Please watch this URGENT message from Mayor Tom Tait and then e-mail the Anaheim City Council at Lday@anaheim.net to voice your opinion
Little history lesson from the Voice of OC archives:
The Anaheim City Council is scheduled Tuesday night to approve a massive convention center expansion, a gamble that industry experts say puts the city’s general fund at tremendous risk because flawed revenue assumptions are all but certain to fall short.
The proposal up for consideration, according to a city staff report made public late Friday, calls for adding over $200 million to the general fund debt — more than double the current city facilities debt — to finance the addition of 200,000 square feet to the convention center, among other costs.
City officials assume the expansion will more than pay for itself mostly through added hotel room tax revenue and cite a report by Tampa-based Crossroads Consulting Services that claims the expansion will bring in between 292,400 and 350,200 additional guest stays annually.
However, experts in the economics of convention centers say the city is making this bet during an era in which convention center space nationwide is rapidly increasing while demand remains stagnant.
Across the western United States, cities are either planning or have completed such expansions in recent years, spending hundreds of millions of dollars along the way in order to remain competitive for trade shows, corporate meetings and other events.
The problem with this approach is attendance has been trending downward everywhere and for decades, experts said. One Harvard researcher compared proposals like Anaheim’s to investing in the typewriter business.
But rather than exit a business on the decline, they said the solution pushed by most cities is to double a bad bet by expanding the space and throwing in expensive amenities. Anaheim is essentially joining a race to the bottom in which most cities, if not all, end up losing, they said.
“Historically, these kinds of things have not worked out very well,” said Heywood Sanders, professor of public policy at the University of Texas at San Antonio and considered the ranking expert on the economics of convention centers.
“If every other major competitive center in the country is doing the same thing, you are not likely to see the same business,” he said.
Sanders added that Anaheim's last convention center expansion — an addition of 100,000 square feet in 2000 — is a perfect example of how projects don't pencil out.
And it isn’t just academics who make these arguments. Even those in the industry acknowledge a glut in convention center space.
“In the current buyer’s market, unrealistic concessions are being made to book business,” states the forward from a 2012 study on convention centers by the Center for Exhibition Research. “The current excess supply is more likely to come into balance through a reduction in inventory than an increase in demand.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Tom Tait said city officials are trying to have things both ways by projecting increased revenue in hotel room taxes that they've already promised to a partnership involving hotelier Bill O'Connell when they granted him a $158-million room tax subsidy to luxury hotels in the GardenWalk development.
“You can’t sell the same horse twice,” Tait said.
O’Connell, who is counting on convention center business to fill his proposed hotels, is among many in the city’s elite business community who have contributed heavily to the campaigns of the four-member council majority — Lucille Kring, Kris Murray, Jordan Brandman and Gail Eastman.
A Big Jump in General Fund Debt
Anaheim’s gamble puts at risk a sizeable chunk of the general fund, the part of the budget that pays for core services such as police, firefighters and parks.
The city’s current debt on past convention center expansions and other facilities — not including the Disneyland Resort district improvement bonds, which are guaranteed by Disney — is $84.8 million, according to the staff report by Finance Director Deborah A. Moreno.
As of now, the debt is close to being paid off. Starting this year, the annual payment obligations drop substantially, and by 2023 the general fund will be off the hook for $16.8 million in annual debt service, according to figures in the report.
Under the expansion plan, the general fund would remain on the hook for annual debt service — which according to the staff report will be les than $17 million — probably for decades. All told, the projected debt service payments will total $409.6 million, the report states.
The staff report predicts that the additional room tax will not only pay that bill but also produce between $135.3 million and $231.6 million in extra revenue over 30 years that will benefit the general fund.
Yet this is the point where Sanders and others say the underlying projections for the gamble are shaky, even delusional.
One Bad Deal After Another
Experts cited example after example around the country where consultants’ rosy projections regarding increased convention center business never materialized.
Anaheim's previous expansion is example No. 1.
In the 1990s, a consultant’s study commissioned by Anaheim stated the expansion would boost total events and increase the direct spending by tens of millions of dollars, Sanders said.
However, in the period before the 2000 expansion – 1996 through 2000 – the center averaged 667,771 annual convention and trade show attendees, according to data Sanders collected from Anaheim. The best year of that period, 1997, drew 748,000.
Attendance after the expansion fell because of the 9/11 attacks but began to rebound in 2004. During the next five years, the best year's convention attendance was 615,620 in 2007 — less than the average annual attendance before the expansion.
The average annual convention and trade show attendance for the post-expansion period was 595,467, according to Sanders.
Fast-forward nearly 20 years and Sanders says Anaheim’s current consulting study is also problematic.
These types of studies tend to be boilerplate and based on faulty assumptions, economists have said. Consider that parts of the study by Crossroads Consulting on which Anaheim officials are basing their decision has identical wording to a report the firm did for Baltimore officials, who are also considering a convention center expansion.
The consultants would have one believe that Anaheim and Baltimore — two cities on opposite ends of the country with far different climate and local amenities — have experienced the exact same percentage of “lost business” because their convention centers are too small.
From Crossroads’ Anaheim report:
Several performance measures and industry indicators suggest market demand has equaled and potentially exceeded the ACC [Anaheim Convention Center] current supply of space. According to lost business reports, date availability and inadequate space at the ACC accounted for 20% of lost events while inadequate hotel meeting/ballroom space and hotel date availability accounted for an additional 11% of lost events. As a result, Anaheim is losing convention/tradeshow business to its competitors.
From Crossroads’ Baltimore report:
Several performance measures and industry indicators suggest that market demand has equaled and potentially exceeded the BCC [Baltimore Convention Center] current supply of space. According to lost business reports, date availability and inadequate space at the BCC accounted for 20% of lost events while inadequate hotel meeting/ballroom space and hotel date availability accounted for an additional 11% of lost events. As a result, Baltimore is losing convention/tradeshow business to its competitors.
For reasons like these, experts balk at these reports. The numbers consistently fall woefully short of consultants’ projected returns, experts have said.
“I literally have never seen a study that says anything other than build it, expand it,” said Charles Chieppo, research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. “Given the realities of the market, it’s astonishing to me, to say the least, that there isn’t a feasibility study that says demand is down, supply is up — don’t built it.”
Atlanta’s convention center, the Georgia World Congress Center, underwent a major expansion in 2002. According to Atlanta’s reports, in fiscal year 2000 there were 716,000 convention trade show attendees. By fiscal year 2013, that number had dropped to 471,244, Sanders said.
Even in Las Vegas, the mecca of conventions, attendance at the convention center had dropped in the decade after a major expansion in 2002, according to Sanders.
Taking Money From Libraries and Parks
Tait says that even if the staff report's rosy projections hold up — with some 300,000 additional room nights each year — there would still be an annual debt service shortfall of $6.66 million.
