COSAS: City Manager's Newsletter for Oct. 1, 2021

Date: October, 01 2021 Category: City Manager, City Manager’s Newsletter

An aerial image of the Santa Ana Civic Center, focusing around the old court house, with white text over laid, reading: COSAS CITY OF SANTA ANA STORIES. There is a blue bar at the bottom with white text which reads, "A NEWSLETTER FROM THE DESK OF CITY MANAGER KRISTINE RIDGE"

In this edition of COSAS, find out about how we’re saving the City money, building a new park, planning the future of Santa Ana housing and development, and more City news and fun events.

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Spotlight Photo

An image outside of GCS Clothing store, with a clean older silver/grey car (1990s maybe?), parked in front of several colorful murals.

This City has Soul

Photo Credit: Carlos M. @shutter_mage 

Saints Mural @cale.k2s and @onesaints

Mural on bricks @velaart

To submit your own original photo of Santa Ana to be featured in the next newsletter, complete this form

City Manager’s Highlights

Pension Debt Refinancing Helps Budget

Here at Santa Ana City Hall, many of our departments do important work behind the scenes that our community doesn’t always see. Providing public safety, well-maintained roads, green parks and welcoming libraries are key services, of course, but our Finance and Management Services Agency is one of the City’s unsung heroes.

In addition to building the City budget each year, the Finance Agency has found a way to save the City an estimated $138 million over the next two decades by refinancing our employee pension debt. The City Council authorized the issuance of bonds in August to refinance our debt with the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS.) The City sold over $425 million in bonds at a better rate than what is charged by CalPERS.

This creates more long-term financial stability for the City and means our staff can continue to provide the best possible services to our residents for years to come.

Read a Report on the Debt Refinancing:

New Park Coming to Raitt and Myrtle

Speaking of green parks, the Santa Ana City Council has approved construction of a new, 1.18-acre park at Raitt and Myrtle streets. It will feature a skate park, play equipment, exercise area, drought-tolerant landscaping, drinking water fountains, lighting, a public restroom, and other amenities. The project includes a stormwater runoff basin and infiltration system designed to manage stormwater from the park and the surrounding neighborhood.

Funding for the $3.4 million project comes from the City’s cannabis public benefit fund - tax revenues generated by legal marijuana operations - as well as State park and water management grants.

Read the Staff Report:

Eviction Moratorium Ends; Rental Assistance Available

The California eviction moratorium ended on Thursday, Sept. 30. While there is no deadline to apply for rental assistance, beginning today, Oct. 1, tenants with unpaid rent can only be protected from evictions by landlords if they have applied for rental assistance. The City of Santa Ana can now cover 100% of past-due rent back to April 2020 for eligible residents. More than $16 million in funding for rental assistance has been distributed to about 2,800 low-income Santa Ana households who suffered financial hardship because of the pandemic.

Apply for Rental Assistance:


Help Shape Santa Ana’s Future: Public Hearing on General Plan Update

The Santa Ana Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on October 25 to consider actions that will shape the future and quality of life in Santa Ana. The Planning Commission will be taking public comments and will make a recommendation to the City Council regarding the City’s General Plan Update and Recirculated Program Environmental Impact Report (R-PEIR).

The Draft General Plan Elements and Recirculated Draft Program EIR are found at Learn more about the Draft General Plan Update, upcoming public meetings, and how to participate on the General Plan webpage. For more information, contact Planning staff by email at or phone at (714) 667-2781.

Learn More About the General Plan:

Share Your Thoughts on Housing NeedsA banner that reads, Housing Element Update 2021, in fuchsia, dark blue, and green text over a light green stripe, with a line of illustrated houses in multiple colors along the top and the general plan logo on the bottom.

The City of Santa Ana is in the process of updating its long-range housing plan, called the Housing Element, which is being updated separately from the rest of the General Plan. You are invited to join in the upcoming workshop, study session, and community open houses, where we will discuss the update to the Housing Element, share the Community Housing Survey results and suggested policies and programs to address Santa Ana’s housing needs. 

Planning Commission Study Session Monday, Oct. 11, 5:30 p.m.

Community Open Houses to Share Draft Element:

  • Monday, October 18, 6 p.m. – Newhope Library (in person only) 
  • Tuesday, October 26, 6 p.m. – Virtual (Virtual) 
  • Saturday, November 6, 10 a.m. – El Salvador Community Center (in person only) 

Planning Commission Public Hearing – December 2021

City Council Public Hearing – Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022

More Information on Meetings:

Learn More About the Housing Element:

Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus Found in Santa Ana

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found in Santa Ana, according to the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District. Now more than ever it is important to check your outdoor spaces for standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and spreading this disease.

