Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Missed the Meeting? Bullet Points to the Rescue!

Last night's meeting progressed a little smoother than the OCCCO sponsored meeting that took place in late October at St. Joseph’s, but that’s not saying much. Here’s a brief recap.

The Good

  • The Mayor lightly touched on a good point saying that while pedestrian and vehicle traffic is key, the future of Santa Ana is being a “Multi-Mobile” city (street cars, lightrail, etc.).

  • The Renaissance Plan allows for residential zoning in downtown. Currently, only mixed-use residential is permitted.

  • Having shops that stay open at night in the downtown area to resuscitate the nightlife. Downtown Santa Ana has a lot of potential to be a great 24-hour environment.

  • The recognition of the need to attract stores into downtown Santa Ana that appeal to a broader spectrum of residents to spend our dollars in this city as opposed to others like Irvine and Tustin.

  • Stefanos Polyzoides, an architect that the city hired as a consultant seems to really know what he’s talking about. Unfortunately, it looks as if he is going to have to handhold our council through every step of the way.
The Bad
  • Most of the night was spent discussing parking issues such as converting surface parking into parking structures, opening private parking garages after hours, and the construction of new ones.

  • Claudia Alvarez seemed overly concerned about the residents who currently live in low-income housing and expressed an interest in adding even more. While I can appreciate a champion for the “financially challenged”, Santa Ana needs to understand that one of the reasons why it’s in its current state is due to the abundance of low-income/high-density housing. Again, this could all be political rhetoric on her part being that she is up for re-election next year.

  • Sadly, many of the residents who live here now will not enjoy the fruits of the Renaissance Project being that by the time of its completion, many will have moved on.

  • Overall, to me, it really feels like Santa Ana is a city where the majority (lower-income) has the ears of the city council. Not once did I feel as if anyone sitting at that table was representing my needs or concerns.
The Ugly
  • While I don’t fully understand the political mind, at times I was concerned with our mayor and his behavior during the meeting about this serious topic. When not cracking jokes to his fellow council members as the presenter spoke, or checking his cell phone several times like a 16-year-old “txting” fiend, the mayor just didn’t seem all there in my opinion.

  • The brave souls who pioneered the downtown Artist Lofts as well as our community have no representation. The city seems to forget that we generate a lot of tax revenue and more developments like ours can only be beneficial for the city as a whole. No one ever said, “Hey, what are we doing to keep the residents who’ve already moved here in the past few years safe and stable? You know, when this project takes off, people are going to look to the current loft residents to gauge the success of future developments.”

  • The mayor stated that the council would need to take their workbooks home and “do their homework” and digest what was heard tonight. Everything that was said tonight is a regurgitation of what has been said many times before in previous discussions. City discussion of the Renaissance Project will reconvene early next year, and most assuredly be drawn out to be part of the mayor’s re-election campaign.

  • While I may not have all of the answers and sometimes might seem hypercritical, it is apparent now that we are the minority in Santa Ana and we need to speak louder to have our voices heard.
Doug Irving from the OC Register was also in attendance.
Read his article about the meeting here.


Anonymous said...

thank for attending the meeting and recapping if for us... i know it must of been painful for you listen to the political bs. good job with the blog

santa ana scorekeeper said...

The good...don't need a renaissance plan to be executed, they need action TODAY by the city government.

The bad and the ugly...Some of that is-what-it-is, the rest, is for us to take into our own hands to change. i.e.: prevent reelection of incompetent politicians.

**You forgot to mention how Clownia mumbles at the council table ever time she speaks but then when she goes to get a cup of coffee she can be heard loud and clear speaking to the police officer in the corner.

Also, There's no meat to the OC Register article, but good that it's getting press.

Paul Cook-Giles said...

Wow, Ben, great blog! Hi, I'm Paul from French Park-- would like to invite you and all your fellow loft-dwellers to the French Park home tour next month (December 8&9). Lots of info (and on-line ticket sales) at www.FrenchPark.org, or I can be contacted directly at Paul@CookGiles.net. I'm looking forward to reading your archives. :)

UrbanMessiah said...

So, it's safe to say we can all vote for those not currently in leadership and be better off. Sweet, let's bounce them! But seriously, I'm all for giving people a chance to make here, my mother's family immigrated here after WWII and made a good life for themselves and honored their community. My concern is the areas around here seem to be stuck in neutral and the residents in some of these buildings aren't doing much to take care of their kids let alone the area. Additionally, go take a walk around French Park (BTW Paul, your lovely sign is tagged in the little park in front of the beautiful Victorians) how the hell do you comprehend seeing a perfectly restored 120 year old victorian sitting next to an apartment complex with 12 to an address?? Something's wrong here and although the "plan" lays it out, we can't hope too much for it's execution nor the appropriate support to get there.

developer dan, bob the builder said...

UrbanMessiah - thats precisely how density rezoing CREATES blight. look at Long Beach - neighborhood after neighborhood of 80 year old homes, density zoning upgrade created 8-Plex apartment buildings in the middle of what is now looked at as "historic" homes worth preserving. Comprehensive EXECUTION and Concerted ACTION by the city will make this happen correctly. Can we count on that? If you up the zoning density you have to be ready to really hold every single proposed change or development up to a very high standard and be prepared to make sure nothing gets rubber stamped through because they are in a council members back pocket.

8th floor insider said...

Does anyone really think that this current council full of corrupt schmucks that takes TONS to developers cash gives a rats a** about you guys?

I encourage this blog to pull campaign financial reports and see how much cash Clownia Alvarez and Carlos Bustamante have taken from these rich developers like David A. Dirienzo who built the lofts or Robert Bisno who is building City place.

Clownia could care less about the poor.

Anonymous said...


There is an email list serve for citizens of SA that you and your neighbors may be interested in:


miguel az said...

miguel pulido is the best mayor en santa ana.

puppet said...

Miguel is back! hola amigo!
Hey Lets go down to fourth street and go shopping for crap no American would want! We can pay for it all with money we made doing jobs that no American would do!
You know, for people that risked our lives to get here, it sure is funny how much we like to remind ourselves of how UN-American we are!