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

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 20
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Monday, Nov 3, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieAll of the questions about the billboard ordinance that will be voted upon Tuesday (Measure S) started around a conspiracy theory.

Folks who don’t want the ordinance are convinced that most members of Santa Clarita City Council are in some way benefiting from the company that has the contract with Metro. It was an existing contract and is still in effect.

Some of the folks who want to preserve the current billboard status have come to believe some strange ideas. Let me repeat one from Councilman TimBen Boydston. He stated correctly that the billboard companies could remove billboards on their own and then couldn’t build new ones. He was right. That is what the law states. Now, can you tell me any business that would volunteer to remove its source of income, knowing it couldn’t recreate that source in the future?

And then there is another billboard preservationist who is concerned that Allvision has contributed many thousands of dollars to the “Yes on S” campaign. Nothing was illegal in those actions. The gentleman just thought the company had conspired with someone to get three new electronic billboards erected and the dozens of old billboards removed along the Metro right-of way. It is a legal and accepted way of doing business. There are thousands of dollars contributed to defeat Measure S, too. Most of that was used to gather the signatures by paid gatherers. In some case each signature gathered was worth around $9.

It seems the folks who don’t want Measure S to pass are those who still think the process was illegal and done in the back rooms of City Hall. They also think and state that council members are making money off the deal. Well, if not council members, then someone on city staff … or maybe …?

Another stretch of non-facts comes in the form of what information can and can’t be put on the three electronic billboards. The ordinance states clearly that ads for alcohol, gentlemen’s clubs and all other types like that are not allowed.

Under the current system for billboards, the content on the signs is not controlled. With the ordinance, the city can keep ads off the boards that would be offensive to just about anyone. So we will have control.

All of those old billboards will be removed – 60-plus boards gone, along with up to 180 bright spotlights that pollute our night sky and disturb many nocturnal critters. The three electronic boards don’t have the brightness of the 60-some standing now.

There aren’t any electronic boards planned for placement in the new Gateway open space area dedicated just last week. Sorry, folks. That was from a slam taken at our council.

You see, the folks who want you to vote “no” on Measure S are the same ones who are now making personal attacks on our elected officials and spreading lies about what content will be on the new boards. They are also attacking city staff members in many ways.

So let’s keep it simple. Voting “yes” on Measure S will do the following:

1) Remove existing billboards along the Metro train tracks within the city limits of Santa Clarita, thus removing more than 100 sign faces. This has been a goal since the day the city was founded.

2) Install three electronic billboards in locations that least effect residents and wildlife. There will be a total of six sign faces.

3) Control the advertising content from the standpoint of alcohol, adult entertainment and similar ads that would not be allowed. This is not done now.

4) Provide a method for the city and law enforcement agencies to disseminate information about emergency conditions on the highway, Amber Alerts and other public service announcements.

5) Provide the city with income from the new billboards that isn’t available now. This could be a $500,000 to $1 million in revenue each and every year. This money can be used for just about anything or any service that Santa Clarita wants to provide the citizens.

So what is the problem? Some unproven conspiracy theory that members of the City Council or city staff are getting rich from the implementation of the ordinance?

Or that the light from the new billboards will be brighter than the background lights of the 14 Freeway and Interstate 5? This could disrupt wildlife? The lights on the highways are far more of a problem to the critters.

Sorry, folks, the ordinance is good. We’ve yet to see another deal. We’ve yet to see any proof that elected officials or city staff members have made any money from it or could make any money from it.

The next thing we might hear is that the new signs are going to be locator beacons for UFOs heading toward Edwards Air Force Base or maybe Area 51 in Nevada. Really? Those signs are located on I-15 near Las Vegas. Didn’t you read that? It was in all of the tabloids at your local supermarket checkout stand. It was also on Facebook. It must be true.

Or, you can vote “yes” on Measure S. Remove most signs. Make money for the city. Win-win. And return the conspiracy theorists to the racks of tabloids you read while waiting to ring up your melted ice cream and wilted lettuce.


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. Steve Petzold says:

    For the record….alcohol ads are allowed on the digital billboards and Darryl Manzer conveniently forgets to mention that all political messaging is banned. The econoimics of digitaal billboards falls apart without alcohol ads, that is why they are not banned. All Content restriction can be found in exhibit E to the Development agreement.