Mosquitoes breed in even tiny amounts of standing water, such as in plant saucers, bowls, cups, fountains, tires, barrels, vases, and other containers. Take precautions outdoors and wear mosquito repellent.

Go here for a map of West Nile virus activity in Orange County:

Mosquito Prevention and West Nile Virus:

Take Our Survey on Internet Access

The City of Santa Ana is reaching out to residents and businesses to better understand the need for additional internet services and how the City can help. The survey should be completed by the person in your household or organization who selects and pays for internet services.

The survey is available y in English, Spanish and Vietnamese:

 Learn More About Internet Access Survey:

We’re Redrawing the Ward Map

A ward map of the City of Santa Ana in pastel colors over a navy blue background. Yellow text at the bottom reads, "Get involved in the redistricting process." The logo for the City of Santa Ana is at the top left corner.

Every 10 years, local governments use new Census data to redraw lines for areas of representation to reflect how local populations have changed. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each city councilmember represents about the same number of constituents in their ward. Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a ward for purposes of electing a councilmember. In Santa Ana, the City Council is responsible for drawing council wards and the process must be completed by April 17, 2022.

Please visit the link below to learn more and find out when there will be a community redistricting meeting near you! 

Learn more about Redistricting:

Reminder: Register for the Revive Santa Ana 5K Run!

The revive santa ana logo is at the top of this graphic, then ti reads "5K Run 2021, 23 Oct 8am, Route details and more event information at In the middle is a blue 'road' with two runners in front of a yellow skyline of Santa Ana

The Revive Santa Ana 5K run is less than a month away! Run, walk, jog, skip, or even hop your way over to our website to register for this fun event. Participants will receive a medal and an event T-shirt!

Register for the 5K Run:

Community Garden Schedule

Flyer reads, 
Fall Schedule
Effective Sept. 20, 2021
Schedule is subject to change for programming needs. Gardens close for inclement weather.
Public Hours:
Pacific Electric Park Garden
317 McFadden Ave
Mon 3-5 pm
Thurs 9-11 am
Fri 3-5 pm
Saturday 2:30-5:30 pm

Madison Park Garden
1434 S Standard Ave
Tues & Thurs 3-5 pm

El Salvador Park Garden
1825 W Civic Center Dr
Mon 9-11 am
Wed-Thurs 2:30-5 pm

Jerome Park Garden
2201 W McFadden Ave
Tues 9-11 am
Thurs-Fri 3-5 pm
Sat 9 am - 1 pm

Roosevelt Walker Garden
816 E Chestnut Ave
Wed & Fri 3-5 pm

Sign up for free to join the fun! Please call 714-571-4253 or email

The City of Santa Ana Community Garden program consists of five community gardens where all ages can gather, learn, and grow. The purpose of these gardens are to promote health and wellness by teaching and encouraging community members to grow healthy food options at home. 

Program staff, volunteers, and community members work together to cultivate and maintain the beauty growing in the gardens. The gardens are utilized collectively by the community for educational and recreational activities, such as improving the soil, growing food, composting, observing nature and collecting seeds. When it is time to harvest, all of the food, herbs and seeds are shared amongst those who volunteer their time and labor.

We encourage the community to join during the hours of operation to participate in free workshops, volunteer, or observe the nature that exists in our urban environment. Workshops are free, informal and flexible.

Learn More About Community Gardens: 

Orchid Show Blooms at the Zoo

On Sept. 25, the Santa Ana Zoo held its first-ever orchid show. More than 3,400 people showed up to admire the beauty of one of nature’s most diverse and wide-spread species of flower. Folks started lining up early, coming from all over to learn more about this beautiful plant. 

A wide view of the orchid show at the zoo, showing 9 or 10 booths, with more than a dozen people scattered throughout, among a few tall redwood trees.

A close-up photo of what I believe to be a hybrid Cattleya species of orchid. It has narrow leaves, typical structure of moth/Cattleya flowers, but the petals and sepals are a light purple/pink with dark fuchsia speckles and the lip is frilly in a dark fuchsia. This is possibly a Encyclia species of orchid, it is a goldenrod color with reddish or rust colored speckles all over. Two flowers are in focus, with the slightly too light green narrow leaves and a booth's top out of focus in the background.

