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July 29, 2007

Comments

Allan Bartlett

This story is a metaphor for how Santa Ana has been run for years. I've said it for the last few years...the place is a ghetto and getting worse by the day.

redperegrine

I'm glad you posted this. I noticed the sidewalk sign story, too and immediately reflected on what seems to be a pimple on the city's municipal behind.

The "hermetically insular bureaucracy" is ensconced only because the city council is so weak. Not knowing any of them personally, my guess is that they are too pussilanimous, too diffident, or too disengaged to force issues that matter to the fore. One thing I do know is that too many on their city council only seem interested in using their job as a platform to launch into a higher political orbit (without having accomplished anything).

This Miguel Pulido fellow really needs to be held accountable for his mayorality. But only the voters of SA can do it.

Patricia

"This is a sign of a city adrift and lacking not just the vision, but the self-confidence to solve problems."

That's true of many levels of government, from potholes to PC ROE in Iraq (see http://www.michaeltotten.com/). The welfare, multicultural, feel good politics of the last 30 years have ripened into...decay.

We have to decide if we value individualism or third world socialism. Let the retrenchment begin!

killerjoe

Pulido can not be the only one held responsible for what Santa Ana is today. Start at the top, with lorreta sanchez (the queen of voter fraud), and work down to the city council, and the school board. The state of politics in SA is a national disgrace. Pulido and friends are not the source of this disgrace. It started many years ago. The voters of SA will never, ever hold any of these people responsible for anything. It just seems to me that there are to many that are happy with the way things are in SA, because it never changes. It only gets worse. How sad.

Gustavo Arellano

Jubal: your humor is better than that. You should've titled this with "missing the burrito for a bean."

Art Pedroza

Killerjoe,

I would not blame Congresswoman Sanchez. The blame falls on Pulido and our City Manager, Dave Ream.

The good news is that last year we defeated two of Pulido's puppets and elected progressive Latinos.

We have a chance in the next City Council elections to take out one more of his puppets and to elect a solid council member to replace Pulido's latest sycophant, Claudia Alvarez.

We can also improve things by tossing out Pulido himself as he too is facing reelection next year.

However, the OC Democrats need to step up and go after Pulido. He has had a free ride from them for TOO LONG. They even endorsed him last year. That must come to an end if we are to have real change in Santa Ana.

And yes, we need to go after Pulido's amigo on the SAUSD board, Rob Richardson, too. That whole board needs to be tossed out with la basura, with the exception of John Palacio, who I hope will run for Ward 3 on our City Council.

We can improve our city - but not until we toss the bums out!

Re: Art Pedroza

"I would not blame Congresswoman Sanchez."

And why not? She's the highest ranking elected official from the area. Instead of wasting her time blocking good policy like the 241 toll road extension perhaps she could have spent some time bringing attention to the problem in her home district.

Oh that's right, she's barely ever her. Why would she care?

killerjoe

Art Pedroza; I am not saying that your wrong, I'm only saying that I believe that this cancer that festers within the politics of SA starts at the top. lorretta is at the top. B1 was no top prize in this district, but he came by it honestly, and he had compassion. sanchez is a disgrace. I was born and raised in SA, and there was a time when I was proud to say that. Not anymore. A couple of months ago I mentioned to a young Latina that I was from Santa Ana, and she basicly said I was lying because I am not Latino. Maybe a resident of SA should start a campaign to oust these politico's. Don't hold yer breath.

Morning Coffee

The real problems facing the City of Santa Ana began many, many years (20-25) ago with the approval of all the high density apartments in the central city area. At the time, developers sold the Council(s) a bill of goods that the apartments would be occupied by the "yuppie" crowd working in the Civic Center. There was also a plan to redevelop 4th. Street into a yuppie downtown area. Obviously, none of that ever happened.

What you have today are the consequence's of those bad decisions. I agree that going after barking dogs and sign holders is petty, but there is no way to deal with the real problems in that City. The budget deficit of $12-15 million has been there for years, and there is no way to solve that problem without raising taxes. And raising taxes won't help you get reelected to the Council, or elected to your choice of higher office.

Art Pedroza thinks that blaming everything on Pulido, and whichever other Council members he's unhappy with at the moment, is the answer. Get Pulido out of office and everything will be just fine. Sorry Art, getting Pulido out won't change anything.

Every Council member, except perhaps Michele Matinez, understands exactly what the real problems are, and that there *is no way* to correct them. Santa Ana is what it is..and serves as an example to other Cities of what can happen if the wrong decisions are made.

redperegrine

Oh come on, MC. I kmnow you're a buddy of Miguel's, but that comment is just ridiculous. If all the councilmembers know the problems are incurable then that would make them the biggest collection of cynics south of Sacramento. Hmm. Well maybe they are. That alone should disqualify them for office.

No. Pulido and his crew must be held accountable as should anyone who presides over a disaster with just a shrug and the old "it's somebody else's fault."

Art's on the right track about replacing the dead wood.

killerjoe

MC
That's exactly the attitude that got,and will keep SA the city that it is today. It's always someone elses fault therefor we just don't do nothin cause it is what it is. I don't know who any of you people are, or what you do for a living, but if it has anything to do with SA politics, well "it is what it is".

Morning Coffee

Red-

Yes, I am a friend of Miguel's. I am also friends with many other elected and appointed officials throughout O.C. and L.A. and I have had these relationships for many, many years. But that doesn't stop me from being critical when I think they've made mistakes! I've criticized several elected's, including Pulido, here and in other public forums.

"If all the councilmembers know the problems are incurable then that would make them the biggest collection of cynics south of Sacramento."

Sorry, but I have to disagree with that. There are Council members and County Supervisors in many areas of California (and around the country) that recognize certain problems in their "districts" are beyond repair. When you have long established pockets of extreme poverty, and all the problems that come with that, there is little you can do to really change things. Instead, they concentrate on containing those areas and improving everything else they can in surrounding areas.

Sure, you can throw money at some social programs, and increase police services, but the bottom line is the same problems continue until something happens to change the demographics of the area.

I was in downtown Los Angeles a week ago and I got to see what has been done, and is continuing, around the Staples Center and downtown. It's really amazing. They *have* been able to change the demographics and the neighborhood, but they still have work to do. Getting this far has taken 20+ years and billions of development dollars and it will take more time to finish what they started, but you can see the results.

Unfortunately, Santa Ana has nothing on the horizon that can even come close to being able to change their demographics. Past Councils have done what they could, like approving the upscale housing developments at the North and South ends of the City, but the central city area remains the problem. And none of the Council members, developers or planners I've talked to over the past 10 years has a *workable* answer. If you have one, please share it.


Art Pedroza

Cafe de la Manana,

You are wrong. We can have change in SA, but we need to dump Pulido and company and Dave Ream too. Ream has been the single biggest impediment to change - until he goes it will indeed be hard to improve our city.

Can we do it? Of course! No one thought we could take out two of Pulido's puppets last year either - but we did. He will be next.

redperegrine

"They *have* been able to change the demographics and the neighborhood, but they still have work to do"

Hmm. This sounds like Redevelopmentspeak for moving the minorities out. You're right according to this formula - impossible to do in Santana.

Morning Coffee

Red-

Yes, that's exactly what I was talking about. Downtown L.A. and the Staples area are well on their way to becoming a desirable and safe live, work, play area.

I, personally, hope Pulido doesn't run again because I want to see Art's face when he gets his "new Council" and nothing changes. Sure, you can cut off funding to Bowers and the Chamber..I agree with that, but that still won't fix the core problems.

redperegrine

Yes MC, but the formula of Redevelopment is pretty reprehensible, as a rule: push little people around and hand payouts to big corporations, and subsidized housing for the well-off.

There's no doubt in my mind that Santa Ana's problems are serious, but are they now endemic? It may be too soon to call in the wrecking ball. There is a real problem with neighborhood preservation issues (that's a term they use in Anaheim) that goes far, far beyond mid-rise apartments south of 17th Street. Crime, gangs, overcrowding, delapidated properties and code violations throughout the city all suggest a populace that isn't in tune with our idea of a nice clean, quiet, safe place to live. That's where real leadership, even of the tough love variety, is needed, particularly from Latinos on the city council and the school board. All I've seen from these folks is posturing, fueding, and aspiration for state-wide office.

What Santa Ana needs is a summit of all these characters and anybody else who cares. A bill of rights should be described and all the participants should take a Tennis Court oath to follow through with it's implementation. Those politicians who won't participate can explain why at the next election; or be recalled.

DanGarion

Have you ever actually seen how many of these sign people there are? Just for a little whole in the wall Subway at 17th and Grand, they have 2-3 sign people. Now I don't know for sure, but I can almost guarantee you that these people are NOT paid legally. I bet they aren't even making minimum wage...

Morning Coffee

Red-

I agree. Redevelopment and Eminent Domain are a double edged sword. They have been abused into nothing more than "tools" to take away property rights, but they have also helped clean up areas that desperately needed to be cleaned up.

"Crime, gangs, overcrowding, delapidated properties and code violations throughout the city all suggest a populace that isn't in tune with our idea of a nice clean, quiet, safe place to live."

Yep! You hit the nail on the head. That is exactly the problem! Several Council's have tried to deal with those problems, but have only made a small dent in them. Here's a little history-

About 13-14 years ago, the City tried to get Sacramento to change the Occupancy Codes so they could do something about the overcrowding. We managed to put together a coalition of elected and appointed officials from almost every City and County around the State. We also had Police, Fire and other Safety group from around the State pushing it.

Guess what happened? Several advocacy groups, representing various minorities and the poor, screamed that it was anti black, anti Hispanic and/or anti poor because they believed in housing extended family under one roof and/or because they couldn't afford larger housing units. The Bill never got out of Committee.

Look at what's going on now. The Council is being urged by a group of folks to declare Santa Ana a sanctuary City. The Council is being called racist, anti Hispanic and other nasty things, and being threatened with a backlash in the next election cycle, because they won't do it. Do you really think anyone can put together all the groups and get them to agree to the tough choices necessary to clean up the City?

Does Santa Ana need more Code Enforcement people to clean up what they can, under existing Law? Sure..and I've screamed for that to happen, as have a lot of other folks. But the things Code Enforcement can do are just a drop in the bucket. They don't have the authority to fix the big things.

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