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11 Questions for Dave Bossert
President of the West Ranch Town Council
July, 2007 - Issue #33
Dave Bossert
Dave Bossert
Stevenson Ranch is outside of the Santa Clarita city limits and is governed by the County of Los Angeles. The West Ranch Town Council (originally billed as the Stevenson Ranch Town Council) was established in 1992 as an advisory group by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

The name West Ranch Town Council was coined as a way to include homeowners who live in the communities of Westridge, Sunset Pointe and Southern Oaks. The council discusses everything from upcoming development to graffiti in the area. Elections are held on a bi-annual basis during the community fireworks show. The show is the brain-child of Town Councilmember Dave Bossert who has been organizing the dazzling display for nine years.

Aside from his many volunteer activities in the community, Bossert also edits a blog, westranchbeacon.com. He is outspoken and passionate about issues near and dear to his heart.

1. You're an east coast guy. What brought you out west?

I came out to Santa Clarita Valley in 1980 to attend Cal Arts. At the time it was one of the only schools in North America that was teaching animation. I was fortunate enough to be one of 30 individuals to be admitted to the freshman class of 1980. I received a Walt Disney scholarship. Presently, I am a trustee of the school and president of the alumni association. Cal Arts is a cutting edge arts schools with an international reputation.

2. What do you do?

I am creative director of Walt Disney Animation Studios Special Projects.

3. What attracted you to the Stevenson Ranch area?

The reason why we bought out home in Stevenson Ranch was the location. It was still in the suburbs of Los Angeles, far enough away from the city, but without a horrendous commute.

4. You are president of the Town Council now, but you have also served in different positions over the years.

I was a member of the Town Council when [Dr. Richard] Rioux was president. I didn't run for a number of years because I was involved with the [Stevenson Ranch] Civic Association and the Civic Committee.

5. Why did you get involved?

I got involved because I enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community. I've been involved in a number of family events.

6. Does the Town Council have any power?

The Town Council is strictly an advisory organization to the county and has no legislative power whatsoever. But as an advisory group, we have influence on everything from amenities for the park, working with the local developer on road-way connections and dealing with the county on various issues. One of the things we're proud of is getting (developer) DR Horton's Lyons Canyon project reduced by nearly 80 percent.

7. How does someone get involved with the Town Council?

Just come to the meetings that are held on the first Wednesday of every month at Southern Oaks Community Center at 6:30 p.m. We keep the meetings under 90 minutes.

8. The fireworks show at Rioux Park has been a crowd-pleaser for many years. Tell us how it got started.

I realized nearly a decade ago that our community needed some sort of Fourth of July show because my parents used to take us to a local park and see a wonderful fireworks show for free. I have wonderful memories of that time and I wanted my children to have the same memories. At the time, the city had no Fourth of July show. The choices were to go to Castaic or find a good spot to watch the Magic Mountain fireworks. That left out sitting with friends and neighbors. So we decided to organize a show and we went about educating ourselves on all aspects of firework presentations. We managed to get the first show off the ground.

9. Where do you get the funding for the event?

The show is paid for from generous donations from a variety of businesses and the Stevenson Ranch Homeowners Association. We get a very generous donation from [developer] Lennar and Newhall Land and Farm.

10. What's next for Dave Bossert?

I do what I do. I enjoy being a community volunteer and I'm going to continue to do that. Who knows what's next? When opportunity knocks, I'll go with it. I like having fun and I like serving the community. You get beat up once and awhile, but that comes with the territory.

11. Tell us what's going on with annexing.

Currently, the West Ranch Town Council is engaging several independent consultants and we are having several studies done so that the community can have a full understanding of the options available in regards to the future governmental status of the area, whether that's annexing, incorporation, or staying with the county. The residents of the unincorporated area deserve to be fully informed.

12. Why did you start the Beacon blog and what are some of the topics you cover?

I started the beacon in the fall in 2005 because I felt the local paper was and is doing a terrible job covering the west ranch communities. I made this little on-line publication what I want to be in a community paper. That is, I'm posting news bits from around the world, nationally, on a state level and locally. I'm also posting news regarding our community and meetings that are happening within our communities and putting up commentary. I tell people what I think and give people an opportunity to comment back.

Ultimately, my goal is to get more participation from the community and shape the Beacon to the wants of the community. I have several individuals who are submitting regular commentaries - Chris Sharp, Pat Abbott, Mike Cruz - and I'm always looking for people who are interested in writing about the area. I think there are an awful lot of people reading it. We're getting thousands of hits a month.

13. Is the show open to the public or just for SR residents?

The show is in a community park and it's open to the public and it's free. Except for glow necklaces we let a local youth group sell because they provide a number of volunteers. There is an evaluation going on right now as to whether or not we can do a fireworks show. Because of the recent fires in Griffith Park and Catalina Island, we may have to scale back for safety reasons. Since doing this show, safety has always been the first item on the agenda. That is why it the very best fireworks show in the Santa Clarita Valley. Bottom line, whatever the fire department says, goes.
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