Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

“For years Santa Ana has been transferring millions of dollars raised from water fees to the general fund to cover public safety costs, a budget-balancing method that city officials say is justified but an attorney with a taxpayers advocates group calls illegal,” according to the Voice of OC.

Santa Ana Council Member Michele Martinez was the one who called the taxpayer group – the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.  But Martinez also admitted that she and her colleagues have “been approving city budgets without knowing that the water fund transfers were taking place.”

“City officials justified the transfer, which in fiscal year 2011-12 was $8.6 million, saying the money is going toward public safety, general capital assets and right of way maintenance. The officials argued that the largest portion, $6.8 million, was going to public safety because police officers and firefighters protect the city’s water infrastructure,” according to the Voice of OC.

I have a few problems with this mess.  First off – this has been common knowledge in Santa Ana for years – former City Manager Dave Ream started this practice – with full support from the City Council.  For Martinez to admit that she had no clue just underscores the fact that she generally has no clue.  Second, why didn’t Martinez try to resolve this with the Council?  Why resort to obvious grandstanding?  And why not mention this during her failed Assembly campaign?  And third, why did she do this without first coming up with some solutions?  If the city loses this funding we are going to be right back in a budget deficit again – one that Martinez has contributed to throughout her career on the City Council.

In related news, Martinez is now claiming on her Facebook page that she is employed by the California State Senate.

By Editor

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

9 thoughts on “Council Member Martinez claims City’s water fee transfers are illegal”
  1. Have you ever read the budget?

    None of the council are educated in that kind of finace and trust in city staff reports and recommendations.

    Maybe local governments should have prerequisite to holding office like degrees in accounting and economics.

    Of course that would not guarantee anything considering the county super with such a degree but can’t add two and two.

    1. The current council includes two attorneys, an engineer, a teacher, a realtor, and a middle manager. Plus Michele. They should be plenty capable of reading the budgets.

          1. “Most folks pay pros to do their taxes.”

            I guess that you mean experienced, educated professionals who specialize in the field.

            That is not the definition of a politician.

            Politicians specialize in getting elected and there is no prerequisite that they have any knowledge about the office or how it works.

            Remember term limits? The guaranty of inexperienced amateurs in local leadership positions.

          2. Then you should be thrilled that the Council majority leader is Sal Tinajero – a teacher who previously served on the SAUSD School Board, where budgets are a big deal.

  2. How many Presidents were CPA’s? Members of Congress? I think you could fit them all in a VW Bus.

    I believe in Mayor Pro Tem Sal Tinajero and his leadership and I know that working with Mayor Pulido they will make sure the Santa Ana budget is strong. It’s time Mr. Cook to let the election go and support out Santa Ana leaders.

  3. I agree with Cook,
    that “politicians specialize in getting elected”
    and yet the voters voted for Angelica Amescua, a complete unknown.

    Either she ran a very competent stealth campaign,
    or she achieved victory by capitalizing on the total irrationality of the voting process.
    maybe both. ha.

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