Former Santa Ana Councilman Ted Moreno is defending the Fisher Park residents’ right to a messy creek
Former Santa Ana Councilman Ted Moreno has returned at long last from a self-imposed exile from local community affairs and politics. Moreno was drawn back into the fray by an article posted on this blog on Dec. 18, regarding the efforts by a handful of Santa Ana’s wealthier residents, in the Fisher Park neighborhood, to stop the Santiago Creek bike trail from being completed.
Moreno, was convicted of extortion and money-laundering in an alleged scheme to take control of the Santa Ana City Council and sentenced in February of 2001 to almost five years in prison, according to the L.A. Times. Many residents then and now felt that Moreno was entrapped and my old friend Lou Lopez, who was the first Latino elected to the Anaheim City Council, told me that the same FBI informant who entrapped Moreno, also tried to ensnare him. But Lopez, a retired police officer, ran the other way, while Moreno got caught.
Moreno also took a lot of heat back then for apparently believing that gays and lesbians would be attracted to Santa Ana’s newly established arts district and thereby bring about the moral decline of the city, and that he “was just hoping to make Santa Ana a better place to live,” he is quoted as telling U.S. District Judge Gary Taylor (Source: AJC).
Moreno was also accused of by former Santa Ana Councilman Brett Franklin, of shoving him during a break in a Council meeting, back in March of 1998. He did not however face charges in that incident, according to the L.A. Times.
While Moreno was far from perfect, I admired him for standing up to Santa Ana City Manager Dave Ream – and for fighting for working families. I can’t support his beliefs about the gay community, but in a way he was prophetic as the gay element in Santa Ana has very quickly accrued considerable power in Downtown Santa Ana. We recently caught the new gay bar, the Velvet Lounge, apparently engaging in adult entertainment, which is not allowed by their C.U.P. (conditional use permit).
Here are Moreno’s comments regarding the proposed completion of the Santiago Creek bike trail:
Allow me to introduce myself. I am a former two term councilmember for the City of Santa Ana from 1992 – 2000. I feel confidant that I have a quite a bit of knowledge of how the Santa Ana government functions and its history. By the why, just in case you or your organization feels that I am an elitist too, you are far from the truth. I was blessed three years ago to buy a home on River Lane for me and my family of six. My address is 943 W. River Lane, just in case you feel that I am not providing full transparency of who I am and were I live.
Six months ago is when I became aware of an out town group wanting to turn the Santiago Creek, which is about 150 feet from my property, into a bike trail. My first thought was, “Not a smart idea”. Most of my first gut reactions tend to be correct decisions. The City of Santa Ana does not have the necessary funds or manpower to patrol or beautify the current Santiago Creek bed, which explains all of the over grown plants, graffiti, coyotes and homeless.
While City of Santa Ana staff has become experts in exploding the city’s population demographic needs, when it comes to securing millions in Federal, State, and County funds in order to set into motion gigantic pet projects like the Santiago Creek Bike Trail. It still does not address the issue, that the city still does not have the resources to maintain a safe and clean bike trail. One just has to go along the current Santa Ana River bike trail, in those areas which are located within the city’s bounders, as proof that the city does not have the resources to provide safe and clean bike trail. While it is might be true that a lot of the responsibility of maintaining the Santa Ana River Bed bike trail, might be the County of Orange. The City of Santa Ana can not ignore that they are equally responsible for the safety of the average person who uses Santa Ana River Bed bike trail, within its city boundaries.
I just know for a fact that the affliction that effect the current Santa Ana River Bed bike trail, the homeless and graffiti from both gangs and tagging groups, will flourish beyond control along the Santiago Creek, if the proposed bike trail is completed. Please do not tell me that the homeless are not a concern. While it is true most of the homeless along the Santa Ana River Bed are harmless individuals, some of them are not. I know this for a fact, because before we bought our on River Lane, my family and I rented a home for 33 months on Alona St, which backed up into the 16th tee of the Riverview Golf Course. We could hear physical fights between the homeless at night, yelling at the top of their lung as if they were demon possessed, and three times the fire department responded to out of control fire in the river bed, which were started by the homeless.
I last last issue, please do be a big favor, do not call my neighbors like Ronald Salem an elitist, just because they might have a photo on their Facebook page have a great time with his family on a boat. The bottom line is that many of us in the neighborhood are concerned about our families and properties if this bike trail is constructed. This explains why Fisher Park Neighborhood Association, which had been inactive for about seven years, had standing room only at the Fisher Park Cabin about three months ago. There were over fifty residences from our association that were only concerned about this issue and none of them where in favor of the bike trail. Thank you for waking a sleeping giant.
Will Moreno’s entry into this debate help the anti-bike trail contingency? That is hard to say, but I can’t imagine he will be able to sway anyone on our City Council. Stay tuned…