And if the demand remains flat or continues to drop — which the experts say is the more likely scenario — then for a generation the general fund will be down as much as $13.6 million annually and possibly more.
“If the project doesn’t pay for itself, then of course we shouldn’t do it,” Tait said. “Because any shortfall will have to be taken away from traditional community services, like public safety, libraries and parks.”
Jay Burress, president and CEO of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, said the added convention center space will allow Anaheim to better adapt to the changing corporate environment.
But he said that the expansion will add “flex” space, which would allow multiple trade show events at one time. And Burress said that the industry has shifted to rely more on meetings than shows.
“We’re trying to catch up on the meeting space that other competing destinations have,” Burress said. “It’s to retain our share, grow our share, and be able to operate simultaneous events.”
Sanders said that meetings in addition to trade shows are on the decline. “Flat demand is demand for all types of center space, meeting, ballroom, and exhibit hall,” he wrote in an email.
Trying to Keep Big Conventions
Members of the City Council majority have said that the expansion is also needed to keep the conventions Anaheim attracts, because they are growing and have reached capacity at the facility. As other cities’ centers expand, the convention might be enticed to move, they contend.
The most commonly cited example is the NAMM show, a music merchandise convention that had 96,000 registrants this year, according to the Orange County Register.
“We had the last expansion because NAMM said they would not come back and were not able to come back unless we expanded it,” said Kring, a mayoral candidate who was also on the council when the 1990s expansion was approved.
“I’m going to side with them and say there is a need. … I know what I see anecdotally. I live around the corner from the convention center. It is so crowded there are people parking at the stadium.”
In a chamber of commerce mailer, Murray — who starts her article with “jobs and tax revenue for Anaheim – I’m voting yes” — writes that “Anaheim could very well lose such key events like the NAMM show, and end up losing on the jobs economic benefits that Anaheim has been able to enjoy.”
Sanders said keeping one or two shows is hardly a good enough return for a $200-million investment.
“If you ask the narrow question, what do we need to compete in the convention center business, then the answer is, you need to do something that may get you more conventions,” Sanders said.
“If you ask what should we be doing as a community if we want to create more jobs, if we want to build a community of higher quality and greater competitiveness, then I would venture to say you are likely to get a different answer.”
For once I agree with the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce's Minister of Misinformation. Check out his latest comments on the ARTIC deficit:
"Tapping surplus revenue to cover this deficit isn’t exactly optimal; it’s money that could be used for other purposes and there won’t necessarily always be surpluses to tap. ARTIC isn’t going away, and carping won’t dispel the deficit either. Ways have to be found to realize the promise of it being self-sustaining. Among those is bringing back the freeway billboard proposal, and doing so in a manner that anticipates and prepares for the disinformation onslaught that will almost certainly be mounted by Regency or another outdoor advertising company."
Anaheim’s new ARTIC transit center will run into a $2 million operating deficit by the end of June, and Anaheim officials will soon consider how to cover the shortfall, according to the O.C. Register.
Of course we all new this was coming. Former Anaheim Mayor turned lobbyist Curt Pringle drove the ARTIC project – and lied to everyone about the estimated use of this unneeded building.
Anaheim already had a functional train station, in the parking lot of Angel Stadium. They did not need ARTIC. And apparently the business community agrees as ARTIC has been unable to attract a sponsor dumb enough to put their name on the empty building, for the sum of over $160K a year.
By June’s end, city officials expect to earn $391,548 in total revenue for ARTIC, falling far below the anticipated $2.38 million cost to keep the facility’s doors open.
Now the Anaheim City Council, which is controlled by Pringle’s hacks, will have to spend $2 million dollars out of their General Fund, which pays for police and fire services, parks, libraries, road repairs and other city necessities, to keep ARTIC open.
It cost $185 million to build ARTIC. That money is gone forever. What a waste!
Anaheim’s coffers are on pace to have a surplus of at least $1.5 million above reserves. Well that money will be gone now – wasted on ARTIC.
Even worse, Anaheim city officials have to come up with a projected a $5.2 million to cover ARTIC’s costs next year.
So of course Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray, the ringleader of the Pringle cabal, thinks it is OK to blow the reserve money on ARTIC.
“We wouldn’t be dipping into reserves or city services to pay for ARTIC, we would be dipping into surplus revenue from the city,” Councilwoman Kris Murray said. “There are several avenues to explore to earn some revenue for ARTIC, and I want to see any money that goes toward these early operations to be repaid once the station becomes revenue-positive.”
The OCTA paid for the bulk of ARTIC’s construction costs through funds collected under Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax approved by voters to pay for transportation projects across the region. Pringle was the Measure M’s pimp – and I don’t know how he can rationalize to voters how their tax money has been wasted.
ARTIC is also failing to meet an opening-day promise of 10,000 riders who either board or depart mass-transit. That figure was used to lure companies that might provide naming rights, advertising or other support for the station. The transit center is still boasted by city officials as eventually becoming a terminus for high-speed rail, but the bullet train won’t likely reach Orange County’s most populous city for another generation, if ever.
10,000? What a joke! “An average of 460 Metrolink and 300 Amtrak passengers boarded trains daily at the Anaheim station during the first month of operation in December.”
I feel bad for the poor restaurants who overpaid to have locations at ARTIC. Who in the world goes to a train station to eat expensive food? If you ride the train you have minutes to catch the next leg. Maybe you might have time to grab a pretzel and take it with you but no one is going to go eat dinner at a train station. How ridiculous!
There is only one way to prevent these stupidities in the future. Do not ever vote for ANYONE endorsed by Curt Pringle! You will find his acolytes on City Councils, School Boards and Water Boards. Look for the Pringle brand and NEVER vote for anyone he supports. We have to kill the Pringle machine before it causes more damage.
Don’t forget that Pringle’s minions also control the OC Taxpayers Association and the OC Business Council. So their endorsements are equally suspect!
The backlash against Pringle has already started by the way. His chosen hack Don Wagner lost to real conservative John Moorlach a few weeks ago, in their race to replace Mimi Walters in the State Senate.
ANAHEIM – The city’s new transit center will run into a $2 million operating deficit by the end of June, and Anaheim officials will soon consider how to cover the shortfall.
Before it was built, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center was expected to be a self-sustaining hub that would be primarily financed by revenue from advertising and a naming-rights sponsor.
More than four month have passed since ARTIC opened, and city officials said that they aren’t close to securing a company willing to pay to put its name on the 67,000-square-foot facility, while total advertising revenue during the six months of operation are projected to be $81,675.
By June’s end, city officials expect to earn $391,548 in total revenue for ARTIC, falling far below the anticipated $2.38 million cost to keep the facility’s doors open.
As a result, the City Council will soon decide whether to transfer the $2 million difference from Anaheim’s General Fund, which pays for police and fire services, parks, libraries, road repairs and other city necessities.
