You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2013.

Earlier this month, Jason Young — wedding videographer by trade, deceptive gadfly blogger by choice — posted this video on his SaveAnaheim.com blog:

Young is very excited because the 4-member panel on a PBS show supports the idea of a civilian police review to duplicate the existing layers of police oversight.

On the other hand, Young must not have liked what panelist Mike Capaldi had to say about last summer’s Manuel Diaz shooting, since he editing that part of the video out. Here’s the complete exchange:

Read the rest of this entry »

PrintIf you’re looking for an opportunity to pump your fist and demand your fair share of other people’s money, then head on over to Anaheim City Hall for the May Day rally being organized by the Orange County Labor Federation.

May Day — or International Worker Day — was established in 1891 by the Second Socialist International.

The OC Labor Federation is a major supporter of carving up Anaheim into 8 council districts – limiting Anaheim residents to voting for only one councilmember rather than having a vote in the election of every councilmember.

The chanting, sloganeering and acts of solidarity begin at 11:00 a.m., and at some point a march will commence — ending at 12:30 p.m. at La Palma Park.

It will be a proletarian good time. Be there, or be a One Percenter square!

bob_wingenrothNo one really seems to know, which is apparent from this somewhat confusing Voice of OC article on the confusion over when City Manager Bob Wingenroth departs for his new job as assistant city manager of Surprise, Arizona.

The Anaheim City Council’s agenda for Tuesday might have been shaken up because of some confusion about exactly when resigning City Manager Bob Wingenroth is stepping down and ceding control of the city’s bureaucracy to a department head.

When Wingenroth first announced his resignation earlier this month, a city news release stated it would be effective June 7.

But last week Wingenroth sent an email to city officials indicating that he had departed and left Marcie Edwards, general manager of public utilities, at the helm, according to Mayor Tom Tait, who first backed appointing Wingenroth interim city manager in 2011.

Yet by the end of the week, Wingenroth was still city manager.

“I just left City Hall, and he was there. I don’t know exactly what his status is,” Tait said when asked last week. Tait said that despite Wingenroth’s memo, the city manager will likely “stay until the next meeting.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

The Anaheim City Council meets tonight,m so perhaps some clarification on this question will emerge.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For reasons I don’t understand, when a reader clicks on the title of a post to read the full post, the byline disappears, which often leaves readers confused as to the authorship of the post. To allieviate that confusion, going forward I will insert an editor’s note at the beginning of posts not written by yours truly to clarify the authorship. In this case, it is Anaheimocrat.]

Something seemed off when I read yesterday’s OC Register editorial on the GardenWalk project (which the editorial writer mistakenly believed to be on tomorrow’s council agenda), so I searched out last year’s OCR editorial opposing the agreement and compared the two.

In the February 7, 2012 editorial, the Register blasted the TOT rebate as “an outright subsidy;” that criticism was nowhere to be seen yesterday, but instead commends the Anaheim City Council for seeking a policy “growth and economic development for the city.”

The editorial up-dated its call for applying this tax incentive evenly. I say updated because last year the OCR’s proposed alternative was lowering the TOT tax for all Anaheim hotels, which also showed the writer didn’t really understand the policy he was criticizing. The writer said the GardenWalk TOT rebate agreement was unfair to existing Anaheim hotels.

A year later, the OCR editorial page is instead recommending the City Council adopt a uniform tax rebate policy for new developments, not just hotels. Of course, this would exclude existing hotels, which an about-face from last year when the OCR denounced the GardenWalk agreement partly on those grounds that existing hotels didn’t get the same subsidy.

The OC Register’s claim that the GardenWalk deal is favoritism is still doesn’t reconcile with the facts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray has been a voice of reason and sanity on the issue of single-member council districts — which, it should be noted, would limit the representation currently enjoyed by Anaheim voters.

As it stands, every Anaheim voter gets to vote for their Mayor and for all four Councilmembers. Switching to single-member districts would limit each voter to a vote for only the mayor and the one council member elected to serve their geographic area.

