Santa Ana ’23 Recall: Officer Manny Delgadillo weighs in against Serrano!

[On Feb. 1 we received this lengthy comment from Santa Ana Police Officer Manuel “Manny” Delgadillo, on Vern Nelson’s story about the planned recall of Councilmembers Jessie Lopez and Thai Viet Phan entitled “Big Bad Serrano Targets Some More Young Santa Ana Ladies.” Officer Delgadillo is the Downtown Business Liaison Officer, and a 28-year member of the Santa Ana POA (Police Union.)

We reprint Manny’s comment here to get it more attention, and to emphasize that not all Santa Ana law enforcement opposes these two fine councilwomen or considers them “hardcore anti-public safety” as Gerry Serrano puts it.]

We will let the readers decide if this dead-end RECALL is really about rent control. We believe they’ll see that this RECALL only came about after Council Members Jessie Lopez and Thai Viet Phan voted against the police contract, and more to the point, due to the SAPOA’s contract failure.

As all SAPOA Members are aware, our association is currently attempting to recall Council Members Lopez and Phan. I consider this a futile and last-ditch effort to try and intimidate our City Council Members – an idea whose time is long gone. Our SAPOA is headed down a dead end with this strategy, at cost so far of $25,000. The only bright side of this I see is that maybe now newly elected Mayor Valerie Amezcua will finally break away from SAPOA control and show some support to her colleagues.

Our SAPOA President, Gerry Serrano, has been seeking a pension increase for himself, for some time now. The City of Santa Ana told him no. The CALPERs board told him no. Pull up the April 19, 2022 CALPERS Board meeting where he tried to plead his case only to get shut down repeatedly – it was a total embarrassment. If that wasn’t enough, his numerous frivolous lawsuits against the City of Santa Ana have all been dismissed.

Here is a portion of a letter from the Santa Ana City Manager Kristine Ridge about our contract dated December 29, 2022:

“One glaringly absent bit of information in these communications is that the term of the imposed offer expires the end of the month. The City’s labor negotiation team stands ready to engage in good faith negotiations with your duly elected representatives at any time. To date no request for a meet and confer has been received – only threats of further frivolous litigation, a potential recall campaign, and an unsuccessful effort to obtain a temporary restraining order that would prevent the processing of the wage increase. The only request, just recently received, is for an agreement to give more leave hours to the union president at the expense of the association.

Here it is, in a nutshell – the reason our contract negotiations failed. From my readings, our SAPOA failed to file fact-finding by the deadline and canceled negotiations one day before. (See City Staff Report dated December 20, 2022.)

  • One, the earlier lawsuits failed and Serrano thought he would be able to use those as negotiation chips.
  • Two, SAPOA thought the council votes were in the bag. One does not risk all of the SAPOA Members benefits earned over years on a failed strategy for one member to stay at the helm all for a higher pension.
  • Three, the SAPOA used regressive and dilatory bargaining tactics. (Bargaining in Bad Faith)

Our SAPOA President is under the impression that his political connections are due to him, when in fact politicians gravitate towards an association with a healthy PAC Fund, not because our president has a “nice personality.” I could be the Hunchback of Notre Dame and all the politicians would have dinner with me knowing I had PAC money for re-election.

I would like to share a few excerpts from letters over the last few years from our SAPOA to the City of Santa and decide for oneself who really wants more money.

1. Letter dated September 28, 2020 … “In addition, the PAAL Coordinator is the perfect scenario on where the Association Representative can be assigned and the work is commensurate with police liaison….”

2. Letter Dated October 22, 2020…… “Although, I am open to the Homelessness Administrator position, at $15,416 is not much of an increase…”

3. Letter dated July 15, 2021 ……. “In particular, would you brief the Council on the idea of creating a job position in the City that would pay Gerry what he is paid today….. In addition, would you discuss with Council the possibility of a settlement of outstanding claims held by Gerry in an amount that would allow the purchase of an annuity…”

What does this tell the SAPOA Membership? Who’s Zooming who?

There was the Council Woman Cecilia Iglesias Recall – How much did THAT cost?

There was the money spent against Mayor Vincent Sarmiento‘s campaign for County Supervisor – WHY?

There was the money spent on the Serrano’s CALPERs failed pension spike. (That’s how it’s referred to in the newspapers!)

There’s the attorney fees our SAPOA still has to pay for the lawsuits against the City of Santa Ana. Who knows how much that will be? These may break our Association.

Why the donations to Anaheim Councilman Avelino Valencia? Why, when he does nothing for us?

Is it safe say it is time for a change of the leadership at our Santa Ana Police Officers Association, E-Board included? YES!

All this money is spent on failed strategies, and officers have to go to Norm’s and Denny’s on Thanksgiving and Christmas because the SAPOA is paying for it. Well, take the meal, because our SAPOA is going to need it to pay all the attorney fees!

As a 28-year member of the department and the SAPOA, I can tell you this situation our current SAPOA Administration has us in is far from over. We are not winning anytime soon.

Manuel Delgadillo

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.