While Latinas have earned a reputation for having “spicy” personalities (just ask the governor!), it was something else to watch Santa Ana council member Michele Martinez and Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez exchanging insults and dirty looks during tonight’s city council meeting.
Things started off with the normal boring stuff (i.e. awards and certificates issued to boy scouts, some children sang. . .yawn), but when the topic turned to adapting term limits for the seat of mayor, the sparks started flying.
The current city charter has no term limits set for the mayor—so as long as the candidate gets the plurality of the votes during the mayoral election (which takes place every two years) he/she can continue to rule over Santa Ana.
Martinez would like to see that change by placing term limits on the seat of mayor via a proposed special election, which would take place some time next year.
As Alvarez voiced her opposition, she referred to Martinez as a “hypocrite,” claiming that when there was an opportunity to vote on the matter Martinez opted to keep things as they were. Alvarez also claimed that a special election would cost the taxpayers around $150,000.
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Now red-faced, Martinez was having none of that.
She whipped her head around and told Alvarez off, stating that she voted down the previous resolution because it had other stipulations attached to it in the form of pay increases for the city council.
She then launched into a speech worthy of James Stewart, stating that the issue should be decided by the voters and not the council.
In the end, the council voted to keep things as they are. . . for now. Perhaps at the next meeting they'll show up with mouthguards and 12-ounce gloves. Now, that’s what I call political discourse.