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

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 20
1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieThe following is an open letter to L.A. County 5th District Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

Dear Mr. Antonovich,

I’ve been watching the members of the Castaic Area Town Council conduct themselves without regard for anything but themselves. That is exactly what is happening. And you and your staff are doing nothing to stop it.

First, the members of the Town Council have been advised that they do not have to file financial disclosure statements as members of the Castaic Area Town Council. If that’s the case, then they should not have the ability or authority to enter into contracts with any company on behalf of the county. Financial dealings should be done at your level, at least those contracts that potentially have a value of $350,000 per year.

All of that money is to be controlled by 10 people in the Castaic area who, as of the election last Saturday, had less than 250 voters total in a population of 19,000 or so. That isn’t right and it isn’t fair, and it is very wrong.

Hundreds of people in Val Verde have signed a petition to block the expansion of Chiquita Canyon Landfill. The Town Council almost voted to accept the offer for funds from the landfill – but it was not passed because they failed to have a 2/3 majority vote on the Castaic Area Town Council. (A 6-4 vote is only 60 percent, not 66.7 percent.)

So now they want to change the rule and hold the vote again. They want to change the rule so that a simple majority can approve a contract. That doesn’t happen with any other town council or with the Board of Supervisors. They also want to increase the maximum term of office to 16 years.

This change in the bylaws of the Castaic Area Town Council is to be voted on Wednesday. This is before the newly elected officers take over. Lame ducks are positioned to decide to let Chiquita Canyon Landfill continue to poison Val Verde.

Yes, I said “poison.” Voluminous documentation exists to prove that Chiquita Canyon Landfill has received all kinds of material not allowed in the current permit. This includes sewer sludge, waste products from the “sodium burn pit” at the Santa Susana Test Lab, and other material that is causing high levels of methane, arsenic, and in general a toxic soup to show up in most of the test wells on the site.

There are no results from off-site wells near the Santa Clara River. Those wells are scheduled to be used as a water supply for the homes to be built on the south side of that river, west of Magic Mountain.

Chiquita Canyon Landfill is quick to say there have been no violations of its permit. In light of that, I implore them to explain the 2011 lawsuit over illegal dumping at Chiquita. There are hundreds more. The residents of Val Verde will gladly show them to you. I’m sure you could have your staff arrange a meeting so the Val Verde Civic Association folks could share that information.

I know you’re going to hear that the Val Verde Civic Association enters into contracts and votes on all manner of things. Well, that organization is private. It isn’t a government organization.

I understand why the town councils were created. Simple math tells us each of our five supervisors represents nearly 2.5 million people. You need folks to advise you in each area. The problem begins when those folks, as elected, de-facto members of the county staff, start negotiating contracts, without having to file any financial disclosure statements.

We probably wouldn’t be here if the town councils been given a small stipend, let’s say $10,000 a year to operate. That isn’t much of a budget, but it might be enough to keep any conflict-of-interest perceptions out of the picture.

They need to be advised that they must file financial disclosure forms (Form 700).

Sir, it is obvious by the results of the Castaic Area Town Council election that folks don’t want the landfill expansion to be approved. Two incumbents who approved of the expansion were defeated. Simple math tells us that when the new members take office, it will be impossible for the Castaic Area Town Council to vote in favor of the expansion.

You should also know that people watching the polls were paid by an individual on the Castaic Area Town Council. There were also a number of members of the Castaic Lions Club who identified themselves as such and went door-to-door for candidates they wanted elected.

It is starting to look like Chicago-style elections have moved to Castaic. It has to be stopped. So here is my request:

1. The town councils are your advisors. Stop them from making any contract or changing bylaws next Wednesday, especially since they are all lame ducks.

2. Require them to file financial disclosure statements. This includes things as simple as having a dinner or lunch paid for by folks from Chiquita Canyon Landfill. Other town councils and just about anyone getting public funds has to file such a disclosure – even you. Hold them to the same standard.

3. Pay for the town councils and prohibit them from taking money in excess of any amount necessary to pay for a community event. The Castaic Area Town Council could do quite well on, say, $10,000 per year, since it now gets around $8,000 a year from the landfill in so-called charitable giving.

4. Look at how valid the councils are, since out of 19,000 eligible voters in the Castaic area, only about 250 showed up to vote. That is a little over 1.3 percent. Not exactly a mandate for any government organization responsible to all the voters, even those who didn’t vote.

Only 20 percent of all of the trash that is dumped in the Chiquita Canyon Landfill comes from the Santa Clarita Valley. A lot of it comes from Orange County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County. Yes, fully 80 percent comes from outside the Santa Clarita Valley, and over half of that from outside our own Los Angeles County.

Most of all, the Chiquita Canyon Landfill needs to follow the agreement of 1997 and close when it reaches current capacity or by November 2019, whichever comes first. That is what you personally required the landfill to do.

I don’t think that is too much to insist on for the folks of Val Verde, the rest of Castaic area, and all residents of the Santa Clarita Valley. We don’t need to host the second largest dump in the whole United States in our valley.


