Kris Murray talks with TheLiberalOC about Anaheim

Anaheim council member Kris Murray

Anaheim council member Kris Murray

It’s no secret I have a contrarian point of view on the what should happen between the city of Anaheim and the Angels as both sides begin the process for negotiation on the Angels lease.  And I have very strong opinions on the redistricting of Anaheim city council districts and a proposed light rail system to the Anaheim resort that sure looks like the Walt Disney Company wants taxpayers to pick up the tab for a system that stands to benefit Disneyland.

The Angels are a significant economic engine to Anaheim and Orange County.  The city hasn’t done much to develop the area near the stadium in nearly 50 years of its existence.  In my opinion, Angels Stadium should be replaced with something new, in Anaheim, near the current ballpark.  My biggest critics are people who haven’t attended an Angels game in years or ever.  I say let Arte Moreno have a shot at developing it.  You have to spend money to make money sometimes.

Because of these positions, I’ve been accused by other bloggers and friends in Democratic circles of being on Curt Pringle’s payroll, of being on “the side of the bad guys in Anaheim,” that “Matt Cunningham is feeding me talking points,” and that my political positions on the Angels must mean I’m being paid, my business is gaining new clients, or otherwise benefitting from my “pro-business” standpoint.

None of this is true.

I’m not for sale and not for rent, and unlike others in the blogsphere, I don’t use blogging as a business development tool for new legal clients, paid blogging/website projects, or piano playing gigs. I also hold no elected or appointed office with my city, the county, or the Democratic Party.  So any suggestion that this hobby of mine generates any financial benefit to me or my business is not accurate (and frankly demonstrates a weakness in debate).

Surrogates arranged for me to speak with Anaheim council member Kris Murray about a week and a half ago.  We had a long discussion — at least 90 minutes — off the record.  And then she agreed to an on the record interview which you’ll find posted below.

From a policy standpoint, we agreed to disagree on matters pertaining to the Light Rail project near Disneyland and on council redistricting.  I found her to be smart, pleasant, and knowledgeable on the issues we discussed.  I didn’t find her to be evil incarnate, “Maleficent” the evil Disney queen, or a litany of other phrases used to describe her that you wouldn’t want your wife, daughter or mother to ever be called.  I’ll go out on a limb and say now she’ll likely never get the support from this blog for any elected office moving forward but there’s no reason not to engage her in a detailed discussion on policy. And publishing her answers doesn’t mean we agree with her on policy issues.  Dialogue is important.

Now that Ms. Murray is putting these statements on the record, readers are free to address them specifically.

Q. Before we get started, would you like to make any statements or address any specific misperceptions?

KM:  I ran for City Council to accomplish positive things for the city. On a personal note, I’m a wife and mother – and a working professional, in addition to serving as a member of the City Council. My husband and I are active as volunteers in our community, very involved at our son’s school and a number of activities including sports and Cub Scouts.

My fellow council members and I are all people with families, loved ones, and history in this City. Our backgrounds, affiliations and perspectives are unique and, sometimes lead us to differing conclusions to the same problem. But I believe strongly each and every member of the Anaheim City Council cares deeply about our city.

I am proud of my record over the past three years to serve Anaheim residents, support policies to grow jobs and economic development and improve the quality of Anaheim neighborhoods.

Q, There’s been criticism from a number of fronts that attempts to blame Mayor Tait for allowing Mr. Fitzgerald time to state anti-Semitic and homophobic comments was “wrong” and even “gutter politics.” You’d stated that Fitzgerald was “an ally of the Mayor” even though he (the Mayor) denies it. Can you clarify your understanding of the relationship between Tait and Fitzgerald?

KM:  Do I think that Mr. Fitzgerald is an “ally of the Mayor”? No, nor did I ever characterize him as such. But rather said that many of the most venomous attacks toward the Council are coming from “supporters of the Mayor” (that is a direct quote from my interview). Over the past year, the use of offensive language, personal attacks and outright hate speech has escalated in Council Chambers and in Anaheim generally. It has caused many in our community to think twice about attending a council meeting – or to stop attending council meetings altogether.

While Mr. Fitzgerald is no stranger to Council Chambers or shock inducing comments, his last rant went beyond the pale by any standard. However, that outburst did not seem to give any of the speakers present that day much more than a moment’s pause. As the meeting wore on and Councilmembers had the opportunity to speak we had to shout down members of the audience to be heard. All of this is clearly seen in the video archive of the meeting and is truly disconcerting.

As Mayor, there are certain powers enumerated by the charter and there is responsibility, first among them to preside over city council meetings. As presiding officer, it is the Mayor’s responsibility to maintain order and civility – when hate speech is used, it should be strongly denounced – when council members are being shouted at – the gavel is there to maintain order – even when as Mayor and presiding officer, you are opposed to the action being considered.

All that being said, I think the outcomes of this painful incident were positive ones as it forced each of us to take a step back and assess.  The Mayor extended an invitation to Councilman Brandman to work on an education initiative with him and I supported the Mayor’s call for a Council resolution denouncing hate speech. And I think we all came to a realization that we agree on much more than we disagree on and when we have disagreements that we can respectfully disagree.

(Ed’s Note: If you watch the video, Murray says there are allies of the Mayor in the audience and that hate speech was uttered.  Both facts are true.  But she didn’t identify Mr. Fitzgerald as an ally of the Mayor. That was something Tait interpreted.  I watched the replay a couple of times.  In my opinion, it was a deflection of the question Rick Reiff asked, but it wasn’t what Murray critics/Tait fans said it was either).

