Santa Ana Faces Major Budget Shortfall, Officials Say

Kaitlin Washburn for Voice of OC

Santa Ana City Hall (left).

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Santa Ana officials face a troubled financial future, with top staff projecting a $14 million shortfall for city operating costs in the upcoming fiscal year and a $19.5 million deficit the following year.

The city also has a projected $2.2 million shortfall for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The news, discussed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, reverses years of positive budget outlooks, and could spell long-term trouble if not addressed, top officials said. a

“We have a major structural deficit,” said Councilwoman Michele Martinez, who has emerged as the council’s deciding swing vote on major decisions. She blamed part of the shortfall on the city’s subsidizing of a 512-bed jail that essentially doesn’t house city arrestees.

The city expects to spend a total of $238 million next fiscal year for operating expenses, known as the general fund budget.

City staff attributed the projected shortfall to a mix of revenue reductions – mainly the $11 million a year loss from the cancelled jail contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)– as well as cost increases.

Another $2.4 million a year was lost by reducing the use of water bill revenues for general city services like police and parks, according to Acting City Manager Robert Cortez.

On the expense side, he said the city is required to pay millions of dollars more next year for employee pensions and health insurance.

None of the council’s six members who were present disputed Cortez’s conclusions about the size of the deficit or his explanation of it. The other council member, Mayor Miguel Pulido, left early in the meeting without explanation and didn’t return.

Council members discussed finding new revenue sources, including speeding up approvals for real estate development, allowing new types of marijuana businesses like cultivation and manufacturing, and developing vacant properties owned by the city. And cost savings could come from downsizing the mostly-empty city jail into a smaller holding facility, several council members said.

Most council members suggested next year’s projected shortfall would limit their ability to expand city spending – including in ongoing labor negotiations with city employees. Both of the city’s main worker groups – police and general employees – are in negotiations for new salary and benefit contracts. Their current contracts expire June 30.

Councilman Sal Tinajero, who has been highly critical of the police union’s leadership, said officers “need to be rewarded,” but “in a manner that we can sustain.” Councilman David Benavides asked questions of staff that emphasized any salary and benefit increases would further grow the deficit.

Martinez said the city “cannot continue to move in a path” that’s not sustainable for hiring police, and that the “funding is not there” to fill many of the city’s vacant positions. And Councilman Vicente Sarmiento said he’s “worried” about the shortfall and the structural financial issues would be considered in the labor negotiations.

Councilman Jose Solorio suggested the city look at generating revenue from the roughly 90 empty parcels of land it owns – either by selling the land, partnering with private companies, or offering to local public school and community college districts.

The city could “make better use of our land” to generate additional resources, Solorio said.

And several council members agreed the city needs to add staff who generate revenue to the city, such as in planning, development approval and economic development.

“We’re sort of crippling ourselves” by leaving those positions understaffed, Benavides said.

Solorio also reiterated his call for expanding the city workforce by filling 124 vacant positions, mostly in the police department. As he has in the past, he said the jobs already are paid for in the budget.

The city has “a number of budgeted, authorized” vacant positions that could be filled, he said.

But Martinez said “the reality is the funding is not there for some of those positions.”

Meanwhile, Martinez and Tinajero launched extended criticism of the costs of the city’s jail, which Martinez said has been subsidized by city taxpayers to the tune of $4 million per year. Tinajero put the subsidy figure at about $100 million over the two decades since the jail opened.

The jail was planned during a crime wave in the 1990s, and when cities were charged large “booking fees” to keep inmates at county jails. But the county no longer charges Santa Ana those fees, and the jail hasn’t been used to house local arrestees since 1999, according to city staff. City arrestees are instead held at county jails.

Martinez said the city needs to “immediately” convert the jail into a smaller holding facility known as a Type 1 jail, which holds inmates for no more than 96 hours. It’s the type of jail used by Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, and other cities in Orange County.

Martinez said converting the jail to Type 1 would save the city over $5 million next year and $11 million the following year.

To make up for the loss of ICE revenue, Martinez, Tinajero, Sarmiento and Benavides are looking at converting part of jail into a mental health facility, particularly by contracting with the county, which receives funding for public mental health programs.

But Councilman Juan Villegas, who works for the county as a sheriff’s special officer, was skeptical if that’s realistic.