Tales of the City

Clean-up Removes 1,000 lbs. of Trash

 A group of workers and volunteers pose in front of trees and a blue pop-up tent, wearing masks, and a few are holding unreadable signs. Half the group is covered by shadows, it's not a great photo

The City of Santa Ana Public Works Agency coordinated an Inner-Coastal Cleanup Day event at Jerome Park on Saturday, September 18, 2021Forty-two volunteers participated in the cleanup, picking up 1,000 pounds of trash and debris in the Santa Ana Gardens flood control channel and the adjacent alley, keeping that trash from flowing out to the ocean when it rains.

Please put trash where it belongs and help keep our City and our waterways clean and beautiful!

Coastal Cleanup Day:

City Council Meetings

City Council meetings are typically held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 5 p.m. Our meetings are live streamed on YouTube and CTV 3 (channel 3 on Spectrum and channel 99 on AT&T TV). If you’d like to provide public comments on agenda and non-agenda items, you can email, or join the Zoom webinar online or by phone.




Food Pantry - Oct. 2, 8:30 a.m.

The Seva Collective presents 
free drive-thru food pantry
Oct. 2, 8:30-11 am
Oct 16, Nov. 6 & 20, 9-11:30 am
*while supplies last

Villa Fundamental
1441 E Chestnut Ave
Santa Ana 92701
Email: | Phone 714-584-7573
@SevaCollectiveOfficial |

A free drive-through food pantry will be provided by the Seva Collective on Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Nov. 20 at Villa Fundamental, 1441 E. Chestnut Ave. Oct. 2 hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Dumpster Days - Oct. 2 and 9, 8 a.m. 

We’re hosting more neighborhood clean-up events on Oct. 2 and 9! Join us in the New Horizons, Pico-Lowell, and Memorial Park neighborhoods with permitted items that you’d like to throw away. Please refer to the event pages below for a list of locations and the permitted and not permitted items. The large open-top dumpsters will be available from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

New Horizons, Oct. 2: 

Pico-Lowell, Oct. 2: 

Memorial Park, Oct. 9: 

Grandes Dreamers - Oct. 2, 1 p.m.

Yellow flyer with images of two women and a stack of blue books and details about the book presentation event.

Join Santa Ana Public Library and special guest presenters, "Grandes Dreamers" author Argelia Atilano and illustrator Anna Alvarado, as we celebrate the lives, journeys, impressive careers and groundbreaking milestones of goal-driven Latina women born in the United States of America during the 20th and 21st centuries. Book presentation will take place virtually on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m.

Please call us at 714-647-5264 or fill out the registration form below to participate. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Register for Grandes Dreamers:

Latinos in the American Revolution - Oct. 3

Join the Bowers Museum online for this recorded presentation by UCLA professor David E Hayes-Bautista, PhD. Learn the true story of Latinos in the American Revolution.

Learn More from Bowers Museum: 

Here, Our Voices - Oct. 9, 11 a.m.

Join us for a presentation and panel discussion led by three local indigenous women as we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day 2021. Panelists will give first-person accounts of indigeneity and will primarily focus on bringing awareness to the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women throughout the United States.

The event will observe CDC recommendations and will be socially distanced with limited capacity. We highly encourage guests to wear masks. Please reserve your tickets on Eventbrite ahead of time. The event will be live-streamed on the Santa Ana Public Library Facebook page at For more information, please call 714-647-5288.

Register today: 

Here, Our Voices Event Details: 

Virtual PFAS Community Meeting - Oct. 12, 6 p.m.

The logos for the Orange County Water District and for the City of Santa Ana

You are invited to a community meeting with Orange County Water District (OCWD) and City of Santa Ana Public Works Water Resources teams to learn about PFAS and the construction of a treatment facility in Mabury Park.   

OCWD manages the groundwater basin underlying north and central Orange County that provides 77% of the water supply to 2.5 million people. OCWD provides safe and dependable drinking water that continually meets all state and federal standards. Some groundwater has been impacted by chemicals prevalent in the environment that were once commonly used in many consumer products. These chemicals are a part of a larger group referred to as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Join us on Oct. 12th at 6 p.m. to learn more about what OCWD and Santa Ana are doing to remove these chemicals.

PFAS Community Meeting Details:

Boo at the Zoo - Oct. 23, 24, 29, 30

Join us for BOO AT THE ZOO! Oct 23, 24, 29, 30 from 5:30-7:30 PM.

Follow a fun Halloween trail through the Zoo during extended admission hours. You'll discover "merry, not scary" decorations along the way, making this an activity the whole family can enjoy together, wearing family-friendly costumes, and collecting goody bags for each child on the way out. Purchase tickets for this evening-only event at the link below! 

Boo at the Zoo: