Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez is now a candidate for the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board. In her candidate’s statement of qualifications, which is light on an actual record of achievement in education other than being an student, she lists the endorsement of Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and Santa Ana City Manager and Police Chief Paul Walters. A small error on the Mayor Pro Tem’s part, Walters is the Police Commissioner as he cannot legally be Police Chief AND City Manager whereas he could be the Police Chief and Acting City Manager. Santa Ana currently does not have a police chief.
From her statement: “My experienced leadership, commitment to education and public safety earned me endorsements from Mayor Pulido and Police Chief Paul Walters.”
We were forwarded a copy of an email sent to Mr. Walters from former city commissioner Glen Stroud asking :
Mr. Walters, as City Manager and SAPD Commissioner, is it proper for you, a city employee, to endorse a standing city council member (your employer) for the election this November?
About a half-hour later, Walters replied:
Glen yes I checked and it is appropriate.
We’ve sent email to the city’s PIO for some clarity on what governing body Walters checked with and what rule determined “it was appropriate” for Walters to lend his name in endorsing Alvarez. And we’ll update this post with his response once received.
According to the California City Managers Association, Walters endorsement of Alavrez’s candidacy may have violated their professional standards, which are adopted from the International City Manager’s Association.
From the group’s page of “standards,” there is this passage:
Refrain from all political activities which undermine public confidence in professional administrators. Refrain from participation in the election of the members of the employing legislative body.
Nothing squishy about this — “all political” activity means “all political activity.” And Alvarez is currently a member of Walters’ “employing legislative body.”
Founded in 1914, ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. Our mission and vision is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build sustainable communities that improve people’s lives worldwide. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA’s members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.
Would anyone care to speculate on which governing body said it was OK for Walters to endorse Alvarez?