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.