Here’s Kris Murray’s op-ed that ran in yesterday’s OC Register:

Anaheim Elections: Residents, Not Special Interests, Will Determine Anaheim’s Governance

Whether you believe Anaheim should be broken into single-member council districts or that residents have the right to elect their entire City Council, the process of determining such a change matters. Both the ACLU and Mayor Tom Tait pushed for swift action to place a ballot initiative in front of Anaheim voters before the community had any opportunity to play a part in the process. As it turns out, if the council had approved the ballot initiative proposed by Mayor Tait last year to divide Anaheim into single-member districts, it would have been a violation of state law.

Read the rest of this entry »

Earlier this week, a commenter posted a link to this April 2, 2013 article from UnionWatch.com. It should serve as a wake up call to conservatives and those who occupy the sensible center that the drive for single-member council districts in Anaheim is not an isolated event, but part of a broader campaign for the unions and their left-wing political allies to expand their political influence in local government.

They are looking to make Anaheim their beachhead in Orange County. If Anaheim goes, next on the target list will be Orange, Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Westminster, Garden Grove, etc. Those Republicans in Anaheim and Orange County who either support single-member council districts or yawn at the prospect of them really need to wake up and smell the left-wing coffee. And those Vichy-types who want to run up the white flag because they’ve swallowed the propaganda that the ACLU lawsuit is unbeatable…well, they need to get spine-up and fight.

Here’s the article – it is a must-read:

Unions Will Control Mid-Sized Cities with California Voting Rights Act

by Kevin Dayton

Unions firmly control the political agenda in California’s largest cities, but civic leaders and citizens in some of the state’s smaller cities are still resisting the union political machine.

Some of these cities, with populations from 100,000 to 250,000, include Escondido, Oceanside, Murrieta, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Clovis, Elk Grove, and Roseville. These are cities where a dominant faction of elected and appointed officials generally puts a priority on efficiently providing basic services at a reasonable cost to their citizens.

Not surprisingly, city councils in some of these cities have attempted to enact home-rule charters or have exercised rights under their home-rule charters to free themselves from costly state mandates. This greatly agitates unions, which have long worked to attain their unchecked control of the agenda at the capitol.

Union officials want California’s cities to submit fully to state laws regarding collective bargaining for public employees and government-mandated wage rates (“prevailing wages”) for construction contractors. As reported in www.UnionWatch.org throughout 2012, public employee unions and construction trade unions spent huge amounts of money to convince voters in some of these cities to reject proposed charters.

Obviously unions don’t want to spend $1 million in dozens of cities every two years to defeat proposed charters, as they did in Costa Mesa before the November 2012 election. And soon they won’t have to spend any more money.

Unions are now implementing a tactic to alter political control of these smaller cities. It is likely to succeed in turning almost every California city with a population of 100,000 or more from fiscal responsibility to “progressive” governance based on theories of social justice.

Unions and their attorneys are masters at exploiting the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to attain unrelated economic objectives that benefit unions. And now unions are using the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (Election Code Section 14025 et seq.) as a tool to ensure the adoption of union-backed public policies at local governments.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

"I'D LOVE TO BE THERE...BUT I'M DEAD."

“I WISH I COULD BE THERE…BUT I’M DEAD.”

The OC Labor Federation is organizing a May Day rally in front of Anaheim City Hall.

It will start at 11:00 a.m., presumably start of with some rip-roaring speeches about sharing the wealth, and then a march to La Palma Park ending at 12:30 p.m. Here’s the flyer.

May Day — or International Worker Day — was established in 1891 by the Second Socialist International.

At its May Day rally, OCLF will raise fists in support of “equality, fairness, respect and dignity for all workers and a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans.” I didn’t realize “aspiring Americans” had become a synonym for illegal immigrant. That raises the art of the euphemism to an entirely new level.

You can bet your bottom dollar UNITE-HERE will be there, and OCCORD, and Lorri Galloway and various and sundry agitators also pressing for single-member council districts, a “living wage,” a retention ordinance, a civilian police oversight board, and probably a gate tax and ban on circus animals.

Dr. Jose F. Moreno

Dr. Jose F. Moreno

Los Amigos of Orange County has proposed another bad idea: a series of “community forums” for selecting Anaheim’s next city manager.

Here’s the e-mail sent to the Anaheim City Council on Monday by Los Amigos President Jose F. Moreno:

Good Monday Morning Mayor Tait and Councilmembers:

This past week, in their search for a new City Manager, the Santa Ana City Council announced various community forums they are hosting as an opportunity for residents, community organizations and stakeholders to provide input in the characteristics that their city needs in a new City Manager.

