment policy for board members attending industry-related meetings and conferences.
SCV Water Board Trims Own Meeting Attendance Pay
College of the Canyons men's basketball player Robert Moss will continue his playing career at University of Saint Katherine after committing to join the Firebirds program.
COC Hoopster Robert Moss Commits to University of Saint Katherine
When wives earn more than their husbands, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income, according to new Census Bureau research.
Census Research: Spouses Report Earnings Differently When Wives Earn More
Responding to a booming economy and a generous state budget, administrators on Thursday approved the first tuition decrease for the University of California system in nearly 20 years.
University of California Cuts Tuition for First Time in 20 Years
The William S. Hart Union High School District and Spirit Holding, developers of Castaic High School, will host a community kick-off event on Friday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. celebrating the one-year countdown to the grand opening of the new school, currently under construction.
Aug. 3: ‘Countdown to Castaic High’ Public Celebration
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, July 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.
July 24: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert for Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24, as high temperatures have been forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Heat Alert Called for Monday, Tuesday
The Lancaster JetHawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but two late home runs from Stockton's Sandber Pimentel led the Ports to victory in a 5-4 final on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Lancaster Can’t Stop Pimentel, Ports
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Department of Justice have made public the government's plan for the court-ordered reunification of children ages 5 years and older who were separated from their parents by immigration authorities.
Feds Detail Plan to Reunite Immigrant Children with Parents
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]
During a press conference on Thursday at the Gerdau steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga, Chief Eric Parra announced the destruction of 3,566 weapons confiscated within in Los Angeles County. This event comes typically in July, in compliance with California Penal Code 18005(c), which calls for weapons unable to be sold to the public or returned to their owners, to be destroyed.
More than 3,500 Weapons Destroyed at Annual Destruction Event
The Summer Art Festival, at the Oaks Club of Valencia, invites you to a fun, free artists’ reception on Saturday, Aug. 11, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 11: Summer Art Festival at Oaks Club
When you think "Advanced Manufacturing," Santa Clarita Valley probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
SCV Paves the Way for Advanced Manufacturing
(CN) – Delivering a blow to a Silicon Valley billionaire, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday erased a November ballot measure proposing to divide the Golden State in three.
State Supreme Court Tosses Ballot Measure to Split California in Three
Internationally famous Doña Oxford aka “The Goddess of Soul,” is fronting one of the hottest Blues bands of the 21st century. She has toured all over the world, bringing her amazing keyboard playing and vocals to devoted fans in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States.
July 20: Valencia Jazz & Blues Series to Feature Doña Oxford
No business is immune from the unthinkable. Workplace violence is an increasingly important topic for organizations of all types.
Aug. 21: Active Shooter Awareness Training at VIA Luncheon
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish Church is holding their 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show Friday, Aug. 24 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 24: St. Kateri 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show
The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority on Thursday launched the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal, dubbed LA-HOP, the new Countywide Web-based portal that channels outreach support to people experiencing homelessness.
County Launches Online Portal to Combat Homelessness
LOS ANGELES - Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced Tuesday the company is now offering $75 rebates for residential customers who purchase eligible Energy Star certified smart thermostats that help residents manage their heating and cooling costs and conserve energy.
SoCal Gas Offering Rebates for Customers with Smart Thermostats
STOCKTON – Brian Serven put together one of his best offensive performances of the season to lead the JetHakwks to a 7-2 to win over the Stockton Ports on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Serven Leads JetHawks to Victory in Series Opener Against Stockton
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Brad Renison to become the new Director of Transportation. Most recently, Mr. Renison has been serving as the Interim Director of Transportation.
Hart District Names Brad Renison New Transportation Director
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Díaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera.
Dodgers Acquire 4-Time All-Star Manny Machado
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Dr. Catherine Nicholas to become the new principal of Sequoia School.
Hart District Appoints Dr. Catherine Nicholas as New Sequoia School Principal
Welcome to paradise at a high-energy, live show coming up in Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, this Saturday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m., in Central Park (27150 Bouquet Canyon Road).
July 21: Concerts in the Park to Feature Green Day Tribute Band
SCV Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit deputies and station detectives have noted an increase in the thefts of catalytic converters from cars in Santa Clarita Valley. The favored target of thieves has been the Toyota Prius (2005-2009).
Deputies Warn of Rise in Catalytic Converter Thefts from Prius Cars
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy Thursday for sensitive individuals in San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
Would you like to be a volunteer at beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park? Learn about the volunteer program and the park’s natural and cultural history at our two-day volunteer training, Saturdays, Sept. 1st and 8th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Visitor Center (new volunteers must attend both days).
Red Rock Canyon State Park to Hold 2-Day Volunteer Training
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces the scheduled closure of the Tejon Safety Roadside Rest Areas on Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway) to replace a water main line.
Caltrans Announces Temporary Rest Area Closure on I-5 at Tejon
1924 - Sherman Block, L.A. County's 29th Sheriff (1982-1998), born in Chicago [story]
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies have arrested a Santa Clarita woman who allegedly spray-painted walls on a city park building in Saugus early Tuesday morning, also discovering she was allegedly in possession of forged checks.
Woman Charged with Defacing Park Building, Check Forgery
The Paramount Network has set Aug. 11 as the premiere date of 'I Am Paul Walker,' a new film documentary tracing the life of the late actor, who was killed in a 2013 car crash in Valencia.
Aug. 11: Paul Walker Film Doc to Debut on Paramount Network