Q. Can you please recount your attempts to get the Mayor’s attention to react to Fitzgerald’s hate speech and other such instances that have occurred from the dais? Why didn’t anyone on the council use their public comment time/opportunity to address what Mr. Fitzgerald said?

KM:  For months, I have consistently spoken against this growing problem, and I will continue to be a voice for those who want to engage in a reasonable debate on issues, without resorting to hate speech or character attacks. We have to find better ways to handle our disagreements otherwise all sides stop listening and that benefits no one. Again, I think our last Council meeting was a big step forward and I am grateful to the Mayor for seeking clarification from our City attorney and honored to support his resolution.

Q. Are you confident the Mayor and the city attorney will address any future attempts at hate speech more quickly?

KM:  The entire Anaheim City Council, including Mayor Tait, spoke in unison at our last meeting that we will work together to denounce hate speech and ensure civility in council chambers.

I firmly believe Mayor Tait wants what is best for our city, and we will work together to ensure the chambers are a place where all residents are welcome, can be heard and feel safe.

Q. Critics contend that services to Anaheim’s poorest residents have suffered under the watch of this council majority. Can you clarify this perception?

KM:  With united leadership and professional experts at the helm, while many California cities are seeking bankruptcy protection, Anaheim is enhancing quality-of-life services – particularly in our lowest income areas.

The past three city budgets have been adopted unanimously by the Mayor and City Council. We have worked together over the past three years to improve services– and ensure they are allocated equally across all neighborhoods. In fact, we have invested significantly more over the past several years in the central and western areas of the city where the needs have been greatest.

The city recently completed an exhaustive study that clearly outlines the allocation of services by the four neighborhood district areas. The City’s finance director Debbie Moreno went to great lengths, working with all city departments, to break down general fund expenditures by census tract. What the report proved is the allocation of core services is even across the city and that the City has invested significantly in capital programs over the past several years in the Central and Western areas of the city where the needs have been greatest, compared to the eastern (hills) areas of the city as has been alleged by some political organizations. (note: the finance director only studied general fund expenditures – so she did not assign the expenditures for the major transportation projects and resort area that are paid with direct assessments or state/federal revenue sources to the south neighborhood area so as not to distort the per capita expenditures in this area.)

Like all cities, we’ve been affected by the economic downturn. But because of the diversity of Anaheim’s economy, the strength our resort area and private investments across our city – our general fund is growing. For the past two years, we passed a balanced budget which restored the city’s cash reserves and provided millions in funding for police, fire, parks, libraries and other core city services.

Q. You’ve been described as the single greatest champion against council districting efforts; Anaheim in the largest city in the state without this sort of election process. It’s clear that changes in how council members are elected have to be made. If you’re against the redistricting plan, what plan would you favor and why?

KM:  There are a number of reasons I believe that at-large voting systems are better for all residents over district-based systems. First and foremost, that at-large voting maintains the largest number of representatives for each resident. Today every resident has five members of the city council sworn to serve the city but under single member districts, residents would only have one council member and the office of Mayor to respond to their interests or concerns.

At large systems also require the legislative body to govern in the best interest of the entire city rather than carving the city into wards where representatives are no longer responsible for the overall fiscal health of the city or the delivery of services citywide. Most by-district cities in California today are facing severe budget shortfalls resulting in significant reductions in city services. I do not want to see this happen in Anaheim.

The Anaheim City Council voted to place two city charter amendments on the next ballot to create residency-based council districts, ensuring broad neighborhood representation on every council, and increase the city council from four to six members.

This districting system now in place by ordinance, and with ratification by Anaheim voters, brings our city in line with other Orange County cities and agencies such as Santa Ana, Newport Beach and the Orange Unified School District (OUSD), representing many of Anaheim’s public schools.

Q. There are frequent charges that this council majority is corrupt and engages only in multi-million dollar giveaways of public funds and/or assets while letting streets go unpaved, sidewalks broken and police patrols inadequate for taxpayers of Anaheim. How do you respond to these charges? (and I’d like to specifically address the $158 million Hotel subsidy, the improvements to a proposed light rail to the Resort area/Disney theme parks, and the Angels stadium negotiations).

KM:  During President Obama’s address following the agreement to end the government shutdown, he stated that “We will not agree on everything … but if we disagree, let’s focus on the areas where we can agree and move forward to get stuff done.” He then said we can’t let disagreement mean dysfunction – we can’t let disagreement degenerate into hatred.

I agree with him – it is vital that at all levels of government, we find a way to respectfully disagree when we cannot reach mutual accord and then move to where we can find common ground to govern on behalf of our communities. The character attacks are baseless and counterproductive to governing effectively in Anaheim.

The Council’s efforts to expand economic activity in our city have very real and positive benefits for our city residents. To address the programs you reference:

Hotel Economic Incentive Program– Two independent economic studies – both available on the city’s website –show the overwhelming financial benefits to the city of the hotel incentive program for GardenWalk. Prior to my tenure, similar programs were voted on and have been in place in Anaheim for some time – including with the previous support of the Mayor when he last served on the city council. The program Council most recently approved increased the incentive to develop two four star hotels at the Anaheim GardenWalk from a 50 percent share of Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) to 70 percent for 20 years. These hotels will still pay 100 percent of sales tax and 100 percent of property tax. The economic analysis clearly shows that these hotels and this incentive program will provide millions in new revenue once they are built and operating for general fund programs. Under no circumstances does this program reduce funding for city programs or negatively impact the city’s general fund –the debate is over the amount of new revenue the city will receive during the life of the agreement, once and if they are built and operating.

Anaheim Rapid Connection (ARC) –ARC is an essential part of the city’s planned transportation program, designed to reduce congestion on local streets and roads and facilitate the expansion of the Convention Center and resort area that receives more than 20 million annual visitors today and thousands of employees daily.

