CATER Loses Again: Court Denies Gadfly Group’s Request To Block Use of Convention Center Expansion Bond Money

Another day, another courtroom loss for CATER (the so-called “Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility”). Working in partnership with one of leftist trial lawyer Cory Briggs’ front groups (the Inland Oversight Committee), CATER has been fighting a losing battle against the city’s twice-approved plan to expand the Anaheim Convention Center.

CATER/IOC filed a lawsuit saying the Anaheim Public Finance Authority lacked the authority to issue bonds to finance the Convention Center expansion – despite clear judicial precedent that it could. Late last year, the court predictably ruled against CATER/IO, which then appealed the decision.

The gadfly groups also filed a special petition with the Court of Appeal requesting the court prevent Anaheim from spending any bond proceeds until their appeal was heard.

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal denied CATER/IOC’s special petition. request to prevent the City from spending bond proceeds pending appeal.  Consequently, the city can continue moving forward on this project, and bond proceeds can be invested in approved securities.

Obviously, this is good news: not least for the individuals who have secured much-needed and good-paying jobs generated by the expansion – jobs that had been put on hold for months last year due to CATER’s doomed and destructive litigation.

 

 

14 comments

  1. And the tab for the cost of litigation goes higher which means Cynthia and Brian are going to have to open their check books at some point.

  2. Do you have a copy of the filing for this motion, Mr. Cunningham? See if you can find CATER’s name as a moving party on the motion. Then let your journalistic ethics (ha-ha) guide you as to making corrections.

    And don’t even start with the “but but but…” — let’s just see whether you can get the basic facts in your headline straight. I’m betting: not on the first try, at least.

    • I sense 7,000 word reply with no real point coming to address this post, make suppositions about the righteousness of your cause and inuendo about Matt’s journalistic integrity

    • Is Greg/CATER trying to distance themselves from a sinking ship?

    • I still would like to know who belongs to Cater, right now, I think it has been acknowledged:

      Cynthia Ward
      Brian Chachuca
      and Greg Diamond who lives in Brea.

      Sounds like a money grab to me:

      “look, look, look at what their doing, but don’t look at what I’m doing”

      • Mr. Bently, first let me thank you for using your actual name, as very few here do.

        I wonder what you mean by “money grab?” We did not ask for “damages” other than attorney’s fees, which community groups are entitled to if we prevail, because otherwise nobody would ever fight back against government overstepping their authority. And in this case we genuinely do believe that government overstepped their authority. Do you know what the basis of the lawsuit was? We did not oppose the expansion of the Convention Center in and of itself, although I do have issues with yet another expansion when we have not yet paid off the last one, and prefer to pay off the bills before what we bought is obsolete. (Silly me. Oh wait! The City Charter demands the same!) But we do understand the need for expansion, and if you check the meeting minutes for March 11, 2014 you will see that I was the ONLY person not gaining some financial benefit from the expansion who got up to speak in SUPPORT of the expansion. My caveat was that the general fund be protected from payments due in years of downturn, by use of REAL “revenue bonds” which pull only from a specific revenue stream and protect the taxpayers from negative balance impacts. Oddly enough that is exactly what the City Charter demands.

        Do you know the argument the City used to fight us and justify the bonds? While the City Council went on and on about their belief that these bonds were revenue bonds paid from TID, in reality they pull from the General Fund and the money “freed up” had been DISCRETIONARY funding that could be (and had been at times) cut back when times were tough, and that option is not open to us now that bond payments are obligatory. Those bond payments must be made, NOT from TID but from the General Fund, and if we have to cut services such as public safety to make the payments, well that is the price we pay for keeping NAMM (which is SUBSIDIZED, we PAY THEM to come here) and the reason the City got away with it because of a loophole in the law. The City did not win by showing the bonds were compliant with the City Charter’s requirements, the City won by insisting our elected leaders are NOT OBLIGATED TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CHARTER! Is that REALLY what you want to see happening here?

        Voters refused to even support bond funds for schools that are clearly crumbling around our children, Council knew they would not get the 2/3 needed to bond for the expansion of a Convention Center. So the City claimed that the Anaheim City Council (bound by City Charter to let taxpayers vote before the General Fund is tapped) did NOT approve the bonds, the Anaheim Public Finance Authority (not bound by City Charter) approved them, and the City of Anaheim merely approved leasing back the Convention Center we already own (?!) in order to cover the bond payments obligated by the APFA. Never mind that the APFA exists only on paper, never mind that the net effect is the same decimation of the General Fund in down years (which history proves HAVE affected past bond payments!) Call me crazy (some do) but I think that was worth challenging when we have fewer cops per capita than Stockton who is operating at levels of “service level bankruptcy” for public safety.

