(*Updated, with new info on the bottom. Post originally published August 1...)
At the end of the day yesterday--a Friday-- whoever's in charge of compiling the agenda for the SanTana City Council slipped the following item into the consent calendar:
GO LOCAL PROGRAM STEP 2 TECHNICAL ANALYSIS - Execute an agreement with Cordoba Corporation in the amount of $4,845,026.
"Go Local" means the choo-choo dream SanTana Mayor Don Papi Pulido has pushed for years; "Cordoba Corporation" is the well-connected firm that is in charge of the trolley folly despite SanTana city staff recommendation to the contrary; "$4,845,026" is the total of the contract, with no indication that any of it is going to the two firms city staff recommended as better than Cordoba,
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. Councilmember Claudia Alvarez was not present, Busty Bustamante said long ago he wouldn't vote on the issue since Cordoba head George Pla sits with him on the Santa Ana Business Bank Board. Don Papi Pulido, in an act of benevolence that recalls Louis XIV, also abstained, saying he was doing so because of "abundance of caution in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest." HAHAHAHA!
So it was left to councilmembers Sal Tinajero, David Benavides, Vince Sarmiento, and Michelle Martinez to push through this ridiculous proposal. I won't ding Sal, David, or Vince too much on this issue since they've tended to side with Don Papi for reasons known only to them. But Michelle: you campaigned in 2006 as someone who would shake up the establishment, someone specifically opposed to Don Papi's cabal. Hell, you ran against him for mayor last year. If you had abstained against the choo-choo joke, there wouldn't have been a vote due to a lack of quorum, pushing the issue a couple more weeks so the public could have their input. If you had at least voted against it, people could still call you a progressive warrior.
Instead, you went with the Don Papi. And my beyond-cynical view of politics just got darker...