Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.
Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.
[Supervisor Janet] Nguyen can say anything she wants to justify what she did, however, the end results are what matters.
It is clear CalOptima is a mess. It is clear many high-level staff left or were pushed out. It is clear clients have been harmed via poor service. It is clear her benefactors have rewarded her with lots of campaign money.
What is not clear is why she continues to get away with this kind of heavy-handed oversight in the name of taxpayers. The only person Nguyen cares about is Nguyen.
Bad Janet — bad, bad. Now here is your punishment for the total destruction of CalOptima from your peers on the Board of Supervisors — nothing.
Nice to know [Supervisor Todd] Spitzer is so uninterested in health care for the disadvantaged. Gosh, hate to ask him to step up and assume badly needed leadership almost against his expressed desires. “It’s not my gig,” [Spitzer said.] Wow, just wow.
Gig? The healthcare of the most vulnerable is not his “gig”? What a loser comment. Just disgusting.
When a governmental unit such as Board of Supervisors, a city council etc. has only one party represented, that group is wide open to graft and corruption.
Nguyen collected $15,000 from health care prior to her appointment to CalOptima and $95,000 after? [Dan] Brothman [CEO of Western Medical Center in Santa Ana] hosted an RSVP party for Nguyen, and two days later in closed session CalOptima pays Brothman $750,000.
The grand jury will be sitting back saying, “We told you so.”
The Voice reminds us that the 2012-2013 grand jury issued a report that expressed concerns about CalOptima in several areas. One recommendation to the Supervisors was that it should expand from one supervisor to at least three for the CalOptima board. It also cited a potential conflict of interest when a county executive chaired its board when that executive in essence reported to Board of Supervisors.
The Board of Supervisors rejected the report outright and publicly criticized the grand jury.
Well, the Board of Supervisors should now take full responsibility for the current status of CalOptima. Their judgement speaks for itself.
Really? [county CEO Mike] Giancola and [county spokeswoman] Jean Pasco want us to believe [county Chief Operations Officer Mark] Denny’s move had nothing to do with people raising questions? Um, that sounds like a lie to me.
Why not just admit that responding to concerns of the voters and ensuring their confidence in democracy is more important than any one person’s job?
Bur it’s not that either. They moved him because they had no choice. Unbelievable what the County gets away with saying.
If there was pressure that was invalid, why did Giancola fold like a cheap suit? Why did he not stand proud and tall and defend his COO pick? Maybe because he could not defend it?
He had no choice, because his choice was a poor choice. Who cares what the Orange County Employees Association’s motives were? The facts don’t lie. A conviction is a conviction.
What a joke this all is. Is there not one real leader on the Board of Supervisors or executive team at the Hall of Administration?
No one believes this move is unrelated to OCEA’s complaint. A bigger problem is Giancola’s miserable record of leadership at Waste Management and his inability to figure out even simple things like don’t put a voter fraud person in charge of the registrar of voters.
One way or the other, someone gave [Santa Ana Mayor Miguel] Pulido a gift of roughly $200,000. Either the NAPA Auto Parts guys gave him a lot with a house on it in exchange for a lot with no house on it (a difference of about $200,000 in value) or the buyer in Westminster gave Pulido nearly $400,000 for a house worth only $200,000.
Not quite sure which end gave him the gift, but it is in there somewhere; pick a side.
Does Pulido want us to believe he traded property without an appraisal on either end to determine comparative value? That makes him a horrid steward of resources and unfit for public office. If he knew the difference in value and failed to report it, that is illegal and again makes him unfit for public office. We can let him choose which scenario preserves his dignity to his liking, but the outcome is always the same.
Time for Pulido to be ousted from office. I wonder if the Internal Revenue Service knows about this $200,000 in additional income?
— Cynthia Ward
It’s just really sad that not one person of interest, resident or civic leader from the city of Santa Ana filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission. It’s so bad, the agency initiated it’s own investigation? (How often does that happen?)
Wake up, people! They get away with acts like this because they know no one cares, which is even sadder.
It’s blatantly illegal for a landlord to raise the rent or evict a tenant because a tenant demands repairs or calls Code Enforcement (California Civil Code 1942.5). That said, it doesn’t mean some landlords don’t try.
Code enforcement should be working with community and tenant advocacy groups to ensure this effort doesn’t result in displacement. Done the right way, this could be a significant human rights advancement for Anaheim. We shouldn’t accept slum housing as the only affordable housing; tenants and their families deserve better.
This is entirely my own opinion, but FYI, I work at the statewide tenants’ rights organization Tenants Together, and we’re currently working with the city of Fresno on similar efforts.
Personally, I’m happy to see city officials recognize the issue, because I was born and raised in West Anaheim.
What they appear to be doing is prioritizing the code enforcement efforts against apartments where the landlord can’t or won’t certify that there is no excessive occupancy.
However, if apartments in this price level generally have code enforcement problems — even if they are bearable ones — most inspections will lead to citations and then either to temporary evictions or to the landlord taking the unit off the market.
Do that enough and it may make sense to knock down the building. Do it in an entire neighborhood and you have the opportunity for gentrification.
Saying that you’ll inspect properties that are overoccupied earlier or more than others is enforcing based on occupancy in much the same way that stopping mostly cars driven by Latinos for an inspection of whether they have any violations of the Vehicle Code — discrimination based on race.
If occupancy levels even motivate the likelihood of inspection and enforcement, it’s a de facto way of going after units with greater occupancy, despite the fig leaf.
I respectfully disagree with Mayor Tait about whether the $16 per unit fee would have been a business killer or unfair to those with well-run units. What they gain from such a fee is more code inspectors, who provide the deterrence and ideally elimination of unfair business competition by less scrupulous landlords.
If the slumlords are driven out of the business, they may be replaced by more scrupulous owners. If rental prices go up $1.33 a month as the price of eliminating apartments that are not up to building safety codes, that’s a pretty small price for even the poor to pay for substantially better housing.
— Gred Diamond