The Santa Ana City Council majority is up to their old tricks again. This time they are trying to sneak through major changes to our local elections ordinance without much input from the public.
They are going to consider, at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, placing a ballot measure on the June Primary Election ballot that will change our City Council elections to district-specific elections instead of the current at-large model.
While the City of Santa Ana is quickly sliding into a record-setting municipal bankruptcy the City Council majority is proposing to spend yet another $200K on this ballot election. And if it passes then they will redraw the ward lines to help their chosen candidates in the upcoming November General Election – or even worse this could result in an extension of term limits for the existing City Council Members.
From what I have heard this idea is opposed by Mayor Miguel Pulido, Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez and City Councilman Juan Villegas, on the grounds that this change to our local elections is not necessary.
Why in the world is City Councilman Jose Solorio playing footsie with the likes of Council Members David Benavides, Sal Tinajero and Vince Sarmiento? That is bad enough but I also hear that Solorio is pondering supporting the awful former Santa Ana City Council Member Roman Reyna, who is running for Martinez’ seat as she is terming out.
My sources tell me that Solorio has turned on the Santa Ana Police Officers Association – and he sees this attempt to change our local elections as a way to undercut their influence in our elections.
I disagree with Solorio. The problem is not our police officers. The problem is our AWFUL City Council majority – they have just about bankrupted our city. We need to get rid of Benavides, Sarmiento and Tinajero – not reset their time on the Council and extend their term limits.
In a perfect world I would love to see us change to Ward-Specific Elections. But not like this. Not in a rush without enough time for the public to comment. Not with the City Council majority gerrymandering our new Wards to their tastes and to benefit their crooked allies.
Wwhy would Solorio want to see Reyna get back on the City Council? Remember that the reason Reyna got voted off the City Council was that he got caught posing in an online picture with members of the Mexican Mafia. Thank God Villegas replaced him – particularly since Villegas is himself a longtime member of O.C. law enforcement.
Here is what the agenda for tomorrow night’s City Council meeting has to say about the proposed ballot measure:
REVIEW AND CONSIDER RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE REGARDING WARD BASED ELECTIONS, PROVIDE STAFF DIRECTION AND APPROVE RESOLUTIONS AND APPROPRIATION ADJUSTMENT ACCORDINGLY (STRATEGIC PLAN NO. 5, 1)
AD HOC RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: Discuss recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Charter Amendment regarding Ward Based Elections to be placed on June 5, 2018 Statewide Primary Election and allocate funding accordingly.
RECOMMENDED ACTION:Options for consideration:
1. Take no action.
2. Direct staff to move forward with Special Election on June 5, 2018 and approve actions as follow:
a. Adopt a resolution giving Notice of a Special Election and request consolidation with the County of Orange with the Statewide Primary Election, as follow:
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ANA GIVING NOTICE OF A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD IN THE CITY OF SANTA ANA ON JUNE 5, 2018 FOR SUBMISSION TO THE VOTERS OF THE QUESTION OF WHETHER CITY CHARTER SECTION 400 SHALL BE AMENDED REQUIRING CITY COUNCILMEMBER ELECTION FROM HIS OR HER RESIDENCY WARD AND ONLY BY REGISTERED VOTERS OF THAT WARD, INSTEAD OF CITY COUNCILMEMBER ELECTION BY THE REGISTERED VOTERS OF THE ENTIRE CITY AND REQUESTING THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF ORANGE COUNTY TO CONSOLIDATE THE CITY’S SPECIAL ELECTION WITH THE STATEWIDE PRIMARY ELECTION
b. Adopt a resolution to approve title of Charter Amendment and proposed language for consideration by voters, as follow:
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ANA SETTING FORTH THE LANGUAGE OF A BALLOT TITLE FOR A CITY CHARTER AMENDMENT REGARDING WHETHER CITY CHARTER SECTION 400 SHALL BE AMENDED REQUIRING CITY COUNCILMEMBER ELECTION FROM HIS OR HER RESIDENCY WARD AND ONLY BY REGISTERED VOTERS OF THAT WARD, INSTEAD OF CITY COUNCILMEMBER ELECTION BY REGISTERED VOTERS OF THE ENTIRE CITY TO BE INCLUDED ON THE BALLOT FOR THE 2018 SPECIAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON JUNE 5, 2018
c. Adopt resolution authorize the filing of Arguments and Rebuttals, as follow:
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA ANA AUTHORIZING WRITTEN ARGUMENTS FOR PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE SANTA ANA CHARTER REGARDING WHETHER CITY CHARTER SECTION 400 SHALL BE AMENDED REQUIRING CITY COUNCILMEMBER ELECTION FROM HIS OR HER RESIDENCY WARD AND ONLY BY REGISTERED VOTERS OF THAT WARD, INSTEAD OF CITY COUNCILMEMBER ELECTION BY REGISTERED VOTERS OF THE ENTIRE CITY
d. Direct City Attorney to prepare Impartial Analysis.
e. Direct Clerk of the Council to publish legal notices as required by law.
f. Approve an appropriation adjustment to carry-forward and allocate prior year unallocated fund balance in the amount $202,148 and appropriate the same amount to the Clerk of the Council Contract Services-Professional expenditure account (no. 01107031-62300) for the cost to conduct a Special Election. (Requires five affirmative votes).
i. Other funding source or direction as identified by City Council.