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Year of Kindness logoMayor Tom Tait has declared 2013 the Year of Kindness in Anaheim – not that one would know it from the public comments during this morning’s special council meeting.

A group of the mayor’s supporters showed up this morning to oppose Councilman Brandman’s proposal that the mayor or a councilmember have the support of at least one colleague in order to place items on the council agenda (this would eliminate the mayor’s ability to unilaterally agendize items at any time). Nothing wrong with that.

First, and worst, was noisome gadfly William Denis Fitzgerald, who had this to say:

99% of the Jewish people are good, hard-working individuals who practice their faith. Unfortunately, less than 1% are greedy, scheming, malicious Jews like Jordan Brandman – and some say, like the Jewish leadership of the Disney corporation, whose money got Brandman elected.

It was the Jordan Brandman-type of evil jews that led to the harted of all jews in Germany and the Holocaust. let us hope that never again will people confuse the action of a few, evil, anti-American Jews like Jordan Brandman with the Jewish population as a whole.

Fitzgerald concluded with a truly vicious slur against Brandman. Spewing anti-Semitism, blaming the Holocaust on the Jews, and then spitting out a nasty epithet – Fitzgerald reached a new low this morning, which I didn’t think was possible.

I wish Mayor Tait dished out something far stronger than his mild admonishment of Fitzgerald, which was more along the lines of how to better “express” himself. although he did tell Fitzgerald he had “crossed the line” with the personal slur against Brandman.

I think it is interesting that the people in the chamber vocalized greater disapproval when the four councilmembers explained their reasons than they directed at Fitzgerald’s bigotry.

At this point, it bears mentioning that Fitzgerald is part of the Orange Juice Blog’s information transmission belt. Perennial council candidate Brian Chuchua – another cog in that clunky machine —
recently posted this on the Facebook page of the Anaheim Canyon Community Coalitions:

Chuchua posting e-mails on Anaheim Canyon Comm Coaltion FB page

It’s an e-mail from Orange Juice blogger Greg Diamond of the City of Brea, asking the like-minded to disseminate one of his unreadable, interminable screeds. You’ll note William Denis Fitzgerald there on the distribution list, along other squeaky wheels, mud-slingers and attention-seekers like Cynthia Ward, Jason Young, Larry Larsen and Amin David. Nice company.

Speaking of Amin David, he spoke a few minutes after Fitzgerald:

On this beautiful fresh morning we come here to ask questions as to why this time has been agendized for 8:00 a.m. today. It’s very strange. But certain things come from despicable people such as Jordan Brandman. He wants to stifle you, Mr. Mayor, from putting items on the agenda that need clarity, that need debate, that need public input. And he wants to stifle you from doing that.

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angry-mob-playsetTuned in a few minutes ago to the Anaheim City Council’s special meeting on amending council policy regarding how councilmembers agendize items.

I just missed the public comments, but judging from the jeering and hooting from the peanut gallery, it’s pretty clear the usual suspects showed up to spew their hysteria and hyperbole.

What is striking is these some people go completely ape if they perceive someone has been rude to Mayor Tom Tait, but feel completely free to act like goons toward anyone who disagrees with them. Their hypocrisy is astonishing. Last week, one of these usual suspects equated being rude to the mayor with attacking democracy itself (and then within minutes, was jeering other councilmembers from the audience).

One has to wonder how these folks will start behaving once the Year of Kindness is over.

UPDATE: The city council ultimately approved a substitute put forward by Councilwoman Lucille Kring.

Councilman Jordan Brandman’s original proposal was to amend council policy as follows (proposed changes in red):

“It is the policy of the City Council that any member of the City Council may, during the City Council Communications portion of a City Council meeting, request that an item be placed on a future City Council regular meeting agenda. So long as there is assent or concurrence by at least one additional member of the City Council, the item will be agendized.”

Councilwoman Kring suggested they instead require that when the mayor and/or councilmembers want to place an item on a future council agenda, they simple make the request during council communications.

It’s my understanding that under this revision, the mayor will no longer be able to unilaterally place items on the agenda at any time.

There was much sturm and drang during the special council meeting, including claims this will cripple the mayor’s office. Barring future revision of council policy, it is true the mayor will not be able to place items on the agenda at anytime. For example, I believe last week’s discussion item on the Angels negotiation was agendized by Mayor Tait the day before the agenda was posted,.

