Sacrifices of our forefathers

Cameron Smyth Right Here Right Now

I must be living right. For the second year my column falls right before the Fourth of July, which happens to be my favorite holiday — especially how it’s celebrated in the Santa Clarita Valley. As I grew up in Newhall my street was filled with nearly a dozen kids, all within a few years of each other. Our Independence Days started with a trip to the pancake breakfast, followed by the parade. The rest was spent swimming, playing football in the street and finally closing it out with food, our own fireworks (which were legal back then) and then finding the best spot to watch the community show. What I now love about Santa Clarita is that I am doing many of the same …

Busy election season on all levels

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Well, so far the 2016 political season is living up to the hype. Let’s just hope the Super Bowl does the same! The Iowa caucus delivered on both sides with the Democrat and Republican front-runners each ending up as the losers of the night. Trump’s decision to skip the most recent debate ended up being a mistake as a large number of voters who made up their minds in the last week went with Rubio, who was clearly the Republican “winner.” Although Hillary may have technically won the most delegates, under no circumstance can she claim victory. Especially troubling for her is she is headed to certain defeat in New Hampshire — and the video of Sanders supporters chanting “She’s a liar” when her speech …

Santa Clarita 2016

Cameron Smyth Commentary

In many ways Santa Clarita will be ground zero in Los Angeles County (and to some degree California) politics. Come November, we will see contested elections for Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, Board of Supervisors and the City Council. As someone involved in Santa Clarita politics for 20 years, I have never seen an election season like 2016. Much of the activity and attention is centered around the Board of Supervisors (BOS), where for the first time since 1980 Mike Antonovich will not be a candidate for the board as voter-approved term limits now force supervisors out after three terms. Because many consider the BOS one of the best jobs in politics, we have an array of candidates including L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander, State …

Bidding a Fond Farewell to ‘The Harte of Santa Clarita’

Cameron Smyth Commentary

In a fitting tribute complete with Harley Davidsons and military flyovers, the Santa Clarita Valley said goodbye Dec. 5 to Duane Harte, the man many have referred to as the heart of Santa Clarita. Looking at the sheer breadth of attendees at his services, it truly crystalizes the number of organizations impacted by Duane and the number of people it will take to fill the void he left. What I admired and will remember most is that Duane threw himself into this community for no other reason than his love for the valley, its history and its people. Godspeed Duane! When I first started writing for the Reader, I talked about the Republican presidential race and the odds for each candidate… Well, I never expected …

Republican candidates sorting themselves out

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Last Saturday was a tough day for Santa Clarita. In a fitting tribute complete with Harley Davidsons and military fly-overs, we said goodbye to Duane Harte, the man many have referred to as the heart of Santa Clarita. Looking at the sheer breadth of attendees at his services truly crystallizes the number of organizations impacted by Duane and the number of people it will take to fill the void he left. What I admired and will remember most is that Duane threw himself into this community for no other reason than his love for Santa Clarita. He had no agenda other than to ensure our city always remained a premiere community where families felt safe, businesses could thrive, parks were built and veterans honored. But …

Another ‘done deal’ bites the dust

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Cemex. When will they ever learn? With the Bureau of Land Management’s action to cancel the contract of Cemex — effectively bringing to an end our decade-long fight against one of the largest proposed sand and gravel mines in the nation — it brings to mind a similar fight from 20 years ago: Elsmere Canyon. Much like Cemex, Santa Clarita was told the placement of a huge dump right along our border was a “done deal” and we should just accept it. It was during this fight that I, as a young political staffer, saw first-hand what my father had meant when he talked of the spirit of our community and how Santa Clarita was different. Many will remember the overflow crowd at Valencia High …

The Brave Men Who Signed the Declaration

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

The 4th of July has forever been my favorite holiday in Santa Clarita. Old traditions like the parade and pancake breakfast now merge perfectly with newer ones like the 5/10k run and the numerous firework shows. Like many of us who grew up in Santa Clarita, I am now able to enjoy the day through the eyes of my own children and nothing beats it. I also love the history of Independence Day and the bravery taken by the original 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. We all know Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson and their role in guiding our nation, but what of the others? Men who didn’t become President or have their faces placed on our currency. What happened to them? Thanks …

HIGH SPEED RAIL Time to pull the plug

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Ok, I admit it….there was a time when I thought the High-Speed Rail project was a good idea. In fact, I had even testified before the Rail Authority in support of a route that took the train through the Antelope and Santa Clarita Valley. But I did I mention that occurred in the late 1990s, and I was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Pete Knight? Fast forward nearly 20 years and the High-Speed Rail is still decades from completion, and the Board continues making decisions which give Californians no confidence in their ability to complete the project without billions of dollars in budget overruns and operation failures. In fact, the HSR has been an abject failure by any measure and yet the CEO …

Making our streets safe

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

Since leaving the Legislature two year ago, I have spent my time looking forward and focused on the future, but recent events in our community forced me to look back at decisions made in Sacramento that I knew would have dire results. In 2011, Legislation was introduced and signed into law that was designed to meet the court-mandated prisoner reductions in California’s prison population. That bill, AB 109, proposed that offenders of certain crimes of a “non-serious, non-sexual, and non-violent nature” were eligible for early release, could be held in local jails, or ordered to serve little-to-no jail time. I stood against this bill for many reasons, among which is that the release only took into consideration the most recent conviction. Additionally, many of those …

Smyth Responds to Fire Tax Class action Suit

Cameron Smyth Press Release

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, issued the following statement today after the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed a class action lawsuit seeking to overturn California’s new fire prevention fee: “I appreciate the continued efforts of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to preserve the spirit of Proposition 13 and to stand up for California taxpayers, and I support the class action suit to overturn the fire tax. In the Legislature, at the ballot box, and now in the courts, HJTA has been a tireless advocate for hardworking Californians who are tired of having their pockets picked at every turn.” “The Fire Tax, passed by the Legislature on a party-line vote in 2011, instituted a one hundred fifty dollar fire ‘fee’ per structure, upon parcel …