If no one else wants to take on Bustamante, then I will

I had a conversation today with my co-blogger, Sean Mill. We agreed that the most important political task we face in Santa Ana is to oust Carlos Bustamante from the City Council. To that end, I hope that Santa Ana School Board Member John Palacio will run. But just this week he reiterated that he is not interested. And no one else is stepping up.

Incidentally, I attended a meeting of the Park Santiago Neighborhood Association this week. This is the association that represents my neighborhood. The developers who are building the City Place development (on Main St., across the street from the Main Place Mall) showed up and said that Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido asked them to build a 35 story luxury condo tower because we “need it.”

Really? We “need it?” Not many in my neighborhood agree with that notion. Traffic on Main St. is already horrible, particularly during rush hour. Imagine how many more cars will be added to the mix when the 35 story tower goes up?

Why did Pulido force this on my neighborhood? The luxury condos won’t serve most of the people of my city. They are not designed for families. They are designed, by the admission of the developer’s representative, for DINC’s (double income, no children).

What does our City Councilman think of this? Well, Bustamante represents my neighborhood. But he never shows up to our meetings. And he told us at the last Council meeting that he is “in charge of development.” To be honest, he appears to be in charge of taking big fat checks from developers, including those associated with the City Place.

What we need is not a councilman who will sell out on a daily basis to any developer who cuts him a check, but rather a councilman who will represent the people of Ward 3, and the people of Santa Ana.

Bustamante has been a complete joke ever since he was elected. He has never stood for the people. He ignores the fact that our city has only one library. He does not advocate for more park space – instead he pimps for developers who want to turn our city into Los Angeles…a town full of towers, traffic and graffiti.

By the way, isn’t it ironic that in Bustamante’s Supervisorial race he took loads of money from asphalt companies? Even though the City Council has done little to fix our roads in Pulido’s reign, which includes Bustamante’s brief time on the Council.

And where was Bustamante when Pulido voted NO on installing Quiet Zone railroad crossings in our area, after he told us he would vote yes? A new rail line was just installed this past year on Lincoln. So we now will have TWICE the rail traffic. The OCTA offered to pay 85% of the cost of installing Quiet Zone crossings, which will silence the train horns and PREVENT cars from entering the rail crossing area when a train is passing through. And Pulido STILL voted against it, in his capacity as an OCTA board member.

We can do better. But if no one wants to take on Bustamante, then I will. How I would relish taking him on in the public debates…if he were to even show up. I know I would trounce him with little effort. Because my goal is to serve the public. His is to fatten his wallet. And the truth always wins out over empty spin.

I hope Palacio runs. But if he doesn’t then this blogger will step up to the plate. I may not win, but I will give him the fight of his life!

If Bustamante thinks I am a pain as a City Commissioner, I can assure him that I will be an even bigger pain as a City Council candidate. And if I somehow prevail, Pulido and his cabal just might put a price on my head.

My priorities as a council candidate would include:

  • Priority number one: FIRE CITY MANAGER DAVE REAM! He has brought nothing but ruin to Santa Ana.
  • Sign up with the Orange County Library system, in order to increase our total number of branches from one to as many as four to six.
  • Build more parks! One idea – buy the land that the One Broadway Plaza was supposed to sit on (by now I think we all know it won’t ever be built) and build a Central Park. And we need to build more soccer fields!
  • Fix our roads! NO MORE EXCUSES. And we need to fire Public Works manager Jim Ross. He has UTTERLY FAILED to do his job.
  • Conduct a cost/benefit analysis to see if going with the County for Fire and Police services would save us money, that could be spent on our crumbling infrastructure. I have been told by those in the know that we could save as much as 25-35% by using the County services. Why not take advantage of the fact that we are the County Seat?
  • Outsource more city services in order to save as much as 75%! Again, the goal is to free up money to spend on fixing the many problems that Pulido and company have ignored for over twenty years.
  • STOP GRAFFITI! We need to get creative here and offer youths other alternatives. But we also need to get serious. Taggers need to be arrested. Their parents need to pay for their misdeeds. Graffiti is an affront to all of us. It should not be tolerated.
  • Reign in developers! NO MORE LUXURY TOWERS. We don’t need them. Our traffic is a mess and it is getting worse. We need to focus on improving existing affordable housing. And we need to help homeowners who have been preyed upon by the predatory lenders who fund most of our council members. We also need to protect our city’s historic resources, even as developers who fund Bustamante and Pulido cut historic homes in half and leave them to the mercy of the weather.
  • More youth programs! Especially in the summer. Kids need alternatives to hanging out with gangs.
  • MORE GANG INJUNCTIONS!!!!! Gangs are terrorists and they must be stopped at all costs. I believe we have under-invested in our social infrastructure, and I will address that by building more libraries and parks, and by increasing summer youth programs, but enough is enough. We have ignored the gang problem for far too long. WE MUST DECLARE WAR ON ALL GANGS! They have already declared war on our youth.

If you want business as usual, then by all means Bustamante is your guy. If you want real change then it is time to look elsewhere for new ideas and real leadership – in service to the people, not the special interests! I promise that I will NEVER accept a campaign check from ANY developer who does business in our city. Period. It is a conflict of interest!

By the way, I
hope Palacio does run. I would much rather focus my energies on this blog. But if he doesn’t, and no other viable candidate steps up, then I will.

About Admin

"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.