However, I think it is a real exaggeration for anyone to say this change will cripple city government.  Based on my observations of city government in Anaheim, what is far more damaging and destabilizing is trying to bend City Hall to every outburst and demand from a small but vocal faction of headache collectors and left-wingers who holds themselves out as embodying the Will of the People of Anaheim.

lorri_galloway_smallAnaheim Insider here.

The OC Labor Federation had a send-off celebration for its Executive Director Tefere Gebre. The left-wing firebrand is off to Washington DC to be the Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO. From there, he can wage war on free enterprise on a national scale.

Former Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway was at the union gathering, and was overheard telling Irvine Councilmember Beth Krom and others that she is planning to run for Mayor of Anaheim next year.

This is in keeping with what insiders have been hearing since last year.

Anaheim’s Charter Review Commission met last night to take up several parts of Section 500 of the city charter, which pertains to the mayor and city council.

I wasn’t able to attend the meeting and the video isn’t up yet, but here’s what i am told took place.

There was a move to change the mayoral term from four to two years. Anaheim is the only Orange County city with a directly-elected mayor in which the mayoral term is four years. All other OC cities with directly elected mayors – Orange, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster, Irvine — have two-year mayoral terms.

This recommendation was approved on a 5-2 vote. Commissioners Robert Dunn (Tait appointee) and Amanda Edinger (Kring appointee) voted in opposition.

The CRC also took up the matter of term limits. Currently the charter states that “No person shall serve as Mayor or as a member of the City Council for a combined period of more than eight consecutive years.” A quirk of the term limits section prohibits councilmembers from running fro mayor in the middle of their second council term.

I’m told Commissioners Dunn (Tait appointee) and Keith Oleson (Gail Eastman appointee) argued for eliminating term limits altogether, and the CRC ultimately voted 6-1 to do just that, with Commissioner Gloria Ma’ae (CRC appointee) voting in opposition.

The next meeting of the CRC is October 17.

Anaheim Insider here.

Some of the biggest news from last night’s Anaheim City Council meeting came at the very end, during councilmember communications. I watched the video as Councilman Jordan Brandman wrapped up his comments this way (start at the 5:16:23 mark on the council video)

In closing, I have a matter for council consideration. Our city council policy relating to the manner in which members of the council may place matters on the city council meeting agenda, the regular meeting agendas, was last amended and re-stated on April 17, 2012.  At that time, resolution number 2012-031 was approved and adopted by the city council establishing Council Policy 1.6.

Then he dropped this bomb:

I request consideration of Council Policy 1.6, Section 1, to be amended and revised, to read as follows: “Any member of the city council may, during the city council communications portion of a city council meeting, request that an item be placed on a future city council agenda. So long as there is assent or concurrence by at least one additional member of the council, the item will be agendized.” End of section. This provision assures the principle of equal governance, and afford all members of the legislative body equal authority as it pertains to the agenda setting process…

Brandman then requested this matter be agendized for a special city council meeting within the next five business days, and both Kris Murray and Lucille Kring gave the necessary assent.

As it stands, any Anaheim councilmember can place an item an a future agenda regardless of what his or her colleagues think. Brandman’s amendment would require them to have the OK of at least one colleague.

This isn’t an unusual policy among California cities, I am told. It is Anaheim’s current policy that is unusual. It shouldn’t prove an obstacle to any of the current councilmembers, with the exception of Mayor Tom Tait.  It’s my experience and that of other Anaheim politicos that Tait uses this power far more often than any previous mayor or any of his current or past council colleagues.  Last night’s rehashing of the September 3 council meeting on the Angels negotiation MOU is an example of Tait using that power.

If it this amended policy is adopted, it’s fairly certain there won’t be repeats of that experience.

I’m at the Anaheim City Council meeting. Homeless advocate Ron Thomas is threatening the City Council with a recall if they enact an ordinance pertaining to camping on public property and storing personal property on public property. While I think it is horrible and wrong what happened to his son — boy, is this guy on a power trip.

The proposed ordinance is intended to preserve public property for the use of the public, rather than the de facto removal of that property from public use – which is what happens when parks, for example, become homeless camps.

