Santa Ana Mayor had financial relationship with owner of locking wheel company during key vote

pulidoThe press is reporting that Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido had a financial relationship with a company owned by wealthy entrepreneur R.J. Brandes when he voted in 2006 to force grocers to install expensive locking wheel systems on their shopping carts. Brandes also owns Gatekeeper Systems, Inc., a company that gained financially from the passage of the cart containment ordinance. It is unclear whether Mayor Pulido’s relationship constituted illegal conduct or was just unethical. CGA will continue following the issue closely. In 2010, I reported to our members that the city was fining some grocers thousands of dollars for carts found on public property and encouraged grocers to install locking wheel systems. I’m sure there will be more developments on Santa Ana but the issue also raises questions about why so many other cities have pursued aggressive cart containment policies in recent years, even in jurisdictions without a significant abandoned cart problem.