Marsha McLean looks back on successful year, Kellar looks forward.
Tuesday evening, the Santa Clarita City Council went through their annual Mayor switch, with Marsha McLean passing the Council’s head title off to Bob Kellar.
The five-seat City Council rotates the position of Mayor every year, with each of the council members voting for who that will be. Usually, the council members follow a rotating cycle that brings up each seat once every five years.
There was little surprise with the Council’s decision to vote in Bob Kellar, who had served as the Mayor Pro Tem for the last year. Frank Ferry was voted in as the new Mayor Pro Tem.
Exiting Mayor Marsha McLean gave an emotional look back at what she called a successful year for Santa Clarita. “I really did try and make this short,” said McLean, referring to her speech. “But there’s been so much to celebrate this year, and I want to be able to tell you all about it.”
In her speech, she highlighted projects the City accomplished in the last year, such as the gap closure for one section of the Cross Valley Connector between Copper Hill and the I-5 freeway. She also noted the passage of the open space initiative, success of the Amgen Tour of California, the explosive growth in local filming projects, and the widening of the Bouquet Bridge, which included the addition of new turn lanes at the intersection of Bouquet and Soledad.
Of course, with the passage of a successful year in Santa Clarita, comes much work to be done for the upcoming year. Mayor Bob Kellar took a moment to point out what issues the City will face next. “In 2008 your city will move forward with the programs and projects that help make Santa Clarita a great place to live,” stated Kellar.
Those projects included the continuance of the Cross Valley Connector project and the I-5/Magic Mountain Parkway road improvement, which are both scheduled for completion in 2009. A new Community Center in Canyon Country and expansions of both the Santa Clarita Sports Complex and Central Park are also on the horizon, along with continued discussions on the Cemex matter and Henry Mayo’s expansion.
Kellar also proclaimed his excitement for a new civic center complex for the city. The project would make better use of space at the existing location at the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Blvd.
What won’t happen next year? Mayor Kellar said that the entire council is united in their opposition to Las Lomas. The development proposes nearly 6,000 homes and 3 million square feet of commercial space in the jagged hills in the Newhall Pass. “We cannot permit that project to go through, ladies and gentlemen,” Kellar said, to a full round of applause. While he cannot guarantee that it won’t happen, since the project is not within the City, he re-affirmed that the Council will fight it with all of their ability.
After the City Council meeting, many friends of Mayor Kellar gathered to congratulate him at the Valencia Hyatt.
Bob Kellar is up for re-election in April.