Thomas pretty much claimed sole credit for the successful Fullerton council recall of last year, and coolly stated he would unleash his army to recall the Anaheim City Council if they did not submit to his will. I’ve been involved in politics for many years, and I recognize when an individual is on an ego or power trip.

It’s an empty threat, of course. If Thomas thinks he can mobilize Anaheim voters to recall the council in order to preserve homeless camps on public property…he’s out of touch with reality. Plus, he won’t have access to Tony Bushala’s checkbook – without which the Fullerton recall would have sputtered and died.

UPDATE (8:24 p.m.):  the council has voted to continue consideration of the ordinance to October 8 in order to conduct more community outreach on the topic.  I don’t see Ron Thomas anywhere in the council chamber.

Talking to neighbors and other Anaheimers gives me an idea of how informed and misinformed people are about the negotiations between the Angels and Anaheim. I think this is in large part due to how Mayor Tait and his allies have worked to drive a message that it is a bad deal for Anaheim taxpayers, a message that has made its way into local media coverage (the Voice of OC is probably the worst). That’s a strange message since there is no deal yet.

I have found that through fact-based conversation with others that they tend to come around to the view that the principles of the negotiation MOU are fair and should result in a good deal for the city.

One factoid being put forward by reactionary critics is that the city is “giving away” land that is worth “billions.”

if this land if so valuable, then why has it sat there unused and undeveloped, under the eyes of City Hall, for nearly twenty years (Mayor Tom Tait was on the City Council for ten of those years).  At hand are, I believe, 120 acres. The bulk of this land is encumbered by parking agreements with Angels, office buildings, Amtrak, and the City National Grove.  Let’s factor out the existing stadium, which leaves probably 100 acres and value it at approximately $1.5 million an acre.

Granted, that is ballpark (pardon the pun) since a more exact valuation is difficult given the encumbrances (which are ignored by critics who talk as if development could begin tomorrow).  Even so, that puts the value at around $150 million.  If the city ultimately transfers developments rights to Arte Moreno in a lease agreement, that releases the city from its annual $600,000 stadium maintenance obligation. If Mr Moreno agrees to put $150 million into the stadium, the city comes out ahead just in that respect.

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keep the angels_logoThis went out from the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce deal:

Keep the Angels in Anaheim!

We need your attendance at a special Rally to Keep the Angels on Tuesday at 4:30 PM in front of Anaheim City Hall!

 As you know, the Angels’ lease at Anaheim Stadium is up in the next few years, and the City and Angels Baseball are in negotiations to extend the lease. The Council has adopted a broad framework around which the City will negotiate with the Angels to extend the lease. Under that framework:

  • The Angels will extend the lease to 2057, keeping the Angels in Anaheim for almost 50 years.
  • The Angels will assume the obligation to pay for $150 million in needed upgrades to the Stadium, saving the taxpayers from having to pay.
  • The Angels will partner with the City to develop a dining/entertainment/retail district next to the stadium similar to what we see around other major league stadiums. This development will bring thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity in Anaheim.

The City Council adopted this framework on a 4-1 vote with Council Members Gail Eastman, Kris Murray, Lucille Kring, and Jordan Brandman supporting the proposal and Mayor Tom Tait opposing it. 

We have helped launch a new coalition, Keep the Angels, and will be fighting to support the framework adopted by the Council which we believe will keep the Angels in town and promote even more economic opportunity in our City. You can find out more about this coalition by visiting their website at www.KeepTheAngels.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KeeptheAngels.

The Council will be discussing the Angels deal again at their Council Meeting on Tuesday, and we have scheduled a Rally to Keep the Angels before the City Council meeting to make it clear that we want to Keep the Angels in Anaheim. 

The Angels have been a valuable partner in Anaheim for over 40 years. They have supported billions of dollars of commerce in Anaheim over the years, and perhaps even more importantly, brought joy and a sense of community to our city for all these years. They have also supported many, many charities in Anaheim in their time here. 

Please join us and others from across our community at our Rally to Keep the Angels in Anaheim on Tuesday, at 4:30 PM at City Hall!

There is quite a bit of misinformation being disseminated by the usual suspects – and it is disappointing that Mayor Tait is de facto undermining the city negotiators. I would respectfully suggest that those who claim “the Angels aren’t going anywhere” don’t know what they are talking about, and they are equally ill-informed when they characterize the potential leasing of the adjoining city-owned property to Arte Moreno as a “give-away.”

