Santa Ana Council member Sal Tinajero is the city’s new Mayor Pro Tem by a unanimous vote of the City Council at last night’s meeting. This is the result of a deal hammered out last summer after both Tinajero and Council member David Benavides pulled papers to run for Mayor and Tinajero withdrew to join the Santa Ana Spring.
According to the Voice of OC story on the event, it appears Mayor Miguel Pulido is making overtures to the new Council majority in order to be able to work them, but the only real vote the Mayor can count on is his own.
From the story:
During he election, voters approved a term limit for the mayor’s seat. Councilman Vincent Sarmiento described the election as a clear sign that the voters want decentralization of power on the council.
“The message was loud and clear,” Sarmiento said. “They want this to be a body that’s not unilateral.”
Pulido said that he had a conversation about “many things” with Sarmiento and was looking forward to working with the new council. Pulido also thanked Benavides for congratulating him on his reelection.
“We all have the interests of this city at heart,” Pulido said.
New council member Angelica Amezcua told the Orange County Register that she wasn’t going to be taking sides with the Mayor or the City Council majority but would instead align herself with issues she feels strongly about.
So it appears while Pulido was re-elected, there are several new sheriffs in town. This new council will test Pulido’s ability to form coalitions in order to continue running Santa Ana in the manner he’s been accustomed to.
Tinajero said he’d give up the Mayor Pro Tem title in two years when he’s up for re-election in Ward 6, but he’s already the subject of rumors of a possible run for State Assembly against Tom Daly in AD-69. For Tinajero to be successful in beating a Democratic incumbent, he’d need a massive infusion of funds from labor organizations as his own fundraising efforts for previous city council runs was tepid at best.
The council honored outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, but not former Ward 3 council member Carlos Bustamante who will be headed to trial next year for a variety of sex abuse charges.