The Anaheim resort area generates approximately 50 percent of the city’s general fund revenue and that funding is growing because of investments in the resort area and recent improvements to the Disneyland Parks. The city needs to manage that growth effectively and limit impacts on local neighborhoods. ARC and ARTIC are essential to local and regional commuter transit services.

ARTIC is the center of the LOSSAN (Los Angeles – Orange – San Diego) Corridor – the second busiest commuter rail corridor in the nation today. As the population of Southern California grows, transit plays an important role to the greater regional transportation network. ARTIC and ARC are valuable components of that network and will be paid with local, state and federal transportation funds – funds that could not be used to support other city programs. The City Council has committed unanimously that there will be no impact on the city’s general fund to construct or operate.

Q. Back to the Angels, what’s the biggest misconception out there about the MOU?

KM:  Our MOUs are non-binding and simply established a list of terms identified by the city and the Angels to produce a starting point for negotiations. Nothing has been ruled out and everything is on the table. The Mayor has brought up some salient points that will now be added to the discussion items and thoughtfully considered. In that respect, the MOUs are doing exactly what they were intended. There is simply no truth to the idea that this is a done deal.  We have a long way to go and I’ve asked the City Manager to bring back a plan for Council consideration to conduct a robust community outreach program to be conducted throughout the negotiations process.

 

 

  58 comments for “Kris Murray talks with TheLiberalOC about Anaheim

  1. Gustavo Arellano
    October 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    This couldn’t be a softer interview if you did it with marshmallows. But what else can we expect of a blog that gave Jo Ann Galiski the same treatment?

    • October 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      Gustavo, you’re a one trick pony. I have admitted that I was duped by Galiski, but you just won’t let it go. It’s like you think I deliberately outed victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church or something. But of course that was someone else.

      But what really sticks in my craw is that you take an article I wrote and use it to link me to Dan’s story. If you want to criticize Dan, criticize his work directly, not by way of mine.

      You know, I don’t come over to your publication and rip on you for turning your head and looking he other way while I was busy digging up some of the crap that was going on in Santa Ana. So forgive me if I think you have no high horse to sit on over here.

  2. October 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Sorry, I would have responded earlier but I was busy looking for the Dan Savage column in last week’sOC Weekly. What page is it on?

  3. Greg Diamond
    October 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Dan’s having had to listen to Murray spout twisted misrepresentations for 90 minutes and more is punishment enough for this sloppy tongue bath.

    Or at least it would be, if he understood what was going on well enough to recognize the bullshit. And I guess he’d have to actually care enough to be offended that it was bullshit….

    OK, I take it back — it wasn’t punishment enough. Now he should be sentenced to fact check her claims.

  4. Greg Diamond
    October 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    This was intended as a reply to Gustavo, of course — and I clicked on the reply right below that comment — which I suppose is why it instead ended up below Dan’s comment. (Chris, please fix this!)

  5. October 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Greg —
    You’re already on thin ice to begin with, so I will ask that you refrain from the use of profanity.

    To suggest I don’t understand what is going on is a bit over the top; if you wish to engage in a battle of personal insults, you’re overmatched.

    Lastly, why would I need to factcheck this (even though I have) when you will do it for me?

    • October 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Oh come on Dan; on this blog the term bullshit has never been deemed as profanity. If it were, I would be permanently banned by now.

      I don’t want to hurt your feelings, or anyone else’s, but I guess people may be thinking that the facts in this case must be very loosely defined if they have passed a genuine fact check. I will say that by surface scratch, the facts seem to be accurate. The problems that folks like Greg have with the “facts” may reside just under the surface, somewhere in the studies and assumptions used to support them.

      I hope that Greg will provide us with some of that fact checking he feels is necessary. You did after all state that dialogue is important.

      I think people may wonder why you would publish commentary from a Republican without more robust challenge to her statements? This may be why some people think that you are being bought off. After all, this is supposed to be TheLiberalOC.

      • October 22, 2013 at 8:42 am

        I think I asked good questions and she provided lots of details for anyone to ponder on a fact check. The statements are on the record. If she’s not being truthful, these statements can be used to hold her accountable.

        • October 22, 2013 at 10:44 am

          The concern some may have is that absent immediate rebuttal, statements believed inaccurate will be perceived as accurate.

          • October 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm

            Statements are in detail and on the record; subsequent review of claims can be challenged with research. I am not done with this story, only starting.

  6. jose s.
    October 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Hey cheminowski a true angels fan would look at our stadium and see it for what it is a thing of beauty. Every time i pass it on the freeway i cant help but to look over there and marvel at it’s beauty and this is coming from a true fan who used to go see nolan ryan pitch. So quit your whining about a new stadium and be thankful the dodgers dont play there.

    • October 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      jose s.

      I don’t follow much about baseball, but didn’t the Dodgers make it to their Division playoffs this year? How’d the Angels do?

      • October 21, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        NLCS Chris; I would have loved to see a Boston-Dodgers series. It would have been awesome. The Angels won the Series in 2002; the last time the Dodgers were even in it was 1988.

  7. Greg Diamond
    October 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    @Chris — I just posted a critique on OJB. I’d post a link, but you know how Dan feels about that sort of thing.

    @Dan — if you had the capacity for embarrassment, you’d be experiencing it.

    • October 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Hey everybody!

      Greg has a post up on Orange Juice Blog that counters/fact-checks Murray’s commentary. The post can be found in the Orange Juice RSS Feed in our right margin once the feed updates. You can get to the site by clicking on the Orange Juice Blog link at the top of the feed.