The county already is working with four different mental health facilities including a crisis center, he said. “It’s a little difficult to kind of convert the jail to that type of facility” because there has to be special environment when working with that population, Villegas said.

Villegas, Solorio, and Mayor Miguel Pulido have opposed ending the ICE contract, saying it’s a critical revenue source for the city.

If city budget holes aren’t plugged through revenue growth, spending reductions – or both – they typically have to be filled by pulling from rainy-day emergency reserves, which eventually run out if continually drawn down. Santa Ana was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy in 2011 when its reserves were nearly drained after a series of large budget deficits.

Part of the new projected shortfall is the city reducing its use of revenues from residential and business water bills for general city services. That change came after Martinez repeatedly alleged the city’s use of water and trash revenues to pay for other services is unethical and illegal under California’s Proposition 218, which bans cities from using property-related fees – like water delivery, garbage service, and sewer service – to cover other city costs.

And ending this practice – which the city calls “enterprise fund transfers” – would be a further hit to the general fund in upcoming years, Martinez said. The city is transferring $15 to $20 million per year from enterprise funds to the general fund, she said.

Part of the city’s budget woes stem from a structural problem with its largest source of money – property taxes.

Largely due to its overcrowded housing, Santa Ana has among the lowest property tax revenues per resident of any city in Orange County. Multiple families often live in a single apartment, though the extra occupancy doesn’t generally lead to additional property tax revenue for city services.

Tuesday’s deficit projection marked a stark departure from the rosy projections of surpluses in recent years by former City Manager David Cavazos, who was ousted from his job by four members of the council in December. Years ago, Martinez publicly raised concerns about his projections.

As for growing pension costs, Cortez said police pensions account for $20.7 million each year from the general fund, firefighters are $7.3 million, and the rest of city employees are $5.7 million.

Martinez said – and Cortez agreed – that it’s preferred for cities to have pension costs not exceed 10 percent of their general fund spending. In Santa Ana’s case, Cortez said it’s about 15 percent, which Martinez described as “very troublesome.”

Council members also are looking at ways the city can cash in on the legalization of commercial marijuana. Starting in January, cities will be able to allow for-profit marijuana growing operations, research and development businesses, and manufacturing and distribution companies – as well as regulate and tax them – due to voters’ passage of Proposition 64 in November.

Solorio said a series of proposed changes to the city’s pot shop rules – including extended hours – could increase city revenues from the shops from $2.5 million in the current fiscal year to $5 million next fiscal year.

The City Council plans to discuss the budget further during an economic development committee meeting May 15 and a budget study session May 16.

The first hearing on the final budget is scheduled for June 6, with final adoption on June 20 before the new fiscal year starts July 1.

Nick Gerda covers county government and Santa Ana for Voice of OC. You can contact him at ngerda@voiceofoc.org.

  • justanon

    Ha, ha, ha! You are so transparent old man. Like your POTUS, hiding behind flimsy excuses and lies!

  • Yiannis51

    I tried to warn you all when you hired him that Cavazos was a fraud, a phony, an opportunist, and a con artist without a conscience.

  • Yiannis51

    We tried to tell you guys Cavazos was an opportunist and a con artist.

  • ptsstaff

    It’s unfortunate that future generations, unable to vote today, will bear the costs of many enacted pension programs, entitlements and boondoggle projects, requiring them to pay higher taxes and work later into their lives to pay for these promises. It’s the inmates running the pension Asylum that are loading up system with lucrative packages for themselves, to be paid for by taxpayers.

    The international business world is intelligent enough to know that DEFINED BENEFITS, neither capped nor precisely quantifiable in advance, financial disasters to any business, thus all businesses focus on the known, i.e., defined CONTRIBUTIONS alone.

    Stealing from the young who have no votes, but silently shoulder the costs and bear the burden of unfunded promises of these programs to enrich the old seems to describe the Governments expansion of entitlement benefits and other government services, along with the taxes young people will have to pay to support them, mostly to subsidize older Americans.

    The inmates know that debt for our future generations buys votes. Over the decades, the proven “concept’ practiced by voters is to defer as much financial responsibilities as possible from our current financial responsibilities to future generations, that have no votes on the subject. Simply stated, if we cannot afford it today, pass it off to the future generations to minimize any impact on our current lifestyles.

    Another insult to the taxpayers and future generations paying their pensions is that many of those early retirements collect their guaranteed pensions, and then take a second job.

