Voice of Our Commentators

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Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

The Angel Stadium Deal

I am left wondering why so many things have been ignored, overlooked or papered over in this affair. I get the feeling that the land lease deal really has nothing to do with keeping the Angels in Anaheim at all and has everything to do with another big Platinum Triangle development scheme brought to us by the Usual Suspects.

— David Zenger

The latest standings show the Angels in third place in the American League West, 15 games out of first place with a win percentage of .487.

Maybe instead of cutting big business deals with Anaheim, Artie Moreno should figure out a way to produce a winning ball club. Your primary job is to win games, Artie, not to cut real estate deals.

Get your priorities straight.

— Beelzebub

Voice of OC’s National Grant

Congratulations, Voice. As a student of journalism at Cal State Long Beach, it’s great to see this no-profit investigative model succeed so well.

We’ve studied this model in class, and Voice came up as an example of how to do it right. This grant is simply an affirmation of what those who have read this “paper” already know.

I look forward to more hard-hitting stories and more great work. Thanks so much for keeping journalism alive.

— NothingbutTheTruth

I am proud that I was able to contribute to your success with my intelligent and provocative commenting. Encomium.

— Subcomandante

Bait-and-Switch in Cypress?

Thank you, thank you for covering this critical story in Cypress.

We have no investigative news reporters in northwest Orange County. As a result, we citizens have been kept uninformed about what is going on at our City Halls. That must change soon! We desperately need investigative reporters to research the ProLogis problem in Cypress.

Was there ever really going to be an assisted living complex on the 33 acres? If so, why would the landowners have Measure L written so the zoning would allow industrial buildings and distribution facilities? Did the good citizens of Cypress get a bait-and-switch on Measure L? Did we  just give up some of our precious public open space unknowingly?

— Clean Government

The Threat of Vicious Dogs

Thank God dangerous dogs can’t make political contributions. If they could they would be in charge of the animal shelter.

— Truevoice

County Sues Over Its IT Contract

Why did it take the county three years to figure out this wasn’t working? How much taxpayer money has been wasted while they waited for things to work out?

After I hire someone to do work for me, I actually check on their progress. Too much to ask?

— Ladynred

Should Airport Firefighters Be Outsourced?

This one is easy to figure out, unfortunately. And I really mean unfortunately, because firefighters have served us so well over the years. But they have priced themselves out of the market.

Perhaps the firefighters can make some concessions in pay etc., show some good faith to the county and keep the business. It would be better for all of us if they did.

— Truevoice

Supervisors Wash Their Hands of Saddle Crest

Yes, this is a victory of sorts for the canyon residents. Congratulations. And, yes, [Todd] Spitzer and the other supervisors deserve due credit for not pursuing further action in the courts. This is one right call that they made.

But this is my question to the canyon residents:

How much money did you spend on legal fees and how many sleepless nights over this did you suffer and how much aggravation and inconvenience and worry did they put you through for what turned out to be an illegal act? Will that money, those sleepless nights, the aggravation, inconvenience or the worry ever get refunded to you?

Moreover, will anyone from the county staff pay a price for giving a green light on the approval of what turned out to be an illegal act? That was extremely poor judgment, and prudent judgment is what they get paid for.

Will anyone get fired? Will anyone get demoted? Will anyone get disciplined in any manner whatsoever? Judging from other screw-ups that I’ve followed in this county, I suspect that answer is an unequivocal “no.” They can wrongfully impose hardships on you and walk away without a bruise professionally. What an unreal world they’ve created for themselves.

Spitzer was not around when the original vote took place, so he gets a pass. But the other supervisors were, and from what I recollect it was a unanimous vote.

Wouldn’t it be nice if at the next meeting they were gracious enough to offer you a public apology? Isn’t that what you would expect from someone who did another person wrong? 

