The Santa Clarita Valley lost a true role model of public service with the death of former Santa Clarita City Councilman Clyde Smyth this week.
Smyth, who was 80 when he passed away, served in many capacities during his years in the SCV — principal of Placerita Junior High, and then superintendent for the William S. Hart Union High School District for 18 years. He also held a position on the City Council from 1994 to 1998, serving as mayor in 1997. He was also active in several local non-profits.
An outpouring of kind words has come flooding in from all over the political spectrum to remember a man who gave so much of himself over many, many years for the betterment of life for everyone in the SCV.
His youngest son, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, also a former city councilman, said his father was proud of his time working for the local schools.
Smyth was a true champion of education and was instrumental in helping build the excellent public education system we have here.
So as we remember him in his passing, we have Smyth to thank for helping the area make great strides on two fronts: education and civic development.
Smyth was an unassuming, noncontroversial and humble individual who was always focused on outcomes and solutions that fostered a consensus — not fervent party-line loyalty and widespread political dissent that is all too common on all levels of government today. His motives while serving the community were always to help the city and its people. He was never in it to bolster his own resume or to gain higher office down the line.
And if you ask around, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t echo kind words about Smyth. It’s rare to find that these days.
We were lucky to have him as long as we did.