While those at Tuesday’s City Council meeting witnessed progress toward the North Copperhill annexation, roadside beautification of Sand Canyon Road, McBean Parkway bridge widening over the Santa Clara River, speakers were more concerned with a future meeting than the one at hand.
Tacked at the end of the Council agenda was the announcement of a special Council meeting scheduled for March 15 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.
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Speakers, such as David Gauny, Ed Shain and Lynne Plambeck asked about the hasty pronouncement as well as the meeting’s propose.
Gauny, the newly-elected president of the Santa Clarita Valley chapter of the California Republican Assembly, questioned whether the meeting would jettison certain issues related to the forthcoming Santa Clarita Public Library.
“I hope the City is not planning to appoint a board of trustees at this special meeting,” he said. “I want the City to be forthcoming.”
As per the requirement for establishing a municipal library system, the City Council must appoint a board of library trustees. In most cases, city councils appoint themselves to oversee the funds of a local library system.
A recent lawsuit filed by the independent Save Our Library group alleges the City acted illegally by failing to establish a board of library trustees before contracting with Library Systems and Services, the private company prepared to manage the three branches in Valencia, Canyon Country and Newhall come July 1.
Addressing the concerns, City Manager Ken Pulskamp said next week’s meeting was organized to discuss methods for protecting local redevelopment money currently in peril amid Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget cuts.
“What the meeting will deal with is putting the city in the best possible position for changes at the state legislature in regards to redevelopment law,” he said.
On Monday, State Controller John Chiang announced that a survey of 18 redevelopment agencies revealed “questionable” expenditures, a failure to file financial reports and a deficiency of more than $40 million meant for public schools.
Chiang’s office did not audit the Santa Clarita Redevelopment Agency for its study.
“(We’re working on) moving current redevelopment property to city ownership,” said Pulskamp. “We’re trying to act quickly.”
City Attorney Joe Montes underscored the crucial timeframe.
“We got the notice out as quickly as we could after proposed legislation hit the streets,” said Montes. “If we waited until the (regular City Council) meeting on the 22nd we could be too late.”
No word on whether or not the City will televise the meeting.