In November 2017, the city council approved a million dollar “loan” to the Santa Ana Auto Mall to build a new digital billboard next to the 55 Fwy. This million dollars would come from the city’s reserve fund meant to be used when the city doesn’t have enough money to operate which has happened the last 2 years. City Council members called it a “sales-tax loan” and said the million would be re-paid to the city by sales tax revenue from an increase in vehicles being sold at the Auto Mall over the next 10 years, according to the Voice of OC. Continue reading
Santa Ana city officials have long struggled to be responsible stewards of public money — and with many of the decisions they’ve made this year, they seem to only be moving further away from that basic expectation.
In July, the Santa Ana City Council approved a $510.7 million budget packed with add-ons and reliant on one-time funding. The following month its members approved the first city-wide project labor agreement in Orange County, a union giveaway expected to add millions of dollars in avoidable costs to city multi-trade construction and specialty contracts. Continue reading
This week’s Santa Ana City Council meeting agenda includes item 25H – Approval of the Agreement to hire Raul Godinez as our City’s new City Manager, as we wrote about earlier in the week. You can read the staff report regarding Godinez here.
The Santa Ana City Council majority, comprised of Council Members Michele Martinez, Vince Sarmiento, Sal Tinajero and David Benavides, is going to vote to pay Godinez a package worth over $500K a year. Continue reading
It is bad enough that the Santa Ana City Council majority – comprised of Council Members Michele Martinez, Vince Sarmiento, Sal Tinajero and David Benavides – is planning on hiring Raul Godinez to be our new City Manager, after he washed out as the El Monte City Manager. Now my sources are reporting that the City Council wants to pay Godinez over $500,000 a year in pay and benefits!
That would be quite a raise for Godinez, who is currently in charge of Public Works at the tiny City of Lynwood, which is paying him $174,294.50 in total pay and benefits, according to Transparent California. Continue reading
City of Santa Ana
On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, the Santa Ana City Council took the first step toward establishing a legal services program for Santa Ana residents facing deportation. By a vote of 4-2 (only Council Members Juan Villegas and Jose Solorio voted No), the City Council directed staff to further pursue all five options presented in a staff report to assist detained immigrants in deportation proceedings who cannot afford an attorney.
The five options included: Continue reading
A Santa Ana City Hall insider confirmed today that Santa Ana City Clerk Maria Huizar has accepted the signatures to mount a recall election against Santa Ana City Councilman David Benavides. She had previously approved a recall election against Councilman Sal Tinajero.
The forces that are working to recall Benavides and Tinajero have money and they have volunteers. Now we will find out if Benavides and Tinajero can defend themselves. It will likely be very difficult for them to raise money. Continue reading
I am being told that various members of the Santa Ana City Council are being threatened by a recall because of recent actions taken. I have also been informed that if I don’t get on board with the program, I to will be recalled. If they wish to recall me for protecting the city from bankruptcy and protecting the residents interest, so be it. The city is not in the position of hiring any new employees or giving raises. We have no surplus…. It is facing a 15- 20 million dollar structural deficit that I have been speaking of for years. With the increase of pension and health care cost this year and the next few years , it will only create a bigger burden on the general fund. We have to manage expectations but unfortunately, some of my colleagues want to give raises after they have been told that we are not in a position to do so. This is reckless and irresponsible and I will not be silent or threaten because I am trying to do the right thing. Continue reading
Apparently efforts are now underway to recall Santa Ana City Council Members Sal Tinajero, David Benavides and Vince Sarmiento. All three of them have opposed hiring more cops and supported our lame former SAPD Police Chief, Carlos Rojas, who did us all a favor by quitting and moving to the Bay area. This means they have been pro-gang City Council Members – which is now what the people of Santa Ana elected them to do.
Tinajero should have been recalled some years ago. If you recall he was a friend and colleague of Nativo Lopez, when they were both on the SAUSD School Board. Lopez got recalled but Tinajero was allowed to stay on the School Board. Now he will finally have to face the music. Continue reading
I heard today from a Santa Ana City Hall insider (yes one of my pajaritos) that the Santa Ana City Council is seriously looking at changing our City Council elections to a Ward-Specific model. Currently we elect our Council Members at large – but they have to live in a specific Ward (unless they move of course).
But that’s not all – the City Council majority – which includes Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez, and Council Members David Benavides, Sal Tinajero and Vince Sarmiento, are also allegedly going to ask the voters to make them full time elected officials – with six figure salaries. Continue reading
Connect-to-Council, along with NeighborWorks OC, is hosting a public forum on Santa Ana local elections, past, present and future, on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Delhi Center located at 505 E. Central Ave., in Santa Ana.
The technical aspects of the Santa Ana City Council’s political process will be presented by Maria Huizar, the Clerk of the Santa Ana City Council. Huizar will discuss the intriguing history of why we elect our local Santa Ana City Council representatives with a city-wide vote and she will also explain the term limit rules that Santa Ana currently has in place. Continue reading
City of Santa Ana
SANTA ANA – Last month, the Santa Ana City Council was presented with a new food vending vehicle ordinance that provides fair, legal and enforceable guidelines for mobile food vendors. The proposed ordinance, which adheres to all applicable state and local laws, is not intended to be punitive, but to protect the health and safety of residents.
The issue of regulating food vending vehicles had initially come before the City Council and staff when the City had received complaints from the public, primarily from secondary impacts to food vending vehicles. And while the City had previously enacted food vending vehicle regulations, those ordinances were legally challenged. The City was ordered by a Superior Court judge not to enforce provisions of the existing food vending vehicle regulations. The proposed ordinance, which does not conflict with state or local laws, was prepared based on health and safety findings. Further, to ensure an effective approach to regulating food vending vehicles, the City took into consideration input from the community, including both residents and stakeholders. Continue reading
There is a saying that the Santa Ana City Council should have kept in mind when they decided to antagonize President Donald Trump – mess with the bull, you get the horns. And that is exactly what just happened today as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that they will be terminating their Santa Ana jail contract in 90 days, according to a City of Santa Ana press release.
The Santa Ana City Council had announced last year their plan to terminate the ICE contract by 2020. And this year they voted to become a Sanctuary City – despite warnings that they would lose federal funding. Now that has happened and it is a total disaster. Continue reading
Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez is proposing at the next Santa Ana City Council meeting that an Independent Review or Citizen Review Board be set up to review police force incidents, procedures and policies and to make recommendations to the City Council.
Martinez has submitted this item to the City Council as an 85A agenda item: Continue reading
Last Tuesday during the Council meeting, Santa Ana City Councilman David Benavides had a meltdown. It was weird and over the top, Sean Mill tells us why in his Voice of OC comment:
“I wonder if the reason Councilman Benavides was upset is because the council majority had shot down city staffs recommendation to give KidsWorks, the non-profit headed by Benavides and where he draws his paychecks, $125,000, which was almost a quarter of the money. Continue reading
The Santa Ana City Council is considering a proposed ordinance that will make it very difficult for food trucks to do business in Santa Ana. The hearing will be held on Tuesday night. Click here to read the staff report.
City traffic engineering staff found that vending trucks in the vicinity of schools, parks and community centers encouraged children to cross streets mid-block, and that lines could block sidewalks and force pedestrians to detour onto the street, according to the O.C. Register. Continue reading