Supes Couldn't Find SCV On a Map
By DARRYL MANZER.
Published in The Signal, 5-28-2006.
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Make no mistake I live in the South, a part of the former Confederate States of America. I know. If I could drive due West in a straight line to the Pacific Coast, I would get to that ocean at Santa Cruz. Nevertheless, I do live in The South.
Along with all the bad things the "Old South" stands for, there are a number of good things. One of those is an absolute insistence on local government being in control of all things local.
In an area about the size of the SCV, we have seven distinct, independent cites and not a single county. The total combined population is now approaching 3 million in those seven cities: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton and Newport News.
Many of us here would love to see the seven cities combine into one city of "Hampton Roads." But at the same time, we don't want to see our local control given to the city next door.
Here in Suffolk, we don't want someone in Norfolk deciding what we need for roads, parks and other infrastructure. Heck, we can't even agree that "Hampton Roads" would be the right name.
When the city of Norfolk bid to have the Montreal Expos move here rather than to Washington, D.C., and become the "Nationals," Major League Baseball saw that Norfolk's population was too small to support a Major League team. Had all the cities worked together to bring a Major League team here, it might have happened. But it didn't so we still have the Norfolk Tides Triple-A Minor League team (a New York Mets farm club).
Every one of the Major League team owners who voted to move the team to Norfolk instead of Washington, D.C., had visited the area and could see the potential profits of a Major League team in the area. But that was far too few votes to get the team here in Hampton Roads.
Y'all have the same problem in the SCV concerning the Cemex mine near the Stonecrest community. The two Los Angeles County supervisors who voted against the mining project had obviously been to the SCV even Mr. Antonovich.
But that was not enough, since the other three supervisors ignored the wishes of the citizens of the Santa Clarita Valley and voted for it.
So much for representative government. Just who did those other representatives represent in that vote? Cemex? It appears they did.
I truly believe that if "Mayor" (as he calls himself) Michael D. Antonovich didn't really want the Cemex mine in the SCV, he would have made sure he had the votes, "way back when," to stop it.
But he didn't get those votes, because he could still have the mine and at the same time appear to have supported the folks of the SCV.
There is only one word for such actions: Balderdash. Pure and simple, balderdash, and nothing else but balderdash!
This is the same guy who convinced the other supervisors of Los Angeles County to vote that a courthouse, parks and open spaces be named the "Michael D. Antonovich whatever" (fill in the blank). This is the guy who convinced the other four supervisors that he needed a personal helicopter so he could get around his district faster, and to give the chairman of the Board of Supervisors the option of being called "Mayor" of Los Angeles County.
In his latest letter to the editor of The Signal, Mr. Antonovich stated that the city of Santa Clarita should "roll up its sleeves" and be honest with the Stonecrest community.
Where has he been? Santa Clarita has tried to work with Stonecrest and paid lawyers many thousands of dollars so that community may not have to have the dust, noise and trucks of the Cemex mine. I didn't see Los Angeles County helping them.
While we're speaking of honesty, I was trying to get a copy of the Form 700 financial disclosure statements of the Los Angeles County supervisors. I can get all the election disclosures on line. Why do I have to go to Norwalk to get such California state-required reports? I was told they wouldn't and couldn't send them to me; I must go to Norwalk.
See? Just another reason local government is more responsive.
Do you realize that not one single Los Angeles County supervisor lives within a 30-minute drive of the SCV? What do they care? They like the tax money you send.
If your representative can't get what you want, all you've got to do is convince the other four to vote your way. You say "Santa Clarita Valley" to the other four supervisors, and they'll be looking on a map for Santa Clara County.
In reality, it isn't the services the county or city "gives" you. They give you nothing. You pay for everything they do.
Wouldn't you rather have folks in your own area whom you elect, vote on how to spend your taxes rather than one guy who votes for you sometimes, and four others who wouldn't know they've passed through the SCV when they drive on I-5 to Bakersfield and points north?
Someone is going to spend all those tax dollars you send to a city or county. It makes sense to me that my tax dollars are spent by local folks, because that way I can watch them closely. Can't do that with your county supervisors.
Darryl Manzer lived in the Santa Clarita Valley oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s as a teenager. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He now lives in Virginia.