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“Election season often brings out the ugliest in people. Negative attack ads and misrepresentations have become commonplace” (Orange County Register, 2014). No greater misrepresentations have been made toward opponents during this election than ones by Tom Tait, Anaheim’s mayor. Tait has indirectly accused two council members running for re-election, Gail Eastman and Kris Murray, of (a) betraying the public trust, asserting that each collected $500,000+ in campaign contributions from special interest groups, and (b) misrepresenting their voting for a subsidy to build a four-star hotel in Anaheim.

I use the word indirectly because the mailed campaign ad originated from California Homeowners Association (2014) in Willows, CA (500 miles north of Anaheim via I-5), an organization describing itself as “support[ing] fiscally responsible candidates for public office.” Ironically, this same special interest group, a PAC, has funneled $100,000 into the “attack Eastman & Murray–re-elect Tait campaign.”

False accusations. Eastman and Murray have not betrayed the pubic trust and each has not collected $500,000+ in campaign contributions—accusations by Tait for which no evidence has been presented.

Gross misrepresentation. It is common practice for cities to offer incentives to developers to build large hotels and sports stadiums. Cities contribute to a project because they want to collect millions of dollars from hotel taxes and sales taxes. The Los Angeles City Council awarded $500,000,000 in tax incentives for downtown economic development for 2015-2016 (Los Angeles Times, 2014). If the Anaheim Convention Center fails to increase its space, major conventions will meet elsewhere, as will conventions with increasing participants who previously met in Anaheim. Some organizations will meet elsewhere if Anaheim lacks sufficient rooms in first-rate hotels, ones that fulfill the needs of conventioneers (and more affluent families visiting the Disney Resort). These four-star hotels will be built eventually—in Anaheim or in a city nearly (e.g., Hyatt Regency in Garden Grove).

Gross misrepresentation. It is common practice for cities to offer incentives to developers to build large hotels and sports stadiums. Cities contribute to a project because they want to collect millions of dollars from hotel taxes and sales taxes.

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CHA Hit paid by Tait Family TrustAnaheim Insider here.

If you could spend $49,750 on anything in your community, what would you spend it on? Just to make it a little easier, here are a few options of what that kind of money buys you in Anaheim:

A. Annual tuition for 199 low income kids to attend the Anaheim Boys and Girls Clubs after school programs.

B. One week of tuition for 239 toddlers to attend preschool at the Anaheim YMCA.

C. Underwrite 497 Anaheim kids living in violent families to attend Youth Violence Prevention Programs at the Orange County Family Justice Center.

D. Pay for 829 Anaheim at-risk youth to attend the 24-week Cops 4 Kids Junior Cadet Program.

E. Fund a malicious mail campaign against your (conservative Republican) council colleagues.

It appears Mayor Tom Tait, who has spent his entire first term of office espousing a platform of “kindness,” prefers option E. 

As this FPPC filing shows, the Tait Family Trust is funding $49,750 in campaign attack mail aimed at Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray and Councilwoman Gail Eastman, his two Republican colleagues. And the hits are just getting started with a hit piece dredging up their votes on GardenWalk from nearly two years ago.

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Anaheim Blog top commenter Ryan Cantor proposes putting the Anaheim Convention Center expansion on the ballot, echoing Mayor Tom Tait’s position. I have a few thoughts on this approach.

First, I wonder, sincerely, if Ryan and some of his compadres in the commentosphere would advocate for putting the expansion on the ballot if the mayor commanded a council majority could kill it at tat level. call me cynical, but in my experience, calls for putting something to a vote of the people usually emanate from the side unable to stop that something at the council level because it lacks the ability to win elections.

The mayor cited the size of the bond issue as the reason for placing the convention center on the ballot:

“If the people of Anaheim are going to take on that kind of debt for this expansion, they should at least be able to vote on it in November because this is an extremely expensive price to pay for the amount of square footage that we get.”