— Beelzebub

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Voice of Our Commentators

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Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Conflicting Reports on Anaheim’s Resources

[From the article:] ” ‘You can see the disparity in resources just by driving through Anaheim. If someone wants to use numbers to suggest there’s no disparity in resources, that’s just nuts,’ [Eric] Altman said.”

Are you serious? That has to win a prize for the dumbest quote of the year. Sorry, OCCORD, you tried to prove something using numbers from the Los Angeles Times. The city produces what sounds like actual budget numbers, and you are proven wrong.

Of course the Anaheim Hills area looks better. It’s a newer, planned community.

Now OCCORD wants to pick and choose what expense numbers they want to count toward the total. It doesn’t work that way. The Anaheim flatlands obviously need a lot of attention from police, code enforcement, public works and community services.

Mr. [Jose] Moreno, you are correct; the city’s low-income neighborhoods do need more resources to flourish. That is just a standard fact of life.

It sounds like this City Council is doing that. Here’s hoping the landlords, property owners and community members do their part as well. City Hall can’t do it on their own.

— OCTaxpayer

Great article. Now do one on the disparity between how much more in taxes people in Anaheim Hills pay relative to the rest of the city.

— BBoxer

Moorlach on Canyon Development

1. It would be most interesting to learn who escorted [county Supervisor John] Moorlach on his walking tour of the [Saddle Crest] site. In fact, it is incumbent upon Mr. Moorlach to disclose who that person was. Mr. Moorlach was obviously “mis-led” by a person who’s distortion of facts are rooted in the circle of influence promoting this misguided project. If he is a private party, Mr. Moorlach needs to own up to the encounter. If it is a county employee, even more so.

2. To Mr. Moorlach’s quip challenging the community members fighting to protect the site and the Foothill Trabuco Specific Plan when he said something to the effect, “If you love it so much, why don’t you buy it?”

I say, “Mr. Moorlach, it would be much cheaper to buy the Board of Supervisors.”

— Scraped Crusader

The Xerox Contract

Why did the county spend all that time and money on a performance audit of information technology if it wasn’t going to change the way they do business?

This is either the height of incompetence or something else is going on here.

— Stunned

I see this as classic union versus management. The private sector can do this work better and cheaper than Orange County Employees Association workers.

Everything written here needs to be read in view of the campaign to avoid eliminating OCEA jobs. That’s all this is about, in my opinion. Attacking management, Board [of Supervisors] members, contributions, negotiations and bringing up other contracts — it’s all a desperate attempt to save county jobs.

— You’re Correct

Where do you get your facts from, You’re Correct? Who says the private sector can do this work better and cheaper?

How many outsourced contracts have proven to end up much costlier than keeping the work in-house. Very often we choose to outsource, thinking it will be cheaper, and then the quality of work greatly diminishes.

There is an old saying: You get what you pay for.

— Pnator

Laura’s Law for Orange County

First off, let’s get something straight. The reason Kelly Thomas died was not due to a lack of “Laura’s Law.” It was due to murderous cops. So let’s point the finger where it belongs.

We saw it all on tape, so there’s no doubt in our minds. The only reason the cops were charged is because it happened to be caught on tape. In fact, the murderous cops were put back on the street after the incident, and it took lots of citizen involvement for the murderous cops to get charged.

And some who participated weren’t charged with anything. If a street gang of six were caught on video beating a man to death and some only had limited involvement (like holding the man down), is there any question in your minds whether all six would be charged with first-degree murder?

In general, I think Laura’s Law is a good thing. These unfortunate people are severely mentally ill, totally detached from reality and unable to care for themselves — as helpless and as vulnerable as 3-year-old children left alone on the streets.

They should be taken off the streets — by force, if necessary — cleaned up and provided with some course of treatment. Anything less than that is to live in a savage, uncivilized society. We should be better than that.

This is a good law, and I approve of it.

— Beelzebub

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Voice of Our Commentators

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Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

The Angel Stadium Lease

The worst was watching [Anaheim city] staff and their hired sales weasel, [Charles Black, former president of] the Padres, spin this thing in favor of the Angels while publicly dismissing the value of our stadium. Who does this guy work for again?

