Over the last couple of days some folks in the blogosphere have been railing against the City of Santa Ana and in particular the Santa Ana City Council in regards to a $60,000 expenditure on trophies.Ã‚Â The only problem was that they failed to research the facts behind the expenditure and blasted the city and councilmembers without any of the back-up material.Ã‚Â
R. Scott Moxley at the OC Weekly got the ball rolling when he wrote, “On Jan. 7, the Santa Ana City Council voted unanimously to spend $60,000 in taxpayer money this year on employee trophies for just one city department.”Ã‚Â To no one’s surprise the Orange Juice and Art Pedroza quickly jumped on this in yet another hateful diatribeÃ‚Â aimed at Mayor Miguel Pulido and the City Council.Ã‚Â In fact Pedroza tried to use this in an effort to defend Janet Nguyen’s “Bridge to Re-Election”.
Item 22A. on the January 7th Santa Ana City Council agenda, also known as Spec. #05-084, renewed the contract with Players Choice for the purchase of trophies, plaques and awards for a one-year period in an annual amount not to exceed $60,000.
Both Moxley and Pedroza would have us believe that the money went for trophies that would be awarded soleyÃ‚Â to city employees.Ã‚Â However had these two done their homework they would have discovered that the money went towards the purchase ofÃ‚Â trophies for the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency’sÃ‚Â sports and youth guidance programsÃ‚Â as well as for trophies to recognize outstanding employees and citizens from the community.
So I guess that Moxley and Pedroza think we should blast the city for providing our city’s youth with awards for their participation in sports and other programs sponsored by the city.Ã‚Â Let me remind folks that Santa Ana is one of the youngest, if not the youngest, cities in the United States.Ã‚Â I do not feel that it is too great of an expenditure to spend $60,000 on awards for our cities youth.
The folks at the Orange Juice and Pedroza in particular continually rail on city officials for not doing enough for our city’s youth.Ã‚Â I agree, I would like to see a greater effort in the area of parks and recreation programs for our youth, however I find it highly hypocritical of these folks to bash city officials for spending money to provide awards for our youth who have earned them in city sponsored sports and other youth programs.
Let me also remind folks that when participants in these programs paid a registration fee a portion of that fee went towards paying for trophies.Ã‚Â So a good portion of the funds are recouped through the registration fees.Ã‚Â Only a small percentage of the expenditure went towards trophies for city employees.
Over the years I have been highly critical of city officials and Mayor Miguel Pulido in particular.Ã‚Â I feel that there are plenty of things that they can and should be criticized for, however I find it disingenuous for folks to just make things up or only tell half of the story in an effort to attack them.Ã‚Â That is what happened in this case.
I certainly hope that both Moxley and Pedroza will go back and report the whole story in order to clear up any confusion that their missreporting may have caused.Ã‚Â C’mon guys try and get the facts straight before you write something, is that too much to ask?Ã‚Â But then again, facts and Pedroza mix as well as oil and water.