“I think there were all sorts of assumptions that were simply wrong about ARTIC, from ridership numbers to revenue projections,” said Mayor Tom Tait, who abstained from voting on ARTIC’s $185 million construction contract three years ago because his business, Tait & Associates, did business with the Orange County Transportation Authority.
“By definition, we’re being forced to reduce city services from what we could have otherwise spent,” Tait said. “The city needs to figure out how to cut ARTIC’s operating expenses as much as we possibly can. Fiscally, it hasn’t worked out so far.”
Anaheim’s coffers are on pace to have a surplus of at least $1.5 million above reserves, which will likely be used to cover ARTIC’s near-term operating shortfall, said city spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz. The City Council will soon consider whether to approve that allocation.
Ruiz said city officials are studying how to reduce ARTIC’s operating costs for the next fiscal year that begins July 1, but an initial estimate released last year projected a $5.2 million spending plan.
“We wouldn’t be dipping into reserves or city services to pay for ARTIC, we would be dipping into surplus revenue from the city,” Councilwoman Kris Murray said. “There are several avenues to explore to earn some revenue for ARTIC, and I want to see any money that goes toward these early operations to be repaid once the station becomes revenue-positive.”
Along with a potential naming-rights sponsor, future revenue could come from developing the city-owned property surrounding ARTIC for housing, retail or office space. Some additional revenue could come from ARTIC tenants.
The OCTA paid for the bulk of ARTIC’s construction costs through funds collected under Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax approved by voters to pay for transportation projects across the region. However, the responsibility for ARTIC’s day-to-day costs falls on the city, which owns the facility.
Along with funding problems, ARTIC is failing to meet an opening-day promise of 10,000 riders who either board or depart mass-transit. That figure was used to lure companies that might provide naming rights, advertising or other support for the station. The transit center is still boasted by city officials as eventually becoming a terminus for high-speed rail, but the bullet train won’t likely reach Orange County’s most populous city for another generation, if ever.
An average of 460 Metrolink and 300 Amtrak passengers boarded trains daily at the Anaheim station during the first month of operation in December, which is traditionally one of the slowest months of the year for public transit, said OCTA spokesman Eric Carpenter. First-quarter ridership numbers are still being calculated, and should be released within a few weeks.
(The city’s fiscal projections do not include the part of December the station was open.)
“We need to shore up the operations with funding intended for other purposes so that this transit station has a chance to reach its self-funding potential,” said Councilman James Vanderbilt, who arrived on the panel well after the vote approving ARTIC. “At this point, these cost figures are sobering and should give the City Council pause on other capital projects under consideration that rely on uncertain public-transit projections.”
In what could be a major blow to Anaheim's planned streetcar system, federal officials are indicating that the project is a poor candidate for the federal funding program expected to pay for at least half of its construction costs, according to several sources with knowledge of the situation.
Supporters envision the streetcar as a vital addition to the city’s transportation infrastructure, connecting key destinations in the city, including Disneyland, the convention center, Platinum Triangle development and GardenWalk outdoor mall. They claim it would generate significant investment along the 3.2-mile route and provide a bigger boost in public transit ridership than an enhanced bus alternative.
But the project has also come under intense criticism for its nearly $320-million price tag – which tops an Orange County Transportation Authority survey as most expensive when compared to 11 systems proposed around the country -- and because the preferred route would knock down a cluster of family-owned businesses.
Local officials are aiming to win funding for the project under the Federal Transit Authority’s (FTA) highly competitive New Starts program. But several sources say the FTA has given a cold reception for an expensive project that they say would primarily serve to ferry tourists to Disneyland.
Specifically, sources say Supervisor Shawn Nelson, during a trip to Washington DC, was told by FTA officials that the project wouldn’t be a good candidate for New Starts funds. Nelson took the trip while he was the chairman of the Transportation Authority Board of Directors last year, according to sources.
Nelson didn’t return a phone call seeking comment. But other sources have also confirmed that the FTA isn’t excited about the project.
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, a vocal opponent of the project and Transportation Authority board member, said he’s “heard the same thing” from Transportation Authority officials.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Authority's current chairman, Jeffrey Lalloway, also a critic of the Anaheim project, said he wasn’t surprised, but stopped short of saying he’s been told that FTA officials don’t like the project.
“As with most of the board, the FTA probably has some skepticism about the Anaheim project,” Lalloway said.
FTA officials refused to comment specifically, saying in an emailed statement that Anaheim hasn’t yet submitted an application for New Starts funding and the agency “is not required” to evaluate and rate projects until later in the competitive process.
“Therefore, we cannot comment on whether or not the project would be a qualified candidate for federal funding,” the statement reads.
It's unclear how local officials would plan on funding the project if the city's bid for New Starts grant funding were to be rejected. City planning documents say they expect New Starts to fund over $150 million of the project's cost.
In addition to the apparently poor chance of winning FTA funding, the project also faces other hurdles that could prove insurmountable.
The project has stalled since Paul Durand -- one of the owners of the businesses to be knocked down to make way for the streetcar -- went public with his concerns last year. City leaders responded by directing staff to find an alternative route that wouldn’t require the city to forcibly acquire and demolish the privately owned buildings.
Transportation Authority leaders have made it clear they aren’t excited about the prospect of infringing on private property rights. At the Feb. 23 board meeting, board Director Todd Spitzer told Anaheim’s public works director, Natalie Meeks, to “figure out” how to avoid taking Duran’s businesses.
“This board, the prior board, has been very clear -- we’re not using eminent domain to wipe out a family business,” Spitzer said at the meeting.
But the alternative that city officials are reportedly studying, which would direct the streetcar down Disney Way, does not call for riders to be dropped off directly across from Disneyland’s main gates. If that were the case, the resulting drop in ridership would render the project infeasible, Meeks told Voice of OC in 2013.
"We need to get a station near the front gates, where the people are going, for this system to work," Meeks said at a Transportation Authority board meeting that year.
However, Meeks has since changed her tune, telling the Orange County Register in May last year that she hadn’t noticed any “fatal flaws” with the Disney Way route alternative.
City spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz didn’t return a Voice of OC phone call and email requesting an interview with Meeks for this article.
Also, several sources have expressed renewed doubts about the streetcar’s projected 4,200 daily riders since a Voice of OC article revealed that ridership projections for the city’s new transit hub, known as the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), fell drastically short of estimates.
“Obviously the actual ARTIC boarding numbers clearly show that the ridership projections for the streetcar are wildly inflated,” Tait said.
Said Lalloway: “When planning transportation projects you’ve got to be careful about relying on inflated projection numbers and instead rely on the viability of a project in its totality.”
Meanwhile, other board members have concerns about the technological incompatibility between Santa Ana’s planned streetcar system, which is farther along in the planning stages and estimated to be millions cheaper, and the Anaheim line. Local officials hope the two systems can one day connect.
“I do think the projects only make sense if they somehow relate to each other,” said Transportation Authority board member Michael Hennessey, who said he is undecided on the Anaheim project.
