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Why you should vote for Ender

Guest Column

Posted: March 9, 2008 1:44 a.m.
Updated: May 10, 2008 5:01 a.m.
Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon has endorsed my candidacy because he believes I am the most qualified candidate to work with him to stop the Cemex megamine and because I am strongly advocating an expansion of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Ferry and Councilwoman Marsha McLean have also endorsed my candidacy. They support me because I will be able to work with all members of the council to get things done to continually improve our quality of life here in Santa Clarita.

Since 2003, I have served Santa Clarita as a Parks and Recreation commissioner. During this time, we have expanded the Santa Clarita Sports Complex and created five new parks, including Todd Longshore Park in Canyon Country and the Veterans Historical Plaza. In addition, we secured 2,500 acres of open space.

I recently served as president of the 30,000-member Santa Clarita Valley Council PTA, and I co-chaired, with former mayor Clyde Smyth, the Measure V Bond campaign that raised $152 million for the William S. Hart Union High School District. That money was used to help pay for the construction of West Ranch and Golden Valley high schools and for extensive school modernization.

I also chaired the Measure E Bond campaign for the Saugus Union School District, raising $48 million for construction projects for their schools as well.

Where I stand
With the Cemex megamine, hospital expansion and a number of other key issues facing us, this election is very important to the future of Santa Clarita. As a voter, you deserve to know where I stand on these issues.

Cemex needs to be stopped.

We simply cannot allow a 56-million-ton mining operation in Soledad Canyon to become a reality. It has the potential to devastate our environment, adversely impact traffic and cause our property values to plummet. Worse, it could wreak havoc on public health.

According to a city of Santa Clarita press release dated Nov. 2, 2006, Cemex has amassed "more than 72,000 separate air quality violations in Colorado" and has had "violations of federal and state air quality standards so severe that the state of New Mexico had to issue health warnings to the young, elderly and to those with respiratory ailments."

We can't let this happen here, and, as your council member, I will work tirelessly to see that it doesn't.

Regarding the hospital expansion, I am dismayed that my opponents are either against the revised master plan or just refuse to tell us where they stand on this critical issue.

I believe it's wrong to play politics with health care. And I think it's important that we have ample health care facilities for our residents.

Santa Clarita deserves a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit, an improved maternity center, cancer and cardiac "Centers of Excellence" and the other improvements outlined in the revised master plan. Plus, a better hospital will attract more top-quality doctors.

Public safety
Public safety is another issue facing our city, even though sheriff's Capt. Anthony La Berge and the deputies who work in our city are doing a very good job. They need more support.

I serve on the city commission that oversees both the Anti-Gang Task Force and the Graffiti Task Force. I know that the gang problem in Santa Clarita is real. As a parent of three young children, I understand the community's concern about our public safety.

To fight back, we need to open a sheriff's substation in Canyon Country, expand Neighborhood Watch programs and training, and fully implement the Anti-Gang Task Force recommendations.

But above all, to tackle our gang problem, we need to add more deputies.

Other issues that I consider priorities include:

  • Keeping development from adversely affecting our schools and roads
  • Completing the cross-valley connector n Securing funding for freeway truck lanes
  • Building a community center in Canyon Country
  • Expanding Central Park and the Sports Complex
  • Creating more programs for youth and teens n Providing better services for seniors
  • Revitalizing downtown Newhall
  • Continuing the Whittaker-Bermite cleanup
  • Securing more open space
  • Not raising taxes on our residents.

For more information about me or my positions on issues, or to volunteer, visit my Web site at www.Elect, or e-mail me at


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