Video: Tuesday’s Anaheim City Council Throw-Down

The buzz in Orange County political circles this week has been about the drama that occurred during the council comments that traditionally come at the end of the Anaheim City Council meeting.

The mayor goes last, and Tom Tait took the occasion to blast Councilwoman Kris Murray over her op-ed piece on single-member council districts in last week’s Orange County Register. it’s a symptom of how negative the dynamics of Anaheim city government have become that what is, at its heart, a disagreement over the application or interpretation of the California government code blew up into allegations of character assault.

Anaheim gadfly/wedding videographer Jason Young ripped a video that has been floating around other OC blogs — but in his Ministry of Truth-style, Jason was careful to omit Murray’s response and other key moments.

So in the interest of truth, here is video of the entire incident:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK4Me-K2vtQ]

There has been the predicted piling on OC blogosphere. Jason Young displays his customary Stalinistic message discipline, denouncing Kris Murray as a liar when — at best — the most he can say is she made a mistake in her reading of state law. I wonder if Young would apply the same standard to himself, confessing the being “a liar” every time he made a mistake.

Cynthia Ward’s interminable commentary, for example, was rapturous, if not consonant with reality. Cynthia thrives on drama and conflict…unless it negatively impacts those she supports, in which case she weeps over the End of Civility.

Cynthia claims it would have been illegal — yes, illegal — for Tom Tait NOT to have adjourned the meeting after he said his piece.

In fact, having concluded the business before them with nothing remaining of the items that were publicly noticed on the Agenda, and having granted all of the leaders opportunity to speak during Council Communications, it frankly would have been against the law for the Mayor not to have adjourned the meeting, as they were not legally permitted to discuss anything else! Robert’s Rules of Order, which Brandman so often uses to pummel the Mayor into abeyance, states that:

“When a body has completed the scheduled order of business at a meeting and there is no further business for the assembly to consider at that time, the chair may simply declare the meeting adjourned without a motion having been made. If a main motion, it cannot interrupt pending business, and is amendable and debatable.

“Under Robert’s Rules, a motion to adjourn is given high privilege even to the point of interrupting the pending question and, on adoption, it immediately closes the meeting. This is because a majority should not be forced to continue in session substantially longer than it desires and this is also the reason why this motion is not debatable.”

Perhaps in her rapturous state, Cynthia failed to notice that the four members of the council wanted to continue in session, and that there was this inconvenient point of order pending — as Interim City Attorney Michael Houston noted. But what does he know, right?

All in all, it was a sad episode, and it’s sad to hear the huzzahs from the fever swamp as if this incident ennobled anyone.

10 comments

  1. Outside Observer

    Matt-
    I wish you had not made this post a focus on the grumpy commentary from two over-rated agitators.

    Your BLOG comments would have been better by just presenting the issue and letting the reader/ watcher interpret it for themselves.

    After watching the Mayor and the following council response, people will easily see that the Mayor had a written statement prepared by someone else – he read it – got angry and stomped off. And similar to most current disputes in Anaheim, he is unwilling to hear anyone else’s point of view.
    As for Councilmember Murray’s opinion piece in the OC Register, she is clearly entitled to her opinion – as was the ACLU, who authored the contrary point of view. (And that ACLU position is the same one held by Mayor Tait.)

    And from my point of view, the Mayor highlighted one aspect of Ms. Murray’s commentary, but NEVER disputed the underlying point of her article.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Fair enough. I don’t mean to extend undeserved credibility to either of them, but I used their comments as an occasion to respond to what I think are mischaracterizations of what transpired.

  2. Anaheim Avenger

    There’s a great line from Field of Dreams which goes something like this:

    “I hope you have a team of psychiatrists”

    That is exactly my hope for ms ward.

    And apparently the mayor doesn’t apply the same standard to himself as others in terms of what constitutes personal attacks! Lest he selectively forget…what exactly does he call the 100k hit piece his family funded to mail a total character assignation on Councilman Brandman during the campaign?

