Paul Walters Appointment to Santa Ana City Manager Taken Up Out of Order

Santa Ana City Manager Paul Walters (photo: Chris Prevatt)

On Monday night, the Santa Ana City Council in a 5-0 decision, appointed Interim City Manager Paul Walters as City Manager after more than a year doing the job after the retirement of Dave Ream. The council also bestowed a new title of Police Commissioner upon Walters, so that he can continue his representation of the department to regional, state and federal agencies and special law enforcement task forces.

In an email dispatch several members of the council are quoted singing praises of Walters.

Mayor Miguel Pulido stated, “Paul has been an excellent leader in our community for more than 40 years. His high values, moral character and record of success make him the perfect City Manager to guide our city.”

Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez commented, “The Santa Ana community is very fortunate to have Paul Walters as its new city manager. Having devoted his entire career to our city, Paul has vast experience in successfully addressing the many diverse issues and challenges we face as a city our size. I’m proud to whole heartedly continue to support his efforts and thank him for the stability, strength and leadership he brings to the city. I look forward to continuing to work with him for many years to come.”

“We are very proud to have Chief Walters as our city manager. He more than proved himself this last year with the way he has handled our city budget issues and the contracting out of our Fire Service. We firmly believe the citizens of Santa Ana will continue to benefit from his leadership,” stated Council member Carlos Bustamante.

Miguel Pulido

Mayor Miguel Pulido - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

While the appointment of Walters was a foregone conclusion based upon an announcement at the previous Council meeting, Mayor Pulido still managed to trump public comment on the appointment. In what appeared to be a spur-of-the-moment decision, Pulido interrupted Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez at the beginning of her presentation of a Certificate of Recognition to the Segerstrom High School Girls Dance Team, to move item #50A up on the agenda for immediate consideration.

A speaker card had been submitted for comment on the item, and Pulido did call for the speaker to comment. But since the speaker had no reason to believe that the item would be moved on the agenda during the middle of recognitions, before all other business, the speaker was not in the room.

On the meeting video, Mayor Pulido can be seen consulting with Alvarez indicating his idea that the Dance Team could cheer on Walters appointment with their pom-poms. While his action did not technically violate the letter of the Brown Act, Pulido’s action did manage to sacrifice the right of the public to be heard prior to the Council taking it’s action in favor of pom-poms.

Voice of OC reported on Tuesday:

Walters’ three-year contract with two additional one-year renewal options gives him a $265,000 base annual salary. He is also to receive other benefits, such as medical and life insurance. Walters said he didn’t know the value of the additional benefits.

Congratulations to City Manager/Police Commissioner Paul Walters on his appointment. However, I must say shame on Mayor Miguel Pulido for failing to consider that his actions would subvert the right of the public to comment on such an important action by the Council.

  5 comments for “Paul Walters Appointment to Santa Ana City Manager Taken Up Out of Order

  1. Lisann Martinez
    June 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    That one person was me, I stepped out to the ladies room, came out looked on the video screen and seen the pom pom girls, and thought they were still giving awards. I had no idea that they pulled the item out of order. I went in and sat down and waited patiently, as he called the speakers. When he announced that Thomas Gordon would be the last speaker. I went up to the clerk, that they did not call my name, she went up to talk to Pulido, then came back to me and told me they called my name. I felt like an idiot, because I caused a big fuss calling the Clerk’s Office, City Manager, and others. When I seen what had happened, I do think that he pulled it out of order so that I would not get a chance to talk. I believe it is against the Brown Act. I will be filing a complaint with the State.

    • June 8, 2012 at 2:05 am

      Lisann,

      Since he did call your name, technically I think Pulido did not violate The Brown Act. Whether he saw you leave the room and decided to call the item, I’m not sure. Given his lack of attention to details though, I doubt it was directed towards you. I think it was related more to his comfort with doing whatever he wants with out repercussions than anything else.

      That said, the honorable thing would have been for him to let you speak as part of regular public comment. But then again, I have never seen him act honorably so to expect him to do so would be expecting too much.

    • June 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      @ Chris,

      Lisann Martinez had and has a very serious matter to bring up in public comment which is very relevant to Paul Walter’s appointments.
      I will follow-up with a separate email to you.

      Paco Barragan

  2. Lisann Martinez
    June 7, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Hey Chris, Did you take this photo of the City Manager when they called my name? And, the photo of the Mayor looks like after he trumped me! lol, just more for me to say next month!

    • June 8, 2012 at 2:09 am

      The Mayor’s photo was taken about a year ago, and the photo of Walters was taken about a month ago.

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