    Virtually all elected officials are heavily financed by unions which are focused on entitlements for their current members. The unions, government, and other bureaucrats have been very successful in manipulating the system to enrich themselves. Thus, no changes can be expected in the foreseeable future for elected officials to ever abandon their source of votes.

    Even before those young folks can vote our Golden State schools are on track to force substantial budgetary cutbacks on core education spending, as public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars.

    The GASB published accounting and financial reporting standards now provides accountability and transparency for county, city, and state budgets to show how those unfunded pension liabilities and expenses will be funded in the decades ahead, i.e., either tax increases, and/or a reduction in current services to meet those funding requirements. Maybe if the uninformed citizens can “see” the full impact of the pension tsunami that’s coming, they’ll at least be financially informed and can accept the rip off, or revolt.

    • LFOldTimer

      Be careful with those fact, pts…..they’ll call you a ‘hater’. lol.

  • Ken Churchill

    “Solorio also reiterated his call for expanding the city workforce by filling 124 vacant positions, mostly in the police department. As he has in the past, he said the jobs already are paid for in the budget.” That is brilliant. Does he mean the budget that has a $14 million deficit going to $19.5 million next year?

    Santa Anna you better get ready to go bankrupt. According to your CalPERS actuarial reports posted on line (Google CalPERS actuarial reports) and a letter sent out by CalPERS saying the 2023 amount in the report would be 35% higher than reported because of the phased in lowering of the assumed rate of investment return from 7.5% to 7% your unfunded liability costs are going to climb from $26 million this year to $77 million in 2023. Do you have a source for an additional $50 million per year in 6 years?

    I think not.

    • LFOldTimer

      Excellent comment, Ken.

      And lowering the ‘assumed CalPers rate’ from 7.5% to 7% is another laughable act of futility. ZIRP and the low interest rates have destroyed their fixed rate investments – so the CalPers ROI lately has been down in the 2% range. lol. Imagine if they lowered their ‘assumed ROI’ to a realistic rate of 4%? It would explode the unfunded liability costs that would bankrupt the entire system.

      Oh, and breaking news. The interest rates AREN’T going up by any significant degree because the nation is shouldering a $20 TRILLION dollar debt and couldn’t afford to service the debt if interest rates reached historical norms of 6%-7%. It would destroy the Federal budget. Therefore, CalPers and the other pension funds are in a world of hurt. Interest rates could rise involuntarily if the bond markets begin to explode – but that would destroy the entire economy with a Venezuela type implosion.

      Thanks for sharing, Ken. You stated facts that many humans resist like the plague. Especially politicians and government workers.

  • Thomas Anthony Gordon

    Downtown Santa Ana where a nickel gets you ONE minute at the parking meter and they wonder why sales tax revenues are down and what they can do to increase it.
    This coming from the Council that tricked voters into giving them 700% raises for the job well done.
    Parts of the city are retail wastelands such as the area surrounding the abandoned for a decade food for less at 17th and Grand the surrounding areas which generate ZERO tax revenues.
    And large swaths of the city sound like Syria at times with gun fire, helicopters and sirens at all hours of the day and night picking up the bodies of the murdered children and hosing down the bloody sidewalks.

    • LFOldTimer

      If you tell the truth like that somebody is bound to call you a ‘racist’ or a ‘bigot’ on this comment board, Tom.

      Just giving you a head’s up in advance.

      I speak from experience.

  • Council members discussed finding new revenue sources…
    Really, why don’t they look at ways of REDUCING spending, particularly the gold plated PENSIONS??

    • Thomas Anthony Gordon

      Council recently tricked the voters into giving them 700% raises.

      • LFOldTimer

        After which the council declares that they’re in a debt spiral headed for bankruptcy!!! lol.

        Talk about a group of bottom-feeding scoundrels!

      • justanon

        While technically true, the raises that the City Council received are hardly the cause of this problem.

        The Santa Ana City Council had not received a raise since 1954. So now our City Council members receive a $1,000 dollar stipend per month. Compared to some other cities around the state, that’s a very low amount.

        Unfortunately, we don’t seem to be able to elect competent Council members, but Santa Ana is not unique in this regard. Maybe if they were full time, paid jobs we’d attract better candidates. Santa Ana is a fairly large city and perhaps we shouldn’t be relying on amateurs. Although, there’s no guarantee that by paying more that we’d get any better results.

