Coun­cil to select mayor for next year

Tra­di­tion holds that city gives po­si­tion to the mayor pro tem

The Signal - - Front page - By Tammy Murga Sig­nal Staff Writer

As the year comes close to an end, Lau­rene Weste is sched­uled to turn in her gavel as Santa Clarita mayor on Tues­day.

The City Coun­cil will gather prior to its reg­u­lar meet­ing for the nom­i­na­tions and swear­ing-in for the 2019 mayor and mayor pro tem.

The tra­di­tion holds that the coun­cil gives the mayor po­si­tion to the mayor pro tem in place, which is cur­rently long­time Coun­cil­woman Mar­sha McLean, and that the two lead­er­ship po­si­tions ro­tate among all five coun­cil mem­bers.

The ti­tle of mayor would be no new feat to McLean, who served as mayor in 2007, 2011 and 2015. She first joined the City Coun­cil in 2002 and has since cen­tered her ef­forts on mul­ti­ple top­ics like trans­porta­tion, the en­vi­ron­ment and busi­ness.

While the nom­i­na­tion process has been the same through­out the years, there is a prece­dent for the coun­cil to forego the ro­ta­tion, which oc­curred when Jo Anne Darcy served con­sec­u­tively as mayor in 1999 and 2000.

For Weste, 2018 is her fifth stint as mayor, af­ter hav­ing been ap­pointed to the po­si­tion in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2014. She has served on the coun­cil since 1998.

When think­ing about a con­sec­u­tive term, Weste said Thurs­day she does not like to pre­judge how

nom­i­na­tions would go but said she was very proud of her and the coun­cil’s ac­com­plish­ments thus far.

“I’m thrilled to have had a great year. We got so much ac­com­plished in 2018,” she said. “The city is in good shape and I think that speaks vol­umes.”

Along­side four other coun­cil mem­bers, Weste led mul­ti­ple ground­break­ings and city­wide an­nounce­ments this year that marked progress on de­vel­op­ments like the fu­ture Santa Clarita Val­ley Sher­iff’s Sta­tion along Golden Val­ley Road, the 25,000-square-foot Canyon Coun­try Com­mu­nity Cen­ter and the Ne­whall Ranch Road bridge widen­ing project over San Fran­cisquito Creek.

“Peo­ple are en­joy­ing all of these ameni­ties and that is the joy that our coun­cil has worked so hard to­ward cre­at­ing this com­mu­nity,” said Weste.

Dur­ing this year’s City Coun­cil elec­tion fo­rums, many brought up the ap­point­ment process, com­par­ing it to other cities that have vot­ers elect some­one for mayor rather than hav­ing a mayor ap­pointed from among the elected coun­cil mem­bers.

Weste said yes, the process is dif­fer­ent but “it seems to work. Every­body gets to par­tic­i­pate and lead­er­ship is spread across a broad spec­trum of peo­ple in­stead of one per­son. We are a gen­eral law city, not run by the mayor.”

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