We thought the idea of open and inclusive community forums a grand idea for our great City of Anaheim as we begin the search for our new City Manager!

Please accept this as our formal request that as our Mayor and City Council, you convene various community forums across the city to gather  input on the characteristics sought / needed for a new City Manager in Anaheim. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Larry Larsen is a member of the Anaheim Citizen’s Advisory Committee, to which he was appointed last year by Councilwoman Lorri Galloway (not by Tom Tait, as Gabriel San Roman of the OC Weekly erroneously reported).

I’ve attended most of the CAC meetings, which he usually sits through, sphinx-like, with the exception of using the beginning of the meeting to state how much it has cost the city to fight the ACLU litigation.

I missed last week’s CAC meeting, but watched on video as Mr. Larsen went on a noteworthy diatribe (go to the 2:02:04 mark on the video)

“There are special interests people on this committee, that do belong to special interests, and they know who they are and I know who some of them are.”

Who’s The Special Interest?
I have to imagine that one of the “special interest people” Larry Larsen was referring to was himself. Otherwise, it would be ludicrous for Mr. Larsen to wag his finger about “special interests.”  Larsen is a loyal minion of former Lorri Galloway who can be relied upon to tow the line, and a part of the special-interest coalition pushing for carving the city into eight single-member districts.

Here’s Mr. Larsen on a campaign mailer sent out last year by one of the biggest special interests aroound, the Orange County Employees Association:

Read the rest of this entry »

“The Orange County Labor Federation, during its last two strategic planning sessions prioritized achieving district based elections…”

OC Labor logoThat statement should be cause for alarm as the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) winds up its work next month. As Anaheim Blog has documented, a highly-organized coalition of left-wing unions and a satellite non-profit are working every angle to carve Anaheim into eight single-member council districts, and better position themselves to enact liberal policies that diminish property rights and economic liberty.

Keep in mind that the OC Labor Federation’s point man on this issue is its political director, Julio Perez — and CAC Chair Vivian Pham was a donor to Perez’s failed 2012 Assembly campaign.

Here it is from the OC Labor Federation website:

This came over the transom from the City of Anaheim last week, but still worth sharing:

ANAHEIM PASSES RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF COMPREHENSIVE FEDERAL IMMIGRATION REFORM

 ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 18, 2013)  At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the Anaheim City Council unanimously approved a Resolution in support of comprehensive federal immigration reform.  The Resolution encourages the United States Congress to adopt and enact immigration reform based on six main principles, many of which have been outlined by both business and labor groups working in collaboration to promote reform at the federal level. 

As outlined in the resolution, the immigration reform would provide a path to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, focus on securing international borders while providing practical controls, improve the current visa program, assess the labor market’s needs accurately and admit foreign workers based on those needs, increase workforce talent outreach programs, and effectively process the backlog of existing visa applications streamlining the process.   

Read the rest of this entry »

tait portraitVivian PhamReading Matt Cunningham’s coverage of the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee process ought to be an eye-opener for anyone concerned about the future of our city. It has put all other media coverage combined to shame.

Sad to say, it has largely been hijacked by a confederacy of highly-organized and well-funded liberal pressure groups with direct representation on the CAC, courtesy of Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway.

Take a look at the CAC Chair, Vivian Pham. When Tom Tait appointed her, she had only lived in Anaheim for two years, according to voter records sent to me.

Two years! Anaheim is more than a century-and-a-half old. The CAC is making recommendations to the City Council about how our city will be governed for the next century. And the Mayor appoints a new arrival with no understanding of the history, culture or political landscape of Anaheim? Shouldn’t that make Cynthia Ward go into “tilt” mode?

Pham is a liberal Democrat who, in her day job as a “community development officer” for Wells Fargo Bank, has shoveled almost one hundred thousand dollars into the coffers of OCCORD, the group leading the lobbying effort targeting the CAC.

Conflict, anyone?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections held its next-to-last meeting last night (I’ll post the video when it is available). It’s main business was voting on recommendations about the structure of the Anaheim City Council — specifically, whether to expand the size of the council, and whether to continue electing members at-large or switch to a single-member district basis.