      • October 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm

        Hurray, Greg has a post up….maybe he’ll make enough money to buy one of those $5 tickets the Angels sell on game day and actually go to a game….

        How were those comp’d tix for the Truman dinner Greg?

        • October 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

          Really Dan, the Truman Dinner is unrelated to this topic. Questioning whether a member if the DPOC Executive Board paid for his ticket(s) to the dinner is even further off topic. Stick to your defense of your post, and leave the irrelevant stuff for some other time.

      • October 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm

        Here is the link to Greg’s post over at Orange Juice Blog.

        http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2013/10/dan-libo-cs-tongue-bath-interview-of-kris-murray-makes-fact-checkers-salivate/

        Apparently it isn’t blog-whoring when I do it.

    • October 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      Actually Greg, I found your post funnier than your finger puppet show; when it comes to tongue baths, well you have a lot of experience giving them to Tait don’t you?

  8. Greg Diamond
    October 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    “You know, I don’t come over to your publication and rip on you for turning your head and looking he other way while I was busy digging up some of the crap that was going on in Santa Ana.”

    You should try it, Chris! It’s FUN!

  9. Greg Diamond
    October 21, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Hurray, Greg has a post up….maybe he’ll make enough money to buy one of those $5 tickets the Angels sell on game day and actually go to a game….

    Uh, Dan — baseball season’s over in this county for the year.

    How were those comp’d tix for the Truman dinner Greg?

    “Tix,” plural? Your information is wrong.

    • October 22, 2013 at 5:03 am

      did you pay for your ticket or not? Tix is slang for ticket or tickets; how anal are you?

    • October 22, 2013 at 8:45 am

      Greg — there is plenty of baseball going on in OC; it’s a year-round sport. And while the Major League season is down to the Cardinals and Red Sox, there’s something called “the Hot Stove” which is better suited for Northern teams at this time of year.

      And while the Angels won’t be playing in Anaheim until late March, it gives you months to save up for that ticket.

  10. Greg Diamond
    October 21, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Actually Greg, I found your post funnier than your finger puppet show; when it comes to tongue baths, well you have a lot of experience giving them to Tait don’t you?

    Actually, comma, Dan, you have no apparent sense of humor at all, so it doesn’t really matter what you do or don’t find funny. I just presume that when you need an opinion on humorousness, you consult with your service hyena.

    So far as I can recall, I’ve never interviewed Tait, let alone just providing him a forum to state his platform for his next campaign at length and verbatim, so I don’t think that any of that counts as a tongue bath. What does the service hyena tell you about your witty repartee? (You may have to replace it.)

  11. Greg Diamond
    October 21, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    By the way, Dan, if you really think that the Monday morning puppet show was in some way humiliating to me, you can really get back at me by providing a link to it — be fair and use the one I posted, where you can see my hands — somewhere near the top of the site. Please, please, don’t mention it often so that people can easily judge the value of its message and presentation for themselves. That would make me so sad. (And if your service hyena laughs at any point, I’m sure that it’s laughing AT me, not WITH me, or AT you.)

    • October 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

      You did a puppet show in front of a city council meeting during public comments.

      ” if you had the capacity for embarrassment, you’d be experiencing it” sums it up nicely.

      I think I’ll buy some finger puppets and send them to The Eli Home as a gift to the kids who use Lorri Galloway’s services. I might even make the donation in your name.

  12. Mellissa Warren
    October 22, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Dan,

    Great hard hitting interview.

    There is no reason to treat someone like an outcast because he/she has different political views. I especcially appreciate your efforts to humanize Kris as a woman, a wife and a mother while others have done just the oppisite.

    Just because she holds an elective office, doesn’t mean tht EVERY aspect of her life has to be approached that way. I am glad you practice what you preach and stay above the childish fray, that is OC Politics.

    No more cheesy photos of guys in apron’s, altered to look like Pol Pot, how about just debating the issues. You and Murray explained perfectly why the stadium needs to be replaced. If it hasn’t been updated in fifty years isn’t it time. And I am sorry, it is the RESPONSIBILITY of taxpayers from Anaheim. It is their stadium, look at what great things the Angels organization brings to our city. If the people of Anaheim are too cheap or to disiterested to go to a game then that’s on them.

  13. October 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Greg: is your rebuttal written? Or acted out with hand puppets?

    • October 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Matt,

      Greg apparently did not have time to prepare a puppet show of his rebuttal, thus making it easier for some people to understand, but it is written in his post on Orange Juice Blog.

  14. Cynthia Ward
    October 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    There is so much here I do not even know where to begin, so I will start with something easy and work my way up from there. Kris Murray has said (elsewhere) that the maintenance and improvements of the Stadium are the taxpayers’ responsibility, Here also a comment was posted by someone I do not know and do not in any way wish to antagonize. I am not looking to pick a fight, but I do want to correct misinformation, and I hope my rebuttal is taken in that spirit, But the comment says,

    “You and Murray explained perfectly why the stadium needs to be replaced. If it hasn’t been updated in fifty years isn’t it time. And I am sorry, it is the RESPONSIBILITY of taxpayers from Anaheim. It is their stadium, look at what great things the Angels organization brings to our city. If the people of Anaheim are too cheap or to disiterested to go to a game then that’s on them.”

