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Two more commissioners leave Santa Ana board

The pair resign after a colleague, who had been critical of the city, is booted from the housing commission.

December 06, 2007|Jennifer Delson | Times Staff Writer

Two days after a Santa Ana commissioner was removed from his post, two other city commissioners who had been criticized for comments on an Internet blog are resigning.

Art Pedroza and Luis Rodriguez, both members of the Housing and Redevelopment Commission, gave notice Wednesday. The other commissioner, Thomas Gordon, was removed by the City Council on Monday.

The three have been contributors to orangejuiceblog.com, which has been critical of the city government.

Last month, city officials asked the three bloggers to tone down their criticism of city government.

Councilman Sal Tinajero, who pushed for Gordon's removal, said the resignations of Pedroza and Rodriguez were "not a smart move. They would be better to serve the community."

Tinajero said he asked the council to remove Gordon because of the commissioner's behavior at public meetings, not his Internet comments. Gordon yells in public meetings and interrupts those who disagree with him, Tinajero said.

Tinajero said he tells appointees to commissions: "I don't mind you criticizing staff. We need to question why we are conducting business the way we are."

But Pedroza said it appeared that there was no room for dissent in the city government and saw no reason to continue serving on the redevelopment commission.

Councilman David Benavides disagreed: "I think we are trying to make our government more open, and having commissioners is one way that we can get different voices in our government. Someone who steps down is giving up that opportunity."

Councilwoman Michele Martinez said she was disappointed by the resignations.

"They saw that they were just rubber stamps because our government's censoring these people at every level," she said.

jennifer.delson@latimes.com

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