Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happenings: Council Caps off October

Keen observers will have noted two facts about tonight’s City Council meeting: (1)It was quick, and (2)Council member TimBen Boydston was absent. How the keen observer links these two pieces of information is left to his or her discretion.

Though brief, tonight’s meeting offered an important opportunity to reflect on what has been a most tumultuous October. Frank Ferry acknowledged the leadership of Assistant City Manager Ken Striplin through the freeway accident/closure and the fires. Laurene Weste and others expressed profound appreciation for emergency personnel.

In her turn, Mayor McLean focused on more pragmatic lessons from October’s trials and tribulations. “These past few weeks have reiterated that transportation is still our number one issue,” she began. McLean continued to say that she has recently been in contact with Senators Boxer and Feinstein. She plans to use the senatorial attention as an opportunity to communicate Santa Clarita’s needs, noting: “We’re on the map again.” "For the wrong reasons!" replied Frank Ferry. McLean pooh-poohed Ferry's nay-saying, though, and suggested that it was the City’s quick response to tragedy rather than tragedy itself that put all eyes on SCV…at least for a while.

The public hearing that followed this discussion proved disappointingly civil. The hearing was held in response to Salt Creek Grille’s appeal of the Town Center East expansion. (S.C.G. was upset about how their parking would be effected by the expansion, from what I got) Claritans-of-consequence, like Laurie Ender, had shown up pumped and ready to fight for the expansion's promises of upscale dining and shopping, but they were qucikly deflated. Indeed, it seems an agreement had been reached behind the scenes. Hunt Braly, representing Salt Creek Grille, said that the restaurant and Westfield had resolved all parking issues. No one else offered anything but support for the expansion—well, no one but Bruce McFarland. He marveled at the “flexibility" of Mr. Braly who is simultaneously representing a client that claims to have enough parking (i.e., Henry Mayo), and one that needs more (i.e., Salt Creek). We see it too, Bruce.

Anyhow, Claritans needn't fret over the Town Center expansion. More opportunities to eat and spend money, our two most cherished pasttimes, are on their way.

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