That position begs the question: what, then, is the debt threshold for placing a bond issue on the ballot? What is “too expensive”? $300 million? $200 million? $119,543,888? Or is it akin to Justice Potter Stewart’s definition of pornography: you know it when you see it?

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Anaheim Insider here.

Let’s begin  with the self-evident: stopping the Anaheim Convention Center expansion makes it harder (if not impossible) for Anaheim to compete-for and retain top tier conventions. Without the conventions, Anaheim hotels go unfilled. When the hotels are empty, local restaurants and tourism-dependent business suffer and close.

So then why does CATER seem so insistent on shutting this project down? They parade a list of obscure reasons but as far as I can tell it boils down to this: a small group of people without any background in public finance, public administration or with any credentials qualifying them as experts on multi-million dollar finance deals decided they didn’t like it.

Why don’t they like it? I suppose we should ask Mayor Tait or his handler. It seems this is just another part of the apparent War on Tourism launched in the last year or so.

Convention Center expansion: No.
Luxury Hotels: No.
Transportation projects for Anaheim: No.
Negotiations with the Angels: No.

Disneyland and the Ducks remain the only targets they haven’t attacked…yet. How long before that changes?

Complementing the preceding chorus of “Noes,” I have yet to see any action from the Mayor and CATER in support of Anaheim’s tourism industry or expanding Anaheim’s most critical source of general fund financing.

Why would these folks oppose Anaheim’s most important industry? Why would they try to hamstring expansion? Why would they seemingly take every step possible to hamper the expansion of Anaheim’s tax base? To undermine the city’s ability to provide services for residents?

Theories are welcome, because logic doesn’t apply.

OCCORD LogoThe Voice of OC reports the left-wing political advocacy group known as OCCORD (Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development) is suing the City of Anaheim in an attempt to invalidate the city’s economic assistance agreement with the GardenWalk hotel project developer.

Cory Briggs, a left-wing environmentalist attorney from San Diego, is serving as OCCORD’s counsel on this idiotic lawsuit. Readers will remember that last summer, Briggs and OCCORD asked state and county prosecutors to go after ever member of the council (except Mayor Tom Tait) over the May 2013 GardenWalk vote.  In their fevered imaginations, mere membership on the SOAR advisory board constituted a conflict-of-interest, because they know GardenWalk developer Bill O’Connell, Sr. who is also – gasp! – a member of the SOAR Advisory Board!!

According to the Voice of OC, the lawsuit filed by OCCORD and Briggs alleges that Councilmembers Lucille Kring, Gail Eastman, Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman voted for the May 2013 GardenWalk agreement because Bill O’Connell gave to their campaigns. Never mind that Bill O’Connell Sr. has been one of their political supporters for years. Never mind that Eastman and Murray had already voted for the original GardenWalk agreement, which Brandman had also publicly supported. Never mind that the terms of the 2013 agreement Kring supported differed from the 2012 agreement. Never mind that all four councilmembers have in practice always supported the principle of such economic assistance agreements.

No – in the imaginations of Cory Briggs and OCCORD, the only possible explanation for these councilmembers to cast a vote entirely consistent with their public records is receiving contributions that amount to a small fraction of what their campaign raised.

If GardenWalk developers had struck a deal with OCCORD’s sponsor and funder UNITE-HERE Local 11 for it to organize GardenWalk hotel workers, OCCORD wouldn’t be filing this lawsuit. If the developer struck such a deal now, and threw in a “living wage” provision and some “community benefits”dreamed up by OCCORD, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the lawsuit dropped altogether.

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Anaheim Insider here.

Have you seen this post from TheLiberalOC.com blog: “Tom Tait: For ‘Corporate Cronyism’ Before He Was Against It.”?  Dan Chmielewski catalogs example after example of how much distance there is between Tait pure free market rhetoric and his real record.

Some of it has been out there for a while, such as Tait’s long record of supporting the TOT rebate deals that he’s now blasting in front of the OC Republican Party Central Committee and other venues. He never really explains the flip-flopping other than to say his past support of such policies “was wrong.”

