Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Kevin O'Rourke

Kevin O’Rourke, a retired government executive with two decades of experience in Orange County was appointed Monday by the City Council as Santa Ana’s interim city manager,” according to the O.C. Register.

We reported this was going to happen way back on Feb. 5.

O’Rourke has made a career of serving as both an interim and permanent city manager, with stops in Buena Park, Stanton and Stockton, which filed for municipal bankruptcy last year.  Stanton seems to be headed for the same result too.  He last temped in Woodland, according to a media report, in 2011.  And surprise!  He temped in the City of Bell too.

The Register also reported that “Councilwoman Michele Martinez noted that O’Rourke is fluent in Spanish,” which is ironic as she is not fluent in Spanish herself, although she does speak Pocho.

O’Rourke currently works with a consulting business that specializes in helping broke cities to figure out how to pay for their public employee pension debt.

He is also a board member of Cal-ICMA, which is a collaboration of the League of Cities City Managers’ Department (CMD); the California City Managers Foundation (CCMF); the two assistants groups (MMANC and MMASC); the County CAOs; the COG Directors; along with members of the academic community and from all of the other ICMA membership categories

Up next for O’Rourke?  He has to figure out how to pay back the “$54 million in housing funds that are a result of the dissolution of redevelopment, development of a city strategic plan and budget, and labor negotiations.”  Good luck with that!

How long before the Santa Ana City Council realizes that, after outsourcing our fire department, they now need to outsource our cops too – to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department?  The irony is that the current Sheriff, Sandra Hutchens, is reportedly going to retire and not run for re-election in two years, due to health concerns.  One of the leading candidates to replace her will surely be Paul Walters, who was fired by the Santa Ana City Council for no good reason but will continue to serve as our Santa Ana Police Commissioner.

So Walters could end up running the SAPD after all – after he becomes the next Sheriff and the SAPD gets outsourced to the Sheriff’s Department.

As for O’Rourke he will make a small fortune for temping in Santa Ana and eventually the City Council’s national city manager search will result in them hiring the guy they wanted to make our interim city manager all along – Gerardo Mouet, our Parks and Recreation Agency Director.  Mouet didn’t get the interim gig because we reported that this was going to happen, so now we get O’Rourke, who can apparently say “si se puede,” to Martinez’ delight.

Update: I just got the City’s official press release regarding O’Rourke’s hiring.  Here it is:

Monday February 11, 2013, 9:42 PM

City of Santa Ana, Downtown Orange County

Community: City of Santa Ana appoints Kevin O’Rourke as Interim City Manager 

SANTA ANA, CA (February 11, 2013) – The Santa Ana City Council announced at its special meeting this evening that retired City Manager Kevin O’Rourke has accepted its offer to serve as Santa Ana’s Interim City Manager. O’Rourke served in numerous management positions, both in Northern and Southern California cities before serving most recently as a Senior Consultant with the Public Alternative Retirement System. He has valuable interim experience resulting from his service as Interim City Manager of the City of Stockton in 2010 and the City of Woodland in 2011-12. Mr. O’Rourke also served as City Manager for the cities of Buena Park and Stanton in the 80’s and 90’s. He served as city manager for more than ten years in the City of Fairfield before his retirement at the end of 2007. “I’m excited about returning to Orange County and serving Santa Ana’s community,” said O’Rourke.

In addition to the lengthy list of management positions, O’Rourke has served in prominent professional positions. He is a past-president of the League of California Cities City Manager Department and a past Member of the League’s Board of Directors. On the national level, O’Rourke also served on the International City/County Management Association’s Executive Board, as the Vice President of the West Coast Region.

