On Monday the Santa Ana City Council named Kevin O’Rourke as it’s Interim City Manager, replacing Paul Walters until a national search for a replacement is completed. O’Rourke has extensive city management experience as the former manager of the cities of Buena Park and Stanton in the 80’s and 90’s, much smaller cities than Santa Ana. In addition to his Southern California experience O’Rourke also served as city manager for more than ten years in the City of Fairfield before his retirement at the end of 2007. Since his retirement he has gained extensive experience as interim city manager of the City of Stockton in 2010 and the City of Woodland in 2011-12.
On Tuesday, Santa Ana officials released the details of the severance agreement with retired City Manager Paul Walters, who was forced out on January 22 by a 6-1 vote. Walters will remain as the City’s law enforcement liaison and paid his city manager salary of $264,999, plus medical benefits. In addition the city will purchase for Walters two years of military retirement service credit under CalPERS, the state’s public employees retirement system which should cost the city about $100,000.
There is however a non-monetary form of compensation the city is granting its former Police Chief and City Manager. The current Police Administration building will be named the Paul M. Walters Police Administrative Building. The city has also agreed to pay all of Walters attorney fees related to his separation, about $7,500.
The agreement brings to a close the leadership battle between the city council majority and Mayor Miguel Pulido over the control of city hall. There have been rumors that additional purging of the remaining management team established under Walters and his predecessor David Ream. If that happens, it will likely occur after the interim city manager Kevin O’Rourke is on deck.