The city of Santa Ana City Council leadership, their City Manager, and their City Attorney on Monday released a response to the Orange County Grand Jury report that was critical of the process the city used to award the contract to build a street car system in Santa Ana. While the report found no criminal wrong doing, it was highly critical of the transparency of the city process and the appearance of impropriety. The crux of their argument with the Grand Jury was their belief that the participation of one member of the Grand Jury in the process, so tilted the investigation and report, that its conclusions were invalid. From their response:
Okay, it’s fair to claim bias if you think their is, but it is something completely different when you actually make stuff up to support your point. the response claims that Glen Stroud, who was indeed a member of the Grand Jury, was in the process of being removed from a commission appointment in October 2009. If that statement is true, then I am sure there should be some evidence, like meeting minutes, to prove their point.
Well, below is the official record of the actions related to Glenn Stroud at the meeting of October 19, 2009. Mr Stroud was a member of the Community Redevelopment & Housing Commission and his term had expired. Councilmember Carlos Bustamante wished to reappoint Mr. Stroud to the commission. Council members Alvarez, Martinez, Tinajero, and Mayor Pulido objected to Stroud’s reappointment and blocked it. While the effect of their action was that Mr. Stroud no longer served as a member of that commission after October 19, 2009 to say he was removed represents an action that simply didn’t occur and seems to infer some misconduct on the part of Mr. Stroud that is not reflected in the record.
I do find it rather curious that the same members that were so vocal in support of Ms. Martinez’s right to choose and remove her commissioners at Monday night’s August 16, 2010 meeting, opposed an appointment made by their colleague Mr. Bustamante 8 months earlier.
The Grand Jury report was also critical of the Council’s compliance with the Brown Act and the City’s Code of Ethics. The City’s response to that allegation, in light of recent blatant violations of the Brown Act by the Council and Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, is just too laughable to believe.
I must call attention to the following sentence; “At all times, Santa Ana city councils have complied fully with both the letter and intent of the Brown Act and the current City Council and City Manager are fully aware of the Brown Act standards regarding serial meetings and the limits of staff-Council communications.” I’ll let pass to a later date the matter of serial meetings, but to make such a claim in light of two recent events where Councilmember Alvarez acting as Mayor Pro Tem, blatantly and unapologetically violated the Brown Act is beyond laughable.
So if they cannot even be truthful in their Grand Jury response on an easily verifiable point, and they cannot recognize the reality that they do need more training regarding compliance with the Brown Act because they have repeatedly violated its provisions, can we really accept the remainder of their response to the Grand Jury as being truthful?