It took the joining of a motorcycle-racing club for Alan Ferdman to move to the Santa Clarita Valley, but it was the people and community that have kept him here for 49 years.
As a longtime resident of Canyon Country, the recent city council candidate was not always as involved in civil service to the extent he is today.
Not until 2000, when construction on the street outside his home went unfinished for six-months, did he begin to look for a bigger role in his community.
He stumbled upon the Canyon Country Better than Ever Committee while trying to seek answers from the city about the delayed construction job and quickly became absorbed in public service.
“It just kind of sucks you in,” said Ferdman.“As you learn a little bit more, well then you want to see a bit more of how things work.”
It only took two years of learning how the advisory committee worked for Ferdman to become the committee chairman in 2002. He has won every yearly election since and faces re-election in May.
While serving on the Canyon Country Advisory Committee, Ferdman has been a part of many selection groups around the Santa Clarita Valley, including the College of the Canyons Canyon Country Site Selection Committee, where Ferdman and other community members helped determine the campus’s current location.
“It’s a very worthwhile venture. I’m a very big advocate of college courses and making them more available to the community.”
He was hoping to expand his public service by running for the Santa Clarita City Council in the April 2014 election, but was 104 votes short of becoming the council’s newest member.
Tackling the issue of what Ferdman considers to be a lack of transparency on behalf of the city council was what he was hoping to make his main priority if he got the chance to become a member.
“I believe that the more the public knows, the better our government will be.”
Ferdman continued with an example of not getting the resourceful type of answers he wanted at a recent city council meeting.
“I went to go talk to the council a few meetings ago about the drought and water issues,” Ferdman said. “The only answer I got was that we have a lot of smart people thinking about water. Well that’s not really an answer.”
Not enough voters felt the same way to allow Ferdman to have his chance at reforming the way the council communicates with residents.
Laurene Weste and Marsha McLean were able to hold onto their seats, alongside the victory of the council’s newest member, Dante Acosta.
There is no bitterness on the behalf of Ferdman about his narrow loss to Acosta.
“Dante said he was going to be an independent voice,” said Ferdman. “I’m certainly not going to criticize him for not being it before he even has a chance to show us what he’s going to do. Let’s get behind Dante and give him an opportunity to show us what he can do and hopefully he’s going to come across.”
If Acosta or any other council member is unable to commit to their promises during their time in office, then it can be expected that Alan Ferdman will be campaigning again in 2016.