Santa Clarita Board Meeting, March 28, 2023

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To navigate to a specific part of the video, simply click on the timestamp links below. Each timestamp corresponds to a different section of the video, allowing you to jump to the parts that interest you the most easily.

00:00:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council Meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Smythe gave an invocation acknowledging the start of spring and the upcoming religious holidays of Passover, Easter, and Ramadan. She offered well wishes to the Muslim community during their month-long fast and recognized the upcoming celebration of the Assyrian New Year. Father George Rashu and Father Michael Baroda from the Assyrian American Association of Southern California were invited to perform the invocation for the evening, with a prayer in both English and the ancient Aramaic language. The prayer asked for blessings on the City Council and reminded them to be mindful of their duty to care for everyone in the community.

00:05:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council Meeting on March 28, 2023, the Council holds the roll call, leads the flag salute, approves the agenda, and recognizes the Hart High School Girls CIF Soccer Championship team. Mayor Pro Tem Smite, a Hart High School alumnus, acknowledges the team’s record-breaking and impressive accomplishments, including winning the league championship, CIF championship, and the state championship, culminating in a “treble,” and gives them a round of applause.

00:10:00 In this section, a representative is honoring a local sports team for their achievements in winning both the CIF Championship and the Division Two State Championship. The team had an impressive 19-3-4 record, going 16-0-1 since January 1st, and dominating their CIF division while outscoring opponents 20 goals to one. The team had to face tough weather conditions, but still managed to defeat their opponents and win both championships. Representatives also thank the City of Santa Clarita, Hart High School, and parents for their support throughout the season.

00:15:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council Meeting, a young man named Aaron Yang was recognized for his avid participation in library reading programs. Despite residing in Alhambra, Yang participated in virtual reading programs in every state of the country except for Hawaii and Alaska, earning a plethora of prizes along the way. The Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper interviewed him and reported that he had read 52 books as part of the 2022 summer reading program. Library staff then presented him with a golden Santa Clarita library card to encourage him to continue reading, and Yang thanked the community for its support and for helping him further his acting career.

00:20:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita city council meeting, council member Lorraine West proclaims March 29th, 2023, as the national Vietnam War Veterans Day in honor of the sacrifices and contributions of the brave soldiers who served in Vietnam. Despite the hostility and rejection that they faced after their return home, these veterans persevered and continued to serve their country with dignity and honor. The Proclamation pays tribute to the 9 million Americans who served and the 58,000 individuals who lost their lives in the conflict. The city of Santa Clarita especially highlights its local Vietnam Veterans war veterans and those spotlighted in the Fallen Warriors monument in the Veterans Historical Plaza. Tomorrow, the 50th anniversary, the veteran Vietnam veterans of Santa Clarita are having a tribute at bella Vita at 11:30 a.m.

00:25:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council Meeting on March 28, 2023, two proclamations were made. The first was honoring the Daughters of the American Revolution for their Vietnam War commemoration efforts, recognizing March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The second was a proclamation for the Assyrian New Year celebration on April 1, 2023, marking the start of spring and symbolizing renewal. The Assyrian American Association of Southern California was recognized for their contributions to the community, and the board members were present to accept the proclamation.

00:30:00 In this section of the city council meeting, Peter Ward, President of the Association of Syrian American Association of Southern California, thanks Mayor Gibbs, fellow council members, and the City Manager for recognizing their community’s celebration of 6773 years. He emphasizes the importance of their organizations, churches, and community in continuing their heritage, history, culture, traditions, and language. Ward acknowledges the hundreds of Assyrians in Santa Clarita and thanks everyone for recognizing their community in their hometown. The following section of the meeting proceeds to public participation where the first speaker, Don Madrid, addresses the council.

00:35:00 In this section of the City Council meeting, Don Madrid shares the story of his daughter Abby’s brutal attack on a city transit bus. Abby, who suffers from a birth defect, used the transit system as a means of independence before she was harassed and attacked. The cameras on the bus failed to produce a clear image of her attacker, and the city’s system was not in sync with the sheriff’s, making it difficult to retrieve a clear picture. Madrid highlights the lack of safety measures in place to protect riders and asks if more can be done to prevent such incidents from happening again.