        • LFOldTimer

          Santa Ana is the worst of all bad city governments in OC. As I’ve previously noted their decisions on the dais have buried their city in inescapable debt and now back on the road to bankruptcy. Totally irresponsible leadership. You can tie the financial problems in SA directly back to the council. Tax revenues have never been higher while SA is sinking in financial quick sand. Snap out of your denial.

          There are part time state legislators like those in Texas, a huge state. They seem to be doing fine, while 7 council members can’t handle a population of 300,000?

          HAH. Cut us some slack, justanon. We’re not 3rd graders here. lol.

          • justanon

            Did you even bother to effing READ my comment BEFORE you pontificated?????

            NOWHERE in my comment did I deny the City Council’s “responsibility” for SA’s financial problems, but rather pointed out the small raises that they voted for themselves aren’t a significant contributor.

            I think YOU are the “third grader” when it comes to reading comprehension, lol!!!!

            Also, I wouldn’t be holding up Texass as a state anybody would really want to live in, polluted, backwards and ugly, but … probably perfect for you.

          • LFOldTimer

            Let me be more specific and do some hand-holding so you can comprehend my previous response…..

            “Unfortunately, we don’t seem to be able to elect competent Council members, but Santa Ana is not unique in this regard.”

            SA is unique in regard to their council votes and policies made on the dais that place their city at risk for bankruptcy and then to blame outside forces for all the problems they find themselves in. And it’s NOT about the money, honey. Most city councils in OC are paid small stipends and do a wonderful job at managing their respective city finances. So please don’t play the “we need big salaries and cadillac pensions to find competent council members” card with me. I know better. lol.

            Texas is one of the most fiscally responsible and sound budget-stable states in the entire union with tens of millions of residents. And I REPEAT….Texas has a PART-TIME legislature. To claim that SA needs 7 full-time council people to manage a city of 300,000 is about as wacky as it gets.

            Your argument are full of holes and don’t hold water.

          • justanon

            What complete hooey!!!

            Many cities in California are at risk because of decisions that their City officials made, so yeah, I am correct, Santa Ana is “not unique in this regard” and you are a complete moron!!!

            Read it and weep, racist old man:
            http://californiapolicycenter.org/californias-most-financially-stressed-cities-and-counties/

            Oh, and PLEASE feel free to move to Texass! May I suggest a home right next to a fertilizer plant : )

          • LFOldTimer

            Out of 34 OC cities name another council that puts it’s city at risk for bankruptcy due to inanely stupid decisions.

            You can’t.

            Naturally in the entire universe of cities in California you would find another really stupid council. I’m referring to OC. You know that and danced around it. lol.

            You come up with these airhead opinions and when I point them out you get mad. lol.

          • justanon

            So YOU were referring to Orange County, but I wasn’t and NEVER implied that I was.
            You are wrong and you are too much of a whiny little b*tch to admit it, lol!

            Another fail for the trump chumps.

          • LFOldTimer

            I suppose you could compare SA government to the government in Mozambique too and claim that the SA council is doing a great job. lol.

            Reasonable observers compare apples to apples. Not apples to oranges. We have 34 cities right here in OC. The logical thing to do would be to compare SA to other like-cities in the same county that fall under the same oversight.

            But I realize that asking you to be logical is like asking my dog to meow.

          • justanon

            Saying that “Santa Ana is not unique in that regard” is a far cry from comparing it to “Mozambique “, but one GIANT HYPOCRITE on this blog compared Santa Ana government to Texass, lol!

            You LIE and TWIST THE FACTS in order to defend your own stupidity, shame on you.

            Man up and ADMIT YOUR MISTAKE! I made a perfectly truthful observation, you in your hurry to discredit me, made a completely erroneous criticism.

            I WAS RIGHT, YOU WERE WRONG, and you are to much of a WEASELLY, LITTLE LIAR to admit it. Ha, ha, ha!!!

          • LFOldTimer

            Lies? About what, goofy?

            You can’t even name one other OC city (there are 33 of them) that compares with the bozo decisions by the SA council that has turned their city into a fiscal nightmare. Yet you tell us SA is not unique in this sort of thing. ha.