  2. Steve Petzold says:

    We will not miss Manzer’s delusional tirades at SCVNEWS. He has done a lot of damage to the community since he returned here. He specializes in fire, aim , ready journalism and commentary.

  3. TimBen Boydston says:

    Mr. Manzer, Thank you for correcting the wrong information that you wrote in a prior column about the ability of Metro to replace billboards taken down voluntarily. You also have incorrect information in this piece. Measure S will not take down as you say “…more than 100 sign faces”. You may not be aware but the City is contracted to pay Edwards 1.3 million dollars to take down 44 faces in a separate deal that was passed right after the ordinance that became Measure S. Also the giant digital billboards restrict political free speech, something that both you and I served our Country to protect.

  4. This is total BS. The deal just sucks. 50 year non guaranteed contracts for billboards that can increase accidents and endanger our kids and their kids for those 50 years! I and most people against S just think the council is too egotistical to admit they may have not made the best deal and now that they are backed into a corner, fear what changing their minds would do to their political careers. I don’t believe for a second they would be stupid enough to take something in return, but I do think this is the case of them being extremely short-sighted and thinking they stand for the average SCV person, which they obviously don’t. It’s a trap many politicians fall into. Just because you are elected or appointed DOESN’T mean that you can now do anything you want and that everyone, including who put you there will agree. That’s why you need to continuously get out of your “circle of friends” and talk to average people, like me.

  5. That puts you, Darryl, at 114 when this deal expires

  6. And honestly, Darryl, you say you hate the billboards that are up now. Yet those are far younger than 50 years old. How will you feel about these new ones 20 years into this deal? Will they then be old and useless in your eyes? Will you boycott those merchants advertising on them too? #hypocriticalvoter

