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Joe and Tammy Messina: SCV needs Scott Wilk

Posted: October 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.

For the last six years, Santa Clarita Valley residents have been represented in the state Assembly by our “Hometown Boy” Cameron Smyth.

Cameron went to Sacramento to carry our values and our sense of community and he carved out a niche for himself as a nice guy who is effective in the gritty world of Sacramento politics.

Due to term limits, Cameron must exit the stage and on Nov. 6 we will be choosing a new representative.

For us, that is Scott Wilk.

Scott and his wife, Vanessa, have been active in Santa Clarita since they moved here more than 20 years ago. The Wilk family came to Santa Clarita for the same reason many others have — great schools, safe neighborhoods and to join a community known for caring.

In the early years, Scott and Vanessa focused on their children — Scott Jr. and Alison Grace. Vanessa served as PTA president for three years at Santa Clarita Elementary and Scott was on the school’s site council. Scott likes to joke that he was known as “Mr. Vanessa Wilk.” They were also involved in youth ministry at their church, as well as other activities the children were engaged in.

As the children matured, Scott and Vanessa spread their wings to be involved in more community activities including the SCV Chamber of Commerce, the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation, the College of the Canyons Foundation and the Soroptimist International of Greater SCV. When asked to help you could count on Scott and Vanessa.

Scott’s career in both the private and public sectors has also prepared him to represent us in Sacramento.

In the 1980s Scott and Vanessa bought and grew a vending company that afforded them the opportunity to buy their first home. Through this experience they dealt with a myriad of regulations from health permits to local business permits and equalization rules.

For the last six years, Scott and Vanessa have owned a public affairs company where they assist companies navigating the rules and regulations of government. Through their efforts they have improved the lives of every Santa Clarita resident.

Thanks to Scott’s efforts we have greater access to health care, more upscale retail at the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall and more open space to recreate in.

Public service is part of Scott’s pedigree as well.

Scott served as a field representative to former L.A. Police chief and Santa Clarita Valley’s state Sen. Ed Davis. In Sacramento, Davis had a reputation of bringing all parties together to try to hammer out an agreement. From his time with Davis, Scott learned that if you have “an open mind and open heart” positive compromise is possible. Scott will bring that attitude to Sacramento.

In the 1990s Scott served as chief of staff to Assembly members Paula Boland and Tom McClintock. In this capacity he learned the legislative process by managing bills, major bills that became law.

Paula Boland was the first woman to serve as the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. During their tenure they passed the Three Strikes law, as well as a “Two Strikes” provision for sexual child molesters.

Under McClintock working in the minority in the Assembly, Scott helped forge a bi-partisan effort with Democrat Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg to pass AB 62, the Valley Secession Bill. McClintock and Hertzberg took on the mayor of Los Angeles, the city council and all the public employee unions and prevailed.

For the last six years Scott has served on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Clarita Community College District. Scott will be the first to tell you that the college’s success is due to a team effort — an excellent chancellor in Dianne Van Hook, a board that works well together, a faculty that is deeply committed to student success, a dedicated classified staff that makes the trains run on time and, of course, a stellar foundation board that raises the funds to augment the cuts Sacramento has taken to the College of the Canyons’ budget.

From Van Hook, Scott has learned how to manage a public budget and how to do more with less. These are lessons the Sacramento politicians need to learn.

We are proud to support Scott Wilk and urge you to join us in voting for him for state Assembly. Scott has the experience, the smarts, and the heart to make a great representative for our valley.

Joe and Tammy Messina are residents of Santa Clarita, local business owners and the host/producer for The Real Side Radio Show. This column reflects their own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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