On the SCV Beacon’s first interview with Bill Miranda as a Santa Clarita City Council member – appointed to fill the vacancy left by Dante Acosta when Acosta was elected to the California Assembly – Miranda answered my final question in my interview with a question himself: “Who is Bill Miranda?”  His answer covered a very large litany of activities that have consumed his time since he and his family moved into Santa Clarita nearly 35 years ago

Presently, Miranda serves as president of Bill Miranda Consulting, Publisher of Our Valley Santa Clarita magazine, former CEO of the Santa Clarita Valley Latino Chamber of Commerce and former member of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He hosted the radio program on KHTS, Leadership Starts with You and the television program on SCVTV, Our Valley Santa Clarita. He was a board member of the non-profits, Family Promise, Single Mothers’ Outreach and the Latino Business Alliance. He is a former member of the College of the Canyons Chancellor’s Circle and the Santa Clarita Rotary Club. He is a recipient of a State of California resolution proclaiming exemplary achievements in business and community service.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering, a master’s degree in management systems and has completed a year of doctoral studies in organizational management.  He is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

His wife, Virginia, is a former member of Zonta and a successful small business owner in Santa Clarita for 30 years.

“So here goes, Mr. Miranda.  Please feel free to write your responses any length that you desire:”

(1).  What has been your biggest surprise since working with the other four current members of the Santa Clarita City Council, each of them who have been members of the city council for more than two terms, and three of them members for very multiple terms?

The biggest surprise was to discover how unselfishly helpful and welcoming each councilmember has been. There are a lot of procedural things to learn and the council has been very instrumental in my getting up to speed in a hurry. I especially want to point out the help I have received from councilmember Laurene Weste. She is a treasure trove of Santa Clarita Valley knowledge and has been my primary mentor on the council. She doesn’t just tell me the “what,” but tells me the “why.” If she ever writes a book about Santa Clarita I will be first in line to buy it.

(2) Since you have been very active at directing the SCV Latino Chamber of Commerce, now the Latino Business Alliance, have you seen signs of the city’s Latino population growing closer to City Hall now that you have been appointed as a city council member?

That organization has always had good communication with the council and now the communication is even better. On the night I was sworn in I saw dozens of my Latino friends and associates at that council meeting. Four nights later almost a hundred supporters, mostly Latinos, attended a congratulatory party in my honor at D’Wilfri DanceArt & Entertainment hosted by Ingrid Blanco and Willy Arroyo.

Since then I have been bombarded with Latino well wishers who tell me they are thrilled to finally have a Latino on the council and not just any Latino, but one who will represent them honestly and ably. They feel strongly I will do that since they know I have been doing that for them outside the council for years.

(3) In what appeared to be an expression of dissent over your city hall appointment, Chuck Champion of the Signal has claimed that while under your watch the Latino Chamber of Commerce did not submit a tax report at the time it merged with the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce. What is your explanation of his complaint and what is your experience of that situation?

When the chambers merged there was a written memorandum of understanding that stated clearly that the SCV Chamber (not the Latino Chamber) was responsible for submitting the tax report in question. Shortly after the merger the SCV Chamber had to deal with what they felt were more pressing issues and the filing was not made. They are in the process of correcting that and they expect all filings to be done in a short period of time. I have no involvement in the matter.

(4) What in your view is the strongest attraction of Santa Clarity as a community?  Is it the high-ranking local schools, the protected and very visible open spaces, or something else?

It’s certainly those two things and a lot more. There’s the sense of community even though we are a city of more than 200,000 people. We are a safe city, a clean city and a city that takes care of its own. We have over 200 non-profits here. How do they survive to do the good work that they do? Donations, that’s how. The people of Santa Clarita are a giving people constantly offering those in need a hand up to help them get right again.

We are a city of the arts and have designated an arts district to advance the arts. We are city of athletics and have a long list of professional and Olympic athletes to show for it. We are a city of economic vitality. Where once we were a “bedroom community” now we are a business friendly community.

We are a city of diversity. We embrace it. Citizens of all walks of life and all genders, races and spiritual persuasions live and work together here. This is a city where citizens can be safe, find work, be accepted by their neighbors and enjoy the quality of life we all aspire to have. Santa Clarita is a GREAT place to live.

(5) Do you think that the city council -- or individually a city council member --can have any positive impact against the rising heroin addiction and drug death rate and the rising crime rate in Santa Clarita?  If so, what can you do?

Yes, of course. We can all have a positive impact, council or no council. First, the country, state, county and city need to address the causes of addiction (too many to name here). Cut back on the demand and you will cut back on the supply. Second, like with drinking and smoking, have laws that restrict its use (taking into account the voters in California made cannabis legal) and proximity to our children. Third, have an information campaign that addresses the potential harm of excessive drug use.

(6) What do you hope that people will say about Bill Miranda after you finally leave Santa Clarita’s city council?

Most importantly I want people to be able to say that I left the city even better than when I got here. That I gave voice to those in need: Seniors, Veterans, Homeless and those in need of jobs. That I put service above myself and yes, that I was a person of faith, character and a decent family man.

Chris Sharp- Commentary

Chris Sharp is an Educator and a prize-winning professional writer. He has recently published a new book titled How to Like a Human Being . Sharp's latest book is an Amazon Kindle collection of his published short stories, Every Kind of Angel . His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.