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Our View: 2011 a year filled with great promise

The Signal Editorial Board

Posted: December 30, 2010 8:52 p.m.
Updated: December 31, 2010 4:55 a.m.

As another year ends today and a new one dawns tomorrow, it is traditionally a time for new beginnings and for looking ahead.

In that spirit, The Signal offers this wish list for 2011:
The completion of the renovations to the Canyon Country Jo Ann Darcy Library and an end to the controversy surrounding the city’s decision to establish its own library system:

In August, the Santa Clarita City Council voted to wrest control of three libraries from the Los Angeles County Public Library system and create its own system within its borders. Since then, the decision has been mired in controversy, with public outcry and multiple lawsuits filed to stop it.

Turning the management of the city’s libraries over to a private company, in this case, Maryland-based Library Systems & Services LLC, or LSSI, offers some distinct advantages.

First, LSSI is a professional library-management company that runs libraries across the country. It has a long track record of success. More important, it has a vast pool of resources and deep pockets.

With the L.A. County system facing a $22 million structural deficit, it just makes sense to remove our libraries from that mess and turn financial management over to people who are prepared to deal with it successfully.

Another reason going with LSSI makes sense is that the company offers an “outsider’s perspective.” There’s an old saying: “If you keep doing the same thing you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting the same things you always got.”

Going with LSSI gives us the chance to explore new ideas for our libraries and try new things. 

As for the issue of patrons’  privacy, there is no evidence to suggest that it will, in any way, be compromised.

As 2011 begins, we urge Santa Claritans to support the city’s decision and give LSSI a chance. We think  better library operation will result.

A continued drop in crime across the Santa Clarita Valley: The SCV got some good news earlier this week when the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station released crime statistics for the past year.

According to those statistics, crime in the SCV has decreased. Since 2005, crime in the valley has dropped almost 11 percent.

Sheriff’s officials say the creation of programs such as Crime Stoppers is one reason why. Since the local program’s inception, 272 crimes have been solved based on anonymous information submitted by the public.

Over the next 365 days, we urge law enforcement to work to make important connections with citizens. Also, we urge citizens to stay involved and stay alert. Together, we can all make this a safer Santa Clarita Valley.

A return to fiscal sanity in Sacramento: Our state is in serious financial trouble. Currently, our annual operating deficit stands at $25 billion.

In 2011, we urge lawmakers to stop the despicable practice of ignoring the problem and passing it on for future legislatures and future generations to deal with. Our state is insolvent, and the issue must be dealt with now.

 Incoming Gov. Jerry Brown already has promised some hard decisions and some painful cuts will be necessary to balance the budget.

As he begins the excruciating task of “looking under the hood,” we urge him to think carefully about the sacrifices he will ask Californians to make. When it comes to education, especially, we urge him to look first at cutting the education bureaucracy instead of cutting the “meat” from education spending.

The Santa Clarita Valley has been incredibly blessed over the past year. We are excited about the possibilities that 2011 holds. Happy New Year’s!


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