“Annexation allows you to keep your tax dollars local,” Pulskamp added. “The money that is spent on this side of the freeway can be spent anywhere in the county now, and let’s face it, this is not the area the Board of Supervisors is seeing as having the highest need.” But critics say debate over the issue should wait until results of a $25,000 independent feasibility study are released. “These studies will be performed by a third party in a completely unbiased fashion and the information will be untainted,” said Dave Bossert, president of the West Ranch Town Council, who helped lead the way for the study. “Why don’t we let the process play itself out in a neighborly fashion and allow people to make their own choice?” But residents at the meeting Saturday did not seem to be interested in waiting three to five more months for the study results. As the meeting closed, several residents grabbed petitions and area maps to start petitioning their friends and neighbors. Several questioned how quickly the area could be annexed. Jim Walton, a Sunset Pointe resident, said the idea of becoming a separate city seems unnecessary. “Why should we duplicate something when it already exists and they know what they are doing?” Walton said, adding that staying with the county is also unappealing. “We always expected to become a part of the city,” said Adelle Macpherson, a resident of the area and a city employee who organized the meeting. Macpherson said residents and community members have been working for more than a year on becoming an independent community. Macpherson said she has been polling the community, and most with whom she has spoken are in favor of annexing. The Sunset Pointe area would become the 29th community to annex to the city of Santa Clarita. Currently it has 2,000 to 2,500 residents. At least 60 percent of residents’ signatures would be needed before the city could start the annexation process. Annexation would take about eight months to a year. [email protected] (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We know there has been a lot of talk, with some people really wanting to annex and others with a lot of questions,” McLean said. “I was asked to come, and as mayor it is my obligation to come and talk to you.” Ken Pulskamp, city manager, said annexation ultimately would give the Sunset Pointe community more local control. “If you want accessible, accountable government, it’s all right there,” Pulskamp said of the nearby Valencia location of Santa Clarita’s City Hall. “It’s a lot easier than getting to downtown L.A. to go to a government meeting.” Pulskamp also said annexation would save Sunset Pointe residents 5 percent on their utility bill and give them access to the city’s increased services. According to city estimates, Sunset Pointe pays about $42 million in taxes to the county annually but receives just $22 million in services – about 50 cents on the dollar. STEVENSON RANCH – As debate over cityhood or annexation continues to simmer in communities west of Interstate 5, residents in one area say they want to move to the beat of their own drum. For several months, controversy over the future of unincorporated communities in the west Santa Clarita Valley has been mediated by the West Ranch and Castaic Town Councils. But on Saturday, residents of Sunset Pointe made it clear that those communities do not represent them. “The community I moved into was Sunset Pointe,” said resident Phyllis Montello. “We are not Stevenson Ranch, even if our ZIP code says so.” The Saturday morning community meeting included Mayor Marsha McLean and Councilman Frank Ferry, along with several city employees. They said their purpose was not to sell the idea of annexation, but to inform residents about what the city could provide.
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