What was new, at least to me, was the hundreds of thousands in government subsidies Tait & Associates has accepted from the state to train employees how to use their computers:

And when it comes to businesses sucking from the “public teat”, as it’s so often described, Tait & Associates has no problem using public funds for training purposes.

The State of California offers private companies grants for training employees on a variety of equipment using new computers and new software applications and Tait & Associates applied for these grants several times.  From the websitehttp://www.etp.ca.gov/ : The Employment Training Panel (ETP) provides funding to employers to assist in upgrading the skills of their workers through training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs. The ETP was created in 1982 by the California State Legislature and is funded by California employers through a special payrolltax. The ETP is a funding agency, not a training agency. Businesses determine their own training needs and how to provide training. ETP staff is available to assist in applying for funds and other aspects of participation.

According to state records, in 2004/05,Tait & Associates was approved for $334,620 in contracts to train 234 employees from May 2005 to May 2007.  The earned amount of the grant was $114,685 and 145 employees were trained in a company that reported 265 people working at the business.  In 2006/07, Tait & Associates was approved for $283,500 to train 210 employees from May 2007 to May 2009 (about three weeks after the expiration of the first grant).  Tait & Associates reported 128 people were trained but the company shrunk to 227 people.  In 2009/10,Tait & Associates got a third ETP grant to train 125 employees for $75,500; 53 were trained but the business was down to 162 people.

In all, Tait & Associates had their employees trained on new computers and software to the tune of more than $320,000 in taxpayer funds after having been approved for nearly $700,000 – all to help a private business train employees to better do their jobs.  So nearly nearly twice as many people were trained than are currently employed at Tait &Associates.  Was Tom Tait himself trained with these state dollars?

It’s wrong for Anaheim have a policy to encourage the construction of luxury hotels by rebating back to the hotel (for a finite period) a percentage of the TOT tax revenue it collects. But it’s fine for an existing engineering firm to take taxpayer money to subsidize training its employees how to use their computers, which is something that has to be done anyway.

Tait defenders will probably say its different because the GardenWalk deal involves millions of dollars and Tait’s company only took hundreds of thousands of dollars. But is it the amount or the principle that matters?

So I’m reading through this letter from the lefty attorney Cory Briggs, whom OCCORD has dragged in an attempt to get state and county authorities to prosecute everyone on the Anaheim City Council except Mayor Tom Tait, and my first thought is, “Did this Briggs guys actually go to law school?”

I encourage you to read it, because there is no there, there. The allegations by OCCORD and Briggs barely rise to the level of guilt by association. If there were indeed any violations of the Political Reform Act of 1974, Briggs would have specified in his which sections have been transgressed. His omission is telling. Essentially, OCCORD and Briggs are asking state and local prosecutors to go on legal fishing expedition to find something on OCCORD’s political opponents (no wonder local gasbags are delighted with this: all innuendo and no substance – exactly their flavor).

Here’s the text of the letter:

Dear Attorney General Harris and District Attorney Rackauckas:

On behalf of Tina Quintana (a registered voter in the City of Anaheim) and Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development, and pursuant to Government Code Section

91007, I am writing to request that you commence prosecutorial actions against Anaheim City Councilmembers Kris Murray, Gail Eastman, Lucille Kring, and Jordan Brandman for violations of the Political Reform Act of 1974 (“PRA”).

My clients believe that these four politicians violated the PRA for the following reasons:

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OCCORD Director Marisol Ramirez holding Party for Socialism and Liberation sign saying "Police Are George Zimmermans With A  Badge."

OCCORD Director Marisol Ramirez holding Party for Socialism and Liberation sign saying “Police Are George Zimmermans With A Badge.”

The Left in Anaheim must be getting desperate, today’s press release from radical left-wing group OCCORD (Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development) is any indication:

DA Urged to Prosecute Anaheim Council Members for Conflict of Interest

Council members received contributions from PAC tied to developer, then voted for $158 million hotel subsidy, says letter by CA attorney.

