Will Santa Ana lose its police department or file for bankruptcy?
By: Shane Ramon Barrows, City of Santa Ana, Ward 3 Candidate
The City of Santa Ana is in financial crisis. Even though the city leadership states that we have a balanced budget, the fact of the matter is that the current “balanced budget” is nothing more than basic accounting gimmicks. The truth will come out after the November elections. A review of the budget details shows the overly inflated fluff revenues that the city is expecting this year. These revenues include a 74% increase in building permits ($680K), a 40% increase in traffic fines ($120K), an 11% increase in Hotel Visitor taxes ($747K), a 223% increase of city property rentals ($230K) and a 63% increase on earnings from investments ($200K). Those assumptions account for nearly $2 million of the city’s projected revenue.
What happens when those forecasted revenues don’t materialize? The city has to make cuts in expenditures or file for bankruptcy. We have already lost our fire department, after they served our city for 128 years. We have lost our parking enforcement and street sweeping to private firms. We barely have any parks and recreation staff to maintain and staff our parks. We have very few code enforcement officers to enforce city regulations and codes.
The only department that has been untouched is the police department. The police department is currently understaffed by 94 officers. We are supposed to have 404 officers, but currently only have 313. I believe we need to keep and fully staff our police department, but where will the money come from? Santa Ana is not known as a business friendly city and the federal and state grants that we have depended on for so long are now gone. What will the city leaders do to close the gap? Bankruptcy or will they contract out police services?
Of course no one wants to talk about the nearly $1.5 million that the city donated to the Bowers Museum this year. That’s political back room favors at work. The city also donated $1.8 million to Bowers in 2011/2012 and another $1.5 million in 2010/2011. A total of close to $4.8 million over the last three years. Could all of that money been used for police, firemen, parks, and schools? Of course it could have, but then the Bowers Museum would have been upset, and we can’t have that.
Santa Ana must immediately decrease its expenditures and use realistic revenue projections if the city is to remain solvent. If not, we will be the latest city to file for bankruptcy in the state.
7 thoughts on “Will Santa Ana lose its police department or file for bankruptcy?”
Shane, Santa Ana can be known as…
a) an undemocratic Police State,
Militarized Zone of police and feds vs. immigrant outlier and poverty culture. (As witnessed in Anaheim)
b) or a city that chooses to promote the best industry suited for it’s financial future.
What is the percentage of the budget that is currently allocated to policing the city vs. education and arts and culture?
How does a municipality pacify the populace and lead them in a civil direction away from criminal enterprise?
You have to inspire them!
Do you think that the successful Downtown revitalization efforts are maintained primarily by:
a) police infrastructure?
b) arts and culture investment?
answer = B
Admin, this is not an argument for or against the sloppy PBID.
When a city’s culture is demoralized and decayed then it appears as though “policing” will serve as the only protection or salvation. Policing is not a preventative cure. It is an emergency remedy for sickness or disease. Is Santa Ana diseased? Alot of us are investing everything we have to make Santa Ana alive, well, inspired and thriving. Not diseased.
“Preserve the Arts!” United Artists of Santa Ana.
“Santa Ana must immediately decrease its expenditures and use realistic revenue projections if the city is to remain solvent.”
How do you decrease expenditures while advocating a 30 percent increase in the most costly department (police)?
How can Santa Ana residents continue to allow employees unions run the politics of this city? When will voters say enough is enough and demand fiscal responsible leadership? Thank you Mr. Pedroza for being the only news source for Santa Ana.
“The only department that has been untouched is the police department”
Why is it that the Fire Dept made deep cuts but the Police did not?
Here’s the city employee’s compensation stats.
If we need over 400 police then I’ll take your word for it. But looking at the compensation of Santa Ana cops and on average they seem to make over $100K a year in total compensation! Sorry but not only are they NOT worth that much money but there’s no way we can afford them. The best option would be to let the contract expire and work a new non-unionized deal with the cops that don’t suck taxpayers money into their pensions and get the average . That’s the only way to satisfy taxpayers. I would categorize our current contract with the police as ‘wasteful’.
What a coincidence that at the time the SA city manager is also the SA police chief, he kills the Santa Ana Fire Dept. after 128 years of service as the oldest FD in O.C. And his Police dept. takes little to no cuts?? Smells like a rat…..