Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility

BREAKING NEWS on Thursday June 26th.

CATER was in court on June 26th, at 1:30pm relating to the "Angels litigation."

In preparing for the case, CATER was able to determine (at the last minute, thanks to delayed disclosure of public records by the City) that much more took place behind the scenes at City Hall the night of September 3, 2013, in aiding the approval of the Stadium Lease and Land Lease, than the public was able to see. That does not appear to be an accident.

CATER believes it is the Constitutional right of every Anaheim citizen to enjoy the benefits of fair, unbiased, and open, honest government, including open access to the records used by our leaders in making governmental decisions. Americans are not a passive audience, present at a Council meeting to “watch the show” that has been scripted for public view. We are to participate fully, including the right to share our views with our leaders, which means reading what they read, hearing what they hear, and weighing in on those “findings” which influence their votes.

We believe the State of California has protected those rights with Amendments to the State Constitution approved by voters in Prop 42 and Prop 59. And based on this belief, today CATER President Cynthia Ward and her exhausted Attorney Greg Diamond will head for court, and plead for the rights of Anaheim’s citizens to fair representation, while Anaheim leaders, businesses, and residents work together to Keep the Angels in Anaheim, with negotiations based on open information, and the two-way conversation meant to take place in the unique system of government that is America.

CYNTHIA WARD
President, CATER
Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The most critical decision the Anaheim City Council has made in recent history was deliberately scheduled for the first Post-Labor Day meeting Anaheim has held in over a dozen years, hampering public scrutiny until after the deal was done. CATER can show that this timing was planned, and have reason to believe that leaders may have planned that timing for nearly a year before the meeting!
  • The City Council and staff referenced an Economic Impact Report by Convention Sports and Leisure Intl (CS and L) as their reason for approving deal points that left residents and the media confused. We now can prove the “expert” opinions were in fact a written order for the Consultants to create a one-sided biased report, and not the fair measuring stick Anaheim deserves for determining how we negotiate for one of the most valuable public assets Anaheim’s taxpayers own.
  • Key staff avoided releasing that Report to the public by circumventing a system put into place by the City Clerk, intended to ensure we have access to the information we deserve, an act that CATER charges in court today violated the State’s Open Meeting laws under the Brown Act. City Council obviously believed the outrageous claims of “the experts,” failing to provide the public with any public deliberation of a report debunked by industry experts. Yet the public paying the bills on the Stadium were not offered the chance to read the 14 page report filled with graphics and photos of Angels ball players engaged in charitable works, before Council voted!
  • The City of Anaheim broke tradition and failed to provide a presentation by the Consultants at CS and L, thus avoiding further scrutiny. Perhaps being the day after Labor Day nobody at CS and L was available? Uh…no.
  • Senior staff failed to made known the presence on September 3, of a consultant from CS and L, who may have shed light on the creation of the Economic Impact Report. The consultant was in town, proven by the receipts for travel WE PAID FOR, which include the round trip flight, hotel, and rental car. A paid parking receipt for Center Promenade parking garage shows he was IN TOWN and PRESENT at City Hall during the hours of the September 3 meeting, but staff never made his presence known.
  • We may never know what might have happened had CS and L staff revealed major deficiencies in the report on September 3 PRIOR to the approval by 4 of our 5 leaders, instead of AFTER their approval left the information without use, on September 24. Remember, it was the Mayor’s efforts to reveal that information September 24 which triggered his colleagues to schedule a September 30 Special Meeting in which they admitted to blocking his ability to continue discussion about the Stadium!
  • Immediately after offering glowing reports on the benefits of Angels Baseball to Anaheim’s economy, CS and L’s parent company was given a lucrative contract for the Concessions at Angels Stadium! CS and L voluntarily agreed to comply with State laws on Conflict of Interest that would forbid this, yet the City appears to have done nothing to set aside the conflicted findings of the company or order a new report. (This is not part of today’s suit, and likely to be filed later with law enforcement authorities as time and resources permit.

    Ask how you can help by contacting Cynthia@Ward-Associates.net)

READ THE FULL COMPLAINT HERE