Contact:  Eric Altman, Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (714) 392-0959 or ealtman@occord.org

Anaheim, CA – A prominent California attorney alleged that members of the Anaheim City Council violated state law when they voted on behalf of a $158 million hotel subsidy, after accepting contributions from a PAC tied to the project’s developer. Attorney Cory Briggs urged California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to prosecute the council members in a letter sent Thursday. Briggs’ request for prosecution was made on the behalf of a community organization, Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development, and a private Anaheim resident named in the letter.

The letter alleges that Anaheim City Council members Lucille Kring and Jordan Brandman had an illegal conflict of interest when they voted for the Garden Walk Hotel subsidy in May, within months of accepting donations from the political action committee formed by Support Our Anaheim Resort (SOAR.) Hotelier Bill O’Connell, who benefited from that subsidy, sits on the SOAR Advisory Committee. The letter also names council members Gail Eastman and Kris Murray, who voted in favor of the subsidy and are SOAR Advisory Committee members. Eastman and Murray did not disclose their business relationships with SOAR and O’Connell at the time of the vote, as required by law.

The request for prosecution issued by Briggs is a required legal step before the filing of a private lawsuit. A potential filing would result in another in a recent series of lawsuits faced by the city council on behalf of residents. Last month, a judge ordered a trial in a case brought by the ACLU on behalf of Anaheim voters, alleging that the city’s election system violates the California Equal Voting Rights Act.

The Garden walk subsidy caused controversy, even before the allegations made last week. The subsidy was first passed in January 2012, but that vote was voided after a Superior Court Judge ruled that it violated the Brown Act, California’s open government law, because the public did not receive proper notice.

This is typical of the Left’s approach to politics: if you can’t win in the court of public opinion, then sue! Or in this case, ask government prosecutors to go after your opponents.

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Is this what passes for news nowadays?

Today, the Voice of OC reports that Disneyland has had input into the development of the Anaheim Rapid Connection system. Wow, what a shock. Public agencies (the smart ones, at least) always consult with and seek input from the public — which includes businesses — when developing transportation projects.  Yet, the Voice of OC and squeaky wheels like Cynthia Ward attempt to create the perception that doing so is suspect — at least when it comes to Disney.

Suppose the City of Anaheim and OCTA developed a transit system for the Anaheim Resort without any input from Disney, the largest single business in the resort? Suppose they broke ground and began construction without ever meeting with Disney and asking “Hey, you guys have 58 years of experience and loads of data on traffic patterns and resort visitor attitudes and habits. What do you think about having ARC stop at Disney Way.” Would anyone consider that intelligent planning?

[Maybe Cynthia Ward, whose published attitude is that the city can and should build some bare-bones system and Resort visitors should just suck it up and ride.]

Transportation projects are improved by seeking the input of impacted business and residents. Although the Anaheim Resort area is more than just Disneyland, it exists because of Disneyland. Millions of people come there every year, spending enormous sums of money and creating and sustaining thousands of jobs, because of Disneyland.

The usual Anaheim suspects have been demanding that Disney pay for the system. I expect that sort of talk from leftists like Jose Moreno, who have never met a corporation whose wealth they didn’t want to re-distribute. Indeed, Moreno and his cohorts want the city to impose a head tax on entry into Disneyland, Angel Stadium, the Honda Center (and likely growing list of attractions) fund their program for increased city spending.

Disney-phobia’s Warping Effect On Reason and Logic
But it is strange to hear self-identified conservatives echoing a leftist policy theme. Conservatives routinely — and rightly — blame much of the high-cost of housing on exactions and fees imposed on builders to “mitigate” the impact of more live bodies moving into an area. Want to build homes on your property? Then you’ll have to donate land for parks, pay to build streets, etc.; after all that infrastructure benefits the developer’s customers.

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Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

This came over the transom a little while ago from Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray:

Statement by Council Member Kris Murray on passage of GardenWalk Hotels economic assistance agreements

Anaheim–The Anaheim City Council has voted to approve the GardenWalk Hotels economic assistance program, in a move expected to generate nearly $500 million in new city revenues according to city staff.

