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November, 2014 - Issue #121
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Are You Ready for some Election?
Why isn't local politics followed as closely as football? Scratch that: why isn't local politics followed more closely than football? LA has no NFL team to get invested in, but Santa Clarita has a homegrown government made up of people you actually know. If your team wins or loses, you're amped or bummed - that's it. But depending on which politicians get elected, laws and taxes and things that actually affect your life are at stake. The most important difference, though, is that unless you're a coach or an owner, you can't do a whole lot to impact professional football. But this November, whether you're a teacher or a CEO or just some random bro who likes to fill in bubbles on official ballots, you'll have a direct say in our local political future.

Republican Wins, but Which?
In California's 25th district (the one you're probably in), the number of registered Democrats and Republicans is virtually identical. However, we can be certain that a Republican's going to win the election. Indeed, after the open primary, Republicans Steve Knight and Tony Strickland were the top finishers and thus are the only names which will appear on the ballot. Prominent Republican endorsements have gone to both, though outgoing Congressman Buck McKeon supports Strickland for his seat. Both men have quite a lot in common politically. As former Lancaster Mayor Hearns said, "Philosophically, it appears there are few, if any, differences between them." So how does one decide?

They both hold allegiances to valleys not our own - Knight to Antelope, Strickland to Simi - so we can't pick a thoroughly Claritan representative like we used to have in Buck. Thus, it appears you must actually attend their debates or visit their websites to decide who you think will make a better US congressman. Or you could flip a coin. It's a 50/50 chance you'll pick right.

50 Years of Digital Billboards?
Tens of thousands of dollars have been spent on Measure S, which is on the ballot this November. Voters must decide if they approve of a deal involving the city, LA Metro and Allvision LLC. The deal removes many of the billboards already in Santa Clarita in exchange for adding three new, 48-foot digital billboards along Santa Clarita's freeways. It was approved by the city council three to one, but a petition signed by over 11,000 verified Santa Clarita voters has brought the deal to the ballot. As the success of the signature drive attests, the billboard agreement has been extremely unpopular among most of the residents who voice their opinions at city council meetings, on SCV Facebook groups and in other community forums. Unfortunately for them, "No on S" doesn't sound nearly as catchy as "Yes on S."

The new digital billboards are covered by a 50-year contract, so it's worth giving some thought to this measure. If you're someone who doesn't want any billboards in Santa Clarita at all, however, you're out of luck. Some remain either way.

Castaic Votes
The Santa Clarita Valley includes many communities which are not officially part of the City of Santa Clarita - Val Verde, Castaic, Agua Dulce... Their issues affect us because we're so close geographically, but we don't necessarily have a formal say in what happens there. Recently, the Castaic Area Town Council voted in favor (six to four) of accepting funds from Chiquita Canyon Landfill. The landfill wants to expand and giving funds to local communities can help smooth things over, as not everyone is thrilled at living right next to an even bigger landfill.

The money isn't quite free, though. A condition is that if anyone on the Castaic council "supports in any way any appeal of Project approvals...this Agreement shall be voidable." The condition extends to households, so wives and husbands can't oppose the landfill deal either, unless they want to risk losing funds. So while you can't vote on this issue, it's a good reminder that your representatives can have a lot of influence on what happens in your community. Whatever your opinions, there's a clear way to show you heart SCV: vote.

This column is intended as satire and a (sometimes successful) attempt at humor. Suggestions, catty comments and veiled threats intended for the author can be e-mailed to iheartscv@insidescv.com.
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