  7. Yeah I see this from Darryl all the time… :)

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...
Thursday, Jan 11, 2018
There may come a time in your life when you need mental health care. Your Medicare covers a wide variety of such services, in both hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.
Monday, Jan 1, 2018
Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin previews Year 4 of the city's five-year Strategic Plan in his monthly message for January 2018.
Sunday, Dec 10, 2017
Derelict since the 1994 earthquake, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall was the first productive oil refinery in the American West and is believed to be the oldest existing refinery in the world today. Unfunded restoration plans have come and gone. Now that the surrounding property is under development, will the promises be kept?
Friday, Dec 8, 2017
A National Memorial designation for St. Francis Dam will honor those who lost their lives in the nation’s worst engineering disaster and the role it played in ushering in a new era of oversight for dam construction.
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017
Eliminating net neutrality would allow Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum and AT&T to create a “slow lane” and a “fast lane” on the Internet, prioritizing certain companies over others and dictating what websites you’re able to visit and at what speed, or even blocking you entirely from visiting certain websites of your choice.
Monday, Dec 4, 2017
In his monthly message for December 2017, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin encourages residents to shop and party locally during the holidays to keep the cash in our community.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]
On Monday, January 22, 2018, traffic on McBean Parkway, between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard, will experience delays intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at Valencia Country Club. It is anticipated there will be fewer than five brief closures throughout the day and each will last for approximately two to five minutes.
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia Prompts Street Closures
Attorneys Brian Koegle and David Poole of Santa Clarita Valley law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will provide insight on legal matters affecting California businesses at the Valley Industry Association's February luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on February 20 starting at 11:45 a.m.
Feb. 20: VIA Luncheon, 2018 Employment Law Update
Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA will be hosting their annual science fair at Oak Hills School in Valencia in the form of an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo event on Jan. 23rd-26th.
Jan. 26: Oaks Hills STEM Expo
2017 was an exceptional year for the Santa Clarita Valley economy, and 2018 promises even more positive growth.
Live, Work, Play in SCV: All to Improve in 2018
Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation Mythbusters tackle a tough and persistent question: Is growing a community a good thing?
SCV EDC Mythbusters: Why Growth is Good
The nonprofit SCV Mayor’s Committee For Employment of Individuals with Disabilities will host its second annual Educate-Empower-Employ Recognition Luncheon at COC on Thursday, February 22.
Feb. 22: SCV Mayor’s Committee Annual Luncheon, Fundraiser
CalArts alumni will stage the second annual Co-Incidence Festival, an experimental music festival and residency hosted at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, Massachusetts from Jan. 19-28.
Jan. 19-28: CalArtians Stage Co-Incidence Festival in Mass.
Joseph Wayne Monroy, a South Gate man charged with the murder of a Newhall man in January 2016, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles Superior Court today, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Monroy Sentenced to 21 Years for 2016 Newhall Murder
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Joseph Hedges to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Pamela Mizukami as Chief Deputy Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Brown Expands High-Speed Rail Exec Team to Move Project Forward
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports that influenza activity has declined over the last two weeks; however, activity is still widespread and higher than peak levels observed during recent seasons.
Flu Outbreak Eases in LA County, But Still Widepsread
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Brittany Kruczynski as the new Director of Fiscal Services.
Kruczynski Named Hart District Fiscal Services Director
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies were out in force stepping up enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety laws and issued 69 citations to drivers Wednesday, but none to pedestrians.
SCV Deputies’ Pedestrian, Bike Safety Push Nets 69 Citations
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued a statement calling out Acting Director Mick Mulvaney of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for requesting a total of $0 for the agency's second-quarter budget.
State AG: ‘Trump Officials Treat Consumer Financial Protection as a Joke’
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its next Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.
Jan. 23: City Council Regular Meeting
Amazon announced its list of top 20 finalists for their new headquarters Thursday, and the Los Angeles area -- including the Santa Clarita Valley -- was named among them.
LA, Including SCV’s Newhall Ranch, In the Running for Amazon’s HQ2
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
In an exciting conclusion of events, approximately 40 inmates who participated in the Education Based Incarceration program received either a high school diploma or certificate of completion for vocational training.
Largest Class of Inmates in Education Based Incarceration Program Graduates
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) has selected its inaugural leadership to preside over the launch of the newly formed water provider.
SCV Water Selects Inaugural Leadership
Well V-205, located near McBean Parkway and Valencia Blvd., was voluntarily removed from service in April 2012 when perchlorate was detected in low concentrations, below the Detection Level for Reporting (DLR).
Perchlorate at Out-of-Service Well Reaches Actionable Level
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider purchasing the 4,598-square-foot building Roger Dunn Golf Shop building in Newhall when the council meets next week.
City Eyeing Purchase of Roger Dunn Building
Here are the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Jan. 20 and Jan. 25:
Jan. 20, 25: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, dad, mom and several other family members, Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin always wanted to be a teacher.
CSUN Alumna Nabs Teacher of the Year
Legendary Band, "The Chieftains," will celebrate their 55th Anniversary with a performance at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (SCPAC), Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 24: The Chieftains 55th Anniversary Tour
SEATTLE - Amazon reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America.
Los Angeles on Short List of Amazon’s HQ2
The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board of Directors will hold its Regular Meeting Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 19: SCV Sanitation District Regular Meeting
Kevin Young has been selected as the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) 2018 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence. Young will conduct workshops with CalArts students in the MFA Creative Writing Program and present public readings, which will be held at CalArts on Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m. and at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
The New Yorker’s Poetry Editor Selected as CalArts 2018 Writer-in-Residence
LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
Here is the Valencia Crime Information and Public Safety report for the week of Jan. 1:
Crime Blotter: Shoplifting, Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Valencia
Here is the Saugus (Zone 4) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Saugus
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Public Safety and Crime Information Report for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Attempted Robbery, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Newhall (Zone 6) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Commercial Burglary, Vehicle Burglary, Grand Theft in Newhall
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
The dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization that used the U.S. Postal Service to mail packages of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana from California to traffickers in Pennsylvania since at least April 2016 - and the arrests of five leaders who spearheaded the corrupt organization, including two from the Santa Clarita Valley - were announced Wednesday by Montgomery County (Penn.) District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.
2 from SCV Netted in Major East Coast Drug Bust
With The Master's University's 2018 baseball season about to begin, TMU Sports Information Director Mason Nesbitt offers a preview.
TMU Previews Mustangs’ 2018 Baseball Season
Several CalArtians are among the Chicago-based United States Artists' annual fellowship class of 45 artists and collaboratives who will each receive an unrestricted $50,000 grant for their respective art practices.
CalArtians Among United States Artists’ New Fellowship Class