Council Member Kris Murray gave the following statement:

 “This is a win-win for our city. 

This program increases city revenues without raising taxes, which allows us to fund neighborhood programs like parks and libraries, along with our vital police and fire services. And no general revenue dollars will ever be spent on this project.

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It was a loooooong Anaheim City Council meeting (I did not attend as it is my youngest daughter’s birthday, but caught as much as I could on the Internet), the Anaheim City Council voted 4-1 to approve the GardenWalk economic assistance agreement.

Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman and Councilmembers Lucille Kring, Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman voted “yes.” Mayor Tom Tait voted “no.” No real surprise there.

It is interesting to reflect on the differences between tonight and last year’s vote on a different GardenWalk agreement. Orchestrated council chamber drama from the UNITE-HERE/OCCORD drones aside, opposition to the TOT rebate has waned. remember, GardenWalk was made an issue during the 2012 council elections, and Jordan Brandman was attacked rather severely for it in several hit pieces from a variety of sources – and he was still the top vote-getter.

Last year it was approved on a 3-2 vote. Tonight the vote was 4-1.

Last year, the vote was followed by an initiative campaign to require voter approval of TOT rebates for hotels, fueled by $64,000 in funding from Orange County Employees Association (which later stopped the money train, causing the initiative to sputter to a halt).

Anyone expecting a repeat of that?

This long and divisive drama (much longer and more divisive than was warranted or ever should have been) has come to a close. The vote has been taken, the agreement is done, and other issues are on their way to the City Council in the run-up to what looks to be a real donnybrook in 2014.

Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring

Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring

Yesterday, Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring sent out this e-mail regarding the GardenWalk agreement coming before the City Council this evening:

To the Residents, Business Owners and Workers in the City of Anaheim,

There has been so much misinformation about the Garden Walk issue that I feel the time has come for my voice to be heard on this subject. First of all, the city is NOT writing a check to a developer for $158 million. There will be no cuts to police, fire or city services.

Some background on the subject of tax subsidies for development in our City:

In May, 1999 on a 5-0 unanimous vote by the council consisting of Mayor Tom Daly, Shirley McCracken, Frank Feldhaus, Tom Tait and myself, The Pointe Anaheim Project, later named Garden Walk was approved and was to consist of three hotels, high end dining and retail, public art displays and the possibility of a public aquarium. An additional 400 Time Share units were also planned above the parking structure. Included in the footprint of that project was the Anaheim Plaza Hotel, which would have given the mall a frontage on Harbor Boulevard, across from Disneyland. After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the economy suffered a period of uncertainty that halted a great deal of building; the developer of this project did not have the funds to buy the hotel and the main entrance of the mall ended up on Katella. There were a few starts and stops because of the economy. The mall opened in June, 2008 with about 65% occupancy. The six restaurants all opened between 11-07 and 4-08.

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Mayor Tom Tait

Mayor Tom Tait

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait recorded a robocall that went out yesterday (I don’t know how wide a voter universe it went to):

This is Mayor Tom Tait. At tomorrow’s city council meeting, special interests and lobbyists are returning to ask taxpayers to subsidize two luxury hotels.

If passed, our city will be forced to pay one developer $158 million dollars over the next 29 years, taking away money meant for vital city services such as police, fore protection and libraries. If you oppose this, as I do, please call City Hall at 714-7655247 to express your view.

Thank you.

My committee, Tom Tait for Mayor 2014 has paid for this call.

Rendering of GardenWalk hotels.

Rendering of GardenWalk hotels.

The GardenWalk Hotels agreement is on the May 14 agenda of the Anaheim City Council.  The cap on the total TOT rebate is still $158 million (which is a tricky number that merits further explanation in another post), but the 80%-20% split has been modified to 70%-30% stretched out over a longer period of time of 20 years (which actually makes it more expensive for the developer). This applies to two hotels — a  convention hotel of least 466 rooms and a resort hotel of at least 350 rooms. These hotels will be built separately in phases, and the TOT rebate “ends on the earlier of twenty years from completion of construction or, provision of assistance up to a not to exceed amount of approximately $158 million gross. The net present value (NPV) of the maximum assistance under the Agreements ($46.6 million) represents 16% of development costs and compares quite favorably with our Southern California competitors as noted above.”

