Santa Ana has decided on a new contract with public service employees and police. The move will save the city $15 million – nearly half of its $30 million deficit.

But even before the ink has dried, the conversation is now about blame. How did the city fall so far behind? The common answer seems to be former city manager Dave Ream.

In 2010, despite the recession that struck the city’s housing market particularly hard, Ream told the city council they could afford giving raises to the firefighters, and later the same year advised that similar raises for the police could fit in the budget. However, people are now saying that Ream withheld pertinent information from the council during their decision making process.

The deal to save millions is only temporary, however, and will expire in 18 months.

From the Voice of the OC:

Santa Ana City Council is scheduled Monday night to approve labor agreements with police officers and service employees that would save the city about $15 million, a significant step in the city’s slow climb out of a projected $30-million budget hole.

And now as they start to make measurable progress toward a balanced budget for next fiscal year, council members are beginning to point fingers at former City Manager Dave Ream for allowing the city to fall so far behind in the first place.

Read the full article here.