Tomorrow, Santa Clarita residents will have the opportunity to choose three of the five city council members who set goals for the city and determine the policies that impact our daily lives more than any other level of government.
I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life. At every job I’ve ever had, I didn’t get a raise unless I did the job well. I think that goes for most of us. You do your job well or your employer finds someone else who will.
In 2016, just before their current term began, incumbent council members Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste joined Dante Acosta in voting to increase their own salaries by 10 percent.
After nearly two decades in office, Weste and McLean are asking voters to elect them again, something you would be hard pressed to miss given the number of large campaign signs placed on developer properties around the city.
Under their watch, Santa Clarita has transformed from the small, comfortable town it once was. Our homeless population has exploded, with some experts placing the homeless population count at more than 1,000 people. Utility rates continue to rise and traffic gets worse every day.
Without clear guidance from city hall, a drug epidemic sweeps our valley, with young lives snuffed out by heroin and fentanyl. Last April, nine people were hospitalized and one Santa Clarita resident died as a result of heroin overdoses, and families continue to be torn apart with no solutions on the horizon.
While the same developers who bankroll Weste and McLean tear up our valley to build expensive luxury homes for out-of-town buyers, one in 10 Santa Clarita residents live below the poverty line. Seniors struggle to afford skyrocketing housing costs.
What did Weste and McLean do to address this? They passed an ordinance making the simple act of sitting on the sidewalk punishable with a $500 fine.
Does that sound like a good job to you? Don’t you need to do your job well to get a raise? How many times do we need to re-elect Weste and McLean before they start working for us?
Our city council members are elected by us. They should work for us. On Nov. 6, count on my vote for a fresh perspective in Santa Clarita — because we deserve better.
Brandon Zavala is a Newhall resident.
The Santa Clarita Valley Proclaimer’s opinion section does not represent the official opinions of Radio Free Santa Clarita, its board and its supporters.