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The Signal's '51' list came up short

Posted: November 6, 2009 7:36 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.
I am frankly amazed that you would select Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon as member No. 5 on your list ("51 Most Influential People").

In his 18 years in Congress, I do not recall any major legislation that benefitted Santa Clarita, let alone this country. In fact, I note at least 33 percent of your selection came from the public sector.

Your criteria for making selections defines influential as: having influence, not making headlines.

Although your claims in the selection process were not easy, but as a whole committee you obviously did not have enough of an opportunity to thoroughly interview your 50th selection, Monsignor Michael Slattery at length. otherwise he would have been included in the top five selection, if not number one.

Slattery has worked tirelessly in this community since 1962 with no fanfare, wages or publicity. He has never before been a candidate or selected in all these years for Santa Clarita's most influential.

As you noted, he currently oversees the construction of the second-largest Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles Archdiocese and rebuilt both the church and school at St. John Eudes parish in Chatsworth.

What was not noted is that Slattery also built St. John The Baptist de la Salle in Granada Hills and reaches outside the Santa Clarita Valley to areas in skid row in Los Angeles and anywhere he feels there is a need to help the poor, desolate and those in need. He reaches out to people of all faiths in diverse communities because he is genuinely committed to practicing and putting into works what he preaches.

His church community at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha alone verifies his worth in the over 4,000 diverse and ethnic members.

Slattery does this with much hard work, self sacrifice and humility, unlike your top five and other public officials in your selection. He truly qualifies for your definition of having influence, not as making headlines.

I would suggest that you revise your definition in the future to place a greater emphasis on people who contribute to the community with little or no compensation, as I believe their contribution would be characterized as self sacrificing.

However, your definition of influential appears to favor those of political influence and high salaries.


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