Anaheim Insider here.
At one point during last week’s City Council meeting, Kris Murray mentioned that Mayor Tait was going around the city and giving presentations to civic groups from misleading PowerPoint presentation on the Angels negotiations. Tait said he wasn’t, which was true only to the extent that his blow-up-the-Angels-negotiations tour was just getting warmed up; he had already provided the Rotary Club and Los Amigos with an earful of misinformation and was hitting more neighborhood groups later that week.
Several hours after a Renew West Anaheim activist told the council she was thinking of moving out of Anaheim because the council majority keeps disagreeing with Tait, the Mayor spoke to Renew West Anaheim. He even had Jose Moreno (the same guy suing the city) in tow. He called the negotiation MOU the greatest giveaway in Anaheim’s history, calling it the worst deal with a sports team approved by any city in the country. Never mind that nothing has been given away. Never mind that an agreement hasn’t even been negotiated. As we are seeing, Mayor Tait isn’t one to let facts get in the way of spin. It’s amazing how Anaheim’s Mayor is running around the city misinforming and misleading Anaheim’s citizens about such a critical issue, needlessly getting his constituents wound up with phony facts.
Tait also told Renew West Anaheim that his council colleagues retaliated against him for opposing the Angels MOU by taking away his ability to put items on the agenda in-between council meetings. I don’t believe that. I do believe they were interested in reining in his abuse of that power, which is intended for out-of-the-ordinary situations and not as a tool for the Mayor to advance his political agenda, which is how Mayor Tait has been using it.
Barely a day before the city had to publish its agenda for the September 24 council meeting, Tait decides to re-agendize a re-hash of the Sept. 3 hearing on the Angels MOU, claiming the public needed more information. And I have a bridge to sell you. No only has there been no shortage of public discussion of the Angels negotiations, but the Mayor didn’t provide the public with any new information! He said nothing new. He subjected the public to the same discredited Power Point, which the staff experts refuted again. So the Mayor had the staff running around with their hair on fire with his last-minute request so he can engage in political grandstanding.
I think it is that kind of abuse of mayoral powers for personal political purposes that Jordan Brandman was targeting, and it’s too bad Lucille Kring got in the way with her substitute motion. Tait has already instructed staff to place the Angels negotiations on every third council meeting agenda so he has regular opportunities to publicly undermine the negotiations.
Speaking of hair on fire, word has spread beyond the 7th floor of City Hall of on incident on September 4. Mayor Tait apparently entered into City Manager Marcie Edwards’s office and spend an hour yelling at her and berating her. Tait was apparently angry about how Charles Black had spoken to him at the previous night’s council meeting, which featured some pretty tense exchanges between the Mayor and staff over the Angels MOU. I know people who were taken aback by how some staff addressed the mayor, but I think they were restrained given the Mayor’s badgering, interruptions and misstating of facts.
It’s sad. Mayor Tait has put more energy into generating chaos and division than he has into being a productive, positive leader. The irony is that if Tom Tait hadn’t spent the last 18 months needlessly alienating and maligning his colleagues, they’d probably be much more willing to listen to his concerns, and he’d stand a much better chance of putting his stamp on a deal with the Angels. Too bad he doesn’t understand the difference between being principled and being obstinate.