        There has been no proof that our delay to establish legality of the bonds has driven up construction costs, as there was not a shovel ready project on the books designed and ready to go, the March 11 approvals merely authorized Turner to begin final design, and they could have worked on that on spec, given the City’s confidence in prevailing. Interest rates have not increased, and the driving factors listed in the Bond “offering” of the time remain the same as are listed today, the only harm to either party is the legal fees incurred (on both sides) which is regrettable, but those here cheering on the MILLIONS spent fighting off citizens who were clearly positioned to win their voters’ rights case are hard pressed to then accuse me of wasting money on a fight worth contesting.

        I willingly act as the lightning rod in place of identifying the remaining members of CATER (and there ARE other members) who have chosen the option of anonymity, that is my job to take the beating, so give it your best. Because while CATER lacks the ability to effectively retaliate against those speaking out against us, you bet your bottom dollar that those we speak out against have the power to retaliate against our members, many who are doing business in or with the City and cannot afford the petty squabbles of its leaders to interfere with their ability to provide for their families. So I will not reveal their names, and if you think that is a problem you might consider your use of a website that fails to offer the names of its own featured writers, much less comments. Sorry, no, not taking the bait, but again I do appreciate your use of a real name (I assume.) Have a good day, sir.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Cynthia condemns those AB commenters who do not divulge their real names, while simultaneously defending CATER who do not divulge their real names.

          Cognitive dissonance at work.

        • I should thank you for your thoughtful word heavy reply, Ms. Ward.

          But you still did not answer the question: WHO IS CATER?

          Not one single community member has stated they belong, but you.

          YOU ARE LIKE THE KLU KLUX KLAN to be dramatic, hiding behind hoods and masks. What is it your “members are afraid of”? What kind of retaliation do they face?

          We know YOU live in Anaheim, Greg Diamond, whom we assume is paid, lives in Brea, so he is not actually part of CATER, but a paid contractor right????

          It is only reasonable and fair to know which special interests are supporting you, which community members will put their name to your cause. So far NONE.

          It is Cynthia Ward against the world. Good luck with that.

          WHO IS CATER?

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Greg is splitting hairs. CATER is a party to this lawsuit with IOC. Are you saying CATER opposed this motion by its partner in litigation? If not, then it’s disingenuous for you to imply this is NOT a loss for CATER.

  3. for Mr. Diamond, from the filing: “Appellant has filed a petition for writ of supersedeas and a request for “an emergency, temporary order freezing Respondents’ expenditure of the bond proceeds until such time as this Court can consider the issue more fully.” The petition for writ of supersedeas and emergency stay request are denied. Rylaarsdam/Aronson/Thompson”

  4. ..and at what point are you going to address the substance of the complaint itself…like the fact that the Anaheim City Council majority approved a deal that is blatantly designed to sidestep the City Charter? The Council members made statements indicating they knew of the Charter’s requirements and the public’s clear intent that we did not give the Council authority to mortgage our futures without our consent and participation, and then they voted to do this anyway, because they found a loophole to exploit. A court may have found that lawful, but it does not make it RIGHT, and it does not show ethical leadership skills from those who should know better. But you go ahead and pretend that the biggest issue here is not whether 4 elected leaders flipped their constituents the bird in an effort to get their own way.

    By the way, where did all that dark money come from to run through the Chamber account and into the Chamber PAC? At least I am up front about refusing to disclose donors to a 501c4.

    • Dark money in a PAC the Tait family trust helped pay for nasty lie filled mailers in Irvine Cynthia. So let’s not pretend Tait has clean hands there

  5. I think Diamond’s getting “technical” on us because, technically, the stay request was made by CATER’s co-appellant –the Inland Oversight Committee. Both IOC and CATER are represented by the same people and I believe Ms. Ward belongs to both groups. But where this ruling is a setback for IOC, it’s a setback to CATER as well.

  6. People on the left that opposed the expansion are silly. TO built the expansion means the use of union workers that make much higher wages than workers on residential housing. Artic was also criticized by use union iron workers that could have made 30 an hour. Also, there are union employees at the convention center which means higher than average wages. It also means latinos that do a lot oc construcation work get paid higher wages.

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