After two hours of discussion in a closed session meeting the Santa Ana City Council took no reportable action related to the performance reviews of City Manager Paul Walters and City Attorney Sonia Carvalho. Apparently, two hours wasn’t enough time, and additional discussions are scheduled for early next year.
We were unable to attend the 1:15 pm meeting where community members spoke both in favor and in opposition to the performance of both the city manager and city attorney. It seems that the discussions focused primarily on City manager Paul Walters, seen by the current/new council majority as too deferential to Mayor Miguel Pulido.
In an interview with the Voice of OC’s Adam Elmahrek, Mayor Pro Tem Sal Tinajero cryptically discussed what’s going on. Tinajero said he spearheaded Thursday’s meeting so that council members could have a frank conversation with Walters, to avoid “rash decisions” and to have the council work through its issues with Walters before labor negotiations begin next month.
More revealing however was Elmahrek’s interview with Paul Walter’s wife Mary.
Mary Walters called the situation a “witch hunt” against her husband, whom she said has been emotionally hurt by council members “not being grateful.”
She was also sharply critical of the council majority, saying that, with the majority in control, she fears for relatives who live in the city. “I don’t think they know what they’re doing,” she said of the council majority.
Mary Walters, like other City Hall sources, confirmed that the council majority views the city manager as too close to longtime Mayor Miguel Pulido, a perception Mary Walters says is false.
She described her husband as a fair and compassionate man who, when faced with possible layoffs, took single mothers off the list of city employees to receive pink slips.
“They’re all ganging up on Miguel,” Mary Walters said. “There isn’t one thing that they’ve asked for that he [Paul Walters] hasn’t done.”
Read the rest of Elmahrek’s story here.
This saga is still evolving but should wrap up early in January.