Santa Ana Council Meeting Tonight: Express Yourself!

Tonight the Santa Ana City Council meets at City Hall in Santa Ana. Conveniently for them, they have scheduled closed session for 5 pm and give no indication what time thy hope to stop chatting among themselves and get down to the public part of their business. My best estimate is that they should be opening up to the public around 6 pm, but get there as soon as you can so you don’t miss anything.

This meeting Mayor Pulido is expected to be in charge so we may have  a slightly more friendly environment for members of the public to address their leaders. There are several items on the agenda that members of the public may have something to say about. Be it action on a resolution regarding the Arizona Immigration law, or the declaration of May 22nd as Harvey Milk Day.

After the perfunctory presentation of certificates and awards, a little dog and pony show should take somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour, the Council should take up  comments from the public. As has been pointed out here and here before, the city seems to have a rather restrictive view of how, when, and how long, they choose to listen to their constituents. As has also been pointed out, the view of the Council seems to be a bit outside what is allowed.

Here is the video compilation of what happened on April 5th with public comment at the Santa Ana Council meeting.


Bluntly, the public comment is the portion of a City Council meeting where members of the public are allowed to address their elected officials in a public forum while those officials are conducting the official business they have been chosen to perform. The public has the right, within reasonable time limits on the length of time and an individual may speak on a particular issue that is scheduled for action by the council.

Claudia Alvarez

As I pointed out last month, the council cannot simply limit public comment on all items, including comments on items not on the agenda but in the jurisdiction of the council, to a total of 3 minutes for all items on that council agenda. Doing so makes it impossible for a member of the public to address the council on all matters of business before it that meeting. Such an action is contrary to the intent and function of the Brown Act Regulations.

Here is a word to the wise; when submitting your speaker notification form, list that you wish to speak during general public comment on general matters, and if there are other agenda items you wish to speak upon, list those items individually on a separate form. You can list the individual items on one form if you like, but if you have time, it would avoid confusion for the clerk and the Mayor if you complete a separate card for each individual agenda item.

Also, as I have noted previously, you cannot be prevented from addressing actions of the Council or its individual members in the forum for public comment. Despite what Mayor Pro Tem Alvarez seems to think, you can state the name of a member of the elected body regarding an action that member has taken. The specific was to do this is to structure your statement to address your concern through the chair of the meeting.

“Mr. Mayor, I wish to inform you and the Council that Council member insert name here …”

It is my hope to be at tonight’s meeting to comment on the failures of the Council to follow the intent of the Brown Act in their conduct of the public comment portion of their meetings. I hope to see you there. Feel free to EXPRESS YOURSELF to your elected officials. Just remember to be respectful, not use profanity, and they are going to have to at a minimum hear you out.

Just keep in mind that while they have to hear you out, they are free to do whatever they want in the end.

  5 comments for “Santa Ana Council Meeting Tonight: Express Yourself!

  1. kenlaysnotdead
    May 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm


    I did’nt realize you moved back to Orange County, much less Santa Ana.

    For there is no real reason for a Long Beach resident to inject himself in city politics in ANOTHER COUNTY!

    You sound like Rob Richardson advocating for the children he never had!

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    May 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Ken —
    Are you a resident of Santa Ana or Orange?

    Because if you don’t live in Santa Ana, follow your own advice. Chris and I both work in Santa Ana which gives us some leeway intro writing about it.

    Frankly Ken, you’re in no position to bitch about what we write about here. It’s a big Internet. If you don’t like the posts we do or feel there’s something we should be covering that we don’t, go spend time with your other underemployed and/or unemployed friends who are angry at the world for whatever reason on the other slander sheets.

    This post has some solid reporting; they same thing you asked for in your comments earlier today. So make up your mind or let me know if you need the name of someone to treat you for bipolar disorder.

  3. kenlaysnotdead
    May 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Yeah Dan, I have lived in Santa Ana, since 1993, when I moved from College Park in Irvine.

    I Own a business in Santa Ana, and have a office in Orange. My job Has me working in the capitol once a week. But, I don’t comment on Sacramento’s local politics. But I digress. I spend upward of $250k a year in Santa Ana. So YES I DO HAVE A RIGHT TO COMMENT. Have Claudio or god forbid Sean Mill comment. But not guys who work there????????

    You got me on the double standard, you are right.

    I am simply disgusted with the BLOGEPHERE, you seem way too cozy, which is OK I guess in business, but in Politics? The hypocrisy ON ALL SIDES is knee deep.

    Having said all of this. I’ll lay low from here a while and let you play to your audience. Whoever that is.

    I sure wish you would work for a meaningful dialouge around here.

    And BTW, YOU GUYS were absolute ASSHOLES to My wife and daughter at a Drinking liberally event earlier this year, which is when I grouped you into the Laura Cunningham camp!

    Good Luck Fellas

  4. May 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks for clearing that up Ken; Claudio libes in Santa Ana, Chris and I both work there..we all have a stake in Santa Ana and have every right to comment. And I do believe you once told me to go back to Northwood, so I guess you won’t complain about me blogging about Irvine politics.

    Despite what you read on OJ; we’re not that cozy. I chat with Matt every other month or so. Most of our limited communications is in comments on the blogs. Chris, Claudio and I chat about the stories we want to write and what stories we’re just not interested in. We’re all volunteers here and do this on our own time.

    There is plenty of meaningful dialogue to be found but there’s way to much personal hate out there that drags things down into the gutter. The worst of it are anonymous commenters who wirte some pretty vindictive prose.

    Come back anytime, but please don’t demand we cover something and our lack of deciding to cover something doesn’t mean we’re in cohoots with the other side. We simply don’t have the bandwidth to cover everything and frankly a lot of what you’re demanding we cover seems to be a non-starter.

    I apologize if any of our bloggers were assholes to your wife and daugther. Without more detail about exactly what happened, I can’t explain what happened, but in the few times I actually go, I don’t remember anything that would havbe happened by any bloggers here that might warrant an apology; feel free to email me if you want the details private. Remember, a lot of people go to DL and the vast majority of them don’t blog for us.

    I’ve never met Laura Cunningham but if she did run for Clerk Recorder we (I) would have come out and said “Vote for Laura” simply so she’d be the person who would legally have to perform those courthouse weddings of same sex couples when Prop 8 is finally overturned. The fact Matt is doing work for the Children’s Commission he once opposed has probably changed his mind about their work too. If you seek to change minds and win hearts, this is a way to do it.

  5. Repulsed
    May 4, 2010 at 12:21 am

    If Ken was up in arms about Chris injecting himself into the politics of another city, in ANOTHER COUNTY no less, how does he feel about the Santa Ana City Council taking their misguided, and politically convienent stand against Arizona at the City Council meeting tonight.
    Pulido denied a resident the chance to speak on a second issue even though the resident filled out a second card

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