Councilwoman Laurie Ender was selected Tuesday by her colleagues on the Santa Clarita City Council to serve as mayor for 2012.
She outlined her goals in her acceptance speech, which follows (as prepared for delivery):
Good evening. This is a very exciting night for me and the start of what I know will be another wonderful year for our City. Over the last two dozen years, the City Council, our City staff and our residents have worked together to create a community we can all be proud of. As Mayor for 2012, I want to continue this good work and high level of achievement. Our City will lead the way to improve our neighborhoods, build our infrastructure and assure that Santa Clarita residents and businesses love to live, work and play in California’s best city.
When I joined the City Council almost four years ago, I did so because I love Santa Clarita and I wanted to help my community. While Santa Clarita enjoys an amazing quality of life, we are not without our issues. Our partnership with the Sheriff’s department, our School districts and our many nonprofit agencies will go into high gear next year as we tackle teen use of drugs and alcohol, with the continuation of our HeroinKills campaign and a new city-wide drug education program.
In the area of public safety and in partnership with our Fire Department, three new fire stations will open in the City next year; one in Sand Canyon and two on Golden Valley Road, assuring that our homes and businesses are protected.
Business attraction, business retention and filming are important to our local economy and this year we will be updating our Business Plan for Progress to continue attracting high quality jobs and supporting our local businesses. We will also be hosting a local event with location managers to promote filming and encouraging the hiring of local people in this vital industry.
In Newhall we have worked hard to revitalize this important gateway into our City and that will continue with the completion of our new 30,000 square foot library in 2012. Also in Newhall, we are constructing 90 new parking spaces at the Newhall Metrolink station and a half acre park behind the Newhall Community Center. At Lyons and the I-5, we are constructing a beautification project, in partnership with the Supervisor Antonovich, Los Angeles County and the West Ranch Town Council that will improve this important gateway into our city and will be completed in the spring.
Our revitalized Santa Clarita Public Libraries are seeing record numbers of visitors at the three local branches and on line, and next year, we are adding new technology and more public use computers to meet these high traffic needs. We are also creating new Friends of the Santa Clarita Public Library group and establishing an adult literacy program as well as an early literacy program as identified through the library strategic service plan. This is a wonderful way for you to get involved with our libraries and our community.
One of the new programs for 2012 that I am most excited about is the launch of our new Civic Leadership Program. This program will be geared to attract, train and equip emerging community leaders, assuring that local boards, agencies and our City have interested and engaged residents participating and involved in our community’s future.
Our quest for the preservation of open space will continue in 2012 with new purchases focused on the Newhall Pass, areas east of Santa Clarita and in the Bouquet Canyon area. One of the most exciting open space projects next year is our new open space access plan that will provide our residents with trailhead facilities, trail extensions and public access to over 900 acres of local open space. Look for a spring launch of hikesantaclarita dot com that will include a map of these areas and many new trails.
In Canyon Country, we will be working to create a community center on the east side of town as well as initiating a new public outreach effort so we can more effectively engage residents about their thoughts and needs on the east side.
Public art will continue to emerge with plans for new art on the South Fork Trail, and in the Saugus area in the center median.
We will continue our work to prevent large scale mining in Soledad Canyon. Aggressive cleanup efforts on the Whittaker Bermite property will continue and we will work toward future appropriate development “that meets City objectives” through a public private partnership for this property.
In Valencia, we are underway with our first park and ride for the west side which will open next year adjacent to the McBean Transfer station. This new facility will provide our residents with the ability to conveniently utilize a variety of transportation options.
Each of these great things happens through our partnerships with all of you and through the great work of our City staff. Our staff’s continued commitment to providing superior public service will be highlighted this year in city publications and local venues.
I would like to thank my City Council colleagues for selecting me to serve as Mayor for 2012. I have learned a great deal from each one of you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your outstanding service to our community. It is an honor for me to serve as your Mayor. I look forward to an exciting and goal oriented year, as well as the celebration of a quarter century of cityhood. Thank you for your support and your participation.