Is our report card on Santa Ana City Mgr. David Ream a fair analysis?

In former city manager Len Wood’s book entitled “Local Government Dollars and Sense” are “225 financial tips for guarding the public checkbook.”Note: For approximately 15 years Len Wood served as the city manager in the cities of Claremont and Rancho Palos Verdes.

What caught my attention was “tip #73, Identify Your Core services” in which Len uses the city of Santa Ana’s plan to cope with “an impending financial crisis.” He stated that city manager David Ream’s corrective action resulting in a major cut in the city managers office. David credits a reduction from 34 to 7 positions to focus on core services namely “police, fire and maintenance of the infrastructure.”

While Len’s book cites Mr. Ream’s cuts in Santa Ana’s cable TV production and affirmative action, we need to question “infrastructure” where neglected road maintenance is now costing Santa Ana taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

1) As this hard cover book was published in 1998/2002 what is the current staffing level in David Ream’s department today?

2) If “vital” programs were cut, and not re-instituted, were they necessary to begin with?

3) Since 2002 would you say that the city’s infrastructure was maintained by David Ream’s staff?

If you can obtain a copy of the book be sure to check our tip #97 which reads “don’t frolic and fratenize with consultants” or tip #99 whose headline reads “separate contributions from decisions”

About Larry Gilbert