For Santa Ana there may be light at the end of $30 million deficit tunnel

Santa Ana Ciy Hall

Santa Ana City Hall, Photo: Chris Prevatt

Adam Elmahrek reporting for Voice of OC revealed last Friday that there is some hope that Labor agreements with the Service Employees and Police unions will help fill the $30 million budget hole that former City Manager Dave Ream drove the City of Santa Ana into earlier this year.

An agreement with the Santa Ana Police Officers Association — which includes close to $13 million in concessions — goes to a vote of the association’s general membership next week, and the city is close to hammering out a deal with service employees that would save the general fund about $2.2 million, according to city officials.

But there’s a little wrinkle in the plan. The savings offered by police are mostly deferred expenditures which essentially only kick the deficit can down the road about 18 months.

Interim Santa Ana City Manager Chief Paul Walters (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Negotiations with the Santa Ana Firemen’s Benevolent Association are stalled because the City has release a request for proposals to outsource Fire Services to another agency such as the Orange County Fire Authority. Elmahrek’s got this enlightening quote from Fire Association President Chris Roelle:

“The interim city manager [Walters] has proposed the outsourcing of the Santa Ana Fire Department to the County and we are all awaiting the results of the study that he has commissioned. Until then, it is very difficult to start the process to discuss any details,” Roelle said in a statement emailed to Voice of OC.

I guess when you’re dealing with the Police Chief, who is also the Interim City Manager who recommended outsourcing your member’s jobs, it would be difficult to feel there is good faith bargaining on the table. Read the complete article from Voice of OC here.

  4 comments for “For Santa Ana there may be light at the end of $30 million deficit tunnel

  1. Phil
    November 21, 2011 at 9:18 am

    The real question is how did SEIU get its dirty toe-hold into the City in the first place. Wherever those thugs go, financial trouble follows. Sounds like the only “concessions” are short-term problems that lead to more long-term solutions.

    Santa Ana turned the keys of City Hall over the unions and that, coupled with a City Council that has no financial knowledge or sense, led to disaster. The City should just file for BK and start anew with some competent people who won’t give the farm away. Very sad for this great City.

    • junior
      November 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      “Sounds like the only “concessions” are short-term problems that lead to more long-term solutions.”

      I would say that short term fixes lead to long-term and more deeply entrenched problems.

  2. junior
    November 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    “..the $30 million budget hole that former City Manager Dave Ream drove the City of Santa Ana into earlier this year.”

    Excuse me Chris …… where do you hold the City Council that voted for the budget with the $30 million dollar hole accountable?

    You know, the council that received all of those campaign contributions and valuable endorsements from the budget busters.

  3. cook
    November 22, 2011 at 12:42 am

    If the current pensioner’s have locked in their pension at time of retirement and it is a contract that can not be changed, but future pensions can be changed because of labor contract negotiations, and current payments to CAPERs is for prior retirees pension obligations.

    The it would seem that the vested part of the pensions being paid to retirees currently is the part that was funded at retirement. The city should be able to reduce the pension payouts to current retirees and therefore the amount owed to CAPERs by the unfunded portions.

    How can unfunded plans be vested is no money was contributed?

    And the teachers pension is the same way, the recently retired super will get 7 to 8 million dollars for 5 years work. Same with the prior one who did work longer and the newest one who will work maybe 5 years. SAUSD has never paid in to the system for those people to get that kind of return.

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