00:40:00 In this section of the video, a speaker voices their concern about the city council bowing down to too many organizations that want to be heard and seeking revenge, causing chaos, disruption, and prejudice. The speaker also questions how to work together to solve issues in the city, including the backlash caused by the actions of two individuals, and calls for the council to sever ties with College of the Canyons due to the head of Captain Hook’s despicable treatment of residents and breaking of laws. Another speaker shares their positive experience living in the city and discusses obstacles faced in finding employment during retirement.

00:45:00 In this section, a speaker from a food delivery company discusses the issue of parking in Santa Clarita, with non-delivery people parking in areas reserved for food delivery. This causes a problem for delivery workers, who then have to park in non-designated areas, which could lead to tickets. The speaker explains that the company’s delivery rating is impacted by on-time delivery and food quality, and parking in the wrong place slows down deliveries. Another speaker raises concerns about being labeled a lobbyist and a lack of response from the city’s officials regarding the issue.

00:50:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council Meeting, two speakers addressed the council, expressing their concerns about different issues. The first speaker discussed the city’s spending on the maintenance of urban forests and called for more investment in proactive maintenance and communication about race issues. The second speaker criticized council member Ken Striplin for not taking action on the increase in violent crimes and gang-related activity in the city, citing FBI records and his lack of concern for public safety. Both speakers called for more public participation and proactive communication to address these issues.

00:55:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council meeting, concerns were raised over the increasing gang-related activities in the city, with reports of territorial claims by different gangs, armed confrontations, graffiti, and attacks on students. The council was accused of misusing funding, with the speaker condemning their inaction and deriding their appearance. Questions were also raised on the recruitment of consultants and the efficiency of police services, citing incidents of hoax calls and the relevance of expensive studies over basic infrastructure. The speaker also raised concerns over the lack of transparency in disclosing the presence of gangs to people purchasing homes in the city.
01:00:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council meeting, two individuals spoke about different issues they had with city officials. The first speaker, James Doyle, questioned why the city supports discriminatory policies against part-time employees at the library, such as denying them access to basic benefits and opportunities for career advancement. Doyle urged the library board to investigate and address these issues promptly to ensure equal opportunity. The second speaker, Nancy, expressed her disappointment that a commissioner on the city’s parks and recreation council had failed to acknowledge the offensive nature of using derogatory Asian words in a historical perspective, and had refused to remove the words from her Facebook page despite being asked to do so multiple times.

01:05:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council Meeting, a resident raises concerns about racism and double standards within the community. She questions how the city council plans to enforce a resolution promoting inclusion and diversity when there is a divide among community members and commissioners. Another resident brings up the issue of hate crimes and challenges the focus on racism against only certain groups, stating that hate crimes occur towards every race, religion, and gender. Both residents stress the importance of unity and love for all, especially in the face of confusion and hate among the younger generation. The city manager acknowledges the concerns raised by the residents and expresses sympathy towards Mr. Madrid’s situation.

01:10:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council Meeting, the council members address several public comments. They discuss setting up a meeting with an individual who expressed concern about safety on the transit system for his daughter, as well as getting in touch with another person regarding their issue. They also respond to comments regarding public safety and crime in Santa Clarita, stating that while there is crime, the city council prioritizes public safety and allocates resources accordingly. The council also discusses personnel issues, stating that they handle complaints with diligence but will not discuss them in a public meeting with non-employees.

01:15:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council meeting, the council discusses the One Story One City program, a free library program that promotes literacy and community involvement. The program includes readings from the main character of this year’s book, a giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus. The discussion also includes the adoption of a plan for the county probation department’s halls and camps, highlighting the reactivation of Camp Scott as the only detention facility for non-serious juvenile offenders. The council also takes time to remember two community members, Ed Bolden and Jeff Wheeler, who were instrumental in the city’s development and enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

01:20:00 In this section, the Santa Clarita City Council reflects on the recent passing of Jeff Wheeler, a long-time parks department veteran, who served as a Parks Commissioner and played a key role in developing programs and activities in Santa Clarita parks. They express their condolences to his family and remember him as a good friend who did a great job for their city. They also take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Ed Boldman and commend the community’s efforts in standing up against the ridiculous effort to make Camp Scott something that it wasn’t. Finally, Councilman McLean reports on his enjoyable experience contributing to a book club discussion and screen printing event at the local libraries.

