Santa Ana Housing & Redevelopment Commission update

The Santa Ana Housing & Redevelopment Commission met yesterday afternoon, and there are few newsworthy items to report. We chose a new Chairman and Vice Chairman, for starters. Nelida Yanez was nominated and elected unanimously as our new Chair, and Mario Turner is now our new Vice Chair. Congratulations to both of them!

We also decided, in a work study session, to vote at our next meeting on a change to our bylaws that will move our meetings from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. We may, from time to time, hold a work study session before the regular meeting. That will be reflected in the agenda for that meeting.

I am excited about the time change as it will allow the public to attend our meetings without affecting their working hours, for the most part. It has been a goal of mine for years to open our city government in Santa Ana and make it more inclusive of our constituents.

During the bylaw discussion I also brought up the issue of where we distribute our agendas. According to our bylaws, which were introduced in 1981, we send the agendas to media outlets that ask for them. I asked city staff to give us a copy of the agenda distribution list. We got that list today, and while we do send the agendas to the O.C. Register, the Times O.C., Miniondas and La Opinion, we do not send them to the many other Latino and Vietnamese newspapers in our area.

I have asked city staff to look into expanding our distribution list to include those newspapers. I also asked them to consider emailing the agendas as PDF files instead of faxing or mailing them. That way the city can send out more agendas without spending more money, and emailing them is much faster than mailing or faxing them.

I also requested that city staff look into emailing the agendas to the city’s neighborhood leader email list. I also asked that the agendas be translated into Spanish and Vietnamese, when they are distributed to media outlets that use those languages.

My suggestions are supported by the other commissioners, including Yanez. The goal again is to encourage more resident interaction with our commission and with the City of Santa Ana.

Yanez and I will also serve on an ad hoc committee that will further examine our bylaws and suggest additional changes to the overall commission.

Lastly, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido has appointed Jennifer Villasenor to our commission. She was not at this meeting but will likely be sworn in before our next meeting. I am sure that her experience as a Huntington Beach city planner will add a positive element to our commission. Congratulations to Ms. Villasenor on her appointment.

Our commission now has no vacancies. We are all looking forward to serving our fellow Santa Ana residents. If you would like to read our agendas before our meetings, go to the city website, and search for the city clerk page. I will try, time permitting, to post highlights from our next agenda, prior to our next meeting.

In the next few weeks we will be taking an online ethics course and we will also be instructed in the fine points of the Brown Act. I am told that we will also be offered additional training in redevelopment throughout the year. That can’t hurt!


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.