The underlying dynamic has been a united bloc of CAC members appointed by Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway,  who have been coordinating from the get-go with a left-wing coalition led by OCCORD and UNITE-HERE Local 11 to achieve a recommendation for 8 single-member council districts. The other the six committee members are more disparate and have not approached the matter with the same single-mindedness; half of them were appointed midway through the process to fill vacancies left by resignations.

[This has been the case from the very beginning when the CAC elected its chair and vice chair. Martin Lopez (a Galloway-appointee and secretary of the UNITE-HERE Local 11 union) nominated Tait-appointee Vivian Pham (a liberal Democrat who has only lived in Anaheim for two years and provides major funding for OCCORD) to be chair — before she had even arrived at the meeting.  The motion was seconded by Tait-appointee Bill Dalati (another Democrat and a past council candidate). Pham then nominated Dalati for vice chair, which was seconded by Lopez. It was clearly plotted out ahead of time.]

OCCORD and UNITE-HERE ran one of their human wave drills, mustering 15 or so bodies to the microphone during public comments to rattle of scripted support for eight single-member councils districts. This is part of their attempt to create, for the CAC’s public record, the mirage of broad support for single-member council districts among Anaheim residents.

The professional facilitator hired to run the last two meetings where draft recommendations have been voted on, segregated last nights voting on council structure into two separate ballots: one on the size of the council, followed by a vote on the at-large v. single-member district.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guaranteed jobs...it works for Cuba!

Guaranteed jobs…it works for Cuba!

Thus far, UNITE-HERE Local 11 has been trying to spin their dispute with Anaheim Arena Management into an issue of whether their members will continue working at The Honda Center when AAM takes over food service operations from Aramark on July 1.

Judging by the media coverage, the spinning is working. This Voice of OC article from last week is a good example:

Labor unions are increasing pressure on Honda Center management amid concerns that more than 400 workers who serve food and drinks at the Anaheim arena could soon lose their jobs.

Arena management will take control of food service in July, and it isn’t ruling out layoffs.

And by corollary, they haven’t ruled them in, either.

Read the rest of this entry »

Last night the Anaheim City Council voted 4-1 to approve a new, two-year contract with the Anaheim Police Association that ends a practice that increased pension benefits, and starts new hires at a less generous defined-benefit retirement. Mayor Tom Tait voted against approval.

From the Voice of OC:

Under the contract, the pension formula for new members of the Anaheim Police Association is 2.7 @ 57, which means that upon turning 57 an officer can receive a pension equal to 2.7 percent of their salary for each year served. 

This means that after 30 years of service, officers can retire with 81 percent of their final salary. Current members of the Anaheim force are covered by a 3 @ 50 formula that allows them to collect up to 90 percent of their salaries after 30 years of service.

According to Anaheim Human Resources Director Kristine Ridge, the agreement saves approximately $1.6 million over the term of the contract, mostly by eliminating the “pers-on-pers” benefit by which the city paid the employees’ 9 percent contribution to the state’s public employees retirement system, then reported it as part of employees’ salaries.

With this benefit in place, the pension calculation of a retiring officer earning $100,000 would be based on $109,000.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vivian Pham

Vivian Pham

The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on Elections is chaired by Vivian Pham, a liberal Democrat who had only lived in Anaheim for two years when Mayor Tom Tait chose her last fall as one of his two appointees to the CAC (the other being another Democrat, Bill Dalati).

I eventually came to the opinion she was almost certainly coordinating with the left-wing coalition, led by OCCORD and UNITE-HERE Local 11, that is lobbying the CAC to recommend electing the City Council by single-member districts. After all, in her capacity as its Community Development Officer, Wells Fargo has funded OCCORD’s activities to the tune of at least $80,000. Furthermore, it is hardly a secret Pham is solidly in favor of single-member council districts.

Other observers of the CAC process have reached the same conclusion, and any doubts I may have had pretty much evaporated during last week’s CAC meeting (you can watch the video here).

Read the rest of this entry »

Some of my Republican friends argue with me over my support for the GardenWalk project TOT rebate, pointing out that it isn’t free market economics and that government shouldn’t subsidize a business enterprise.