Five retired Superior Court judges have been selected for a committee that will draw Anaheim’s proposed voting district maps by Oct. 6.
The formation of the Advisory Committee on Electoral Districts comes after Anaheim voters approved a pair of ballot measures last November that call for moving toward district elections and adding two members to the City Council by 2016.
Those measures stemmed from a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union.
One stipulation is that the maps would be drawn by a panel of retired Superior Court judges who live in Anaheim, but there was a glitch: Only one such judge lives in the city. As a result, city officials and the ACLU agreed to revise the settlement to permit retired judges from across the county.
Edward Wallin of Anaheim was automatically selected to serve on the committee. The remaining members were randomly selected in a lottery among 14 applicants. They are: Steven Sundvold of Placentia, Thomas Thrasher of Villa Park, James Jackman of Orange and Nancy Wieben Stock of Fullerton.
As Anaheim officials attempt to restart talks with the Angels baseball team over a new stadium lease, former City Manager James Ruth has offered up a bit of advice for team owner Arte Moreno.
Show the city a little respect.
In a Voice of OC interview last week, Ruth spoke at length about his experience in the 1990s brokering a stadium lease deal with The Walt Disney Company, which owned the team before Moreno, and the problems he sees with Moreno's hardball negotiating style.
From Ruth’s point of view, Moreno has been disrespectful by threatening to move the team from Anaheim if he didn’t get everything he wanted. Talks were terminated last year amid public backlash over the terms of a deal framework that critics said was a massive giveaway of public land to the billionaire owner.
“Something that’s being lost in these negotiations is there’s no respect for the city,” said Ruth, who was city manager from 1990 to 2001. “Mr. Moreno is a very sound businessman in many regards, and that’s to be respected, but he has to respect the community… I don’t like to see these threats, well if we don’t get our way, we’re going to move.”
Ruth, who aspired to play baseball before entering public service, said Disney also wanted a clause in the lease that would allow the team to be moved after six years, but the company conceded that clause after he made it clear it was a deal-breaker. More importantly, he said, there was civility during those negotiations that doesn't seem to exist this time.
Ruth agrees with critics of the deal, led by Mayor Tom Tait, on many points. Negotiations got off on the “wrong foot” because the initial deal outline was lopsided in favor of the Angels, with little to no city benefit, according to Ruth.
Also, city leaders agreed to extend the time the Angels can exit their current lease from 2016 to 2019, a move Ruth said handed negotiating leverage over to the Angels. The team would be locked into the current lease until 2029 if the out clause isn’t exercised.
“I looked at the initial proposal, and frankly, it was very offensive,” he said.
Under the now scuttled agreement, which defenders said was only a starting point, an investment firm belonging to Moreno would have leased over 150 acres around the stadium at $1 a year for 66 years. Moreno would also have been able to drop Anaheim from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim team name.
Supporters of that deal said it would have kept the Angels in Anaheim for decades, with no risk to the city’s general fund, which pays for core services like police and fire protection. Also, development of the land could provide Moreno a revenue source to finance up to $150 million in renovations to the aging stadium.
Ruth scoffs at the idea that the renovations would be a major benefit to the city. He said it was little more than a “nice gesture.” A fairer deal, which Tait has also proposed, would be to have the city and the Angels split revenue from the land development, he said.
“When you look over 20-30 years, for Christ’s sake, $150 million is not a lot of money,” Ruth said.
Meanwhile, Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey took issue with Ruth’s characterization of the negotiations, calling it unfair and pointing out that the most controversial deal point, giving Moreno city land for a nominal amount, didn’t come from the Angels.
The land contribution proposal originated with city officials as a way to finance stadium renovations in lieu of cash, Garvey said in an email. She also suggested in her statements that frequent turnover of city managers – there have been several since negotiations began over three years ago – was partly to blame for the stalled talks.
“Unfortunately after several city management changes, it remain(sic) unclear if any agreement could be reached,” Garvey wrote. “Only then did we feel it was necessary to look for other options to ensure that our fans and the team had a home in the future.”
Who exactly came up with the land contribution has recently been a point of confusion. Councilwoman Lucille Kring said at last week’s council meeting that city officials were still trying to “ferret out” who first proposed the idea. One source said it was former City Manager Tom Wood, who was later ousted from City Hall and went to work for the Angels as a negotiations consultant.
Ruth said that when the initial deal framework was on the table, former City Manager Marcie Edwards and then Assistant City Manager Paul Emery met with him to go over the deal points.
Ruth didn’t leave that meeting with the impression that city officials came up with the proposal. “If the city offered that up, I’d be shocked,” he said.
Ruth said he told Edwards and Emery that the deal was terrible, but couldn't tell whether Edwards and Emery felt the same way. Edwards wouldn’t give her opinion because she was working for the council, and she would do what “the council directed her to do,” Ruth said.
However, Edwards and Emery did leave the impression that they were under heavy political pressure to make the deal happen, Ruth said.
“My answer on that was always no deal is better than a bad deal,” he said.
Ruth expressed confidence that ultimately the Angels and Anaheim can work out a deal beneficial to both parties. He said the recent hiring of local trial attorney Wylie Aitken as a lead negotiator was a positive step.
“There has to be a deal there for everybody,” he said.
About a year ago Save Anaheim ceased to exist after then owner Jason Young decided he was moving to Fullerton. A lot has happened since then and under new ownership we hope to once again bring you the very best in Anaheim political news.
From Fox News Latino:
Voters in Anaheim passed a measure on Tuesday that should pave the way for the city’s majority Hispanic population to have a voice on a city council which has only seen three Latinos serve in its history.
In a move expected to improve Latinos’ chances of getting elected to the Anaheim city council, voters in the California city of 354,000 approved Measure L on Tuesday with an overwhelming 68 percent of the vote.
Council seats have been determined in at-large votes, which allows anyone in the city to cast a ballot for any candidate. Now the city will be divided into seven districts, and each one will choose its own representative.
The city was sued earlier this year by the American Civil Liberties Union, with support from Latino community leaders, for discriminating against Hispanic voters and violating the state’s Voting Rights Act.
Anaheim was the largest city in California to still use at-large voting. Proponents of Measure L contend that the system silenced the city’s Latino community.
Measure M also passed on Tuesday, expanding the city council seats from 5 to 7.
About 54 percent of the people in Anaheim are Hispanic, but only three Latinos have ever served on the city council in the city’s 157 year history, the lawsuit pointed out.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a committee of three retired judges will decide on the new district boundaries.
"All this time, to not have anyone on the council representing us is a shock — and unacceptable," Ada Tamayo, a teacher for 17 years, told the LA Times.
“It was an overwhelming display by the voters that it was time to modernize our electoral system,” José F. Moreno, president of the Anaheim City School District told the Orange County Register,“and provide a voice for residents who have felt neglected, ignored and disrespected by the current system.”
