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Communities pledge support for campaign

Council seeks contribution from outlying regions

Posted: April 29, 2009 8:23 p.m.
Updated: April 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Representatives from several of the Santa Clarita Valley’s unincorporated communities said Wednesday they will try to find money to help support the “Think Santa Clarita Valley Campaign.”

Followed by numerous pleas of support from community members and leaders, the city council signed off on the name, “Think Santa Clarita Valley,” for the valleywide marketing campaign on Tuesday night as part of the city’s 21-point plan to stimulate the local economy. But council members also asked the unincorporated communities to help foot the bill for the program.

The city will ante up $250,000 for the campaign, but council members expressed hopes that businesses and organizations outside city limits could help fund the campaign, which is designed to encourage residents to shop, hire and think locally. “Think Santa Clarita Valley” will be the name used within the valley, while “Think Santa Clarita” will be marketed to areas beyond the valley.  

“I don’t think our citizens should foot the entire bill for a valleywide campaign,” said Councilwoman Marsha McLean.

Ron Mechsner, president of the West Ranch Town Council, said the council’s next agenda will include a discussion of ways to retrieve dollars from the county for the campaign. He also wants to ask the town council to support the “Think Santa Clarita Valley,” he said.

“We’re going to — if we can find ways — we’re going to ask the county to see if (it) can find funds to contribute toward (the campaign),” he said.  

The council will try to reach out to westside businesses, “so they can contribute some of their dollars,” he said.

“We don’t raise any money ourselves or have any funds for those types of things. So all we can do is put in our time and try to facilitate things like reach out to our businesses and have specific ideas for the county,” he said.

County representative Rosalind Wayman said she is working with county departments to determine whether they can contribute funds to the campaign.

“I’m sure we’ll participate, but the details are still being worked out,” said Wayman, senior deputy for Santa Clarita Valley for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.   

It is too early to know how much the county could pitch in, she said, but it is necessary to speak with all the unincorporated communities to see how much they’d like to contribute.

Latisha Smith, president of the Castaic Chamber of Commerce, would not speculate how much the chamber might be able to contribute.

“We have to keep in mind we are a small chamber and the money we do have we use to promote our business in the area,” she said. “It depends on what they’re asking for,” Smith said. “Our stance right now is we’re willing to go to meetings and participate as much as we can.”

Smith referred to the valleywide campaign as historic — the first time Santa Clarita has encouraged everyone to access business inside and outside city limits.

“As things move along and we find out what they want us to do, we’ll participate in however works best for us to participate,” she said.

Smith said the Castaic Chamber will move forward with its “Shop Castaic First” campaign. She doesn’t expect to interfere with the valleywide campaign, she said.

“The incentive is to encourage the community to access business in Castaic first, and if what they’re looking for is not here, then certainly they can go to areas throughout the valley,” Smith said. “We wouldn’t be competing (with the Think campaign). We’d like to encourage people to at least go by and see what (businesses in Castaic) offer.”



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