    I am sorry but those statements are incorrect. The current Angels lease, which had been negotiated with the Disney folk when they bought the team, and was purchased by Arte Moreno, reads very specifically that with the exception of the $600k per year we put into a maintenance fund, the full weight of upkeep and improvements to the Stadium sits on the shoulders of Arte Moreno and the Angels. Here is why; Disney took the revenues from the team, they took the ticket sales (until they hit a specific price point per season, which has happened a few times and is only a fraction of tickets even after the benchmark has been met) they take all concession sales, parking fees (we do pocket some money from the Catch because they sublet a section of the parking lot for their guests) they get all of the TV rights, advertising, etc. The taxpayers of Anaheim who invested in the Stadium for years get nearly nothing, I believe when we also back out the bond repayments we are in the hole. In exchange the Angels (under Disney) took on the cost of $80 million in improvements (so no, it has not been 50 years since we renovated) and Disney changed the name of the team to include Anaheim, because we felt the advertising benefits to our tourism industry was worth that trade, increasing our name identity and “brand” as a destination, and expecting to reap the benefits of visitors wanting to visit this “Anaheim” place they hear about all the time.

    Eventually Arte Moreno came along and bought the team-or to be specific he bought a lease he could see has holes to be exploited. That is how billboard guys make their money, they do not make a fortune by being the best salesman in the business, they make money finding loopholes in municipal codes that let them drive a truck through, and they install billboards in those loopholes before the competition does. Arte is good enough at finding those loopholes that he turned a struggling ad business into a multi billion dollar industry. The fact that he also purchased the right to improve the stadium at his own cost was NOT lost on him, he outfoxed us (legally, no complaint) out of the only benefit we really asked for, indeed his new team name not only makes us a joke, it advertises for a city that competes with Anaheim, drawing convention business away from Anaheim. Dan, imagine I buy up ad space on your site and use it to promote Art’s blog. No exaggeration, imagine your fury at that, because this is what many of us feel in Anaheim. So perhaps you will forgive me if I feel ZERO obligation to now find additional revenue streams to help someone I feel took advantage of our hospitality in order to meet an obligation he bought into on his own. We love the Angels as a team, they are OUR Angels and we will always support them, but given our history with the owner, many of us wish to approach any deals with extreme caution, he has proven his people are better at reading leases than our people are at writing them, and he has ZERO scruples about exploiting any opening we leave him, this is business, and we should be approaching it with the same attitude. If we have an advantage there is NO reason to surrender it, he wouldn’t.

    Given that information, WHY would anyone in their right minds go running around giving up advantages and desperately needed revenues to provide services Anaheim is obligated for, in order to provide something we are NOT obligated to do? On what planet is this strong, visionary leadership? We cannot afford to clean graffiti and keep trained cops on the street and we are voluntarily paying Arte Moreno’s bills?

    That, my friends, is the first of many, many errors I found in Mrs. Murray’s marshmallow fluff of an interview, I will try getting to them one by one. And Dan, I am sad, truly distressed, because this was an opportunity to do something great and I think that opportunity was lost. If anyone on the planet could hold Mrs. Murray accountable and be polite and respectful about it, that was YOU, you are a truly neutral party who would not be seen as a threat, you could have dug in an held her to answering some of those issues she dodged, without being snotty, and you chose not to do so. Why would I want to read something that I have to fact check? Is that not the point of a blog, to present information from a credible source? That was you Dan, you were the credible source I could trust to fact check someone’s statement and know that you were being factual and fair, and I didn’t have to follow up on what you said. I am sorry to see you opted not to do so.

    • October 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Cynthia –First off, you owe me $5 because the interview did not come to pass as you suggested; you can simply put $5 in the mail to Eli Home in my name.

      From your statement: “Kris Murray has said (elsewhere) that the maintenance and improvements of the Stadium are the taxpayers’ responsibility.” I’ve looked high and low for a documented quote; please attribute this.

      “The current Angels lease, which had been negotiated with the Disney folk when they bought the team, and was purchased by Arte Moreno, reads very specifically that with the exception of the $600k per year we put into a maintenance fund, the full weight of upkeep and improvements to the Stadium sits on the shoulders of Arte Moreno and the Angels”

      Not arguing that but if I’m Arte I see no reason to sink $150 million into maintaining an aging stadium that lacks the bells and whistles of newer stadiums and can apply those funds towards a new Stadium. The latest stadium renovation was 1997/98..they improved locker rooms, built the faux rock structure and built in some new fan/family areas..but otherwise turned a dual purpose stadium into baseall only with some new point and giant batting helmets. That was 15 years ago. The new dugout suites are great but the stadium lacks real quality luxury suites that other stadiums have.

      ” That is how billboard guys make their money, they do not make a fortune by being the best salesman in the business, they make money finding loopholes in municipal codes that let them drive a truck through, and they install billboards in those loopholes before the competition does.”
      That is pretty disingenuous statement about the billboard business that has zero basis in fact.

      “Given that information, WHY would anyone in their right minds go running around giving up advantages and desperately needed revenues to provide services Anaheim is obligated for, in order to provide something we are NOT obligated to do? On what planet is this strong, visionary leadership? We cannot afford to clean graffiti and keep trained cops on the street and we are voluntarily paying Arte Moreno’s bills? ”

      Anaheim should adopt the anti-graffiti ordinance that Santa Ana has so if taggers are caught, they bear the cost of cleanup. I’d ask your city manager about specific budget issues but Anaheim has a significant economic engine in the Angels. I know you like to cite the closed Applebee’s near the stadium as evidence its not a strong economic environment around the ballpark but Applebee’s is an awful restaurant. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money and the Anaheim city council has had nearly 50 years to develop the area around the ballpark and has failed to do so; let Arte do it.

      The purpose of this piece was to get detailed information from Ms. Murray. Fact checking is underway. Both MOUs are in pencil, not pen. Things are on the table for negotiation and no one has heard what Arte’s plans are yet. Until we do, you don’t really know how this scene will play out. Pro sports franchises are getting a lot of public money these days. The fact is the MOUs could be even more generous to Moreno that what is being used as a framework (look at what Baltimore gave Art Modell to move the Browns there…they gave him everything).. If the Angels leave Anaheim, this will be on Tait.

      You seem to think this post is the end of the story Cynthia; its really only the beginning.

  15. Gustavo Arellano
    October 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Chris: Making a logo of the SanTana City Seal slipping on a banana peel does not a Moxley make.

    • October 23, 2013 at 12:37 am

      Gustavo,

      I think I’ve done a bit more than make a logo. But since we’re talking about Photoshop work, the pasting of Pulido’s head on a guy riding a prancing pony is fabulous. I don’t pretend to be Moxley. But I have broken a few stories, sorry you cannot bring yourself to give any credit where it’s due. I didn’t realize you were so insecure.

      • October 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm

        We got an OC Press Award for our coverage of Santa Ana Gustavo; not bad for a couple of volunteers with busy full time jobs.
        And we give our sources more than 71 minutes to call us back before posting our stories

        • October 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm

          For our buddy “nameless” at OJ, everyone submits or applies for the awards category for the OC Press Club and every category is competitive. Chris and I are both members of the club. We didn’t win in 2013, we did in 2012. We didn’t win in 2011, we did in 2010. There is pretty much one category we can apply for. To suggest the award was bought and paid for is a fabrication much like your persona.

  16. Gustavo Arellano
    October 22, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Dan: Easy—it’s where our dive bar column is. But glad to see you and Dawn have a kinky side!

    • October 23, 2013 at 12:44 am

      You know Gustavo, we don’t drag your spouse into your work or to attack your commentary. What makes you think it’s okay to expand your attacks to include Dan’s wife? You really are a pitiful little man if that’s all you’ve got.

      • October 23, 2013 at 8:25 am

        Dawn doesn’t read the Weekly; I like Savage’s column for its snark and humor.

    • October 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      I just went through the October 16 edition page by page; no Savage anywhere? Searched online; only old columns. Do you need stronger glasses to see that “Savage Love” is missing from the pages of OC Weekly?

  17. Gustavo Arellano
    October 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Always awesome to see Dan, who pretends he’s above the fray of the OC blogosphere, delve into petty attacks. Learning from his hero, Larry Agran! Now, back to Bloviator-bashing…

    • October 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      You missed some cheap shots from Greg on Facebook which would explain; those shots were not factual and demonstrated a weakness of argument on his part. I just poked back with less bloviation

  18. Matthew Cunningham
    October 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    “Kris Murray has said (elsewhere) that the maintenance and improvements of the Stadium are the taxpayers’ responsibility.”

    Cynthia, if you are claiming Kris believes the city should be on the hook for stadium maintenance and improvements out of its own pocket, then you are mistaken. She’s said no such thing. One of the strengths of the negotiation MOU is deal point calling for the Angels to pay for the $150 million in necessary improvements. Kris, and I think the whole council, have been very clear they would like a deal in which the Angels pay for the stadium improvements.

  19. Ryan Cantor
    October 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Yeah, that’s not in there, Matt. Not one dollar, certainly not 150 million dollars either.

  20. October 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    From OC Weekly’s Scariest People issue of 2013:

    6. KRIS MURRAY

    Anaheim’s Boss Bitch, Kris Murray went from unknown Curt Pringle puppet to prominent Curt Pringle puppet long before the city burned last summer in riots that made national headlines. Serving as a proxy for OC’s eternal Dark Lord, Murray formed a council coalition opposing Mayor Tom Tait (a longtime Pringle ally until the two split under mysterious circumstances) at every turn, from massive hotel-developer subsidies to public calls for police reform to sweetheart proposals to the Angels to an ACLU lawsuit seeking district elections. After a sham committee she prepared to study electoral issues offered a surprise deadlock recommendation that single-member districts go before Anaheim voters, Murray ignored the notion, opting instead for at-large district elections, a proposal as ludicrous as her claims Pringle has no influence on her. She has taken every opportunity to throw her political weight around, no matter how meritless or low the exercise in power may be. Mitigating factor: Her piercing, ocean-blue eyes . . .

  21. October 24, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Jason — you forgot to add William Fitzgerald and Matt Cunningham to the post. Or are you forgiving of Fitzgerald too like Diamond and Nelson are?

  22. Cynthia Ward
    October 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Ok Dan, you tell me how the interview DID come to pass, and I will hand deliver that donation myself, directly to the Thrift Store offices on East Street.

    DC: “From your statement: ‘Kris Murray has said (elsewhere) that the maintenance and improvements of the Stadium are the taxpayers’ responsibility.’ I’ve looked high and low for a documented quote; please attribute this.”

    CW: I believe I saw an interview or comment on video, until I recall the source for video feed there is this….
    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/city-515348-angels-stadium.html
    Published: July 2, 2013 Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 12:28 p.m.
    Text: Next Article »
    Angel Stadium may need $150M in upgrades
    City and the baseball team’s officials are figuring out long-term upgrades.
    By SARAH TULLY / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
    “It’s a city asset that we have responsibility for, and that will be part of the discussion,” Murray said. “We are working through how we make that work, both for the city and the organization.”

    CW: Point blank, Murray keeps acting as though it is our responsibility to upgrade the Stadium for Arte, it is not, and if we are granting him the concessions of revenue streams (like we haven’t given enough) to enable upgrades AND writing off the last of the name, what are we getting back? The privilege of keeping a team that advertises for the opposition that takes Convention business away from our “economic engine?”

    DC: “Not arguing that but if I’m Arte I see no reason to sink $150 million into maintaining an aging stadium that lacks the bells and whistles of newer stadiums and can apply those funds towards a new Stadium.”

    CW: You are correct, Arte is not obligated to make the improvements, and he is free to continue using the Stadium as it exists….for free…which is knd of a nice incentive to stick around. Tell me, of all those free stadiums, how many are built now that Redevelopment is dead? No way is Anaheim going to bond for a new stadium for Arte, as it is that majority will be lucky to get to their reelections without someone pulling recall papers, especially after their game of “pin the bigot on the Mayor” fiasco. But if Arte wants the improvements, then the ONLY party obligated to pay for those…is Arte Moreno. He can pay for it, or he can live without it. Kinda like when my kids demanded designer clothing, they could accept the jeans I was paying for, they could pay the difference for better jeans out of their pockets, or they could go naked (OK not an option) but I was not obligated to pay for their designer jeans, nor am I obligated to pay for the bells and whistles Arte wants just because he is jealous of someone else’s bells and whistles.

    These deals are so bad for the communities that host them that debunking their contracts has been the subject of numerous articles…and a book http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/1997/06/summer-taxes-noll

    DC: The fact is the MOUs could be even more generous to Moreno that what is being used as a framework (look at what Baltimore gave Art Modell to move the Browns there…they gave him everything)

    CW: Well yes, Dan, we could throw in juggling clowns to guide fans to the parking lot as they find their way to Anaheim from Irvine. I see no need to do that for him either. The fact is that this deal as it is written stinks, it is so bad that even those who voted for it refuse to defend it, they keep insisting that “nothing is finished” and this isn’t the final deal, or as you said it is written in pencil and not ink. Dan you KNOW that signing that deal means they cannot take those deal points off the table without accusations of negotiating in bad faith, and that was one of the few things that WAS binding. So while we keep hearing the defensive, plaintive wails of “nothing has been negotiated” the legal truth is that we just saw our last best offer put to paper, because Moreno has ZERO obligation to offer us a better deal, and we have zero legal option to demand a better deal. You think he is going to volunteer to give us more money than we just agreed to?

    Do not give me this garbage about “non-binding” and “no damages” real estate negotiations are not remedied by damages, because real estate is unique chattel. An order of specific performance would be issued, should Anaheim be found negotiating in bad faith, which is what happens when Arte Moreno comes back and says, hey this looks like a good deal as it is, I’ll take it….and the leaders who sputter “but we never MEANT to give you that much, this is non-binding”….well that doesn’t work with the law. And it doesn’t work with the voters who are SICK of asking for our tax money to be spent wisely only to be ignored by those who know better than our simple little misinformed selves.

    DC: “You seem to think this post is the end of the story Cynthia; its really only the beginning.”

    CW: Dan I think this is far from over. So let’s keep going with the Murray dissection.

    Next up, Murray’s misinformation campaign on Anaheim Rapid Connection…..stay tuned.

  23. October 25, 2013 at 8:37 am

    It’s irrelevant how the interview came to pass but it was not a straight line from Murray to me; it was a jagged one with several folks involved. I was asked, would you like to speak with Murray about this” and rather than give her a snappy and derogatory nickname, I said sure with the caveat that she knows she’s talking to a liberal blog and that I am not going to agree with her on policy.

    I will also note, even with your link, your original claim and what Murray actually said, are non-sequitur. The stadium is a city asset and you are responsible for it, but the maintenance is the responsibility of Arte Moreno and the Angels. You put words in her mouth.

    On the MOUs, if its in pencil, it isn’t binding; negotiations between the city and the Angels are not going to be voted on in public. It will be negotiated privately. The Angels are an incredible economic engine for the city and the county. Not having them here make Anaheim less attractive for NFL, NBA or MLS expansion. The Ducks have a great team and a winning record, yet attendance is so-so….

  24. Cynthia Ward
    October 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Dan, the MOUs are signed in ink, they are not final contracts but there is a binding element of good faith to these, go check with a lawyer and ask what happens should Arte Moreno decide he likes things just fine as they are, and the City Council gets no more concessions than the deal in the current MOUs. Does the City Council have to sign it? Go ask,

    You know what makes Anaheim a lot less attractive to sports teams…and business start-ups….and new home buyers? Calling a cop in 10 or 15 years and having a 15 minute wait. Graffiti not being cleaned up, streets in disrepair, parks with dead lawn…that is what a city looks like when future revenues fail to keep pace with increased cost for service levels.

  25. October 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Cynthia —
    From the resolution:

    “The nonbinding framework proposed in the MOUs provides a basis and general terms for the parties to negotiate diligently and in good faith on matters addressed in the MOUs, and on such other matters related to the framework as the parties may deem appropriate.”

    Nonbinding is the key word here.

    “The MOUs allow the City to explore opportunities for obtaining revenue and/or other economic and non-economic benefits in connection with entering the potential Extended Lease and Implementing Agreements. The City has received verbal confirmation that the Angels and Pacific Coast Investors intend that such opportunities will be discussed as part of the negotiation. Further, the MOUs do not commit or obligate the parties to enter an Extended Lease, Implementing Agreements, or any other definitive agreements. Such agreements, if ultimately prepared pursuant to negotiations, would require City Council action to adopt them in the exercise of the City Council’s discretion. Finally, the MOU process will provide the City and the Angels more time to negotiate these complex issues, while at the same time outlining the general parameters for those discussions to the public and providing for public input as the process moves forward. The use of the MOUs as vehicles to guide negotiations is consistent with the City’s past practice in 1995-96 and with how other cities have approached negotiations with major league sports teams. restrict the parties from negotiating outcomes inconsistent with the MOUs and negotiation on other issues not referenced in the MOUs, such as the City’s obtaining other revenue and/or other economic and non-economic benefits from the Angels’ use of the Baseball Stadium, Stadium Site, Stadium District or other rights relating to the use and occupancy of the Baseball Stadium, Stadium Site and Stadium District.”

    “The Stadium Lease MOU establishes a nonbinding framework for negotiation of the terms and conditions of an extended lease agreement that will keep the Angels playing baseball in Anaheim through 2036 and beyond.”

    There’s that word — “nonbinding” again.

    “Since 1990, all MLB stadiums built in the United States have included significant public contributions to the cost of land and improvements. For the 26 MLB stadiums built between 1990 and 2012, the public has contributed an average of 59% of the total project costs. In addition to total project costs, some cities have also contributed to on-going operational costs.”

    For what I read in this document, everything is in pencil and is subject to change. You don’t believe it. Fine. I do.

  26. anton marc
    October 26, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Yeah, its almost like it was done by Red County.

  27. Henry Lipton
    October 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Sounds like the residents of The City of Anaheim have been robbed. Like really really badly ripped off.

  28. Cynthia Ward
    October 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    “One of the strengths of the negotiation MOU is deal point calling for the Angels to pay for the $150 million in necessary improvements. Kris, and I think the whole council, have been very clear they would like a deal in which the Angels pay for the stadium improvements.”

    Matt I do not know how to break it to you, but the CURRENT lease agreement states very specifically that the Angels are responsible for the improvements. If that is what she is looking for, we have it already. To offer up access to our asset to enable him to do something he is already legally obligated to do is NOT my idea of visionary leadership, indeed the phrase “gift of public funds” keeps swirling through my mind.

    • October 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      So you both agree the Angels are on the hoof for $150 million in stadium improvements? Unless Arte decides to build a new stadium next to the old one and have Angels Stadium torn down. Then he can apply for the $150 million towards a new place for the Angels to play in Anaheim. I think that money is better spent on a new state-of-the-art ballpark instead of a fixer upper.

      What was the last game you attended in Anaheim, Cynthia? Matt?

  29. Cynthia Ward
    October 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Murray says; “Anaheim Rapid Connection (ARC) –ARC is an essential part of the city’s planned transportation program, designed to reduce congestion on local streets and roads and facilitate the expansion of the Convention Center and resort area that receives more than 20 million annual visitors today and thousands of employees daily.”

    Murray claims the streetcar is designed to “reduce congestion”, but I would like to share the traffic analysis directly from the Alternatives Analysis of the ARC streetcar,

    “As indicated in Tables 3.7 and 3.11, there would be several study intersections and roadway segments that would operate with unacceptable conditions (LOS E or F for intersections, LOS D, E or F for roadway segments) under the No Build scenario. These conditions would somewhat WORSEN with the Enhanced Bus Alternative and Streetcar Alternative, as they would result in REDUCTIONS IN ROADWAY CAPACITY which would lead to increased V/C ratios. Furthermore, both the Enhanced Bus Alternative and Streetcar Alternative would also result in additional intersections WORSENING to UNACCEPTABLE CONDITIONS (two locations and one location, respectively)”

    This is not a recent revelation. The experts have known the streetcar is a nightmare in mixed traffic for years. During the November 12, 2009 Scoping Meeting, City staff went over the various options that had already been studied and either discarded as not suitable, or considered suitable and were being further investigated. At that meeting, the story boards offered to the public clearly showed that Traditional Buses, Streetcars, Light Rail Transit, Deisel Commuter Rail, and Personal Rapid Transit had all been reviewed and found unwanted. View the documents yourself here; http://www.anaheim.net/images/articles/4454/November12_Background_Boards.pdf

    “TRADITIONAL BUS Not suitable due to operation in mixed traffic
    STREETCAR Not suitable due to operation in mixed traffic
    LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT Not suitable due to operation in mixed traffic
    DIESEL MULTIPLE UNIT COMMUTER RAIL Not suitable for urban center
    PERSONAL RAPID TRANSIT Proprietary, limited application, capacity constraints, lack of certified U.S. and CPUC standards”

    So if the streetcar makes traffic worse, and is not suitable in mixed traffic, WHY did it suddenly end up back on the list at all, much less as the “preferred” alternative?

    Mayor Tait was trying to get that question answered during the October 2012 Council meeting where this boondoggle was pushed through. Murray jumped in, excused Public Works Director Natalie Meeks from answering his very valid questions, and then ensured that she and her colleagues shoved this mess through like meat in a sausage grinder. BTW I ordered the Agendas and Minutes of the Transportation meetings where the Mayor and OCTA rep are updated monthly on various projects, and the same month (Sep 2012) Meeks claims to have shared the Alternatives Analysis results with the public, she failed to tell the MAYOR or the OCTA rep (Galloway at the time) that they had even conducted a public meeting! Nor do the records show she shared the presentation in any way with the elected leaders she answers to, and she did not tell them that the streetcar would be coming up for approval at the next Council meeting. Until it showed up as a Council workshop Tait and the OCTA rep responsible for overseeing this project had ZERO insight into the project, which went essentially underground when Pringle left office (although staff kept working on it behind the scenes.)

    But Murray insists that this has been studied “exhaustively” and makes it sound like the Mayor was asleep at the wheel to have missed this information.

    Now which of us is “misinformed?”

    • October 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Cynthia — I remain unconvinced this is an ideal project for Anaheim; if Disney wants this, let them pay for it.

  30. October 30, 2013 at 6:37 am
  31. October 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Cynthia did a nice job on this

Comments are closed.