01:25:00 In this section of the transcript, city council members discuss various events they’ve attended, including a Zontas women in service event and a reception held by the California Transportation Commission. They also commend the grassroots effort of the community regarding Camp Scott, where their presence at every single meeting discussing the prison being put in the middle of a residential neighborhood significantly impacted the decision to look elsewhere for solutions. Additionally, they recognize the passing of Ed Bolden and Michelle Jenkins and discuss the sponsorship of a football camp benefiting fostering youth independence. Finally, they mention their advocacy trip to Sacramento and their commitment to bringing forward legislation and fighting to do good things for the community.

01:30:00 In this section of the transcript, Transit Manager Adrian Aguilar presents to the Santa Clarita City Council about the construction of a hydrogen fueling station at the Transit maintenance facility. The project is motivated by the Innovative Clean Transit regulation of California that requires transition to a 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, and the Zero Emission Plan developed by the city. The plan, which adopts hydrogen fuel cell bus technology, includes a phased approach for zero-emission bus purchases and the development of the infrastructure needed to support the fleet. After receiving proposals from four qualified firms, the staff recommends proceeding with the Trillium proposal for the construction of the hydrogen station, which offers better control over long-term fuel costs, flexibility, and scalability for future expansions.

01:35:00 In this section, the city council discusses the recommended action to authorize the city manager to execute a design build contract with Trillium for the construction of a hydrogen station at the transit maintenance facility. The proposed project includes utility upgrades, permits, and labor compliance oversight, with a total cost not to exceed 12 million 317,638 dollars. The speakers express concern about the cost and economic viability of producing hydrogen and suggest that the city council should acknowledge that this is an unfunded mandate that could potentially cost taxpayers money. They also question whether the electric grid can handle the increased demand.

01:40:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council meeting, various members of the public express their concerns about the hydrogen bus project and feel that they are being kept in the dark about it. One member of the public suggests that the council is approving the project to appease Newsome and Biden rather than for the benefit of the city. Another member expresses concern about the lack of communication from the city to its citizens regarding such projects. They suggest that better communication will lead to better support for such projects and a healthier symbiotic relationship between the city and its citizens. City staff clarify that the council is merely approving the project and not making a decision, and that they will cooperate with the city attorney to protect the community’s interests.

01:45:00 In this section of the transcript, the speaker acknowledges that from a pure cost-benefit standpoint, the decision to transition from CNG to hydrogen wouldn’t be the best decision. However, there isn’t an option, as it is an absolute requirement by the air resources board and the federal funding that Transit is funded under. The council comments that they must comply with the agencies above them, whether state or federal and that change is tough and expensive. The council-manager is obligated to deal with the requirements of the air resources board and bringing the items that will keep them in compliance. The meeting concludes with the council members discussing how frustrating it can be to receive these mandates, but they don’t have a choice but to comply.

01:50:00 In this section of the Santa Clarita City Council Meeting, council members discussed the hydrogen transition and compliance with state mandates. Some council members commented on the fact that these mandates come from elected officials and encouraged residents to vote for people who use common sense when making decisions. The meeting briefly moved on to vote on the consent agenda and then allowed public comment on proactive maintenance for the city’s 100,000 trees and the need for more public dialogue opportunities. One speaker expressed a desire for more public meetings where the community could have input.

01:55:00 In this section, a member of the public expresses concern about the lack of public gatherings and urges for more opportunities for community discussion. They also express dissatisfaction with the lack of straightforward and honest answers from the city manager’s office and various directors within the city government. The speaker demands a refund for the wasted taxpayer money on consultants for the Human Relations Roundtable and calls for a complete overhaul of the Roundtable and the implementation of an office of Ombudsman. The speaker also calls for a new City attorney or Law Firm to bring a fresh perspective to the position after 35 years with the same firm.
02:00:00 In this section of the video, a speaker praises the city for doing a good job on the disc golf course, which will be a great amenity and draw people to Santa Clarita. The speaker also congratulates the graffiti removal team and expresses concern about a grant given to College of the Canyons. The speaker has a copy of a check showing that the college paid $15,000 to a consultant to check out rental units in Santa Clarita, and questions whether the money was transferred from the foundation to the college. The speaker also accuses the foundation of being the “Vegas fund” for Diane Van Hook and claims that Measure H was a scam from the beginning, with money being shifted around and sent out of state. The speaker’s request for more time is denied and the meeting is adjourned.

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