On Wednesday evening the Santa Ana City Council voted 4-0 to place a Charter Amendment on the ballot to limit the term of Mayor to four two-year terms. Councilman David Benavides chaired the meeting because Mayor Miguel Pulido, Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, and Councilman Carlos Bustamante failed to make it to the Special Meeting of the City Council to consider the recommendations from an ad hoc committee.
Council members Benavides, Martinez, and Tinajero were all first elected to the Council in 2006, and Councilman Sarmiento was appointed in 2006 to fill the vacancy of current Assemblyman Jose Solorio. Councilwoman Martinez proposed Mayoral term limits in her first term and was rebuffed by her colleagues. The decision yesterday may usher in a new day, demonstrating a weakness in Mayor Miguel Pulido’s grip on power and control over the City.
Councilman Tinajero put it this way:
“We said there was going to be a new day in Santa Ana,” he said. “Here we are, in a day where we’re making history. There was a tremendous amount of pressure, and you all know what I’m talking about, a tremendous amount of people pushing us to not go forward with this.”
Councilman Benavides said; “This is in the best interest for the community and of the city.”
Both Tinajero and Benavides are challenging Mayor Pulido for the office of Mayor this year.
Council members Martinez and Tinajero explained that the proposal is not a slam dunk for voter approval. Both claimed that they had received significant pressure from supporters of Mayor Pulido to abandon the mayoral term limit effort. They expect that those same forces will vigorously oppose its passage.
“We said there was going to be a new day in Santa Ana,” Tinajero said. “Here we are, in a day where we’re making history. There was a tremendous amount of pressure, and you all know what I’m talking about, a tremendous amount of people pushing us to not go forward with this. … The campaign against this is going to be brutal.”
If the measure is passed by voters in November, Mayor Pulido would be eligible to serve for an additional three terms, if he is reelected in November. He would still be eligible to serve up to an additional three consecutive four years terms as a Council member before having to take an eight year break from Council service due to existing limits.