A New Vision for Santa Ana

I have been challenged in recent comments by our readers to present a new vision for Santa Ana. The fact is, I, and my colleagues here at the Orange Juice, have indeed presented a lot of new ideas for our city, over the past few years. But in the interest of settling the issue, here is my vision for a new Santa Ana.

  1. We must stop ignoring the City’s problems, while rushing to “fix them” by building luxury condo towers the people of our City quite frankly don’t need. This means stopping gang violence. We can only do so much from a punitive standpoint. We must stop the spread of gangs by imprisoning the heads of the gangs, but at the same time we need to do more to keep young people from joining gangs in the first place.
  2. With that latter thought in mind, we need more libraries, parks and after-school activities (particularly in the summertime). We need to look seriously at signing up with the County of Orange library system so we can get more branches sooner. With regard to parks, we could have had quite a few more over the past ten years, but our current city administration either gives the land away to their special interests, or encourages developers to build towers we don’t need.
  3. We also need to stop ignoring our crumbling infrastructure. There have been some baby steps in this area by the City lately, but not enough. For one thing, our City appears to have a lot more middle managers than other cities. We raised our water rates without even looking at the fact that Santa Ana’s water department spends 33% on administration, compared to other districts in the county which spend less than 20%. That needs to change!
  4. We need to find a way to hire more cops. That may mean signing up with the O.C. Sheriff’s Department. This option needs to be explored seriously. And in the process we need to look at our police department – and compare it to others in the area. How do our cops respond – and how late are they in responding? Those questions need to be asked!
  5. We need our city leaders to get involved with the Santa Ana Unified School District. And not by electing hacks like Rob Richardson and Audrey Noji. We need to toss the bums on the SAUSD board out and start over. If we cannot get a handle on our schools, we will never solve the other social problems in town.
  6. Our City Manager, Dave Ream, needs to go. We need to clean house on the 8th floor.
  7. We need a City administration that believes in OPEN, transparent government. ALL our City Council meetings ought to be televised, as should our commission meetings. And ALL this footage needs to be saved and archived online for public review.
  8. We do need change in our downtown area, but not this ridiculous half-baked Renaissance Plan, and certainly not a $15 million per mile street car system. We need more restaurants and entertainment, for one thing. And no, the Artists Village is not enough. Those poor guys have been hung out to dry by the City. They need more visitors. We can help not by replacing merchants but by playing to our strengths. The current administration does not get that. At all.
  9. We need mayoral term limits.
  10. We need ward specific council elections.
  11. We need to stop underwriting our local Chamber of Commerce. If they cannot stand on their own, they need to close up shop.
  12. We need to appoint city commissioners who are going to serve the public, not the special interests.

Any more ideas readers?

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.