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Why you should vote for Spierer

Guest Column

Posted: March 9, 2008 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 10, 2008 5:01 a.m.
Since it became a city 20 years ago, Santa Clarita has enjoyed the best quality of life of any city in northern Los Angeles County.

While the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley continue to have high crime rates that impact their standard of living, Santa Clarita continues to be one of the safest cities in America.

My wife, Sharon, and I moved here with our family in 1993 for the unique opportunity Santa Clarita provides to raise a family in a community with everything we need: safety, quality schools, recreation and wonderful neighborhoods.

Although I had worked here earlier, I really got to know the community when I became Santa Clarita's first chief of police in 1988. As the chief, I worked with elected and community leaders throughout our city to create a community that was safe, secure, and enjoyed unparalleled quality of life.

Stopping crime
However, as we become complacent, we will see our crime rates increase as our quality of life and property values decrease. That is why I now serve on the Anti-Gang Task Force Steering Committee. And it's one of the primary reasons that I'm running for City Council.

It truly does all begin with public safety. The city has worked to build new parks and trails, but we all want to feel safe using them.

We have great schools, but parents worry about the influence of gangs and drugs. As your councilman I will work hard to ensure that our police department has the support and the resources it needs to keep us even safer.

My goal is to make Santa Clarita the safest city in California. That is why I have the support of Sheriff Lee Baca and District Attorney Steve Cooley.

We also need to be very concerned with neighborhood preservation.

Neighborhoods that are allowed to fall into a state of disrepair and decline also breed crime. Prevention is easier and far less costly than trying to clean up an area that has been allowed to deteriorate over time.

Unique qualifications
The city has grown at an astonishing rate, and that means new and greater challenges to maintaining the character of Santa Clarita that brought us all here in the first place. The difficulty in running a city increases as we grow, and that is where I bring some additional unique qualifications.

In addition to being Santa Clarita's first chief of police, I was later promoted within the Sheriff's Department to the rank of commander, and then again to division chief. As a division chief, I was charged with running a major portion of the Sheriff's Department, with important oversight responsibility for the department's $1.2 billion budget and 13,000 personnel.

No government budget is perfect, and I continually sought to increase efficiency and cut wasteful spending to allow more of our resources to go towards direct public safety. This experience will be invaluable to me as your councilman.

I have the skills to go through our budget line by line and form a detailed analysis of what we're doing well and what can be done better. We have an extremely talented staff at City Hall, and I know that together we can make Santa Clarita even greater.

One of our greatest growth-related challenges is keeping our transportation infrastructure up to date. It takes far too long to get from one side of our city to the other. While past road openings and the continued development of the cross-valley connector have greatly aided drive times, we still have much to do.

The southern part of our city is also in need of an east-west connector, and that is why I am committed to the Via Princessa and Magic Mountain extensions. These major thoroughfares are vital not only to travel within Santa Clarita, but also in making sure our commuters don't have to spend more time in their cars and away from their families than they have to.

I'm a firm believer in giving back to the community by working with and supporting nonprofit and charitable organizations. That is why I have served on the College of the Canyons Foundation Board, the Boys & Girls Club Board, and currently serve on the SCV Sheriff's Booster Club Board of Directors and the YMCA Board of Managers.

My community involvement and concern for our most vulnerable citizens have earned me the endorsements of seniors advocate Brad Berens, and of Duane Harte, president/founder of the SCV Committee on Aging Foundation.

In short, my proven leadership as our chief of police and Sheriff's Division chief, experience as a government waste-cutter, and commitment to Santa Clarita through extensive community involvement make me the best qualified candidate to join our City Council this April.

To keep Santa Clarita headed in the right direction, we will face new and evolving challenges. As we continue to grapple with medical access issues, transportation infrastructure, and public safety, we need a steady hand with proven leadership experience. I pledge to be accountable to all of you and to keep our great quality of life going strong.

These are the reasons I am running for City Council. It would be an honor for me to earn your support. Please visit me at



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