Liking the “Keep the Angels” Facebook page and taking Voice of OC coverage and the clams of Cynthia Ward and her crew with a huge grain of salt are the beginnings of wisdom on this issue.

Last week, John Phillips, a talk radio host on KABC AM 790, had PBS SoCal CEO KOCE Mel Rogers on his program. The topic:  PBS SoCal’s (aka KOCE-TV) news partnership with the Voice of OC, an outlet that receives almost all of its funding from public employee unions and Democratic politicians.

PBS SoCal’s “Real Orange” news show relies heavily on the Voice of OC for coverage of orange County government and politics, and broadcasts a regular feature with Norberto Santana, the editor-in-chief of the Voice.

Phillips confronted Rogers with the facts about the Voice: that its existence depends on funding from the Orange County Employees Association and Democratic politicians, and that it’s board of directors is dominated by liberals and Democratic partisans.

Here’s a link to the podcast of the interview. Instead of dealing with those facts, Mel Rogers keeps falling back on the same response, claiming the Voice provides fair, reliable investigative journalism:

“I’m concerned that viewers get fair, solid investigative journalism. Up to this point, we’ve never found an instance where Voice of OC has not given us that. And the day they do, we won’t have a relationship with them.”

Whether or not he meant to, Rogers spelled out a termination clause for SoCal PBS’s partnership with the Voice.

Anaheim Insider here.

if you were at the September 3 Anaheim City Council meeting, you’ll remember Mayor Tom Tait’s PowerPoint presentation of his objections to the negotiations framework with the Angels. At the invitation of Council Jordan Brandman, city staff did a pretty thorough job of highlighting and debunking the errors that ran through it.

Mayor Tait is now taking that same misleading and error-filled PowerPoint on the road to community groups in Anaheim, trying to stir up opposition to the negotiation parameters. Not a final deal. Not a proposed final agreement. But a framework for city negotiations with the Angels.

When a proposed deal is actually brought to the City Council for consideration, then of course the Mayor is within his rights to oppose it with all the energy he can muster, as everyone knows he will.

But what is so disappointing about the Mayor’s roadshow is the spectacle of the Mayor of Anaheim actively working to undermining the city government he was elected to lead while it is in negotiations with the Angels. Does the Mayor believe he is strengthening the city’s negotiation position by running around the city trying to alarm residents and businesses owners with misleading and inflammatory claims? How does that help city negotiators bring home the best deal possible for the city?

The Mayor will doubtless receive air support from the Voice of OC, which is probably prepping some slanted piece attempting to lend credibility to the claim that the negotiation framework is somehow a giant subsidy, instead of a pathway to a deal in which Anaheim gets a refurbished stadium and enlists a billionaire to bring economic vitality to a chunk of land that has sat fallow and unproductive for years and years in the custody of city government.

The Anaheim insider predicts the next Tait target will be the Anaheim Convention Center. Apparently, anything that draws people and money to Anaheim is a target.

The Orange County Water District Board of Directors meets tomorrow morning. Among the closed session items is about beginning discussion with Competitive Power Ventures on a deal to build a power plant on the OCWD-owned Ball Road Basin (see photo below):

Ball Road Basin

As has been reported in the OC Register, the City of Anaheim is opposed to this proposal and has expressed its interest in buying the property at fair-market value and use it to build a sports park. According to the city:

“We are interested in adding 20 acres of park space and lighted sports fields off Ball Road/57 Freeway called the Ball Road Basin. This land is adjacent to Anaheim Coves, and the City envisions a place for youth and adult sports, and walking paths as an extension of Anaheim Coves along the Santa Ana River.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Anaheim Insider here.

KABC-AM conservative talk radio show host John Phillips blasted the Voice of OC this morning for its role in the smear campaign against Carl Demaio, the libertarian gay Republican running for Congress in San Diego.

