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1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco for $33,000 (75 cents an acre) in a sheriff's sale [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015

darrylmanzer0215Where is the “better deal?” I find it strange that all these months later, we are still waiting on the “better deal” to rid our valley of billboards.

If the group, Citizens Against Billboard Blight, or CABB, has a better deal for us, please show it soon. I’d like to see the billboard blight ended in this valley. We still have most of those old billboards in place. If it was as easy to get a new and better deal as they said it would be, just where is it?

Just what was accomplished by all of those billboard battles? Nothing – except that a couple of Edwards boards have came down.

I think we were cheated. CABB said there could be a better deal. Show it to us, please.

Talking with a friend last night, she mentioned she had to be home by the time the streetlights came on. Back then, here in our little valley, most of us didn’t have them things. Some of us near billboards got the idea. When those huge lights came on, it was time to get in the house.

Those huge lights are still on every night. Talk about blight. Wow. The billboard lights that served as a signal for some in the 1950s and ’60s are doing the same today.

So where is that better deal?

I’m so proud that many of our citizens were able to get signatures on a petition and get a measure on the ballot. That is how it should work. I just think it is far beyond time for those same folks to put up the new and better deal they say they could have made with the billboard companies. Only seems fair to all of the folks who signed the petition. They were in fact told the “blight” would end. It didn’t.

billboardnodealSure, we didn’t get three electronic boards. We got to keep however many old-style boards. And we get no additional revenue like we would have under the “bad” deal.

But that’s OK. We didn’t get those electronic boards. Case complete.

Or is it?

I’ll let that horse alone. It appears to be dead. Which means that even if there could be a better deal, the billboard companies won’t go for it. They got burned pretty badly in the last deal.

Lets see when and if we get a better deal. Someday. Somehow.

Wouldn’t it be great if the folks who operated the Chiquita Canyon Landfill could negotiate a deal with the billboard companies? The communities involved would be flooded with bikes for kids at Christmas, money for sports and recreation, and maybe enough electronic billboards to advertise what a great deal the landfill is for us. They could do all of that and convince us it is a good deal. We’d buy into it, just like we believed that last billboard deal was bad. Just a thought here.

But of course, I jest. The Cemex problem isn’t over yet, and the California High Speed Rail Boondoggle is still around. That group has a job opening for someone from the community to review the alignment through our valley.

I’ve got an answer for that. Hire me. I can solve the alignment concerns. Don’t build the damn thing or head to Burbank direct from Palmdale. Let the lawyers figure out that one, too. They are the ones making the money on the rail fantasy by Comrade Jerry. Them and maybe the husband of our senior U.S. senator.

Hey, maybe the folks from CABB can work a deal to keep the CHSR out of our valley that is a good deal, like the one they say they can get for billboards. Wonderful. I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. Happy me.

So have a happy hump day, my friends. Both of you. I’m waiting on the deal. Are you?

 

 

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, where he serves as executive director of the SCV Historical Society. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com. His older commentaries are archived atDManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

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3 Comments

  1. Steve Petzold says:

    Obama wrecked Iraq after the surge because he did not want to recognize that Bush was right and the cause was just. Similarly, the city manager refuses to speak with the billboard companies to negotiate a better deal because he wants to cut his friends at Metrolink in on the cash flow. The billboard companies would be glad to remove their static board assets and put in more lucrative digitals. The locations at Norland and Remsen are not appropriate locations. Don’t blame CABB or the billboard companies…talk to Stroplin and Kellar.

  2. David Barlavi, Esq. says:

    No Faustian Bargains! Enough said.

    If you want billboards gone, find a way to get rid of them without making blight even worse, or moving eyesores around.

    Otherwise, live with the status quo you’ve established.

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