[UPDATED with No Quorum?] Occupy-Type Protest Planned Tonight Over $158 Million "Bailout" for Anaheim Hotels
Without a quorum, Tait cannot legally gavel the meeting to order. And without the council's intervention, the deal will go straight to the city manager for his signature.
It was mistakenly reported in the original post below that tonight the council would consider the hotel proposal on second reading. Actually, Tait called a special meeting because a sizable number of residents oppose to the deal and believe the public did not receive enough notice about the proposal.
"Typically there would be another hearing to vote on the contact amendment," Tait tells the Voice of OC's Adam Elmahrek. "But that wasn't the case here."
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 31, 8:03 A.M.: Occupy Movement rhetoric is flying as Anaheim residents and community activists join forces to oppose a $158 million taxpayer handout to a hotel developer at tonight's Anaheim City Council meeting.
"No more $160 million bailouts to the 1%," reads a talking point on a flier distributed by Joanne Abu Qartoumy, outreach director of the East Street Community Renewal Initiative. "We the people are the 99%. No more bailouts!"
Meanwhile, Amin David, the longtime chairman of Los Amigos of Orange County, a group of Latino business leaders, writes in an email that Mayor Tom Tait and Councilwoman Lorri Galloway voted against the giveaway, so only one more council member needs to be swayed tonight.
|Looking for a miracle . . .|
Under the proposal that won
GardenWalk, which is along Katella Avenue east of Harbor Boulevard, was opposed since the planning stages by Disney, which has its own competing Downtown Disney retail and restaurant center, and has struggled ever since. Operators last year announced a makeover for the open-air mall that would reduce the number of shops and increase the number of restaurants.
The council in 2009 approved tens of millions of dollars worth of tax subsidies for the development of hotels there, but now the GardenWalk hotel partnership headed up by William O'Connell and Ajesh Patel want an even larger slice of the tax-generating pie. Proponents claim the amount of new business generated by the projects will bring even more funds into city coffers.
City staff recommended a no vote last week, but
Which brings up an interesting wrinkle exposed last week by the Voice of OC's Adam Elmahrek: Sidhu has received at least $6,800 in illegal campaign donations from businesses organized by O'Connell and Patel.