Phillips was spurred by this post on the FlashReport for Republican activist and consultant Charles Moran, who also asked the question of why KOCE, the Southern California PBS affiliate, has allowed its news coverage to be co-opted by the Voice, which is dependent on the Orange County Employees Association funding for its existence:

To those of us active in Republican politics, we have seen many attacks, some even as hateful as these. But what was really surprising about this smear campaign was the fact that is was strangely connected to PBS. Yes, you read correctly – the same folks that bring us Sesame Street. According to a PBS affiliate’s website in Orange County (PBS SoCal), PBS entered into a “partnership” with the Voice of OC whereby PBS would receive its “investigative news” from the Voice of OC.

At this point, it is important to note that the Voice of OC is not a newspaper nor is it a magazine. The fact is that that the Voice of OC is merely website whereby they describe themselves as a “Non-Profit Investigative News Agency.”

So just who is this so-called investigative news agency that was PBS partners with for their news coverage, and more importantly who funds them? Well to find the answer, one only needs to review their federal tax returns – and so I did.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anaheim RV villageThe OC Register reports that Disneyland has purchased the 11-acre Anaheim RV Village, with plans to convert it into a 1,400-space employee parking lot to accommodate increased demand for parking stemming from increased attendance at its parks:

The plot holds 293 trailer and camping spots aimed at Disney tourists, as well as an auto-repair facility, according to documents.

The new parking lot would replace spots in an employee lot off of Katella Avenue, which would be converted into visitor parking and be adjacent to the Toy Story lot.

Brown said the addition is needed because of the increase in attendance since the June 2012 unveiling of Disney California Adventure’s expansion that included immediately popular Cars Land. California Adventure had a 23 percent jump in attendance last year, up to 7.8 million, according to an industry report. Next door, Disneyland attracted 16 million.

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Recommended to our readers: this column by Los Angeles Times sports writer Bill Shaikin on the negotiation framework agreed to by the City of Anaheim and the Angels. Shaikin is able to see the big picture and how a deal based on this framework will keep the Angels in Anaheim for decades to come, take the taxpayers off the hook for $130-150 million in stadium renovations (or even lead to a new, privately-funded and built stadium), and the development and economic activation of a city-owned property that has languished under city ownership.

Here’s Shaikin’s column:

As the Anaheim City Council voted Tuesday to enter formal lease negotiations with the Angels, a consultant representing the city said owner Arte Moreno has emphasized he has the means to move the team elsewhere.

By a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Tom Tait in opposition, the City Council voted to allow the Angels to opt out of their current stadium lease as late as 2019, rather than the current date of 2016.

“The owner of the Angels has made clear in our discussions he has the resources and willingness to build his own stadium,” said city consultant Charles Black, president of CB Urban Development in San Diego.

Black also told the council the Angels could move to Irvine, Irwindale or “at least half a dozen potential sites” in downtown Los Angeles.

After the meeting, Black said Moreno had not mentioned specific alternative sites in the talks with Anaheim.

Angels President John Carpino declined to comment when asked whether team officials had held discussions with other cities.

The council vote authorizes negotiations based on deal points that include the team calling itself the Los Angeles Angels and dropping the “of Anaheim” suffix.

The Angels also would extend their lease through 2036 — and possibly as long as 2057 — in exchange for development rights to the parking lots around the stadium.

The stadium needs $130 million to $150 million in capital improvements over the next 20 years, according to a city report. That estimate accounts solely for infrastructure — electrical maintenance and upgrades, concrete repairs, waterproofing and such—– at the stadium.

The Angels would pay all of that cost and would pay above and beyond for any improvements that would generate additional revenue for the team, for example, more luxury seating.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jason Young fullertonThat was quick.

SaveAnaheim.com has come and gone. Jason Young started this his attack blog last year, using it to personally malign political figures he disliked and to apotheosize those he liked.  Young, a wedding videography with a checkered past, employed a simplistic, manichean blogging style that reminded me of old communist organs like Pravda and consiting mainly with re-gurgitating other people’s content.  If you had the good fortune of not having read SaveAnaheim.com, it was the blog equivalent of a certain behavior exhibited by simians in zoos.

In October of last years, the OC Weekly named it “Best Blog of 2012” (sort of a doorknob award in the OC blogosphere). Now its history, and Young has shuttered the eponymous political action committee and moved to the Golden Hills section of Fullerton. The URL is re-directed to the New Anaheim, a garish blog that basically aggregates press releases and OC Register articles and is operated by the even more vicious and meretricious Art Pedroza.

