The Santa Ana City Council majority voted last night to approve paid personal assistants for themselves that will be paid $60,000/year per council member. They even added this expenditure to the new City of Santa Ana budget.
What could go wrong?
These new personal assistants would report directly to the City Council Members, not to the City Manager. Moreover the City Manager said during last night’s City Council meeting that their hours and pay would be approved by the City Council Members.
Again, what could go wrong?
We are sure that placing seven people that report to politicians instead of to the city administrators won’t cause any problems even as these “personal assistants” begin to muck with the city departments and the public. And how do we know the “personal assistants” won’t end up helping to reelect the City Council members instead of doing actual work on behalf of our city?
How long before the first criminal charges are filed for bribery or fraud?
One of the City Council Members, Thai Viet Phan, said that she needed an assistant as she is spending too much time doing legal research as a City Council Member. She is an attorney but that research is not her job! She is a part-time City Council Member. It is the city administration’s job to do that research – assuming it is even warranted.
I am surprised the City Council Members did not, instead, just push to become full time City Council Members. Then again that would be a pay cut for Phan but likely would be a big raise for some of the other City Council Members.
Kudos by the way to Council Member David Penaloza for trying to derail this motion. Unfortunately the City Council majority tied it to the rest of the budget so it ended up passing.