Unlike the earlier GardenWalk assistance agreement, this time the staff is recommending a “yes” vote by the council. Here’s the staff report’s conclusion:

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Marcie Edwards

Marcie Edwards

The uncertainty over exactly who was managing city government was dispelled on Tuesday when the City Council, which would be Bob Wingenroth’s last as City Manager. The council confirmed Anaheim Public Utilities General Manager Marcie Edwards would henceforth take the reins as Interim City Manager.

Edwards, a veteran of Anaheim city government, will not seek the permanent city manager position. To that end, the city council has hired Ralph Anderson & Associates to conduct the CM candidate search.

Edwards will be in the city manager’s chair when the City Council meets on May 14 to once again consider the GardenWalk Hotels agreement. Earlier this week, the Voice of OC made this claim:

At one point when it seemed as if Wingenroth might be out the door, last night’s council meeting agenda included a vote on the highly controversial $158-million subsidy for two local hoteliers. However, after it became clear that Wingenroth would be at the meeting, the item was pulled from the agenda.[emphasis added]

No source quoted, no evidence provided for that claim — which is not surprising considering it isn’t true. Whether or not Wingenroth would be at the April 30 meeting had nothing to do with re-scheduling the GardenWalk agreement, the fate of which does not hinge on the presence or absence of Bob Wingenroth.

I suppose the VOC’s claim is true in the same sense that it is true after it become clear Wingenroth would be at the April 30 meeting, the sun set and night fell on Anaheim – although a causal relationship would be hard to prove.

[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.

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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?

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Wondering what kind of anti-business policies single-member council districts would make more likely in Anaheim? Look no further than UNITE-HERE Local 11’s lobbying of the City of Anaheim to adopt a “retention” policy a la that paragon of mismanagement and ill-governance, Los Angeles.

To illustrate how “retention” works, I’ll excerpt from Los Angeles International Airport’s retention policy, which imposes these requirements on LAX contractors:

  • Contractor agrees to offer to employ and retain for a 90-day period the employees who worked for at least 12 months for the terminated contractor/subcontractors earning less than $15.00 per hour.
  • Contractor agrees to not discharge without cause the employees retained during the 90-day period.
  • Contractor agrees to perform a written performance evaluation of each employee retained at the end of the 90-day period.

[LAX packages their retention policy with a “Living Wage” ordinance: in LAX’s case, contractors were required, as of July 1, 20102, to pay their employees at least $10.70 an hour, along with a minimum health benefit hourly rate of $4.67 per hour (up from $1.70 per hour when the mandate was imposed in 2010).  Plus, the “Living Wage” has to be increased every year. If the contractor doesn’t provide health benefits, then the minimum health benefit hourly rate must be added to their pay – spiking the “Living Wage (in this case) to $15.37 per hour.]

UNITE-HERE is meeting with Anaheim city officials to press their case for imposing a retention policy on Anaheim contractors.

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Cristina Talley

Cristina Talley

Gabriel San Roman of the OC Weekly has published a story taking aim at the myth being spun by the usual suspects — Vern Nelson, the Take Back Anaheim crowd, Los Amigos — that Cristina Talley was a sort of Latina Joan of Arc pushed out by a sinister council majority in retribution for speaking out on behalf of la raza.

Yes, I am recommending an OC Weekly story, operating on the principle that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Item 13 on the Anaheim City Council agenda for this Tuesday, February 5 is a recommendation for the Council to vote to set aside the GardenWalk project agreement that was approved in January 2012 – the recommendation being made per the court decision late last year voiding the agreement.

No other GardenWalk-related business is on the agenda, meaning the earliest it will come before the council is February 19.

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