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I’m at t20130909-182132.jpghe OC District Attorney’s “Beat the H.E.A.T.” rally at Twyla Reid Park in Anaheim. It’s a good turnout, especially for a Monday evening right after work.

Lots of elected officials on stage with D.A. Tony Rackauckas, including Supervisor Janet Nguyen; Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and Anaheim Councilmembers Kris Murray, Lucille Kring and Jordan Brandman; Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang; Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Steve Baric; I also spotted Huntington Beach Councilman Matt Harper and Fullerton Councilman Greg Sebourn, and had the chance to catch up with former Craig Hunter, former deputy chief of the Anaheim PD and now the second-in-command of the OCDA’s Bureau of Investigation.

Anaheim City School District Trustee Dr. Jose Moreno wants the Anaheim City Council elected from single-member council districts. Not ten years from now, or in the near future – but right now. He’s even the lead plaintiff of an ACLU  lawsuit seeking to force the city to switch from at-large election to single-member council districts. Moreno alleges the city is violating the California Voting Rights Act since the city if more than 50% Latino and yet there are no Latinos on the council.

“It’s time, Anaheim!” is a pro-single-member district slogan one often sees on the Facebook page of Moreno and districting supporters.

Judging by his actions rather than his rhetoric, the time ISN’T now when it comes to electing his own Anaheim City School District Board of Education from single-member districts.

The conditions Moreno cites for necessitating council elections by single-member districts are also present in the ACSD – even more so in key respects. The ACSD student body is 86.3% Latino — from which one can surmise that the population withing ACSD boundaries is even more heavily Latino than the city itself.  Furthermore, Moreno is the “only Spanish-speaking, Spanish dominant, Latino-surnamed” member of the ACSD Board of Education. Yet, while he has relentlessly hammered the City of Anaheim to move to single-member councl districts, he has said and done nothing to bring the same system to ACSD.

As I pointed out in a previous post, the ACSD Board of Education can switch to single-member district elections by a simple legislative action and then obtaining a waiver from the state Board of Education – no vote of the people necessary. The ACSD could easily have a single-member district system in place by March of next year – in time for Moreno and other incumbents to run for re-election from single-member districts.

Morenmo had a perfect opportunity at the ACSD Board of Education’s August 26th meeting. The Board took up adding language to the board bylaws regarding ensuring board of education elections were compliant with the state and federal Voting Rights Acts (as well as language stating the board is elected by “all voters in the district.”).

Did Moreno take the opportunity to act on his rhetoric and call for an immediate switch to single-member districts?

Not even close. Here’s a transcript of his exchange on the topic with Superintendent Linda Wagner:

WAGNER: Dr. Moreno, do you have a question?

Read the rest of this entry »

One of the arguments made by single-member council district proponents is that Anaheim is so big that the cost of communicating with so many voters prices potential candidates out of the running – especially Latinos – and allows special interests to dominate the elections. Carving the city into single-member council districts, the argument goes, diminishes the significance of campaign warchests by making it easier for a candidate to win in this smaller voter universe by walking precincts.

There is no denying that an ample campaign warchest is preferable to a small one, and that running a robust campaign mailer effort in Anaheim isn’t cheap. However, that isn’t the decisive factor, and the candidate who spends the most money isn’t necessarily the one who wins.

Another mantra of the single-member district cult is “only three Latinos have been elected to the Anaheim City Council in 156 years.” The intellectual dishonesty of that claim aside, it’s illuminating that when one of the those Latinos, Lou Lopez, was first elected, he came in first even while being vastly outspent by the candidate who finished second, Bob Zemel. From a February 10, 1995 Los Angeles Times article:

The cost of being elected to the City Council was dramatically different for Bob Zemel and Lou Lopez.

Zemel, who had placed third in the two previous elections, spent more than $108,000 for last November’s win. Lopez spent $34,000, according to financial disclosure records reviewed this week.

“All the power-brokers said I couldn’t do it my way,” Lopez said Thursday. “People can’t believe I won on that kind of money. I was told I would need a minimum of $60,000 to get elected in Anaheim. But I’ve been involved in politics for 15 years, won three elections and have knocked on a lot of doors. I didn’t just come out of the woodwork.”