By Cynthia Ward:
This week’s election has dire consequences for some who put all their eggs in the Kleptocacy’s basket, so confident that the nearly one million dollars worth of Disney-bucks would be their salvation. Despite all that money, they were wrong. Voters saw through the funding, and understood they were being taken to the cleaners. They supported Mayor Tom Tait in a landslide, and sent the message that while Anaheim supports our Resort District, we are MORE THAN merely a support FOR the Resort District.
The go-between that bridges Disney, City Hall, and former-Mayor-turned-lobbyist Curt Pringle, is the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. The hammer in their tool box.
The Chamber of Commerce is supposed to a private business. To be precise, they are a 501c6 advocacy non-profit, able to take in donations without donors being identified, and largely able to take in donations without being taxed (good thing, since they got behind on their payroll taxes, which they ARE subject to paying!) The one exception is when they take in donations to launder them before running them into the Chamber PAC. Those donations remain anonymous (which needs to be examined) but they become TAXABLE to the Chamber. I am not sure they know that.
If the Chamber’s private members wish to privately fund the special message of vitriol that Todd Ament and his crowd specialize in, they are welcome to it. As private citizens we are welcome to not join and not give them our money for that activity. This is not the case when a Council majority offers public funding to the Chamber, which then gets transferred to the hate messaging seen in this recent election.
The unofficial mouthpiece for the Chamber of Commerce is AnaheimBlog.net.
AnaheimBlog’s webmaster, Matt Cunningham, is not a concerned Anaheim citizen, running the website on his own time, out of passion for his community. Matt is a resident of Orange, and will say anything you want said, as long as you pay his price. Matt has self-reported income from the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, and while he claims he is not “paid to blog” he has also never shown what he IS paid to do for them. Why would we take the word of someone whose word is clearly not worth the screen space used for its publication?
The hatred and ignorance spread at AnaheimBlog is on behalf of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, and the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce gets public funding from the City Council majority. Is Anaheim Blog the best use of your public funds?
Speaking of the execrable Anaheim Blog: For reasons I will never understand, my loved ones (e.g. Ryan, Zenger, Vern) like to wander over there, and then tell me about the inane “wordsmithing” skills being put to use in promoting the dying cause of the Kleptocracy, like “Big Sam and the boys” heading out of Atlanta to “dig ditches for the white folk to hide in.” And I regularly chide these loved ones against engaging on that blog, as their pointed and witty responses accidentally make it worth reading, and risk propelling its readership into the double digits.
But a few days ago I couldn’t help myself and failed to follow my own advice – Anaheim Blog’s nasty and dishonest riff off a recent Measure L mailer my husband and I participated in had the potential to give a black eye to good people who worked hard to make Anaheim a better place (actions Matt and his self-dealing friends find entirely incomprehensible), and I wanted to set the record straight just in case the six people who might have read it actually take any portion of it seriously. It was entitled:
“Cynthia Ward Flip-Flips On By-District Elections,
Stars In Left-Wing ‘Yes on Measure L’ Campaign”
In this piece, Matt Cunningham was absolutely correct in his claim that I’d spoken against District Elections in the past, and I’d been pretty vocal with the media when asked. If you did some digging you could probably come up with some video of me at the City Council podium during Public Comments over the years, sharing the same misgivings I voiced to the Orange County Register in 2012.
I still have my misgivings about District Elections, and I still see the downsides to giving little fiefdoms to leaders who are already so immersed in backroom deals and bickering that they’ve rendered local government ineffective and useless for moving forward anything but insider deals on behalf of Curt Pringle’s clients.
Lucille Kring has pointed out that if we don’t like who is running for office in our District we are forbidden to vote for anyone outside the District, claiming this “disenfranchises” voters. But she misses the fact that we already deal with this shortcoming, in that we are ALWAYS limited to voting for those candidates who make themselves available.
In fact, 2012 was an especially lean year, and we did what we had to do. We actually held our noses and supported Lucille Kring, not because she was the best for the job but basically because of those running she expressed the most hatred for Lobbyist Pringle, and thus presented the best option for independence. We were wrong, we were punked, but who could have imagined the depth and breadth of this woman’s ability to deceive?
The fact remains that we had to deal with the pool of candidates available. Perhaps now that Measures L and M have passed, quality people will begin to feel encouraged to run for office, based on their common sense and passion for the community, and not based on who might score the Disney money for the only chance of being elected.
Ultimately, what’s best for maintaining peace in my community could be something I may not personally care for, but my love of the community outweighs my need to get my own way. In this case, the best thing I can do is support something I may not prefer, in order to promote the greater good. I’m sorry if that offends Matt Cunningham, given his inability to ever put community benefits above his own selfish preferred outcomes.
Richard and I understand (better than most) the enormity of what it takes to litigate an issue based on principle, with no direct personal benefit at the end of the lawsuit. Like the CATER suits, the Voter Rights litigation did not demand damages in personal gain for the litigants, outside of legal fees. That’s only right and fair, because citizens should not be out of pocket to protect and defend their rights against government overreach. But then I suspect Cunningham and his buddies are perfectly fine with a system that only provides rights to those with the resources to demand them.
So when Anaheim residents – especially those like Dr. Moreno and Amin David, whom we happen to like and respect very much as people, are willing to allow their lives to be turned upside-down by filing a lawsuit with the ACLU, it was time to really listen to what they had to say. At-Large elections hadworked for Anaheim, yes, but clearly they were not working for ALL of Anaheim. At some point the rights of my neighbors to feel included in the electoral system must outweigh my desire to maintain my comfort zone.
At-Large elections shut out a very specific voting bloc from becoming viable candidates. Period. I don’t believe anyone intends to shut out candidates based solely on their race, but without question, At-Large elections have shut candidates out based on economics, and economics then break down along racial lines in Anaheim, as impoverished areas unable to field a candidate with resources to reach voters citywide will also tend to be those neighborhoods with heavily Latino populations.
Some day we will look at the factors that leave immigrant populations and their first generation descendants in greater poverty than their Caucasian counterparts, but for now we’re discussing elections, and it’s absolutely true that a grassroots candidate who might be a great leader does not have an ice cube’s chance in Hell of winning in an At-Large election in a city the size of Anaheim. If Districts can bring government down to bite-sized pieces in which a candidate can potentially cover enough ground to make a difference, that’s a step in the right direction. It’s then up to us to start encouraging good people to step up and take on the task of running, or we’ll get the government that our own apathy deserves.
Someone I greatly love and respect has been very vocal of late, speaking out against Measure L, claiming that our problem is one of participation, not representation. I do understand the numbers she is working with, and I too have questioned how a demographic group that represents half the city claims they lack representation. But vicen the overwhelming obstacles of running for office in Anaheim’s current At-Large system, those without significant resources walk away from the challenge. When voters consistently see nobody on the ballot that might understand the unique needs of their own part of the city, they quit showing up to vote. Thus lack of representation CAUSES lack of participation.
