Sometimes the comments of our readers are as well-read as our articles, so here we publish some of the most thought-provoking comments of the week.
Note: The comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling and length.
I don't think that the city administrative regulation would apply in this case. That seems to be concerned with ordinary matters that a council member should not get directly involved in.
I contact city officials from time to time to request improvements around my property in Santa Ana. A council member should not have that same privilege?
So Monahan should not call about grafitti except to the city manager?
The records thing does piss me off though. Typical governmental B.S.
— Junior / Feb. 21, 2012
There are a couple of areas on the west side that don't even have sidewalks. How about paying some attention to those people?
Oh yeah, they aren't the mayor.
— Merelyashadow / Feb. 23, 2012
One would think the members of the city councils in Costa Mesa and Anaheim would understand the rules, which are in place to protect the public, not for the council's gain.
- LadeedaLadeeda / Feb. 21, 2012
So, should Costa Mesa stop providing public services because it issued layoff notices? Is that the reason for including that particular meme in the article as if the city continuing to provide services in the midst of a financial crisis is somehow suspect?
An elected official was able to ensure the city did what it is supposed to do. How awful!
— Matt Cunningham / Feb. 21, 2012
Just like Kris Murray in Anaheim and her barbeque permit, Gary Monahan is yet another example of council members taking it upon themselves to "work with" city staff on pet projects and permits. There are rules for a reason: to avoid shady situations like this.
— Skullcrusher / Feb. 21, 2012
There is no justification for this and no minimizing the illegal activity that went on here. This is consistent with the council majority's conduct to date. They really believe that they are above the law and that the city is theirs to plunder. Thank goodness for the citizens who are fighting for their city.
— Sannick / Feb. 22, 2012
The whole issue of Transient Occupany Tax [the room tax] being the "economic engine" of Anaheim is, in fact, a bogus argument, in that literally none of that money comes back to the neighborhoods. Improvements have to be begged for through Community Development Block Grant funding, and that money gets smaller every year. So if Bill Taormina has found a way to assign a percentage of TOT to go back into the neighborhoods outside of the Resort, good for him.
Yes, I am a huge supporter of the Resort, but it galls me that with all of this income the streets of Anaheim look the same as or worse than surrounding cities without that revenue stream.
It is time for the people of Anaheim to see a benefit from the Resort, and not just benefit for well-connected developers. And if it takes a well-connected developer to propose the idea, well, at least we know City Hall listens to him, while they tend to give platitudes and empty promises to residents.
— Cynthia Ward / Feb. 21, 2012
Interesting that nobody is pointing out that Taormina owns a graffiti removal company, so the "community" that would benefit from giving away even more public funds is himself.
Also, Taormina is a big land owner in town. Wonder if he has any plans to build hotels anytime soon.
Some of these ideas may be good, but they do nothing to undo the $158-million giveaway. Instead, this proposal is just the beginning of other local business owners lining up to take their piece of the giveaway pie. The only group not lining up for a handout is the community, whose services would be cut if anyone followed this plan.
— Stunned / Feb. 17, 2012
Dear Mr. or Ms. "Stunned,"
Regarding your anonymous post, you should get your facts straight. With my proposal, services to the community would not be cut, they would be increased.
If you want to know what my intentions are with regard to the properties I have invested in over the last 40 years in the city of Anaheim, feel free to call me anytime on my cell phone at 714-308-0220 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unlike you, I do not operate by hiding behind some obscure screen name so I can take cheap shots at people.
The entire essence of my proposal to our City Council was to indeed put some of the money from the Transient Occupany Tax [the room tax] back into the community where it is most needed. I am involved with these community organizations, and I see the need and the impact that donations can have on the folks they serve. The Boys and Girls Club, Cops 4 Kids, the Anaheim Union High School District Foundation and the YMCA all operate on thin budgets and survive year to year in hopes that donations will continue to trickle in.
Another part of my proposal dealt with the ever-increasing problem of Resort workers and other lower-income families being forced to live in motels. My proposal suggested setting aside some funds from the TOT that could be loaned or granted to these families so they could make a deposit on an apartment. Simple, easy and again an opportunity to take this money and change the community one family at a time.
As for my business and the fact that I own a graffiti company: I would love to have a chance to rid the city of Anaheim of its graffiti problem. I actually made a proposal to do that, but my proposal was rejected. For you to suggest that I am "self-dealing" is absurd.
So, "Stunned", I hope you will call me or write me so I can explain my personal vision to you. I also hope you are as busy as my neighbors and I are in trying to make our hometown a better, safer, more beautiful place.
— Bill Taormina / Feb. 18, 2012
But how does this "solve" anything? Bill T.'s plan hinges on the assumption that warm-hearted, community-minded hotel owners will voluntarily give up half of their newfound TOT [room tax] windfall to spend on community groups in exchange for a small percentage of TOT in perpetuity.
I just don't see how the hotel owners would leave all that money on the table, especially when the owners are a group of investors or a publicly traded company.
In the end, it'd leave us with an even worse version of the status quo — shiny resort district, less money for city services as we completely choke off TOT revenue by extending the same bad deal to everybody.
— Anaheimer / Feb. 22, 2012
Winds of change.
Nice to finally get some people who actually care about the property for its heritage and intended purpose.
— Hbrocks / Feb. 22, 2012
It isn't a new board, it is two new members. And if you have ever been to the fairgrounds, you know that the staff has always focused on agriculture. You might want to check out Centennial Farm one day. Nothing else like it in the county.
— MockShock / Feb. 22, 2012