There were three big items on the Anaheim City Council meeting agenda last night; one a proposal from city council member Kris Murray proposed amendment to the city charter that makes it harder to pass a tax increase passed on a 3-2 vote to put this measure on the November 2016 ballot. Mayor Tait and Council member Jordan Brandman were the no votes and Tait ally James Vanderbilt sided with Murray and Lucille Kring.
Strike one for Tait.
Tait had two proposals up for a vote. The “Protect Taxpayers from Debt” act, designed to hinder a Joint Powers Authority action to issue bonds for big projects and require direct voter approval went down to a 4-1 vote with Vanderbilt again protecting his conservative credentials against a Tait-driven initiative.
Strike two for Tait.
And the “Let the People Vote” act that would require a city-wide vote for using TOT revenue to assist hotel development also failed on a 3-2 vote with Tait and Vanderbilt supporting the measure.
Strike three for Tait.
A few Republicans I’ve spoken with over the past week, not for attribution, have all but encouraged me to support the pro-Gate tax proposals being floated by OJ blogger Greg Diamond and supported by Republican Cynthia Ward. Their argument is the almost feverish support and justification for a Gate Tax by the OJ crowd makes it easy to brand Democrats who support the idea of a Gate tax as “tax and spend Liberals” even though a gate tax wouldn’t likely affect most Anaheim taxpayers and voters.
The Republicans believe Dr. Jose Moreno will likely run for City Council again in 2016 and that his previous comment at a candidate’s debate that he’s be open to the idea of a gate tax, coupled with Diamond’s and Ward’s very public support for such a tax, make Moreno a target for negative mail. Their argument is taxpayers pay attention to soundbites not essays and Diamond’s anti-Murray screeds are doing more harm to Moreno than help. They’d like him to continue.
Does anyone else notice how often Tait recuses himself from votes? The measures on the Homeless Shelter and the decommissioning of San Onofre were unanimous because of Tait’s business conflicts. The Mayor abstains from every vote having to do with OCTA and a majority of votes dealing with interactions between the City of Anaheim and the County of Orange because his firm has several county contracts. The high number of Tait’s business conflicts with official city business make a part-time mayor even more part-time.