            Of course SA is unique. How can a city go from the black into the red in such a short period of time after hiring a so-called guru at a compensation of $500,000 or more specifically to clean up the city’s finances??? hah. So they fired a HUGE MISTAKE that they hired 3 years ago to fix the problem!!!. And Cavazos probably didn’t want to hang around anyway because he could see it coming and didn’t want to be embarrassed. So they agreed to pay him $300,000 to walk away!!! WHAT A FARKING SCAM!!! What other city pulls that stunt??? They operate like a 3rd world government and it flies right over your head. lol.

            “While technically true, the raises that the City Council received are hardly the cause of this problem.”

            And then you seemingly justify their fat pay raises!!! LOL.

            How can it not be one cause of the problem when they give themselves big pay raises while blowing up the city’s finances!!! LOL.

            Keep the comedy coming, clown!!!

          • justanon

            If your plan is to build a mountain of caca so you can hide behind it, sorry not going to work.

            Why would I have to compare SA to another OC city? That’s your ‘red herring’. I never said anything about OC, but in fact, included all of CA in the paragraph preceding:

            “So now our City Council members receive a $1,000 dollar stipend per month. Compared to some other cities around the state, that’s a very low amount.”

            Furthermore, if you think that $1,000 dollars a month equals “fat pay raises” you’re living in the 50’s. Showing your age, old man,lol!!!

            You’re the most despicable worm, you have no character, no judgement and no ability to learn. You continually mischaracterize my comment in order to justify your stupidity.

            I can not continually point out your completely illogical arguments as it WASTES MY TIME.

            In fact, YOU are a waste of time and space.

          • LFOldTimer

            “Why would I have to compare SA to another OC city?”

            Duh? Because it’s the LOGICAL approach to take. The most accurate comparisons of a city government are other ADJOINING city governments that fall under the SAME umbrella of oversight and regulation. Duh? Is that a brain twister for you?

            “Furthermore, if you think that $1,000 dollars a month equals “fat pay raises” you’re living in the 50’s”

            Naturally you CONVENIENTLY omitted their $6000 car allowance, their city paid $18,705.60 medical insurance premiums and $1320 dental premiums. And, of course, their option to join the PERS retirement plan.

            You seem to have a habit of leaving a few choice numbers out of the equation. You don’t fool me.

            And show me where 7 City Council members are FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES for ANY CITY with a population of 300,000, that you suggested would be a solution to the problem. lol. SHOW ME!!!! hah. You can’t!!! No city is that stupid!!!

            “You’re the most despicable worm, you have no character, no judgement and
            no ability to learn. You continually mischaracterize my comment in
            order to justify your stupidity.”

            10 ton pot calling the kettle black! 🙂

            “If your plan is to build a mountain of caca so you can hide behind it, sorry not going to work.”

            My mountain of caca? lol. Everest would be a piece of cake to climb as compared to your mountain of caca.

            Keep the comedy coming, clown.

          • justanon

            *READING COMPREHENSION IS YOUR FRIEND*

            Sigh … correcting and informing a warped, frustrated, ignorant and bigoted old man when he’s made a fool of himself is tiring. You’d rather twist the facts and lie about what I’ve written ad-nauseum than admit you are wrong. So here’s my final take-down dumb-a**.

            1) “Unfortunately, we don’t seem to be able to elect competent Council members, but Santa Ana is not unique in this regard.”

            This is a completely true and accurate statement. Don’t blame me for your faulty interpretation. Trying to move the goal posts after you’ve stepped in it, is just a classless dodge, but it is in keeping with your lack of character.

            2) “Because it’s the LOGICAL approach to take. The most accurate comparisons of a city government are other ADJOINING city governments that fall under the SAME umbrella of oversight and regulation.”

            California cities of similar size all (unless they passed an ordinance) have the SAME CA STATE oversight and regulations. So, cities in other counties ARE an apples-to-apples comparison. Again, I am right and you are wrong.

            http://www.cacities.org/getattachment/e884ca87-1a70-4e6e-bf21-5e64a0368633/9-2011-Annual-Brian-Libow-City-Council-Salary-

            3) “Furthermore, if you think that $1,000 dollars a month equals “fat pay raises” you’re living in the 50’s”

            “Naturally you CONVENIENTLY omitted their $6000 car allowance, their city paid $18,705.60 medical insurance premiums and $1320 dental premiums. And, of course, their option to join the PERS retirement plan.”

            The “pay raises” WERE the $1,000 dollar stipends and did NOT INCLUDE car allowances, medical etc. Again, I am right and you are wrong, but continue moving those goal posts, lol!.