    A sad state of affairs indeed.

  3. Matt, even the Mayor was willing to let Murray off the hook by publicly stating he was giving her benefit of the doubt but she then went on to stand by her statement. The first time you provide incorrect info it is a mistake, the second time it becomes a choice.

    Keep in mind that by precedent the Mayor needs no majority vote to Adjourn, and his Adjournment is of higher privilege than any other, including Point of Order or Point of Personal Privilege, as I covered elsewhere. However, even if you wanted to go with the need for majority vote in order to follow Brandman’s logic of refusing to consent to adjournment, he had it. If you review the meeting, Jordan Brandman moved to Adjourn the meeting in the name of the late Chris Jarvi and the late former Police Chief Harold Bastrup. That move was seconded by Gail Eastman and supported by Lucille Kring, who ALL used the phrase “wish to adjourn the meeting” and in theory supported by Kris Murray who wished to close in acknowledgment of those losses but was the only one not to use the word “adjourn”. While the Mayor does not need majority vote to adjourn the meeting, all the same that Council gave it to him, so on what basis does Brandman then claim to suddenly object to consenting to adjournment? It was his motion! The meeting was Adjourned, the subsequent continuing discussion was (in my opinion) a Brown Act violation enabled by the Interim City Attorney who allowed it. Tait was in the right here.

    BTW: I love that someone who identifies themselves as ‘Anaheim Avenger” thinks I am the one who needs a psychiatrist. Does your screen persona come with a cape?

    • “…even the Mayor was willing to let Murray off the hook by publicly stating he was giving her benefit of the doubt but she then went on to stand by her statement.”

      But Tait wouldn’t stick around to hear Murray’s response. What a way to give her the “benefit of the doubt,” Cynthia. How gallant.

      “The first time you provide incorrect info it is a mistake, the second time it becomes a choice.”

      Unless Murray is right, or there is reasonable doubt whether Tait is right.

      Cynthia, you are so deep in the tank for Tom Tait that you can’t be objective. He could say the sky is red and you’d defend it.

      Whatever points Tait might have scored, he blew it by storming out that way.You loved it, but the word most who watched are using is “petulant.”

    • Ms. Ward- Since the council did not act within rules or precedent for the past two years, and was allowed to by the inconsistent rulings of the then-city attorney Talley – the council adopted “Roberts Rules” as the governing rules for the council meetings.

      So your comment: “Keep in mind that by precedent the Mayor needs no majority vote to Adjourn, and his Adjournment is of higher privilege than any other..” is incorrect, since that precedent is superceded by the current “rules.”

      Now you are correct in saying an adjournment motion is a privileged motion, meaning no other motion can be considered while a privileged motion is pending. But that privileged motion is like all other “motions” in that it needs to be supported by the majority. And the mayor’s motion to adjourn did not have the majority support, thus it failed and the meeting continued.

      In this case, it continued without the mayor.

      Your point that other councilmembers said that they “wished to adjourn in someone’s memory” was not a motion to adjourn, or else, as you state, that privileged motion would have been acted on and the meeting would have ended upon the majoirty vote to adjourn.

    • ReasonableGuy2

      You have jumped the shark! Now you are willing to defend a man who attacks a woman and then runs away. You are a piece of work Cynthia Ward.

      I have never seen a public official behave the way Tom Tait does. He acts like a spoiled child that has no understanding of ANY subject matter at the City Council. Clearly he did not write those comments, he read them as if he was reading them for the first time.

      Who in the world would follow a guy like Mayor Tait? I guess you and Jason Young. You both keep such great company.

      I am embarrassed for my City. I am embarrassed that he is my Mayor.

      Some have said that made Mr. Tait has a brain tumor or some other illness. While i pray that is not the case, it would help explain his irrational outbursts and unacceptable behavior.

  4. Matt – the folks who comment on your blog get more entertaining each week. Thank you for the laughs.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      At least people actually comment here. Maybe that’s because Anaheim Blog doesn’t just re-post other people’s content.

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