My response is that they’re right, but Anaheim isn’t working in a free market. I recognize that state government has gone too far on the regulation and taxation of business activity, and Anaheim itself is bordered by a city that has no compunctions about luring four-star hotels with not only TOT rebates, but free land.

Last week, the Garden Grove City Council unanimously voted to give a luxury hotel developer five-acres of city-owned land on Harbor Boulevard , adjacent to the Resort District. The council also voted to rebate back to the developer millions in TOT generated by the project for up to 20 years.

At the same meeting, the council unanimously approved a water park resort-and-hotel project, with the city putting up the land and issuing $42 million in revenue bonds to finance it.

Where was the outrage from Adam Elmahrek of the Voice of OC, or the OC Register editorial writers?

Read the rest of this entry »

I wanted to share this observation a reader e-mailed to me a few days ago, prompted by the OC Register’s article of the Anaheim Police Department’s crime-clearance statistics (a report greeted by much glee in police critic circles):

“One thought that seemed to crystallize in my mind after reading the Register article is that is in fact there is a problem with the crime capabilities of the Anaheim police department, why would a citizen review committee have the skills necessary to uncover such a problem much less solve the problem, is that what the council was elected for and is that what professional law enforcement is supposed to figure out.  If we are losing a war do we appoint a citizen committee to solve the problem? No, we look to the president, our elected officials and the professional staff at the pentagon to solve the problem.”

I think that is an excellent point. It is an ironic symptom of modern, progressive democracy to respond to policy and governance issues (real or perceived) by creating new, unelected government bodies and expanding the degree to which we are governed by those we did not elect.  Not only does this rarely solve the issue at hand, but it blurs the lines of accountability. It further attenuates the relationship between government and the governed in the name of removing “politics” from the process — which, in fact, never happens: the politics remain as embedded in the process as ever, but are less amenable to being changed by the citizenry.

bob_wingenrothThis was published today on YourWestValley.com:

Anaheim city manager takes Surprise CFO post

Surprise has appointed the city manager of Anaheim, Calif. as the city’s assistant city manager/chief financial officer.

City Manager Chris Hillman announced the selection Wednesday of Bob Wingenroth, who also was former finance director in Phoenix.

“Bob has outstanding credentials and a strong record of success as a financial expert and municipal government manager,” Hillman said. “His extensive Arizona experience is also very welcome and will benefit the residents of Surprise.”

 Wingenroth was the Phoenix city auditor from 1999 until 2005, when he was appointed finance director, a position he had until his retirement in 2009.

Read the rest of this entry »

When you boil it down, the ACLU’s attempt to litigate the City of Anaheim into replacing the at-large system of electing the city council with single-member council districts is really about race; specifically classifying citizens on the basis of their race and designing a system of representation that is based on race.

The ACLU alleges the current system violates the California Voting Rights Act, disenfranchises Latinos and demands increasing the number of Latinos on the council via single-member council districts.

It is clear to anyone who has been paying attention tat the left-wing coalition pushing single-member districts views the world through race-colored glasses. The internal logic of this thinking inevitably leads us to away from the “content of our character” ideal articulated by Martin Luther King, Jr., pushing us backward to absurd spectacle of an increasingly inter-racial society arguing over what someone’s “real” ethnicity is.

And the mangling of color-blindness was on display in these paragraphs from the Voice of OC’s story on yesterday’s decision by Judge Franz Miller to delay hearing the lawsuit until July:

The city challenges the validity of the lawsuit in court documents, arguing that members of minority groups have consistently been elected to the City Council. According to the city, 10 seats have been up for election since 2002, with seven of those seats filled by either “Asian” or “Hispanic” council members.

One of those council members is former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway, who is Spanish and Filipina, a mix that ACLU attorney Robert Ruben said doesn’t meet the criteria for Latina under the Voting Rights Act.

What a sad, infuriating spectacle. But not an unexpected one. When racial bean-counting is the coin of the realm for acquiring political power and “representation,” should we be surprised when such argument breaks out over whether or not someone is really Latino (or Asian or whichever ethnicity is deemed in need of increased “representation)? If single-member council districts become a reality in Anaheim, we can expect more of such demeaning spats.

Read the rest of this entry »

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Contributors

%d bloggers like this: