The City Council this week voted to extend City Manager David N. Ream's three-year contract to 1994, despite the objections of Councilmen John Acosta and Richards L. Norton.
Acosta and Norton, who have had differences with Ream, voted against the extension because they said they are unhappy with Ream's performance.
"I didn't want to extend his contract for another year because, in my opinion, he doesn't work for all seven council members, and yet he was hired by all seven of us," Acosta said. "I just feel that he has compromised himself for the sake of job security."
Ream declined to respond specifically to Acosta's comments when reached on Wednesday but said, "I appreciate the confidence the City Council has given me over the 13 years that I have worked for Santa Ana."
Other members of the council, including Mayor Daniel H. Young, defended Ream's job performance.
"It's a tough town and a hard beat to work," Young said. "I think (Ream) has done an outstanding job in pushing the city forward. His style of management is a great asset to this city."
Acosta and Norton, along with former Councilman Ron May, also voted against extending Ream's contract last year and unsuccessfully sought to have Ream's performance evaluated.
Acosta said Ream caused him "grief and embarrassment" last year when Acosta was charged with a misdemeanor count of interfering with administration appointments in the city. Acosta said he had only given "friendly advice" to Ream during a conversation in which Ream claims that Acosta asked him to remove Edward Wilczak as the city's building and safety manager.
The charges were dismissed last November by Superior Court Judge David O. Carter, who ruled that Acosta was simply exercising his free-speech rights.
Ream signed a three-year contract in 1989 for a total of $350,000. But according to the terms of the contract, the council is required to renew the contract each year.