            THE FACTS:
            “Current government code caps salaries for council members in general law cities with a population greater than 250,000 at $1,000 a month. Those cities can increase their salary beyond that limit by passing an ordinance.

            Santa Ana, which has its own charter, currently limits salaries at $125 per meeting for council members and $200 per meeting for the mayor. If this ballot measure is approved by voters in November, the city would adopt the salary restrictions of a general law city — increasing their monthly stipend to $1,000 a month — but require future salary increases be approved by voters.

            That amounts to an 700 percent salary increase for council members and 400 percent increase for the mayor.

            The measure would not change the other benefits received by the city council, which make up the bulk of their compensation costs. Those benefits include include a $500 monthly car allowance, $50 meeting stipend for members of the Housing Authority, and between $7,908.84 and $20,226.84 in other medical and dental benefits.”

            7http://voiceofoc.org/2016/07/santa-ana-council-to-ask-voters-for-an-800-percent-raise/

            4) “And show me where 7 City Council members are FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES for ANY CITY with a population of 300,000, that you suggested would be a solution to the problem. ”

            Back to BASIC READING COMPREHENSION.
            I said:
            “Maybe if they were full time, paid jobs we’d attract better candidates. ” note that MAYBE.
            I didn’t say there were other cities of a similar size doing it, I was merely putting it out there as an idea. You do know what an idea is don’t you? I was not asserting it as a fact as you have erroneously attacked me for. I do think it needs to be considered, it seems like all the CA cities that have gotten into financial trouble all have the part-time, clueless city councils. As city government becomes more complicated and financially perilous we might want people who actually know what they are doing. So, once again … I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG, LOL!!!!

          • LFOldTimer

            …..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          • justanon

            “…zzzz” must be old man speak for “I JUST GOT MY A** KICKED”! LOL!!!!

          • verifiedsane

            As Diaper Boy goes whaa whaa whaa once again

  • Bob Stevens

    “Most council members suggested next year’s projected shortfall would limit their ability to expand city spending”….. So these mensas know they won’t have the revenue next year and they still can’t stop spending more money. You reap what you sow Stupid Ana.

    • Spending with no accountability is easy, as long as it is with other peoples money.

  • astar2b

    Why didn’t anyone mention the word layoff?

    • LFOldTimer

      This is government. They’ll raise your taxes before they lay anybody off. Cradle to grave care for the government workers. And I use the word “workers” very lightly. 🙂

      • SAWZ

        My former municipal employer has laid off many employees since my retirement ten years ago. And new ones are not getting on CalPERS either. You should not generalize–there are over 400 municipal agencies in CA not including the state, counties, and other special districts. You are no more an expert than an expert.

        • LFOldTimer

          Everybody knows that government workers generally have bullet proof job security. This is no secret, as I have known many government workers – some who were totally incompetent and had a personnel files as thick as a phone book with negative actions and still kept their jobs. So don’t BS me, bro. You must think we’re all 10 years here on the comment board with no life experience.

          To believe what you claim “My former municipal employer has laid off many employees since my retirement ten years ago” you would have to provide the name of the agency you worked for and what positions were laid off (full-time, temps, part-time, etc…) Otherwise it’s just another on-line warrior anecdote on internet which isn’t worth a plug nickle.

        • Ken Churchill

          New employees not getting on CalPERS? Where is that? The only place I can think of is San Diego.

          • LFOldTimer

            Internet warriors can pretty much make any claim they want to, Ken. It doesn’t have to be accurate. All government workers (even new ones) that I know all are on track to receive a DEFINED pension. So I think SAWZ has his wires crosses.

            As far as bogus internet claims, several commenters at this site have repeatedly called me a “racist” and a “bigot” simply because I want our sovereign borders, rule of law, American jobs, legal immigrants and the integrity of our social system protected.

            Years ago we were called decent, loyal and God-fearing Salt-of-the-Earth Americans who love our country.

            Today they call us vile names.

            Change is not always for the better, Ken.

  • David Zenger

    http://voiceofoc.org/2015/09/what-to-do-with-santa-anas-sudden-surplus/

    David Zenger • 2 years ago
    Oh brother. Like drunken sailors on the town. A skate park?

    Here’s a thought, SA: put it in your reserve fund.

    • LFOldTimer

      I know. Hilarious.Now collectively all of them have fallen from grace, once again.

      How many are there on the SA Council? 7?

