Nine Santa Clarita residents were appointed by the Santa Clarita City Council during the first meeting of the new year to serve the community in a variety of roles.
Following an open application process, vacancies have been filled on the Planning Commission, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission, Arts Commission and Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel (FAAP).
Each City Councilmember nominates one individual to serve on each body for a four-year term that runs concurrently with that of the nominating City Councilmember. When terms expire, and vacancies arise, Santa Clarita residents are invited to apply for one of the available positions.
At the Jan. 12, 2021, City Council meeting, Councilmember Cameron Smyth once again nominated two current commissioners – Renee Berlin to serve on the Planning Commission and Vanessa Wilk to serve on the Arts Commission. Two new faces were also appointed – Henry Rodriguez to serve on the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission and Kyle Jellings to serve on the Open Space Preservation District FAAP.
Rodriguez is a local business owner and board member of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Santa Clarita Economic Development Corporation. He is currently chair of the Latino Business Alliance and served as a member of the Open Space Preservation District FAAP prior to his appointment to the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission.
Jellings is a lifelong resident of Santa Clarita who is dedicated to serving his church and community. A husband and father of five, his knowledge of and involvement in City development grew in his seven years working at AM-1220 KHTS, including as station manager and program director.
Councilmember Jason Gibbs, who is the newest member of the City Council following his election in November 2020, nominated one familiar face – Timothy Burkhart to serve on the Planning Commission – and three individuals new to their roles – Jonathan Waymire to serve on the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission, April Scott-Goss to serve on the Arts Commission and Sunil Rajpal to serve on the Open Space Preservation District FAAP.
Burkhart is Vice President of Six Flags Theme Parks in Valencia, with decades of experience needed for the role. He previously served on the Planning Commission, including as chair, from 1999 to 2019.
Waymire is currently a manager for Northrop Grumman in Palmdale and holds leadership positions as the president of the Meadows Elementary School Site Council and the executive vice president of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Santa Clarita. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland, a law degree from Southwestern University School of Law and a certificate in systems engineering from California Institute of Technology.
Scott-Goss is an accomplished artist whose award-winning thesis film, “Deep in My Heart,” has been showcased at Festival du Film, Cannes and is archived in the Biloxi History museum. She has helped raise funds to support art programming and holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, a master’s degree in theatre from California State University, Los Angeles and a master of fine arts in directing theatre, video and cinema from California Institute of the Arts.
Rajpal is a resident of Canyon Country, works as a senior civil engineer in the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works and brings more than two decades of experience in policy development, grant management, project management and more to the Open Space Preservation District FAAP.
The City Council unanimously approved these nominations for full four-year terms, which will expire December 31, 2024.
Following an unscheduled vacancy on the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission, Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste nominated Rebecca Skye Ostrom to serve the remaining two years of the unexpired term.
Ostrom is a junior high school science teacher in the William S. Hart Union High School District. She holds master’s degrees in education and school counseling, has served on various school leadership committees and is also a member of the Sand Canyon Trails Committee.
Ostrom’s current term will expire on Dec. 31, 2022. To learn more about each commissioner, please visit santa-clarita.com.
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