Santa Ana Council Video: We’re not the City of Bell

Councilwoman Michele Martinez (Santa Ana)

This is a heavily edited video of Santa Ana City Council member comments made at their September 7th meeting. It was this meeting where members Martinez and Tinajero voted improperly on a resolution to lower, and suspend for a year, soccer permit fees paid by adult leagues. Martinez and Tinajero each accepted $500 from a for-profit league that benefits from that reduction creating a conflict of interest making them unable to vote on the matter.

We have reported over the past several days about several votes where members have violated city law by voting on matters they were conflicted on because of campaign contributions. Martinez and Tinajero placed the Station District Redevelopment project in jeopardy by voting on the plan on June 7, 2010 having received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions before and after their votes.

Mayor Pro Tem Alvarez and Councilman Tinajero, as reported earlier today, will force the Council to vote again on revisions to the One Broadway Plaza development revisions passed improperly with their votes on July 7, 2010.

Their statements at this meeting, in the context of what we have learned this week, do not make them look very good.  And throwing city staff under the bus as scapegoats for their own errors in judgment isn’t helping them either.

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  12 comments for “Santa Ana Council Video: We’re not the City of Bell

  1. junior
    September 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    “And throwing city staff under the bus as scapegoats for their own errors in judgment isn’t helping them either.”

    City staff doesn’t mind – no one is named and I think it’s part of their job description to be thrown under the bus as council requires from time to time.

  2. Shakespeare
    September 17, 2010 at 9:49 am

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  3. art lomeli
    September 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    FROM THE VOICE OF ORANGE COUNTY NEWS:

    Three Separate Agencies Are Paying Miguel Pulido to Drive

    â– Related: It’s Not Just Health Benefits — Pulido Is Double-Dipping on Cars Too (Aug. 26, 2010)
    â– Related: Santa Ana Mayor Double-Dipping on Benefits (Aug. 25, 2010)
    .Posted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 4:12 pm | Updated: 5:31 pm, Thu Sep 16, 2010.

    Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido is paid by three separate agencies to drive.

    As we’ve reported previously, Pulido receives a $500 monthly car allowance from the city of Santa Ana while at the same time driving a plug-in Toyota Prius issued to him by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

    And we just found out that the Orange County Transportation Authority paid Pulido a total of $365.61 in 2008-2009 in mileage reimbursements, according to his OCTA expense accounts.

    Pulido acknowledged receiving all three driving perks in an interview late Wednesday afternoon. But he he said it’s a good thing because he is helping clean the environment.

    He said the plug-in hybrid he’s been driving since 2006 has helped him help the automotive industry develop cleaner autos.

    “I have volunteered to be the test driver for this technology,” he said in a telephone interview. He said when problems develop with the car, he notifies those working on the technology.

    And even though it has bumped up his home electricity bill some, he said he doesn’t file an expense report for the added electric costs. “I’m so much an advocate” for clean auto technology that “I feel it’s my contribution” to pay the added electric charge.

    He didn’t say how much his monthly bill has increased but did say he’s working with Edison to find a way to separate the costs of charging electric vehicles so they don’t increase home electric bills.

    His work as mayor and as a director of the OCTA also are aimed at improving the environment, he said, like his advocacy of natural gas, which now fuels the county busses.

    The OCTA expense reimbursement is “a very small amount,” Pulido said, “not to belittle it in any way.”

    Besides, he said, “I’ve got a couple of private cars that have nothing to do with the prototype from AQMD.” He said he sometimes uses those cars on official business.

    Overall, he said, he believes his contribution to promoting clean driving technology “has been very significant, way beyond any of the expense reports.”

    On another topic, Pulido said he never intended to have two health plans, one from the city and the other from OCTA. “I never authorized the city since 2001 to re-up me. It happened automatically. My mistake.”

    He said if he deliberately wanted to profit from the system he would have taken a $500 monthly payment in lieu of the city health insurance coverage. “I’ve chosen not to do that.”

    He said the money he gets each month for attending transportation authority meetings — $100 per meeting up to a maximum of $500 — is turned back to the agency to help cover his health insurance costs.

    – TRACY WOOD

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    September 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Does Sal own a necktie? He didn’t wear one when he met Pelosi at the Truman dinner and he’s the most underdressed male on the city council. What’s up with that?

    • jose s.
      September 18, 2010 at 6:08 am

      nambla cheminowski, i dont like the guy either but i’m not going whine about the way he’s dressed. did you ever think maybe a tie is uncomfortable for him? maybe it’s just not his style. maybe you can go to the next meeting and give everybody fashion tips?

      • September 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm

        NAMBLA supporter apologist Jose — If you’re a local elected official about to meet the Speaker of the House, the third most powerful elected official in the nation and the most politically powerful women in the world, put on a freaking necktie.

        I’m happy to provide Sal with a list of the big and tall men’s shops in OC that will have neckties to accomodate this thick neck.

  5. jose s.
    September 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    nambla cheminowski, i think it’s nice that you are now the “mr. blackwell” of the blogosphere with your fashion tips for the elected in this country. thats really quite precious and fabulous.

  6. Repulsed
    September 20, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    It is beyond disgusting to have to listen to Michele Martinez suck her teeth, whine and chastise the public for challenging her honesty and integrity. I did notice that she neglected to talk about how she didn’t pay her mortgage and allowed to let her condo in French Park go into forclosure, maybe she should have payed a little more attention to her personal finances as well as the City’s. What a piece of work…..move into a neighborhood just so you can run for that ward and then be such a LOSER that you let the house go back to the bank, all the while lecturing the public on how she deserves respect and accolaides for her performance as an elected.

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    September 20, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    My understanding from Michelle is she secured a loan modification and her home is safe again; though a high percentage of loan modifications fail.

  8. cook
    September 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Are the 2 council members who were not in the parade yesterday going to resign?

    Even though it doesn’t seem likely that they will resign, it is plausible.

    Returning the illegal cash that created the conflict of interest and illegal votes, along with returning all other campaign donations to the extend possible, and withdrawing as a candidate from the current election up coming in November, and then resigning from their current seat on the council, would most likely stop cold any investigations, trials and subsequent convictions on campaign financing crimes.

    Leaving the 2 council members without a political corruption conviction, and the ability to run for office again in the future.

  9. cook
    September 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

    LOS ANGELES – The mayor and ex-city manager of the scandal-plagued Los Angeles suburb of Bell were among eight current and former city officials arrested Tuesday in a corruption investigation.

    The snowball is rolling

  10. Al Simmons
    September 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

    The Santa Ana council may not have the fat salaries the Bell officials got, but they definitely seem to have the same culture of corruption.

    This kind of pay-to-play politics cannot be tolerated. The city attorney should be required to turn over any proof of a crime to the district attorney or attorney general for a full investigation. The council members should be removed immediately.
    This happened with Ted Moreno in Santa Ana years ago, and it was a felony. These council members should be subject to the same level of prosecution.

    If we learned anything from Bell, we learned that the first things they found were only the tip of the iceberg.
    After the recent Grand Jury report, and now that there is apparent proof of campaign fraud and influence peddling with this vote, the soccer league vote, and the Broadway project, this council and the mayor have no business whining that they are nothing like Bell.

Comments are closed.