Interview with George Collins, candidate for Mayor of Santa Ana

Earlier this afternoon I had the opportunity to interview George M. Collins who is one of four candidates running for Mayor of Santa Ana. I reminded him that we met previously when he ran for council back in 2006. The city of Santa Ana, with almost 350,000 people, is the most populous city in Orange County and is the County seat.

Unlike traditional city council races the election of Mayor occurs every other year.

The city is governed by six council members representing specific Ward’s and the elected Mayor, who, in the case of Miguel Pulido, has held that post since November 1988.

As a long time activist for property rights protection, somewhere in my archives I have an OC Register photo and story of Mr. Pulido standing in front of the Ace Muffler & Brakes shop on First Street as he successfully fought to block the bulldozer of redevelopment from taking his business just over 20 years ago. Time surely changes people and their positions on policy matters.  Simply look at his current position of the Renaissance Plan and the “selective” safeguard for Ace Muffler.

In addition to international media businessman George Collins, the other challengers for the mayor’s chair are Santa Ana Council Woman Michelle Martinez and Stanley Fiala. George told me that he has been a resident of Santa Ana for 21 years.

His top concerns each address major issues such as:

Education: “the education of Santa Ana students must be first” so that they can improve their lot in life. Although not directly linked to running the city he sees a link and an opportunity for SAUSD and College District students with new media TV stations coming on line next year featuring digital TV. Students could learn a career in various aspects of broadcasting, while at the same time Santa Ana expands transparency in government by broadcasting all city council and planning commission meetings on digital TV that all citizens will have effective next Feb.

Public safety: George said he is “very safety conscious”…and “we need a larger reserve officer force to free up full time officers” to “respond quicker to crimes.” He cited an example where “the response time was an hour and 55 minutes.”
George referenced a city official who admitted that “the police force is under man powered.” In our discussion George also alleged “unreported crime.”

Development. He opposes the changing of Codes to displace businesses or to diminish their value and embraces use of incentives to encourage business growth. George disapproves of the Rennaisance Plan.
“In no way, shape or form will I support the use of eminent domain to take private property for private use.” He does support valid public uses such as widening Bristol.

Transportation. George’s vision for Santa Ana is to build a low maintenance, elevated 8-10 passenger “pod car” system, similar to Disney’s monorail, to whisk residents and visitors “from the train station to downtown and the new (future) 36 story building at 1 Broadway Plaza.”

During the interview he made a point to say that “apathy is destroying our quality of life.”

For additional information on his campaign he suggested checking out his web site at

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