Darryl Manzer


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. Greg Kimura says:

    – As far as I know, the 60/40 vote stands and the contract with Chiquita Canyon is approved by the CATC and I believe has been signed. The attorney who was hired by the CATC told us this at the last meeting. In so many words, he said that the section about contracts in the bylaws only pertains to contracts for purchases or services. Some agree and some don’t, but this is what he told the board.

    – The change in bylaws won’t have an effect on the contract with Chiquita, because the CATC has been advised by an attorney that they don’t have to follow the 2/3 majority on this type of contract.

    – The change in the bylaws which allows up to 16 continuous years for a board member is being voted on by the town council.

    – My only concern about being funded by the county is that they would be able to push their agenda on us, since they are funding us. I also think that the residents and athletes do enjoy our annual fun run. As long as the sponsorship doesn’t feel that their contribution has an effect on the town council decisions, then I’m okay with it.

    Thank you.


  2. John Patel says:

    The blame should be directed to he Los Angeles Regional Water quality Control Board. They establish the criteria for waste acceptance at Chiquita. In recent years the water board has expanded the amount of contaminants that may be accepted into municipal landfills including Chiquita.

  3. This guy needs a new mug shot!

  4. Susie Evans says:

    John Patel, the agreement says no sludge. Just because they call sludge by a different name when it shows up at Chiquita doesn’t mean it is not sludge.

  5. Greg Kimura says:


    Chiquita Canyon Landfill was given a Notice of Violation for accepting SLUDGE – it says it on the Notice of Violation. Their permit does not allow them to accept sludge. They also have a contract with the community of Val Verde, which says NO SLUDGE. The invoice which was given to Chiquita Canyon Landfill says SLUDGE. The residents of Val Verde are deeply concerned about the SLUDGE and what’s in it, because it is still at the landfill and they refuse to remove it. The landfill also told the community that they have tested the SLUDGE, but they won’t release the results to us.

  6. Susie Evans says:

    Thank you Greg for the clarification and additional information I did not know.

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...
Monday, Apr 16, 2018
The best way to fight kidney disease is to find it before trouble starts. But if you’ve already been diagnosed, Medicare can help you make informed decisions about your care.
Thursday, Apr 12, 2018
In 2016, California voters went to the polls and made it clear they wanted elected state officials to spend more money on school construction and passed Proposition 51 to invest $9 billion to upgrade aging buildings, build new schools where needed and build Career Technical Education (CTE) facilities to support better CTE programs.
Wednesday, Apr 11, 2018
Despite voter approval of construction funds in 2016, school districts are struggling to explain to their communities why the state is refusing to release the majority of the money.
Tuesday, Apr 3, 2018
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” — Frank Lloyd Wright
Monday, Apr 2, 2018
Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste and the City Council invite residents to celebrate the 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, which officially kicks off April 19.
Friday, Mar 16, 2018
Quentin Kopp, retired judge and Bay Area politician, was once chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority and helped sell the bullet train to voters. He’s now suing to stop it, saying, "The litigation, which is pending, will result, I am confident, in the termination of the High-Speed Rail Authority's deceiving plan."