      I don’t think one of the could pick a winner in a one-horse race.

      • David Zenger

        Generally 6. Pulido disappears part way through the meeting and never shows up again.

        • LFOldTimer

          Maybe he’s actively recruiting another city manager in-between agenda items. He knows talent when he sees it. Wasn’t he all-in on Cavazos? ha. As much as you complain, you folks in Anaheim have 5 jewels that sit on your council compared to what SA’s got going on. Consider yourself blessed. Obviously, it could be MUCH worse! 😉

          • Cynthia Ward

            Anaheim now has room for 7 sparkly spots in the municipal tiara. A 4-vote block with the Mayor, plus one who is often reasonable, but expected to side with the corporatists when needed, leaving two tarnished lumps of coal in the prongs where jewels of the community should be resting. So yes, I would say in comparison to Santa Ana, Anaheim is VERY blessed.

          • LFOldTimer

            In comparison to Santa Ana, Anaheim was blessed even prior to the last election. And that’s indisputable.

  • LFOldTimer

    hah. We didn’t see this coming, did we??? hah.

    They just fired a City Manager who they paid like a stinking rock star – and then gave him a severance of over $300,000 to take a walk. heh.

    Then they discontinued an ICE contract that brought in millions annually to help pay the debt on a jail with an outstanding loan of over $20 million. hah.

    They they declared their city a “sanctuary city” that will draw thousands of more indigent illegal foreigners who will rely on city resources to survive. Subsequently, crime will increase resulting in greater expenditures for the police. And as living conditions become more crowded and affordable housing goes by the wayside the rents will skyrocket and people won’t be able to afford housing without government assistance or perpetrating crimes.

    I told you so……

    Sorry. These buffoons couldn’t manage a kool-aid stand. My heart goes out to all the Santa Ana citizens who are being sold down the river.

    Now they’re back to where they were several years ago…..on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Some good that Cavazos did huh? That $500,000 compensation or so each year was really worth it, wasn’t it??? hah.

    Unreal.

    • David Resendez

      The OC’s very own Richard Spencer and alt-right provocateur is a broken record. We get it, you hate Mexicans & Mexican-Americans.

      Interesting re Solorio. A guy that represents marijuana dispensaries, is pushing for more opportunities for his clients. The Latino Trump, indeed.

      • LFOldTimer

        Oh, hi David. I see you’ve returned with more inaccurate vitriol and palaver.
        Welcome back.

        If a city in OC consisted of pasty white albinos and they ran their city like the SA council runs theirs – I’d be all over them like a cheap wet suit.

        But dolts like you love to play the race card regardless of the inaccuracy for the dramatic appeal. After a while it gets old and loses it’s punch and only makes you look desperate and silly.

        But have it your way.

        The SA voters loved Solario just like the American voters loved Trump. But no way would I compare Solario with Trump. That would be like comparing a mangy little mixed breed terrier with a world class Rhodesian Ridgeback.

        But again, have it your way.

        • David Resendez

          The race card: the most overused canard from racists. Stand behind your racism, coward.

          • LFOldTimer

            Not a racist bone in my body. You only play that card because that’s all you got. You can’t counter punch or refute my actual opinions – so you attempt to hit below the belt. But I block you each and every time. hah.

            Now go run along. Maybe justanon is lonely and needs a friend. lol.

          • MadMex

            I do have a sense of humor I’m reading your discussion.

          • LFOldTimer

            Yeah, I can tell you have a sense of humor.

            ……of a rattlesnake.

          • MadMex

            Thank you I’ll leave you alone, have fun.

          • verifiedsane

            “The race card: the most overused canard from racists” and yet the leftist hypocrites & provocateurs like David play this card continually…I gather that makes David the actual coward here…what is just to damned funny for words after all…. 🙂

        • MadMex

          I like it when you compare us to many. little mixed breed terriers. Keep on being classy bigot.

          • LFOldTimer

            The ‘mixed-breed’ part was only a comparison to a pure-bred dog which most of us know are superior in the rank and file of the dog species.

            Hel*, I’m “mixed breed” for God’s sake! hah.

            So is Trump!!! hah.

            If I’m not mistaken, Solario is pure-bred.

            Go fly a kite. You’ve got no sense of humor. Go buy a joke book and try to develop one. Or go buy a sense of humor at the discount store!!! Maybe they have one on special for $0.99. hah.