Every Republican casting a ballot in Presidential election years here in California understands the frustration and futility of the winner-takes-all system that is stacked against a GOP outcome. I won’t share the write-in candidates my husband and I have offered in protest to the Dems we know in advance will be taking electoral votes to the White House, I will simply say that we understand the frustration of knowing our votes don’t count.
So that’s my “flip-flop” on District Elections. I see the same downsides that I saw in 2012, and the same potential for pork. But, sadly, I also see that our current leadership is already so corrupted that Districts cannot possibly make things worse,might make things better, and passage of the Measure at least stopped the clock ticking on ACLU attorneys fees. (Because the one thing I hate more than any other aspect of this issue is the idea of writing a check to the hated ACLU!)
Richard and I set aside some of our own personal misgivings in order to promote what we saw as the greater good, and this week I’m glad to see that most of Anaheim’s citizens agreed. But then Matt Cunningham is not one of Anaheim’s citizens, so why would we expect any such thoughtfulness from him?
Back to that Anaheim Blog screed against me: Typically, Matt Cunningham not only backs up his belief that only those benefiting from the insiders system have the rights to speak about the issues, but refused to even let me defend my husband and myself. Now, this is what you see after his deleting my entire comment:
[Imagine the sound of fingernails on a chalk board. That will give you some idea of the intellectual nutritional value of primal screed from which readers have been spared.]
Matt’s juvenile refusal to permit my comment was followed by others he DID permit to be posted. This one especially caught my attention, as that account is share by a husband and wife team that live nearby, and the wife is a prominent Planning Commissioner, who (one might hope) could show some leadership values. Or maybe not…
I was glad to have received that particular mailer as I was just out of TP at that moment. Imagine the satisfaction I received knowing where I was putting Cynthia Ward’s face.
This Planning Commissioner’s often unhinged husband posted a similar gross comment to the Colony email group, where I no longer participate but am occasionally alerted to messages. So, despite their cowardly refusal to put real names to nasty thoughts, we know who they are. Matt Cunningham decided that THAT message was worthy of space paid for, albeit indirectly, by our public funds laundered through the Chamber of Commerce. Yet my defense of participation in an important election issue was not permitted.
I can only say that I am sad to hear my neighbors’ situation has bottomed out so completely that they are unable to provide for the basics like bath tissue, and perhaps if they laid off alcohol and cigarettes they could pull their finances together in a way that allows for necessities. Since their grasp of reality has become so tenuous, I might also point out that the mailer received just before that trip to the loo is printed on glossy paper, and not terribly absorbent. In short, the mailer, like the individuals depicted in the image,will not take crap off these people any time soon, and they are in for a rude awakening, should they sober up enough to realize how badly their choices have soiled them.
It’s telling that Matt Cunningham permitted this display of witty banter from my neighbors, while refusing to post my own reasoned defense for my public change of heart on an issue important to my community, one which HE brought up, and then failed to let me respond to. This is the caliber to which the Anaheim Blog has sunk. They are using OUR PUBLIC FUNDS, laundered through the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, to do this.
In any case, congratulations to the people of Anaheim, for the HUGE win this week. We kept our Mayor with such a landslide that it sends the message that while Anaheim supports our Anaheim Resort, we are more than a support system FOR THEM. James Vanderbilt has won by half a percentage point. That is ONE neighborhood walked that made a difference. For those who showed up day after day to walk precincts, make phone calls, set up neighborhood coffees, THIS IS YOUR WIN.
The fight is not over, there is work to do. We need to defund the Chamber of Commerce immediately, and allow their private patrons benefitting from their “advocacy” to support the activities, because it is not a public function to do this.
Congratulations to Eric Altman and the entire team for Measure L and M. They ran a positive campaign that stayed on message and won fair and square. They were out walking neighborhoods constantly and had a huge GOTV effort during election day. It remains to be seen how District Elections will play out in the long run. I can only say that it has to be better than retaining the selfish stranglehold on power and influence that has been in charge at City Hall. Anything that takes that jack boot off our throats is an improvement.
From The Voice of OC
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait handily won reelection Tuesday night, voter returns show, while his endorsed candidate for City Council, James Vanderbilt, unseated incumbent Councilwoman Gail Eastman.
Tait won 54.1 percent of the vote, trouncing opponents Lucille Kring, a sitting councilwoman, and Lorri Galloway, a former councilwoman, who each received less than 20 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, incumbent Councilwoman Kris Murray won reelection and led the council race with 21.2 percent of the vote. Vanderbilt took second place with 20.1 percent, and Eastman came in third at 19.6 percent. Only the top two vote getters in the council race win seats.
The election victories take a seat away from the formerly 4-1 City Council majority that has isolated Tait in recent years because of his opposition to massive tax subsidies for politically connected businesses. With Vanderbilt’s election, the council becomes a 3-2 split.
Murray and Eastman could not be immediately reached for comment.
At his election headquarters in downtown Anaheim, Tait’s family and supporters cheered as Vanderbilt’s slim lead over Eastman slowly widened, with Orange Juice Blog publisher Vern Nelson in the background playing tunes on his keyboard.
Tait said his reelection and Vanderbilt’s victory signal that the voters are tired of city leaders steering public resources to expensive projects and subsidies for the resort area and major businesses, while paying little attention to underserved neighborhoods.
Tait cited the controversial $158 million tax subsidy for a hotel developer, a now scrapped Angel Stadium lease proposal that gave over 150 acres of land to the team owner for $1 a year, a $319-million streetcar system, and a $200 million convention center expansion – all projects and subsidies voted on in the last two years – as issues that have turned voters against the council majority.
“This is about the people being central to Anaheim, and not the resort district,” Tait said.
Said Vanderbilt: “The mayor had a message. He said we need to bring this stuff to light.”
Tait and Vanderbilt won despite facing one of the most well-heeled campaigns in Orange County’s local races. Disneyland poured in over $670,000 toward mailers and other campaign material to back Murray and Eastman while attacking Vanderbilt and another candidate -- Latino leader Jose F. Moreno, who came in fourth with 13.6 percent of the vote.
Also, Tait was the target of aggressive attacks from a political action committee controlled by former mayor-turned-lobbyist Curt Pringle, including a TV ad featuring District Attorney Tony Rackauckas that falsely accused Tait of supporting a publicly funded gang memorial.
“It was below the belt,” Tait said. “But obviously it didn’t have much of an effect.”
Jason Young, a Tait supporter and former Save Anaheim blogger, said the election night was a defeat for Disney and Pringle. “Curt Pringle and Disney got their asses kicked,” he said.
