Sun. Sep 25th, 2022
Kevin O'Rourke
Picture of Kevin O’Rourke Courtesy of Recordnet

“Santa Ana city leaders apparently reached consensus Monday on appointing an interim city manager to fill the slot left open by the firing of City Manager Paul Walters,” according to the Voice of OC.



Council members emerged from their closed session just after 7 p.m. and announced a decision, but said they couldn’t disclose the candidate’s name yet because they were still negotiating terms.  Then Councilwoman Michelle Martinez said the new interim city manager’s name would be made public in about a week.

So much drama when there is a darn good chance that the interim city manager will be Gerardo Mouet, the Santa Ana Parks and Rec Agency director.  Scratch that.  Apparently former Buena Park/Stanton City Manager Kevin O’Rourke might become Santa Ana’s highest paid temp, I mean interim City Manager.  He currently works as a consultant who specializes in figuring out how to pay for retired public employees’ pensions, according to this link.  He was previously an interim City Manager in now bankrupt Stockton.

The Voice of OC also reported that “Over the coming weeks Santa Ana residents will have an opportunity for formulating a citywide vision for tackling these tough issues. City officials will be holding strategic planning meetings with the community for the first time in recent memory. Martinez also publicly pledged on Monday that the city would involve residents in its search for a permanent city manager.”

Michele Martinez whining

Shouldn’t the City Council and their staff be doing the strategic planning?  That is what we elected these people to do.  But Martinez says that the residents will be involved in the search for a new city manager – does that mean that the Council wants to be able to blame the residents when their schemes inevitably backfire?

Are these people so completely lacking in vision that they want to outsource their own jobs to us?  If so why don’t they just admit that and resign so more capable residents can take their places?

Trust me – this is not how most cities are run.  Just look at what our neighbors in Tustin just did.  According to the O.C. Register, “Tustin employees and council members gathered this month in the Tustin Library to contemplate the city’s future. Department leaders asked council members for their feedback on changes to city programs and staffing during the workshop.”

You see folks, that is how it is done.  The elected Council members work with the city staff to come up with solutions and strategies.  This collaborative B.S. that Martinez is slinging is not business as usual in most Orange County cities.

Remember that these very Council members, with the exception of the two new ones – Amezcua and Reyna, sat on their hands, since 2006, and allowed former City Manager Dave Ream to wreck our city’s finances.  Then they blamed Paul Walters, firing him as City Manager, even though he saved our city last year by producing a budget that the Council, on their own, would never have conceived.

So now they want us to tell them who to hire to replace Walters?  Are you kidding me?  What are we paying this lazy lot for?

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

15 thoughts on “Will the Council hire former Stockton interim city manager Kevin O’Rourke?”
  1. For all the talk from SACRED and other groups about needing a Santa Ana City Manager who “reflects our community” to replace gringo Paul Walters who do they go with? An old white re-tred from the over paid, I go to the conferences in Monterey, CA to fine dine and learn how to work City Councils,

    Keven ORouke!

    That’s a real bold choice of change there Santa Ana Springsters!

  2. this my fellow citizens is what they call:

    “Change For The Sake Of Change”

    or complete iresponsibility.

  3. News Flash for All Santa Ana residents:

    Let me translate for you what is happening. The Council says they want to include you in the process of picking the new city manager.

    What the Santa Ana Springsters DO is hire some Dave Reem clone behind close doors AGAIN without ANY resident input.

    Oh they will say this is only the temporary white guy until we let you all feel like you had input and we can put in place the real city manager. The problem is that these things can go on for years and the temp guy is often the final guy for the job.

    And, why couldn’t they just have left a Department head in charge (like the dude from Oakland in PUblic works) while they did their big search?

    Why? Because they don’t give a Rat’s backside what SACRED or other resident groups think about this decision.

    This guy O’Rourke is right out of the milk em dry City Manager factory and we the residents of Santa ANa are the ones about to get burned.

  4. I can’t wait to tally up the dollar amount the city will be paying, when all is said and done, in trying to get the mayor to leave. Shall we make a list?

    1-Total payout to former City Manager and Police Chief, Paul Walters–who did not want to leave in the first place

    2-Total amout paid to contract the Interim City Manager

    3-Amount paid to have a nationwide search done

    4-Dollar amount lost to the police and employee unions because the negotiator will have no idea what they are doing

    5-Dollar amount the state will end up taking from us because they want $80 million AND THEY WANT IT NOW!

    And this could have all been avoided.

    Here is a group of people who keep begging for respect, trying to convince us that they know what they are doing is best for the city. They can’t even run their own lives properly. Respect is not taken or given upon request…it is earned.

    1. Agent Orange,

      This is perhaps the BEST description of events I have read regarding the cost. I am tempted make a joke about California Pizza Kitchen, but it really isn’t that funny, what’s happening to the people of Santa Ana.

  5. Let’s see…

    You want citizens to weigh in when someone is fired, but not when someone is hired.

    Interesting dichotomy…or is it hypocrisy?

    1. This Council didn’t care about what we had to say when they fired Walters. The hypocrisy is that now they want us to believe that they care. I call BS on that!

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