This came over the transom yesterday from Councilwoman Lucille Kring, responding to Mayor Tom Tait’s October 2 op-ed in the OC Register:

It’s About Leadership

By Councilwoman Lucille Kring

City of Anaheim

Leadership – that is what you expect from a mayor of a major city. But Tom Tait, in his opinion column of Oct. 2, 2014, “We need to keep Angels, but deal shouldn’t ding taxpayers” shows that he is not capable of anything but rhetoric meant to shift blame and obscure the facts.

Read again Tait’s words from his own opinion column. You will see some odd things:

• He takes no responsibility for the Angels looking to relocate outside of Anaheim, he blames others;
• He never outlines a plan to keep the Angels in Anaheim, but instead implies that he is the only one on the City Council looking out for the taxpayers’ interests;
• He never suggests that he will build consensus with his colleagues, rather he suggests that the council majority should have done a deal with the Angels without him; and
• He uses this op-ed as a way to insulate himself from criticism that will come in the election.

These are not words from a leader, but words from a politician looking to avoid blame.

Here are some REAL facts:

Fact #1 – The MOU framework was NOT a giveaway.
The Anaheim taxpayers would always own the land. Tait latched onto the $1 annual figure because it was convenient to do so. Tait has known from the beginning that the figure was a starting point, but rather than lead negotiations on that point he has used this figure to incite public outrage. But Tait has refused to negotiate with the Angels or offer any proposal to keep the team in the city. Instead he attacks his council colleagues for rolling up their sleeves and trying to make progress.

That is not leadership, that is grandstanding, and claiming that he is the only one truly watching out for taxpayers is disingenuous.

Fact #2 – The MOU framework was a SAFE deal for Anaheim taxpayers.
Tait has continually stated that the taxpayers should split the profits on any new stadium development. What he doesn’t say is that would involve risk – share the profits, share the risk. Spoken like a true developer. Except the Anaheim taxpayers aren’t developers, and, I for one, think its ludicrous to create a deal that puts one cent of taxpayer money at risk for the sake of speculation. Fact #3 – The Mayor is only ONE vote.
Tait is correct on that point at least. And although he tries to whitewash the facts, it doesn’t change the history of these negotiations. The MOU framework alone took two years to build. Much of that time, Tait couldn’t even join discussions because he owned land within 500 feet of the stadium – a conflict the FPCC was kind enough to remind him of in 2013. When he finally rejoined the discussion, after transferring that property to his immediate family, he went to work post haste characterizing the MOUs as a “rush job”, a “giveaway”, “cronyism” and worse. The fact is it was Tait who halted negotiations again and again as his colleagues provided him with the courtesy of transparent reviews, studies, staff analysis and public discussions. In the entire year since his first objection, not one fully articulated alternative has come out of the mayor’s office. Not one.It is healthy in a municipal environment to have differing points of view. Yet I believe it is the responsibility of a mayor to build consensus in order to advance the city, move initiatives forward and protect our residents. In this most crucial duty Tait has sadly failed. Time and again I have watched the mayor belittle our professional staff, give misinformation to residents, align with factions filing frivolous lawsuits that hurt Anaheim’s ability to grow, and, worst of all, denigrate his colleagues’ character and motives when they have disagreed with him.If Tom Tait is replaced in the next election, the new mayor and council should immediately sit down with the Angels and start negotiations from scratch. There are many options to consider, but none will move forward without a leader at the helm willing to work with others. Our city needs leadership that protects our residents, listens to all voices and respects our partners.
About Lucille Kring
Lucille Kring is running for Mayor of Anaheim in the November 4 election. If successful Councilwoman Kring would be the first woman to lead the County’s largest city. Currently, Kring serves as a member of the Anaheim City Council. As our Councilwoman, Lucille has long championed Public Safety, Economic Development, and Neighborhood and Park improvements. The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce honored Lucille as “Ambassador of the Year” after she gave more than 500 hours of volunteer service to our community. Lucille was elected to serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors from 1996 through 2011.