Please thank council woman Kris Murray for delaying the inevitable and costing Anaheim taxpayers $2.47 million. You can send gift baskets and thank you cards to:
Kris Murray 200 S. Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805
or e-mail her at:
There is a great deal happening in the City of Anaheim - and a great deal to accomplish in the next few years. During my tenure on the Council, I cheated the Anaheim taxpayers out of millions in future revenue by subsidizing the GardenWalk Hotel development. Now I am working to giveaway development rights to Arte Moreno for a mere $1 a year to keep the Angels in Anaheim. I've also invested heavily in an innovative $319 million street car system that will shuttle Disney guests to the park and further congest Katella Avenue. Lastly, I have worked tirelessly to stop District Elections from becoming a reality in Anaheim. I prefer the status quo which keeps special interest money in control of who gets elected.
I am running for re-election because I am committed to every taxpayer ripoff my lobbyist friend Curt Pringle can concoct. Please join me April 2nd for a reception in support of my re-election campaign focused on "Promises Made, Promises Kept - Ripping off Anaheim, one vote at a time."
FYI this is for comedic purposes. Kris Murray did not write this.
An Anaheim mayoral candidate is being called to resign after she publicly said the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old probationer who wounded a police dog "saved us a trial."
Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring wrote the statement in question one day after Anaheim police officers shot and killed Robert Moreno, the gunman accused of opening fire on officers before shooting Anaheim K-9 Bruno in the mouth.
"The shooting saved us a trial. Always a good outcome," Kring wrote in an email thread sent to hundreds of homeowners in the city's historic Colony District.
The comments come at a time when the city of Anaheim is still reeling from back-to-back police shootings in 2012, which sparked unrest andcalls for a citizen panel to oversee the Anaheim Police Department.
One resident pushing for Kling's resignation is Donna Acevedo, a woman whose son was shot and killed by Anaheim police in 2013.
Acevedo is now running for her own seat on the council, and she kicked off her campaign with demands for Kling to step down.
"Especially her comments, they're just really disgusting, and it doesn't make the community feel like that there is any kind of healing going on" Acevedo told NBC4.
Acevedo has openly expressed her anger with Kring in past council meetings.
"You should step down from where you're sitting now, because you have no business sitting there. You don't represent the city, you don't care about people," Acevedo said before the crowd broke into applause at a council meeting.
In the city's most recent police shooting, officers were conducting a probation check on Moreno on March 20 when shots were fired at police. After the K-9 found Moreno hiding in a trash bin, he shot the dog, prompting police to return fire and kill Moreno.
The outpouring of support for Bruno, whom Kring hailed a hero, has garnered media attention. And that attention is prompting frustration for some Orange County residents who feel Moreno's death deserved more recognition.
Moreno's friend, Manuel Gonzalez.set up a memorial for Moreno Wednesday night and called Kring's comments cold-hearted.
"He didn't deserve to die like that you know," Gonzalez said. "They care more about the dog than a human being."
Kring made a public apology for her comments at Tuesday night's council meeting.
"The loss of a human life is always a tragedy. He was somebody's son, maybe an uncle, maybe a father maybe a brother," Kring said. "I apologize unreservedly for any statement, and I hope you will forgive me."
Kring also said her comments do not reflect her human values. Calls to her office by NBC4 were not returned by time of publication.
From The LA Times:
An Anaheim councilwoman is under growing pressure to resign following her online remarks that a fatal police shooting of a 22-year-old man had “saved us a trial.”
Lucille Kring, who now is running for mayor of Orange County's largest city, quickly apologized for her remarks, but some residents pushing for her resignation said it was too late.
Robert Moreno Jr., 22 was fatally shot last Thursday by officers following a police chase. Authorities said Moreno had fired at officers and injured a police dog, Bruno.
“The shooting saved us a trial. Always a good outcome,” Councilwoman Lucille Kring wrote on an online thread for residents of the city’s Colony District.
The fatal police shooting, as well as Kring’s remarks, drew dozens of residents to the Anaheim council meeting Tuesday. The relationship between police and residents in the city’s dense central neighborhoods has been a hot-button issue for several years.
Donna Acevedo, whose son Joel Acevedo was shot in an officer-involved shooting in July 2012 that fueled days of protests, said she didn’t care whether Kring retracted the statements because they reflected how she really felt.
“You have no business whatsoever running for mayor, you should step down from where you’re sitting,” said Acevedo, who is also running for a seat on the City Council. “You don’t represent the city, you don’t care about people.”
Kring remained still and looked on as several people spoke out against her.
Genevieve Huizar, who recently lost a wrongful death lawsuit for the officer-involved shooting of her son Manuel Diaz, called Kring’s statements sickening.
“Lucille, apology not accepted,” Huizar said. “How dare you? How dare you?”
Moreno was shot after two Orange County probation officers went to a home in the 1100 block of Mayfair Avenue. The suspect they were looking for was with two men who ran when the officers approached, authorities said.
One of the men fired at officers multiple times, said Anaheim police Lt. Tim Schmidt..
During a subsequent search, Bruno found Moreno hiding near a trash can. The suspect then fired on officers and Bruno, striking the dog in the face. The officers returned fire and killed Moreno, authorities said.
On Tuesday night, a soft drink can and a water bottle were filled with pink roses at the driveway where Moreno was shot.
Jennifer Garcia, 25, who lives nearby, said a lot of the attention had been focused on Bruno the police dog and very little on Moreno.
“Everybody can easily judge [Moreno] but honestly they never knew who he was,” Garcia said. “He deserves justice as much as the dog does.”
By Greg Diamond
From the PrevattOC — the remaining readable portion of what we once knew as “LiberalOC” — Chris Prevatt* presents important news about a new lawsuit against the City of Anaheim being threatened by the General Counsel for CATER — the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility.
[Slight Disclosure: CATER's General Counsel is ... well, me.]
*[Authorship was later changed to some other guy -- in the process of which the post's formatting was messed up. I'm not bothering to revise. If someone played a trick on me -- it worked!]
PrevattOC reproduces the text of the letter sent by CATER to Anaheim’s City Council prior to Tuesday’s Council Meeting. (GO READ THE STORY! It may be that few read the Liberal OC anymore, but the PrevattOC is perfectly respectable.) In that letter, CATER signs on to the letter sent to them on March 11, allowing CATER’s General Counsel to seek fees once the lawsuit is successful, and gently reminds the City of Anaheim that it must disclose to prospective investors that litigation really really will be forthcomingprior to the end of the statutory deadline.
Prevatt does the county a service by obtaining a stirring quote from Councilmember (and CATER General Counsel’s fellow Democrat) Jordan Brandman, which is worth reproducing in full:
According to Council member Jordan Brandman, this suit places in jeopardy thousands of union jobs.
“He is trying to stop a project that will create and enhance thousands of good craft, HERE, SEIU, and Teamster jobs,” Brandman told the LiberalOC. ”Not to mention the addtional funding also included in the bonds which will be proposed by City staff to build two new fire stations and make vital neighborhood/parks improvements.”
