All work and construction on a new homeless shelter has stalled in Santa Ana, as city and county officials continue to point fingers over an apparent lack of public input on the effort to relocate homeless people from the Courtyard shelter in downtown to the new location on Yale Street.
The suit alleges union president Gerry Serrano held a grudge stemming from then-Police Chief Carlos Rojas’ discipline of Serrano for a 2011 hit-and-run DUI arrest, and later worked to oust Rojas as part of an “illegal scheme.” Serrano and the city deny the claims.
Santa Ana city officials, fearing a downturn in local commerce amid a recent voter-approved 1.5 percent sales tax increase, are trying to encourage residents to shop locally, and they’re helping car dealerships first, through a $1.7 million subsidy.
Santa Ana officials are looking for money in other parts of the Police Department budget to fund $4.3 million for police pay increases this fiscal year, as City Council members continue to be deadlocked over whether to fund the raises.
Santa Ana City Council members granted raises to police officers and sergeants totaling $25 million over the next two and a half years, without the ability to actually pay the $4.3 million cost for this fiscal year.
Reyna was facing the likelihood of sworn testimony, in public, by other city officials and one of his family members regarding allegations he falsified residency documents. His resignation sets the stage for a potential shift in power at City Hall.
Santa Ana City Council members will vote Tuesday on the largest pay raises for the city’s police officers in more than a decade, totaling $25 million in taxpayer money over the next two and a half years and adding $12 million per year going forward in additional costs. The raises amount to a 13.6 percent to 19.3 percent increase in base pay for each officer and sergeant between now and July 2020, according to the city. Officers and sergeants with 15 to 19 years in law enforcement would receive raises totaling 16.5 percent, and those with 20 or more years would receive 19.3 percent in increases. Before the last set of raises in 2017, the median compensation for a Santa Ana officer totaled about $213,000 per year, including $111,000 in pay before overtime and $88,000 in benefits, according to city data published by Transparent California. The city staff report doesn’t offer an explanation for the raises, beyond saying they resulted from negotiations between the police officers’ union and City Council.