Computer Training Subsidy OK for Tait’s Firm, But Not Latino Kids in Anaheim

Anaheim Insider here.’s Dan Chmielweski published a follow-up to his earlier post about Mayor Tom Tait’s engineering company taking hundreds of thousands in taxpayer subsidies to give  his employees computer training. Dan contrasts that with Tait’s vote in 2012 against $40,000 to fund a computer literacy program at the Ponderosa Library in a heavily Latino neighborhood:

Ponderosa computer classesLast week, we detailed how Tait & Associates received hundreds of thousands of dollars in state grants for employee computer training from 2004 to 2010. But when it came time to authorize $40,000 for computer training and education programs at the Ponderosa Library, a program designed to help Anaheim’s poor and working class families gain new skills for better jobs, Tait was the only member of the city council to vote no (slide to the 3:12 mark of the June 19, 2012 meeting and watch the vote). Democratic candidate for Mayor, Lorri Galloway, voted yes for this program.

Taxpayer funded computer training is OK for me but not for thee.

The Ponderosa Library reports that the computer training classes surpass capacity every week,  It can easily be considered among the Library’s best attended and most successful programs provided by all of Anaheim’s libraries with a direct benefit to the predominantly Latino families in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

For those keeping score at home, Tait & Associates got $320,000 in taxpayer funds to train employees at a private company.  The Ponderosa Library computer training grant he voted against in 2012 was $40,000 a year and is designed for people seeking to improve their skills.

That was the night the council majority voted to establish parity among the budgets the mayor and councilmembers use to hire their assistants. The mayor’s budget had been $100,000 compared to $60,000 for his colleagues. Lorri Galloway voted against reducing the mayor’s budget, but once it passed she supported using the $40,000 difference to fund the Ponderosa computer literacy program. Tait voted against it. I don’t believe he’s against helping Latino kids become computer literate. But it was a dumb vote, and the contrast with his company’s application for those government computer subsidies looks really bad.

The Office of the Mayor Has Survived
Remember the clamor over the city council’s vote to end the mayor’s (recently acquired) power to put items on the council agenda between meetings? Tait partisans complained it would render the mayor powerless. They said it would “stifle” and “silence” him and attacked the rest of the council as “monsters” and “despicable.”

It’s been four months and the mayor hasn’t collapsed into a powerless heap and the wheels of government are still turning. Tait has been busy placing items on council agendas. He certainly hasn’t been stifled or silenced. The only difference is he can’t slip things onto the agenda out of the public eye but has to do it in full view of the public during council comments, just like his colleagues have always had to do. The mayor can’t wait until the last minute to put something on the agenda and ambush his colleagues, but is that such a loss?


  1. Lifelong Anaheim resident

    The Ponderosa vote was astounding when he made it but in light of his taking an extraordinary amount of state funding for his private employees its just disgusting. No way his sycophants can justify this blatant hypocrisy!

  2. “. . . Mayor Tom Tait’s engineering company taking hundreds of thousands in taxpayer subsidies . . . ”

    That’s a lie and you know it.

    The funding that supported that training is solely funded through dedicated payroll taxes attached to BUSINESSES, not taxpayers. Every employer (Including Tait and Asso) pays into the fund and every employer may submit an application to reimburse for a set rate intended to cover the PARTIAL cost of training.

    There are ZERO “taxpayers” contributing to this program. Feel free to disagree with the merit of the program, but running around labeling this as corporate welfare and evidence of some sort of hypocrisy when the program is 100% funded by corporations is political diarrhea. You might as well label anyone over 62 who wants pension reform a hypocrite for collecting social security.

    If you want to criticize the guy, do it for something real instead of something Dan invented while under the influence of the Chmielweski Effect. There’s plenty of good actual real material to debate. What you’re really criticizing here is Tait owning a business, paying a tax that he’s required by the State of California to pay, and participating in a program specifically tied to a dedicated tax. That’s beyond stupid.

    Amend or strike and apologize for regurgitating ignorance on the internet and contributing to the dumbing down of the human race.

    • I feel like there is something here in Ryan’s argument:

      A business generates a tax revenue and then is allowed to use some of that revenue (that otherwise wouldn’t exist) for enhancing services offered.

      Reminds me of something else in Anaheim…

      • If hotels in Anaheim want to contribute to a fund to renovate hotels and draw down on it, great. That’s not what’s happening.

        Comparing this program to the TOT giveaway, which is money due to city services, is not– at all– remotely the same.

    • ETP can only fund training for employers that are subject to paying the Employment Training ****Tax****. The entire ETP Program is supported by this ****tax****.

      The key word here from your own PDF is “tax” and when businesses pay a tax, they charge more for goods and services to cover the costs of said taxes. Business 101 Ryan. Do you work? Do you own a business? Don’t you know this?

      • To translate $7 per employee per year as something that properly trickles down to your every day individual (the proper term for taxpayer), and mandated by the state, as your all-powerful-magic cloak that justifies you abusing the word, well, you go ahead and hang your hat and your reputation on it.

        You’re busted on this Dan. You tried to connect the dots from A to B and failed.

        That’s Reality 101. Deal with it.

  3. Lifelong Anaheim resident

    The point is not who pays the tax. The point is not that Tait took the tax for his private employees. The point is Tait is okay with government support to train his employees and does not support funding for computer training to benefit the lowest income residents in his city. Cantor and those defending Tait on this are trying to distract with an academic discussion on the state program. Just not the point and Tait’s hypocrisy is on full display for Anaheim residents, taxpayers and VOTERS!

    • Horse . . . meet water.

      No, that’s not the point. At best, AT BEST, you can claim that Tait wasn’t thrilled with the idea of diverting funds used to fund a staffer to another use. Does that really mean he doesn’t support the program in question? No. Not at all. To make that leap requires some serious logical gymnastics, which can only be acquired through years of bitterness fueled by bias and a willful disregard for the truth.

      There is absolutely no thread based in reality to claim what you, Dan, or the anonymous spokeshole coward who posted this article would like to claim. In fact, this article starts off with an outright lie (which, mind you, still persists.) The fact is, not one taxpayer dollar went into the state funded training program, which was set up to help businesses resist outsourcing (hey, big hint . . . the proper comparison here is the Anaheim EZ . . . not the same, but much closer and probably worth discussing.) It’s paid for entirely by businesses for the benefit of businesses. Just like you pay into SDI and Social Security. You’re not a hypocrite for wanting pension reform or tort reform if you collect a social security check at 62 or make a disability claim because you broke your leg.

      To your point, if voters would rather be swayed with this tripe as the basis for casting a vote versus the monumental waste and indifference directed towards the public treasury in Anaheim, then Anaheim will get the government it deserves.

      I think voters aren’t that stupid. I think they’ll see this for exactly what it is. A nitpicking pathetic attempt to make a mountain out of not a mole hill– but thin air.

      It’s a long road ahead for Anaheim. This is clearly going to be the pro-Kring site, for obvious reasons.

      This is your best first shot? This post, right here? This is the absolute best you can do?

      I hope you’re getting paid well, Insider. We do it better, and we do it for free.

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