Editorial from The Signal
Cameron Smyth has been a good city councilman. That is the biggest reason we think you should put him to work for you in the state Assembly.
Santa Clarita Valley residents know him, and more importantly, he knows us. He knows the needs of our schools (he attended them), he knows how desperately we need more roads (he drives on them), and he knows we will need more water as the people he leaves behind on the Santa Clarita City Council struggle with our valley’s coming population explosion.
On that note, it was Smyth who led the city’s challenge against the Southern California Association of Governments’ report that paved the way for our valley to double in population in the next 20 years.
Smyth will be the first Santa Clarita Valley resident to serve in the state Legislature in more than a century. We’ve been lucky to have decent representation from out-of-towners in the last two decades, but many locals can remember a time when our valley was split six ways from Sunday into separate legislative districts, with no evidence that some of those lawmakers ever even set foot in our valley.
Redistricting helped us in the 1990s when the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys were lumped together. We sent two Antelope Valley residents to the Assembly – first Pete Knight and then George Runner, our current state senator. We were thrilled when Knight and Runner actually paid attention to our needs. It was unusual.
The redistricting that followed the 2000 U.S. Census helped even more. The Santa Clarita Valley became the center of the 38th district, where Dr. Keith Richman served us well these past six years.
Richman, a San Fernando Valley resident, was first elected before the redistricting took effect. Now he’s retiring, and with all due respect, it is the Santa Clarita Valley’s turn.
We’re taking our turn in the form of Cameron Smyth. He grew up in this valley and graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a degree in rhetoric and communication – two skills he will need in the state Capitol.
He will have a head start when he gets there, having served as Knight’s field representative when the Palmdale lawmaker was in the Assembly and then the Senate. (Plus, thanks to term limits, one-third of faces in the Assembly in December will also be new, so Smyth won’t be the only new kid on the block.)
While much of the young man’s career has been spent in public service, he isn’t quite a career politician. Since 2000, he has worked in the public sector, frequently on the other side of the council dais (in other cities) as a spokesman for Shell Oil subsidiaries and today as a private consultant.
From Santa Clarita’s council dais, Smyth distinguished himself most notably in 2003 when he cast the deciding vote to put our local trash franchises to a competitive bid amid reports that the haulers were overcharging. It was a difficult decision, especially considering he was personally threatened along the way by one of the involved parties. But he stuck to his guns, and Santa Clarita residents are cumulatively $30 million the richer for it over the life of the trash contracts.
When you walk into the polling booth on Nov. 7 (or vote early at the Valencia Library), there is only one question you must answer when you see “Member of the Assembly” on the ballot: Should you pick Cameron Smyth or someone you’ve probably never heard of who doesn’t even live in the Santa Clarita Valley?
To us, the answer is obvious. Pick Cameron Smyth.