It wasn’t on the agenda to address the proposed Henry Mayo Expansion. In fact, it won’t even get to the council until sometime in April, but at last night’s City Council meeting there was a preview of just how tough the subject will be.
The last item on the agenda for the night was for the council to decide whether or not the consultant picked by the city would be hired to do a study.
In all fairness, the study did have to do with Henry Mayo’s expansion. The consultant would be comparing the ratio of hospital beds called for in the expansion, to the amount of medical office space proposed.
Critics say the plan’s massive building of office space is not in the best interest of the city.
So that’s it. They were to either green light the study or not.
But the issue is much too big for that! A few members of the public got up and voiced concern that the study doesn’t cover the whole issue and that sent several members of the council into a downward spiral of questions and confusion.
Obviously the subject matter will greatly affect the Santa Clarita Valley, so questions should be asked. But last night, all they were supposed to do was approve the consultant. He can’t answer any questions until after he does the survey.
The council did end up voting in favor of the study.
But what does this really say? It seems abundantly clear that come April, when this issue actually comes before the council for real, it is going to be a huge event.
The public has already packed planning commission meetings on the subject, and the fervor is only getting stronger.
The council battled through three late nights and 1 special, additional meeting just to pick their replacement for the next 14 months. Now they’ll be looking at a twenty year plan for healthcare in the City.
As of now, it’s difficult to speculate who will vote which way. Bob Kellar and Laurene Weste didn’t speak on the topic last night, except to say that they’ll wait for the study and all the information to come through.
Frank Ferry did comment that he will bypass resident concerns if it means getting top doctors into the area. He also claimed that other hospitals aren’t exactly knocking down the door to set up shop in Santa Clarita. That may or may not be up for debate.
So, as Laurene Weste said “I don’t have a crystal ball.” But it was intriguing to see a little bit of what it will be like.
In other City Council News”
Several Sheriff’s deputies were honored for their service regarding the arrest of two Newhall 13 gang members. One deputy came upon a stolen car, and instead of calling in a tow truck and taking back the car, he set up a sting to see who was driving it. The sting included attaching a GPS tracking device to the car. Hours later, two men got in the car and drove away, only to be promptly pulled over and arrested. Additional stolen items were found in their possession.
A touching video was shown by Councilman Bob Kellar. Kellar was on the forefront of the effort to bring Deputy David March’s suspected killer back to American soil after he fled to Mexico five years ago.
The video was an America’s Most Wanted segment that detailed the problem with criminals fleeing to Mexico, where they live freely, without fear of extradition in death penalty cases.
The video examined the tragedy of Deputy March’s brutal murder, as well as others who had family members killed, only to see no justice.