According to documents from the City of Anaheim, outside counsel to deal with CATER has already cost taxpayers about $20,000. This effort will only add to the cost.
CATER’s General Counsel has gone on record (it may be around here somewhere) as saying that CATERsupports the expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center — but only if it is done legally and prudently. (And CATER wouldn’t sue merely over it being imprudent, because if CATER started doing that sort of thing with respect to Anaheim City Council actions then CATER would never have time to do anything else.)
Rather, CATER is planning to sue because Anaheim’s vote to issue these bonds a mere three weeks after their vote is illegal. It is really, really, really illegal. And if something is illegal, it doesn’t really matter whether it will create jobs or build fire stations because it is … ILLEGAL!
Furthermore, and this may be an unfamiliar concept to Brandman, it’s not that hard to do it all legally. The amount to be spent on the fire stations is likely small enough that it could be done otherwise. Park improvements — well, unless they’re huge, those aren’t usually paid for using 30-year bonds anyway, right?
But here’s the thing: if the City Council wants to issue $300 million in bonds, it has to take that decision to the voters. You can click on the “PrevattOC” link or the “it may be around here somewhere” link to see the original letter by Cory Briggs, which explains what chapter and verse of both state law and Anaheim’s own City Charter the City’s audacious and bewildering decision to skip that little formality violates. (It’s along the lines of “the City Council can’t approve taking out bonds like that without taking a public vote.”)
Now, beyond the illegality, there are gigantic seething pits of imprudence in this proposal as well. You will soon be learning, if you don’t know — and don’t feel bad, if you don’t, because Brandman probably doesn’t know either* — what a Capital Appreciation Bond is and why that poses a problem.
*Warning: baiting Brandman like this is a pretty transparent attempt to lure him here and have him explain to us what a Capital Appreciation Bond is. APPROACH WITH CAUTION, JORDAN!
CATER isn’t suing (yet) over the imprudence part, but just over the illegality part. CATER is in a bit of a hurry because the Council scheduled the bond sale for JUST THREE WEEKS AFTER the Council Vote, which is before CATER could do all of its research into other related matters that may justify legal responses.
Even so, nothing that CATER is doing prevents the Anaheim City Council from going back and doing everything legally, which CATER believes is more appropriate. If this expansion can only be doneillegally, then CATER submits that there is something wrong with it.
Anyway, on most of the offered grounds, the delay has only needed to be slight. This plan haspresumably been on the burner for a while, right? And the next election, where Anaheim can expect a friendlier than otherwise primary electorate to turn out, is on June 3. Waiting a few months and following the law is reasonable, right?
Wait, what’s that?
The last day to place ballot measures on the primary ballot passed a couple of weeks back?
Huh — well, why did the Anaheim Council miss that deadline? They’ve been meeting almost every weekfor the last while – why didn’t they put a bleeding ballot measure on the bleeding primary ballot?
The answer appears to be that the Council members didn’t want to have a public vote on it — largely because then they would have had to explain it — and there are some aspects of the screwy approach to funding being proposed here that they would strongly prefer not to have to explain to the public.
If prospective jobs are now threatened, if firehouses are delayed, it is the City Council’s own damned fault, because they could have brought this proposal up for a vote earlier and had it placed on the ballot for voter approval — as legally required! (Part of the reason that they didn’t do so is probably that they had so many other giveaways to cram into the hopper first. Get greedy with how quickly you greedily get and people may start to catch on.)
(Note: the reason that the poorly advised Anaheim City Counsel supposedly thought that this didn’t need voter approval is that the deal was a product of the Anaheim Public Financing Agency, which at one time could have gotten away with this circumvention. The APFA is a joint enterprise of the Anaheim City Council and the Anaheim Redevelopment Authority. But, the Redevelopment Agency definitely no longer exists — and CATER will argue that the APFA no longer exists either, and even if it exists is not even remotely plausible as a means of circumventing the requirement for a public vote — which is there for an awfully good reason.)
So, craft and trade and public employee and hotel workers unions — if this project doesn’t happen then don’t blame me and don’t blame the existence of an easily understood law. Instead, you can blame the one person on the Anaheim City Council that is supposedly supposed to be swift enough to represent your interests: a guy named Jordan Brandman. And if none of you thought to ask whether a $300 million bond offering would have to go to a public vote, what with all of that “phasing out Redevelopment” stuff that was in the news a couple few years ago, you should really have more concern about whom you trust — and whom the person you trust trusts, who is in this case the mischievous, avaricious, and increasingly sloppy Curt Pringle.
As for the $20,000 already spent on outside counsel to fend off the first CATER lawsuit — and they’re leaving off the money they’ll end up owing CATER’s General Counsel, who would have preferred not to be put in the position of being entitled to collect it but will go ahead and take that money given that the people running Anaheim have made him work so hard for it — Anaheim could have avoided that money too simply by not violating the Brown Act and the Public Records Act to begin with.
Seriously, Brandman thinks that CATER should feel bad because he and the rest of his Council Majority, egged on by the likes of the current City Attorney and City Manager, can’t follow the law? CATER just has to shake its shaggy non-profit corporate head at that sort of ridiculous attitude.
CATER’s General Counsel offers Anaheim this deal: if Anaheim starts following the law, CATER will stop suing it.
Here are some reason you can give the two supervisors as to why Kris Murray is unfit for office:
Kris Murray thinks a fair deal for Anaheim taxpayers involves Angel’s team owner Arte Moreno paying no rent for Angel Stadium on top of giving him development rights to the parking lot for only $1 a year.
Kris Murray voted to giveaway $158 million in future tax revenue to help a millionaire build a privately owned hotel at GardenWalk.
Kris Murray supports building a $319 million streetcar to transport Disney guests on the taxpayers dime. $319 million for only 3 ½ miles of track and the demolition of a family-owned motel via imminent domain.
Kris Murray fought against District Elections which would give Anaheim taxpayers a greater voice at Anaheim City Hall.
Kris Murray violated state law when she voted for the $158 million GardenWalk Hotel giveaway.
Kris Murray complained to the OC Register owners regarding political ads targeting her and they changed their ad policy to stop dissent and obtain a lucrative deal to negotiate naming rights for the ARTIC train station.
Kris Murray supports the expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center even though it places a burden on the general fund.
Kris Murray blocks city residents who speak out against her on her Facebook fan page.
Kris Murray was named one of OC Weekly’s Scariest People of 2013.
Kris Murray supported the Enterprise Zone Program which was merely a way for Disney and Walmart to extract lucrative tax credits from taxpayers.
Kris Murray has criminalized the vulnerable homeless population
Sources tell Save Anaheim that OC GOP Chair Scott Baugh asked Kris Murray to remove his name from any future campaign literature. Clearly the Republican party isn't happy with Mrs. Murray's crony capitalist ways.
Bill Handel who was set to headline Lorri Galloway's kick-off fundraiser was a no-show according to sources who attended the event.