It would appear that Santa Ana Councilman P. David Benavides has forgotten which Ward he was elected to serve. He is supposed to be representing Ward 4 – but let’s take a look at his official June calendar and see what he was really up to last month:
- On June 1, he did hold his regular community office hours – but then he went to theLatino Health Access “Green Heart Families Park & Community Center” Grand Opening – according to the O.C. Register that park is on 4th St., in Downtown Santa Ana – that happens to be located in Ward 2 – which is represented by Council Member Michele Martinez.
- On June 3, Benavides spent the whole day at the “Building Industry Association of Southern California – No Place Like Home Conference,” at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. As a realtor I am sure Benavides was happy to be there – and the City of Santa Ana likely paid the bill.
- On June 6, Benavides attended the KidWorks board meeting – very good. That organization is in his Ward. He also went to their fundraiser that night. But in between he was dealing with the Alcohol & Entertainment Ordinance – which has to do with Downtown Santa Ana for the most part, which is in Ward 2.
- He worked on a Sunday, apparently, on June 9, as he calendared the Sunsets at the Monkey Zoo – Summer Concert – but the Zoo is also in Ward 2.
- Here is an odd one – he met with Supervisor Janet Nguyen, a Republican, on June 10 – and he invited several top city administrators. Nguyen is under investigation by the FBI and the FPPC – essentially for pay to play type charges related to her campaign fundraising and her service on the CalOptima board.
- On June 13, he met with Parker Kennedy, at First American Title – and they are located in Ward 1. Why would a realtor be meeting with someone from a major title company? Hmmm….
- On June 14, he was at the Catholic Worker/Isaiah House Tour. That was in Ward 2.
- On June 15, he was at the Sender One grand opening, in Ward 1.
- On June 20, he met with Pastor Gale Oliver, Greater Light Missionary Baptist Church – very nice but that church is located in Ward 5. On that same day he met with John Lewis, Urban Strategies (Affordable Care Act) – that’s right, Benavides is apparently interested in promoting ObamaCare.
- On June 24, he met with the United Artists of Santa Ana – they are in Downtown Santa Ana. That is in Ward 2.
- From June 26 to June 30 he was at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected Officials) Conference in Chicago. Yep, we paid for that too. I am told the bill was over $10K for all the Council Members who went on this useless trip.
- He was also at the Santa Ana Independence Day Celebration on June 30 – at Centennial Park, which is in Ward 6.
There you go. Benavides is hardly ever in his Ward. This is of course a good argument for Ward-specific elections. He clearly is not serving the people he was elected to represent.