And to rebut the mayor’s presentation? Excuse me? Since when does staff and hired hands interrupt the independently elected mayor they are supposed to be providing with information? There was nearly a shouting match between them over who was right.

David Zenger said it masterfully last night: Who is working for me? Who is negotiating for the taxpayers?

I saw one guy up there doing it, and he was outvoted.

— Cynthia Ward

Looks like the Anaheim council blinked to place their citizens in a strategically weaker contractual position with the Angels corporate office.

Have you ever known any sane person who would volunteer to sacrifice a position of strength in a contractual agreement with another party? I haven’t. That’s just not the way business is done.

So the next question you must ask yourself is: What’s in it for those City Council members who allegedly represent the interests of their clients, the citizens, to degrade the contractual position of their clients in a business matter?

You connect the dots.

Any why would the city of Anaheim want a pro baseball team with a win percentage of about 47% and 14.5 games out of first place to represent their city? With a record like that I would demand the Angels drop my city from their name.

The City Council should start negotiating with another team to replace the Angels. Why are you allowing the tail to wag the dog here? I get the feeling that nobody on that council could construct a winning negotiation with a man dying of thirst for access to cold water.

— Beelzebub

Anyone care to discuss which adds more value, a rubber stamp or the current City Council majority?

— Ryan Cantor

[The article states:] “[Councilwoman Kris] Murray, other council members and Black said that residents like Zenger had been badly misinformed by the media.”

No, actually I read the resolutions and the memorandum of understanding. The city is giving away millions in value on the ground lease. The incremental tax kickback deal is just as bad — more Anaheim crony capitalism at its worst.

And there was no reason to give [Angels owner Arte] Moreno another 2.5 years to find another home, the threat of which would make the city have to renegotiate the amended lease in 2018 and would still leave Moreno with all of the value in the lease deal which could be legally reassigned.

Sorry, Mrs. Murray, you are giving away the store. Why?

— David Zenger

The Anaheim Weasels?

Perhaps the Angels should change their mascot to a weasel, given Mr. Moreno’s dexterity in moving between and around the negotiated terms of the previous lease.

Before any such cosmetics, I hope (but am not making any serious bets) that the City Council will model, analyze and publicize the economic impacts of the proposed changes in the memorandum of understanding, as it seems the specific details of the MOU have already been proposed by Moreno, for his benefit, while any city-oriented provisions are left “to be discussed.”

How much, if any, will the city net from the $2 per ticket payments, which begin only after 2.6 million admissions? And is this annual or cumulative? Neither word is in the MOU. And after 2021 they begin only after 3 million tickets? How do these numbers compare to current attendance? Are spectators moving away to TV and online, and will the city bear that revenue loss?

Furthermore, is the expected “controversy” over the naming rights simply a smokescreen (again) for the second lease on the Stadium District properties? This is a 66-year lease at one dollar a year, which further proposes that the city negotiate “revenue-neutral” economic assistance from “those revenues generated from development within the District.”

And you thought the abuses of redevelopment agencies vanished with them, huh?

Simple solution: a sponsorship fee. If Mr. Moreno wants something other than “Anaheim” in his team name — just as Honda or Arrowhead replaced “Anaheim” at the center— then changing identities is worth something.

A voter initiative would hopefully also be able to knock the Santa Claus caps off the heads of the City Council majority and for a change keep some benefit for the taxpaying residents (remember us?) instead of their corporate sponsors.

— BigBoxOfRedWhine

Settlement of OC-State Property Tax Dispute

So, another liability will show up on the county’s balance sheet, showing the county another day older and deeper in debt due to this Board of Supervisors blunder.

With four of the five supervisors apparently gearing up to run for some other elected office, voters would be wise to remember this mess come the next election and not reward those who made the refinancing mistake that produced this mess by voting them into another office.

— News Hound

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