SANTA ANA — On Tuesday afternoon the proposed Ward Boundary changes for Santa Ana mysteriously dropped from the City website. Unless you were looking for the map via a link, you probably wouldn’t have noticed. That’s because there was no way to find it on the website if you didn’t already know the page address.
My immediate question was where’d the maps go? I had already found that there had been some change to the original document released on November 15th. The city did not note any changes to the document, and the original version was nowhere to be found. The screen capture of the document properties below shows the document was changed on December 5th.
I received an answer about the changed document from City Clerk Maria Huizar last night.
“The proposed map did not change. The only difference was the neighborhood map on the last page had a different boundary line on Ward 4, hence it was wrong, and when we found out corrected that map. That was the only change.”
I’m waiting for a copy of the original version before it was changed. So until I’m able to compare, I’m going to have to take them at their word that there were no other changes.
The answer to why the document was removed from the website for a while yesterday was a bit more interesting. Public Information Officer Jose Gonzalez told me that the document had been taken down because they were revising it yet again to include a second proposal from a committee member. According to Gonzalez, a member or members of the committee (he couldn’t specify who) had submitted a new proposal for consideration by the Council.
That’s interesting. I had understood the proposal released on November 15th was the final and only proposal that was to be considered. Gonzalez explained; “The proposal released in November is a draft that anyone can propose modifications to.” Apparently, the intention is to allow members of the public, and the Council, to submit their own complete proposals or changes at the Public Hearing scheduled for December 19th.
Beside the fact that the city has never indicated what format a member of the public should use to propose their own version, their press release said nothing about the option to propose separate maps.
“Testimony will be received and where any person having an interest in, objection to, or suggestion regarding the making of changes in Ward boundary lines may appear before the City Council.”
So a little after 6 pm, the new proposals went up on the city website, hidden as additional links under their December 1st press release as Proposal 1 and Proposal 2. We’re reviewing the proposals and should have analysis soon, hopefully Thursday.
Just so you know, there was some additional change made to Proposal 1 while it was off-line yesterday. I have yet to figure out what was changed but the document properties indicate a change was indeed made.