The Santa Ana City Council noted O’Rourke’s experience in working in Orange County and his leadership experiences as significant factors in his engagement. Mayor Pulido said, “We are very fortunate to have his incredible experience and familiarity with the Orange County region.” O’Rourke has handled financial challenges, managed numerous development and transportation projects and is very familiar with the many challenges that the winding down of redevelopment agencies presents. Santa Ana is processing the street car project, various development plans and is maneuvering through the Department of Finance dissolution process while committing itself to the completion of much needed affordable housing projects. “Kevin is the right person for us at this time and we are confident that he will help us position the City to find the very best permanent City Manager in the near future,” said Councilwoman Martinez.

Mr. O’Rourke received his undergraduate degree from LaSalle University. He participated in two masters programs. The first was the Master’s of Divinity at the Washington Theological Coalition. The second was the Masters of Public Administration at the center for Public Policy; Cal State Long Beach. He is also fluent in Spanish.

For further information, contact Jose Gonzalez at 714-647-5200.


For full details, view this message on the web.

By Editor

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

25 thoughts on “City Council hires interim city manager who temped in Bell and Stockton”
  1. Nice Re-tred Santa Ana city Council! So much for the new and improved Santa Ana! This guy even looks like Dave Reams little brother. He’s been to all the City Manager conferences in Monterey, CA where they learn how to make Bitches out City Councils, own them, and give away the store to the Labor Unions.

    Santa Ana will soon make everyone forget about Bell as it becomes even better at taking a city and flushing it down the toilet.

  2. So is CIA op Dorner. AKA “California Rambo” He is relaxing in a hot tub right now as well. In fact he will probably be facebooking you soon Admin.

    1. His contract will be posted on the city website once it is finalized. I have xpext it to be a vast sum. This guy makes a living off cities on distress. Several have ended up bankrupt after he left. Grim Reaper!

      1. O’Rourke’s contract + $600k in payout to get rid of Walters (including the year of fake consulting) + losing our asses to both unions in upcoming contract negotiations because rookies with no network or respect are running the show + $80 (not $54) million of refunded redevelopment money= Holy S**T!!
        And this doesn’t even take into account the rise in crime due to an interim chief who still has his training wheels on and is roundly distrusted by the majority of the cops he lords it over. God help us here in Santa Ana. We will be paying for this council’s stupidity until we are laid to rest–hopefully in some other city!

  3. Enjoy the well spoken Councilwoman Michele Martinez explain the process. So glad our city is in the political hands of the “best and the brightest”!

    I’m sure all of her homies are very proud!

  4. How did the Santa Ana Springsters come up with candidates? “The Staff said, the Staff told us…The Staff..the Staff…The Staff….”

    I think we are starting to see who is in charge at City Hall!

  5. A bankruptcy specialist for short term city manager. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what the new direction is going to be.

    And the reason for releasing Walter, I been told he was against bankruptcy.

    City employees are worried.

  6. Councilmember Martinez answers are apalling:

    I don’t know “how he was chosen/reccomended” She goes on: “You gonna have to ask staff”


    “I can’t off the top of my head recall,it’s been more than a week and a half”

    Boy, this is who is directing Santa Ana’s bright future?

    The voters hould be ashamed.

      1. RAM will not help you.

        1) You need bandwidth. it is how many MBs your provider will allow you per second.

        2) You may also have some link on your website which is to slow and holding you down which I suspect.

        Ask your ISP if the next bandwidth will help you or what they recommend since they have all the stats.

        1. OK Stanley, I added an additional 1500 GB bandwidth.

          Dear readers – please click on our ads so that we can pay for our server fees, which just doubled. Thanks!

          1. Thanks.
            It is noticeably better but you seems to have too much adds and links to all kind of services which do eat up your BW see if you need all that?

            Also search engines overload gravely. May be you can limit their access in the file named

            You should suppress linking to your graphics. Every time someones links to your pictures he is using your BW

            In contrast, if you link to someone graphics which are displayed on your page make sure that it is fast site. Otherwise, try to download graphics on your server or not to display it and let visitor click on the link which will redirect him from your server.

            Where is your donation link.

  7. Good Job Stanley! New Santa Ana really is a family. We may not all agree on everything but we all fear that Santa Ana is going BK in the near future.

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