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This came over the transom yesterday from Councilwoman Lucille Kring, responding to Mayor Tom Tait’s October 2 op-ed in the OC Register:

It’s About Leadership

By Councilwoman Lucille Kring

City of Anaheim

Leadership – that is what you expect from a mayor of a major city. But Tom Tait, in his opinion column of Oct. 2, 2014, “We need to keep Angels, but deal shouldn’t ding taxpayers” shows that he is not capable of anything but rhetoric meant to shift blame and obscure the facts.

Read again Tait’s words from his own opinion column. You will see some odd things:

• He takes no responsibility for the Angels looking to relocate outside of Anaheim, he blames others;
• He never outlines a plan to keep the Angels in Anaheim, but instead implies that he is the only one on the City Council looking out for the taxpayers’ interests;
• He never suggests that he will build consensus with his colleagues, rather he suggests that the council majority should have done a deal with the Angels without him; and
• He uses this op-ed as a way to insulate himself from criticism that will come in the election.

These are not words from a leader, but words from a politician looking to avoid blame.

Here are some REAL facts:

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keep the angels_logoThis came over the transom from the City of Anaheim:

CITY OF ANAHEIM TO HOST PUBLIC MEETINGS ON ANGELS BASEBALL NEGOTIATIONS

ANAHEIM, CA – (January 7, 2014)  The City of Anaheim invites the public to attend community-wide workshops addressing the ongoing Angels Baseball negotiations.  The meetings will be held on January 14 and 30 starting at 6 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, located at 800 West Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92802.  Complimentary parking at the Katella Ave. entrance will be offered for anyone attending the meetings. Each meeting will offer information as well as an opportunity for the community to present their questions and input. 

The community meetings will include a presentation on the following topics – 

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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.

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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.

 

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