Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023

Sean Mill and Paul Walters

Chisme has it that failed Santa Ana Mayoral candidate David Benavides is claiming to have the votes to fire City Manager Paul Walters, even though Walters’ contract stipulates that if that happens he gets to become the Santa Ana Police Chief once more.

In the past year Walters has recieved numerous awards including: the Orange County Bar Association’s Sammy Award; he made it onto OC Metro Magazine’s Hot 25 List; he was lauded with a cover feature in the Cal Chief’s “Behind the Badge” Magazine; he received the Media Champion Award from the Mental Health Association of Orange County; and Forbes ranked Santa Ana as the fourth safest large city in the U.S., under his watch.

Walters was recognized by the Orange County Gang Investigators Association for starting a special gang homicide unit.  It’s the only one in the county, set up in 1988 when he became chief, according to ABC News.  Even his critics at the union-funded Voice of OC had to admit that, under Walters, “For the first time in years, the Santa Ana City Council passed a balanced budget this week without having to tap reserves, thus officially ending a budget crisis that had some city leaders considering municipal bankruptcy.”

Paul Walters, Behind the Badge

What Walters has done with our city budget has been a real miracle.  He has yet to receive any thanks from Benavides and his troika – Michele Martinez, Roman Reyna and Vince Sarmiento.  They did nothing to save this city.  But they are reaping the rewards – appointing themselves recently to every key municipal commission appointment.

Word has it that Martinez is still ticked off that her step-brother, Pedro Franco, was arrested, back when she was running for Mayor, against Mayor Miguel Pulido.  But her step-brother has a different last name and the cops had no idea who he was.  It was just serendipity.  But she has held a grudge against Walters ever since.  Her response at the time was all about her…and so is her ongoing hate for Walters.

Angelica Amezcua - or Angie Oliver, courtesy of the OC Register
Angelica Amezcua – or Angie Oliver, courtesy of the OC Register

The problem for Benavides is that he needs five votes to fire Walters.  I can’t see new Council Member Angelica Amezcua siding with Benavides.  She was recruited as a candidate by former Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, who is allied with Walters.

Benavides can count on Martinez, Reyna and Sarmiento.  But he needs one more vote.  It won’t be Amezcua.  And it also won’t be Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Sal Tinajero, who has always appreciated Walters’ hard work on behalf of our city.

David Benavides supports the PBID

So Benavides is in a bit of a bind here.  Will he find a way to sway Amezcua?  I am told Tinajero and Mayor Pulido are going to side with Walters.  Will anything go Benavides’ way this year?  I would imagine he can’t wait for the New Year.

I must say that so far Benavides and company are acting a lot like the awful Council Members in East Los Angeles cities like Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Compton, etc.  Remember that Benavides is from East Los Angeles.  And Martinez wasn’t born here.  Nor was Sarmiento.  Tinajero is a product of Santa Ana and he isn’t going to let these clowns ruin our city.  I have faith in him – and in Walters.  It is too bad that we now have a cancer cell on our Council.  We’ll have to deal with them in the 2014 elections.

In the meantime rumor has it that the Benavides bunch is going to call for an emergency meeting this Friday.  Good luck with that!

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

33 thoughts on “Are Benavides and his Council allies trying to fire City Manager Walters?”
  1. You did not say why Benavides and other councilmembers would want to fire City Manager Walters.
    You can write a better article than that Admin.
    Why would they want to fire him?

    1. Sorry Mateo. Try Michele’s FB page. She has been prattling on all day about making hard decisions. She just can’t keep secrets to herself.

      But if you are looking for more reasons, I understand that Team Benavides wants to be able to hire and fire city staff. That is of course ridiculous. They are setting themselves up for large lawsuits if they do that. Walters won’t play ball from what I hear so they want to hire a city manager to be their puppet.

      And the Santa Ana Police Officers Association wants their guy Carlos Rojas to be the Chief – they are not willing to go through a national search. Walters isn’t buying that but the cops paid off Team Benavides during the recent election.

      So there you go.

  2. maybe your third paragraph explains a little bit, but still leaves a lot unanswered.
    What do the Police Officers Assoc. and Chief Walters not see eye to eye about?
    Who is asking for Santa Ana to be a more obvious “Police State”?
    Walters or the S.A.P.O.A?
    I would ask more, I but I fear the hammer of power falling over my poor head.
    Won’t some other courageous Santanistas ask what this is really all about?

    1. Perhaps you’d like to quantify that? Crime is going down, not up. A lot of us like living here. Perhaps you should consider moving of living here is so intolerable for you.

  3. Memo to Benavides and company: The Chief knows where the bodies are buried and the skeletons hidden. Tread lightly and be very careful.

    I sure hope Sarmiento doesn’t have anything in his past that could come back to bite him. Those dirty little secrets can only stay secret for so long.

  4. Been here 40 years Artie ……sht you move..I once believed in you..but not no more
    Your name should be art pulido …..

    1. Your bitterness is blinding you. Our city has made a lot of progress.

      But it sounds like you’re waiting for politicians to save the day. Ask not what politicians can do for you but rather what can you do for yourself?

    2. You’re a fool to think that a group made up of Benavides, Reyna and Martinez can put in place a more intelligent leadership team than one run by Paul Walters. This city still has major challenges in the coming days and needs a strong and smart leader at the controls.

      What is the plan if they get rid of Walters? Do they even have one?

      Walters saved this city from collapse and bankruptcy, not Benavides and his dopey band of followers.

  5. It is true.
    Politicians will never save us.
    That is why I am going to campaign for
    “Benevolent Strongman”
    Arturo Pulido Amescua 2014.
    You can call him “Artie”, Cruz.

          1. Political speech is protected. And Benavides clearly sold his votes during his failed campaign. That is the epitome of corruption.

    1. I’m fighting to protect the developments, which will be a huge benefit to many of the most needy people in our city. And at least 17 million dollars will have to come out of our general budget. Our city can’t afford that.

      1. Is that, or was that bad planning?

        Didn’t any of those high paid top of the line employees think this could happen and include in the reports to the council prior to them voting?

  6. Still no sign of the “new majority” planning, making, doing ANYTHING that even comes close to being new or looking even a little bit like change at City Hall. Nothing. Have you seen a list of items of proposed change? Where is their list of “demands” before the election? They have the votes to make change but lack the Cojones!

  7. David has been busy putting his family back togeeen ther after nearly destroying it through his infidelity. Wifey has moved back in and he has stopped “sexting” his co-workers. He still hasn’t sold a house though!

    Michelle, has been facebooking her way into obscurity, while doing nothing for her ward. Well I take that back, she showed up at a Lopers Gang-Initiation where someone was “jumped out”, taking sixty two kicks and punches! Now that’s helping the youth.

    Renya continues his remedial English classes, he still stuggles with pronoun usage, can’t spell but, his slick smile will take him a mile.

    These progressives are going to SAVE Santa Ana, I heard a guy in Orange say so.

  8. Wow Carpetbagger & David Sarmiento Martinez,

    You must have expected a lot from the council on their first meeting of the new secession.

  9. i’m glad that benavides actually grew a pair and that he’s leading the charge against walters. you cry so much about union members (librarians, cops, parks and recreation teachers, mechanics, etc) but you don’t talk about the exorbitant amount of money that he makes!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME????

    Talk about a DOUBLE-DIPPER! you are sadly not telling the full story.

    As for michelle, she’s not my favorite, HOWEVER—of course pulido and claudia knew exactly what they were doing when they sent cops to arrest michelle’s brother. it was WAY below the belt. not sure why claudia is so judgemental of other councilmember’s families when she’s got a crazy bunch in her own family.

    sal tinajero is alright. he just needs to get a little more organized and then maybe, i’ll become a fan.

  10. oh and by the way, who’s this sell out in the picture with walters? is he the same guy that always pretends to be the super lefty of santa ana? EPIC FAIL

  11. The “New” council has not and will not make any REAL changes at city hall. It was all talk. They supposedly had a list of 10 Demands for Mayor Pulido before the election but now that Benavides got his A@# handed to him he’s as quiet as a church mouse. No demands. No change. Jill Arthur and the Mayor still kicking A#$ and taking names. Nice try fellas. Better luck next time.

    Replace King with Councilmember in this sketch and you will see what the people of Santa Ana think of their “leaders” on the City Council. (Except Sal Tinajero…he’s the only one with a pair)

    P.S. Sean Mills is a good man and loves this city. Thank you Sean for all you do!

  12. Cook,

    Do you see good things coming from this group?

    I was stunned to see that instead of dealing with the IMMENSE problems the city faces, Councilmember Martinez SOLE contribution was to offer a measure remembering Jenny Riveria????

    Cook, perhaps this is the changing face of California, of Santa Ana, but to think that the “Facebook” generation led by Martinez and Benavide’s and now a guy who doesn’t have command of the english language in Renya, I have to wonder what kind of council you are rooting for.

    As you constantly point out: these are elected officials. Well, this time around they “people” will get what they voted for!

    Even the most optimistic has to aknowledge Martinez and Renya lack of education.

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