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
A 25-year-old woman has been charged with shooting her boyfriend to death in the parking lot of a Canoga Park bar, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Newhall Woman Charged with Murder of Boyfriend
The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts will host the legendary rapper Kurtis Walker, aka Kurtis Blow, as part of its visiting artist series, on Monday and Tuesday, April 23 and 24, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Rapper Kurtis Blow Is CalArts’ Visiting Artist for Music
The five filmmakers selected for California State University, Northridge’s 28th annual Senior Film Showcase on May 2 are women, and their stories reflect the rich diversity of perspectives that make up America.
May 2: CSUN to Spotlight Hollywood’s Future Filmmakers
The CalArts School of Theater presented the graduating class of the Acting Program in a bi-coastal Actors Showcase at the Colony Theater in Burbank on Monday, April 16.
CalArts Actors Showcase Celebrates Graduating Class
TMU coach Zach Schroeder has said for weeks that this week's track meet in Azusa, California, would be crucial as far as Mustangs advancing to NAIA nationals.
Two Mustangs Qualify for NAIA Track Nationals
Heath Holder delivered four shutout innings in the first start of his professional career, but the JetHawks dropped the series opener to the Inland Empire 66ers, 8-3, on Thursday night at San Manuel Stadium.
Holder Strong in Season Debut, But JetHawks Fall 8-3
Santa Clarita-based Carnival Corporation and plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, has made several key senior executive appointments and promotions to serve its multiple brands and business units globally.
Carnival Names New Execs for 4 Cruise Lines
The Saugus Union School District has set its 2018 open house schedule to provide opportunities for Saugus parents to visit their children’s classrooms to view the amazing work accomplished this school year.
Saugus School District Slates 2018 Open House Events
SCV Kids Consignment, part of the LA Kids Consignment family of sales, continues its spring sale Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22 in Castaic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
April 21-22: SCV Kids Consignment Spring Sale in Castaic
The Castaic Union School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a three-percent raise and a bonus for its educators at last week’s board meeting.
Castaic School Board OKs First Teacher Pay Raise in 12 Years
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, April 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.
April 24: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Good seats are still available but going fast for the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival's 25th-anniversary gala celebration at Hart Hall on Saturday, April 21 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
April 21: Gala Celebrates Cowboy Festival 25th Anniversary
The Final Environmental Assessment, draft Decision Notice, and Finding of No Significant Impact for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Plan are complete, and a 45-day official objection period begins Friday before one of three options is chosen.
Forest Service Asks Public’s Input on San Gabriel Mountains Monument Plan
A Stevenson Ranch resident is missing more than $9,000 in jewelry, and suspects her roommates, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Deputy Kevin Duxbury reported in a post on the station's Facebook page
Grand Theft Prompts Victim to Suspect Roommates
Monday, April 23 is the deadline to apply for street pole Hometown Heroes military banners to be displayed by the city of Santa Clarita on Memorial Day, saluting actively serving military members from the Santa Clarita Valley.
April 23: Deadline to Order Hometown Heroes Military Banners
The Hart High School Baseball Program and the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley will again present Hart Baseball Bingo Night at the Newhall club on Saturday, May 12, starting at 5 p.m.
May 12: Bingo Night Fundraiser for Hart Baseball Program
California State University will not increase tuition for the 2018-19 academic year, but will continue to fight for increased funding to meet its current needs, according to Chancellor Timothy P. White.
California State University Decides Not to Increase 2018 Tuition
Wednesday, May 2 is the deadline to apply for one of 23 positions with the Santa Clarita Library.
May 2: Deadline to Apply for 23 Santa Clarita Library Jobs
1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]
NORTHRIDGE - CSUN beach volleyball honored its first seniors Thursday, just after the Matadors improved to 15-6 with a 5-0 sweep over Cal State Los Angeles at the CSUN Beach Volleyball Facility.
Matadors Celebrate Senior Day, Sweep of UC Irvine
Parents from Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts, and Sciences were notified Wednesday that Einstein will surrender its charter from the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District and shutter its campuses.
Einstein Academy to Close Charter Schools
NORTHRIDGE - CSUN Baseball (17-19, 5-4 BWC) resume Big West play this weekend with a three-game series against UC Irvine at Matador Field.
Matadors Resume Big West Play with 3 Game Set Against UC Irvine
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting Thursday, April 26, at 10:30 a.m.
April 26: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will be holding its regular meeting Tuesday, April 24, at 6:00 p.m.
April 24: City Council Regular Meeting
Solo Flight Swing is a Southern California-based western swing band that performs hot western-swing, dixie, bop, originals, and covers.
April 20: Solo Flight Swing at The MAIN
The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) celebrates National Volunteer Appreciation Week starting on April 15 - April 22.
Volunteers of the Year Recognized by County Animal Control
In partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles, College of the Canyons will be offering the next workshop for family caregivers.
April 28: Family Caregivers Workshop
Once again, the Paseo Aquatics Club entered the pool undermanned and underdogs, and came away with an impressive 15th place finish against 75 other teams, many of which were double and triple in size, at the recent Speedo Short Course Far Western Championships hosted by Santa Clara Swim Club.
Underdogs Paseo Aquatics Club Holds Their Own in Top State Meet
A reckless driver on Railroad Avenue led to a pursuit that landed four suspects in custody on Wednesday.
Newhall Pursuit Ends with Four Suspects in Custody
LANCASTER - Rancho Cucamonga homered five times Wednesday night as Lancaster fell, 11-4, in the series finale at The Hangar. Rancho’s Rylan Bannon became the second California League player this season to hit three home runs in a game.
JetHawks Fall to Quakes in Series Finale
Here is the Stevenson Ranch Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the week of April 9 - 15:
Crime Blotter: Assault, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
SACRAMENTO - California State Auditor released Thursday an audit requested by Senator Scott Wilk, R - Antelope Valley, last spring concerning homelessness in California and specifically the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's administration of public funds.
Audit on Homelessness Highlights Need for Improvement, Services
(SACRAMENTO) - Californians who filed tax returns this week must unfortunately wait nearly a week longer until they've collectively earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year.
April 23: California Tax Freedom Day
Here is the Saugus (Zone 4) Public Safety and Crime Information Report for the week of April 9 - 15:
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft Auto, Assault with Deadly Weapon in Saugus
1880 - Pico Oil Spring Mine Section 2 patented by R.F. Baker and Edward F. Beale [story]
'Make Believe: The World of Glen Keane,' celebrating the work of Oscar-winning Disney animator and CalArts alum Glen Keane (Film/Video ’74), opened at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco March 8 and will be on display through Sept. 3.
Oscar-Winning CalArts Animator Glen Keane Showcased at Disney in SF