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Tiff erupts over council committee assignments

Posted: May 14, 2014 6:09 p.m.
Updated: May 14, 2014 6:09 p.m.

A shuffling of Santa Clarita City Council committee assignments as a result of a newly elected councilman resulted in some hurt feelings at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“I feel like I am being completely, 100 percent disrespected here,” recently re-elected Councilwoman Marsha McLean told her fellow council members as they considered taking a committee assignment away from her. “One hundred percent, and you all need to know that.”

Councilman Dante Acosta, first elected to the City Council last month, had requested assignment to be district representative on the Regional Council for the Southern California Association of Governments, or SCAG, a position that has been held by McLean for several years.

“I think I would be an excellent representative of this community with my extensive business background, my passion for this community, my ability to communicate and work with other people,” Acosta said.

McLean, however, bristled at the request.

“I have a history with them — they know me,” she said.

“They know that I represent Santa Clarita, and I wish to remain, and I don’t think it’s fair to ask me to give up something I’ve been on for quite some time.”

Going into the Tuesday night meeting, McLean had the most council committee assignments with 10. Acosta, taking over the position occupied by former Councilman Frank Ferry, had just two committee assignments.

Acosta said he meant no disrespect to McLean.

Council members eventually voted 4-1 to allow Acosta to join the SCAG Regional Council. McLean’s was the lone dissenting vote.

According to its website, SCAG is the “nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and more than 18 million residents.”

It “undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to encourage a more sustainable Southern California now and in the future.”

Reached by phone Wednesday, McLean said she was surprised at Acosta’s request, but she does not think the exchange is a result of a larger discord or lack of respect among City Council members, which was a topic discussed during the recent council campaign.

“The main thing is to understand that I’ve put a lot of work into SCAG,” McLean said. “I have devoted a lot of my time into SCAG and I feel like I’ve done a really good job in bringing our city’s needs to the forefront on a regional basis.

“And I hope that Mr. Acosta does the same,” she said.

Acosta left the council meeting Tuesday with four committee assignments.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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