The Unlikeliest Great Mayor in OC: Anaheim's Tom Tait

Click here for our Anaheim police shooting archives

Everyone figured that Tom Tait was just going to be Curt Pringle's puppet when the former replaced the latter as Anaheim's mayor in 2002. He certainly fit the right profile: a Republican, and not just any Reep but from the family that officially kept longtime GOP chair (and current Satan water boy) Tom Fuentes employed for years. And he got off to the expected start, talking about freedom this and Resort District that.

But in this past years, Tait has done the impossible: not just yanked the collar from Pringle's leash, but turned into a great, nearly radical mayor, the type of which Anaheim hasn't seen in decades. And because of this, the very Republicans and douchebag Democrats who once adored him now loath the man.

It wasn't just Tait's disapproval of a million-dollar subsidy to hotel developers earlier this year that burnished his reputation among city residents. Nor was it his tacit approval of a proposal to remake Anaheim's council elections from its current at-large status into one incorporation a ward system. But with the recent furor over the shooting deaths of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo, Tait has shown decisive, even radical leadership. It first started with his immediate declaration that Diaz's death would be investigated by the attorney generals for California and U.S. It continued with his visit yesterday to the Anna Drive neighborhood where Diaz was gunned down, where he listened to the complaints of residents.

And it'll continue next week with a special city council meeting next Wednesday at Anaheim High School's Cook Auditorium starting at 4 p.m. (but betcha that'll change), where Tait and his councilmembers will allow residents to let him have it.

Now, Tait isn't perfect--some of this is too much, too little, too late. But considering his pedigree, and considering he was the one who defied Pringle (who has not tried to hide his disgust), Tait's recent actions make him into the greatest, most radical mayor in OC history since the pre-corrupt Larry Agran. Bravo, Mayor Tait: now, do us a favor, and don't become a community sellout like former mayor John Seymour. What am I talking about? Pick up the Weekly mañana for more...

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Just came across this, you're right about Tait - great Mayor!  But why tell the story as though LoGal doesn't exist?  It was both of them at that Anna Drive meeting, and at Tait's side on most issues.


If only there were one more like those two on Council.  Leos is starting to look not so bad this November.  He just got the Tait nod this morning, for good reasons.  From there we drop down to... who?   Kring?  Chuchua?  Who can beat Brandman and stand up to Pringle and his corporatists?


Actually I'm calling both Lucille and Brian with a questionnaire right now...


Good points. Tait's decision to call in the Feds immediately is in stark contrast to Fullerton's council's ridiculous non-response to the Kelly Thomas murder.


I don't support the warehousing of groups of people in redevelopment colonias - but perhaps what the City of Anaheim needs are PD sub-stations in each colonia.  Not like a Fort Apache, but to work with the people.  Hey, it was effective in Iraq.


Well, at least I can agree with Klavito on the hotel 'developer' subsidies. Though I doubt for the same reasons -- i.e. general economic principles and the undoubted fact that such subsidies encourage the importation of a low-skilled, overwhelmingly 'Latino' workforce which will draw on even further subsidies from taxpayers (i.e. WIC, 'free' school lunches and breakfasts, pro-rated Section 8 for their US born children, etc)

20ftjesus topcommenter

Angel Galiana, 18, told the mayor that police spend too much time patrolling his street and "treating everybody like they are gang members."



GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @chezvern Galloway is an opportunistic politician, and I'm glad she's off the council. Sorry, Vern, but you've only cared about Anaheim for about a second and don't know close to an iota of what's going on...


 @GustavoArellano I think what I've cared about for much more than a second is revolution wherever it's happening in Orange County.  A while ago it was in Fullerton;  now it's in Anaheim, Santa Ana and Costa Mesa.


A lot of what I've learned about Anaheim (and the great Mayor Tait has been going around saying "Who's this Vern Nelson and how does he know so much about Anaheim?") has been from YOU, cabron ... so don't be my enemy.


(Relieved to not have to argue with you about the Galloways.  Maybe some other year.)

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault