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Santa Clarita mayor sees ‘definitive year’ on two major city issues

Bob Kellar holds last of 4 town hall meetings in Valencia

Posted: May 9, 2013 5:36 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2013 5:36 p.m.

This year will be the “definitive year” for chloride and Cemex — two of the weightiest issues vexing residents in the Santa Clarita Valley, said Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar during a town hall meeting Wednesday night.

Speaking to about 100 people at the fourth and final of the regional meetings, this one in Valencia at Valencia Valley Elementary School, Kellar provided updates on those and other key issues — from the ongoing cleanup of toxic land at Whittaker-Bermite to the recent rise in the number of burglaries affecting residents.

“On the eastern reaches of Santa Clarita sits a proposed mega-mine — an aggregate mine which will remove 56 million tons of aggregate over a 20-year period,” Kellar said of the proposed Cemex mine, for which permits were issued 20 years ago. The city has opposed the mine.

“Thanks to hard work, we still do not have that mine,” he said. “But this year is a defining year.

“This year, I will tell you, we are going to have an answer,” he said. “There’s no question about it.”

Kellar pointed to a Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to block the mine. Recently Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., became a co-author on the bill.

“If it gets through the Senate and if it gets through the House, it will stop that mine,” he said of the bill.
Kellar called such an outcome a “huge, huge win for this entire valley.”

About chloride, the mayor said: “We have to be careful. We got the state working largely against us on this issue.

“This is a very decisive year when it comes to the chloride issue,” he said.

“We can’t make a mistake.

“If we do not do as they say, they can give us fines in staggering millions of dollars,” he told the crowd.

“And, the state has said ‘If you think we’re kidding, wait a couple of months. If you don’t do X, Y and Z then standby, you’re about to get another fine.’”

Kellar said that he and civic leaders have been pursuing all options in dealing with the chloride issue on “the legal front, science front and with meetings.”

A handful of audience members asked Kellar about other issues, including the increase in burglaries, particularly in Valencia.

Capt. Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said that while patrols of paseos would be useful, he is more confident burglaries can be better addressed by chasing the “bad guys” and getting them off the street.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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