When people decide to run for city council (or are simply thinking about it), it’s common for them to attend council meetings and speak on agenda items. It’s way of learning more about how the council operates and the issues before the city, to gain exposure for themselves via council meeting broadcasts – and to put themselves on record on major issues.
The 200,000 square-foot Anaheim Convention Center expansion, financed by a $300 million in revenue bonds, is one of the most consequential items the council has dealt with in recent years. Both supporters and opponents agree it will have a lasting impact on Anaheim.
So where were the two members of the Tait Slate, James Vanderbilt and Doug Pettibone, last night? They didn’t take advantage of public comments to let voters know where they stand on the convention center expansion. As far as I’ve been able to determine, they weren’t even at the council meeting.
Council meeting regulars tell me James Vanderbilt hasn’t been to a single council meeting since forming a council campaign committee in February.
During the months prior to the 2012 election, candidate Jordan Brandman made it a point to attend council meetings and speak. He did not shy away from controversial topics: for example, he went on record during public comments in support of the GardenWalk project.
Their absence is especially notable given the intensity with which Mayor Tait has advocated against the convention center expansion project. Pettibone and Vanderbilt were on hand several days ago for partake in an attempted Tait campaign take-over of the Anaheim Republican Assembly, but apparently were unable to attend and speak at a critical meeting of the governing body on which they want to voter place them.