Other top-spenders included: Paul Bostwick, who finished in fourth place after spending more than $80,800, about half of which was his own money; fifth-place finisher Sharon Ericson, who spent about $55,300, and seventh-place finisher Leonard Lahtinen, who reported expenditures of more than $47,800, of which $29,000 was his own money.

Candidate Shirley McCracken, running for a council seat for the first time, managed to finish third while spending only $20,500.

In other words, the first and third highest vote getters – Lopez and McCracken — were the candidates with the poorest campaigns in terms of spending.

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While the Chicken Little brigade runs around with their collective hair on fire about the Anaheim City Council’s approval of the MOUs outlining the Angels negotiation framework and extending the Angels’ opt-out date, clearer heads with eyes for the bigger picture understand this is a pathway to a win-win for all involved.

My friend Dan Chmielewski over at TheLIberalOC.com is one of those, and yesterday he published this very perceptive and rational post on the subject:

I’ve seen my share of typos regarding the Los Angeles “Angles” of Anaheim online and on Facebook that my choice of words in the headline is deliberate.  As a baseball fan, I think we all need to take a breath here for a minute on the negotiations between the city of Anaheim and the Angels.  Now exhale.

First off, the only reason that particular part of Anaheim (where the stadium is off the 57 freeway) is valuable (among the most valuable land in the County if not the nation…please) is because of a certain tenant, namely the Angels.  Should they move, the value of that land simply drops.  And with it, that valuable real estate becomes a big empty parking lot for most of the year.  The Forum in Inglewood was valuable real estate too until the Lakers and Kings left.  When was the last time you were there?  And Staples is such a nice facility.

By giving Angels owner Arte Moreno the rights to the land surrounding Anaheim Stadium, the city council has effectively given him his new stadium location from which a new stadium can replace the aging Angels Stadium, relieve Anaheim of $130 to $150 million in renovation costs while creating a lot of union and non-union construction jobs.  The city can then get out of the business of managing a stadium and start paying more attention to parks, business development and public safety.  Consider how Yankee Stadium and Tropicana Field were constructed in the Bronx and in Houston alongside the Yankees and Astros previous baseball homes and you have an idea how a new Angels Stadium can rise quickly in the shadow of their aging park.

Arte’s big ticket free agents show he’s willing to spend money to create a winner. And while the result on the field isn’t what Angels fans want, you can’t fault the owner for going after the elite free agents (my opinion: time for a new manager).

I’ve read the out of breath posts in the Orange Juice Blog and in Save Anaheim; Leave it to Irvine’s Bill Shankin at the LA Times to summarize what the negotiations mean from the perspective of the Angels. From the story:

You can read the rest of Dan’s post here.

Critics of the MOUs can’t get past the $1 rent negotiation point to see the bigger of how a final deal can benefit Anaheim and the Angels (who, contrary to the claims of the usual suspects, have very definite options for re-locating out of Anaheim) and bring greater and long-lasting vitality to that part of Anaheim.

 

The Charter Review Committee meets again this evening at 6:00 p.m. in the council chambers at Anaheim City Hall. Items on the agenda include:

3. General clean up of language throughout the Charter/gender neutrality

3b. Deliberation of potential obsolete provisions, including but not limited to the following sections: 402, 517, 601

And what are those sections? 402 pertains to “Limitations on Use of Eminent Domain; 517 deals with “Publishing of Legal Notices;” 601 is the requirement for the City Manager to live in Anaheim.

What is obsolete about them? City Attorney Michael Houston explains in a memo to CRC members. Regarding Section 402:

“Several Committee members recognized that state law dissolved redevelopment agencies, and there was further discussion that state law established successors to these dissolved agencies. Committee members inquired whether it was appropriate to update Section 402 to reflect this change in law by potentially amending or deleting potentially obsolete references to the “Anaheim Redevelopment Agency.”

Staff Recommendation: Staff recommends this reference to the “Anaheim Redevelopment Agency” not be deleted based in the explanation below. Rather, staff recommends that the final paragraph of Section 402 be amended as follows (proposed changes shown in underline): “Anaheim Redevelopment Agency (or any successor agency or successor in interest to this entity).

There’s a lengthy discussion of the dissolution of RDA in 2011, which I’m not going to retype but you can for yourself in the memo. Mr. Houston concludes:

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