• Thor Swenson

    Sour grapes from Mr. Norby. Anaheim without Disneyland would just be Stanton with better freeway access.

    The grieving gang mothers and lady residents who claimed they’ve lived in Anaheim for 20 years who went to that city council meeting to speak in Spanish (lived here 20 years and never bothered to learn the language?!?) made for a fine example of where west Anaheim is headed in the next couple decades. If it weren’t for Disneyland pouring 55% of the taxes into the general fund every year via the obscene 17% hotel tax Anaheim levies on tourists, these ladies would have their city services cut to the bone.

    After he’d decided on Orange County in 1953, Walt Disney also looked at land in what is now Tustin. If he’d built Disneyland there instead, that rewrites the entire second half of the 20th century and the Angels and Ducks and Convention Center all go somewhere else. What would Anaheim use for 55% of its taxes then?

    The only silver lining to Walt Disney deciding on Tustin in 1953 instead of Anaheim is that the ridiculously wasteful ARTIC never would have been built. So at least there’s that.

  • Philmore

    (Sour) icing on the cake from a Reuters report in yesterday’s Yahoo-

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/elsa–disney-head-to-china-144936605.html#
    After training the 3 bleating incompetents of the Council Majority to parrot its threat to expand ELSEWHERE unless gate tax immunity was received, this post-vote announcement of a Shanghai expansion ANYWAY. NO MENTION of what IF ANYTHING, Shanghai provided Disney for “certainity” about the future !

  • Cynthia Ward

    In defense of Mr. Norby, if not for him we would still see our tax dollars being siphoned into the closed system of RDA that abused private property rights to build some of the worst disasters, because they took on projects that the private sector would not touch. So while it is unfortunate that the animal shelter was overlooked (disgusting to treat helpless companions like that) he still scores credit at my house for killing RDA.

    To add to his very good editorial, which was also run in the Register, while the Chamber crowd posts yet another “thank you note” full page ad with the usual suspects. Anyway, to add to his reference of things long gone in Anaheim, the Fujishige Brothers strawberry farm was not merely sold when one brother passed away, the one brother COMMITTED SUICIDE, and his family insisted it was over the constant pressure of City/Disney.

    Do you know what else is gone from that area? The Grand Hotel, which was driven out of business when Disney revealed maps showing their parking structure where the hotel was, and in pre-internet days the convention booking pros believed the Grand had gone under and stopped booking, When business took a nosedive, Disney scored the mortgage and foreclosed. So when Disney says they might not build the improvements if they don’t score a deal, that is hard to believe since the plan revealed by the Chamber describes a parking garage in the same place Disney has been planning once since 1992, and willing to destroy the investments and livelihoods of others to get what they want.

    The Wrather family also made the shift from Anaheim current events to Anaheim history. They were forced out when Disney either threatened or did indeed act on the threat, to jack up their price for the monorail and other amenities tied to the park, which were gladly granted to Jack Wrather when Walt needed a partner to build a hotel Walt needed but couldn’t afford (having put HIS OWN MONEY into the park without public subsidy) BTW, the Disneyland hotel was also not built with subsidy, and did not enjoy a kickback of TOT. Today Disney owns the hotel they did not build initially, AND they regained the rights to naming for all Disney themed hotels on the west coast that Walt had granted to Wrather in thanks for stepping up and funding a critical need to accompany Walt’s dream. There is a thank you from the next generation for you…

    I used the be one of the biggest Disney freaks ever, and even when I left SOAR i stil loved Disney and thought it was only one hyper-driven and vindictive lawyer who was pushing the buttons within the company. But after digging into the old deals of the 1990s, it is clear that an evil undercurrent has been running through the company for a long time, and while they used to work really hard to keep that nastiness from showing on the surface, somehow they perceive they are getting enough back in value to take the risk of looking like, as someone at the Tuesday meeting mentioned, “one of the villains in their own movies.” I think they have misjudged the damage to the retail value of their good name that is shifting public opinion HARD away from Mouse Love. They didn’t even fend off a genuine threat of a tax, nobody has proposed any viable plan for a gate tax. So they tanked their local reputation, possibly for years, for a NON ISSUE. Had a threat been real, the last tax proposed (in early 90s by the Anaheim Police Association trying to not lay off cops as the City faced a $20MM deficit) they wanted $1 per person on tickets that were about a third of today’s price. If adjusted for current pricing that would be $3 per person, and with 20 million visitors, having $60MM NOT EVEN COMING FROM DISNEY but from their guests as a pass-thru fee, is not a blip on the screen for them. NO I am not promoting a tax, and I despise taxing successful companies simply because “they can afford it” but consider this-the buik of Disney park profits I believe comes from entrance fees, since I don’t imagine that many guests spend more than $100 on food and drink and mouse ear hats. And those tickets are considered an experience and not a product, so there is no sales tax on those tickets. It wouldn’t matter much if there was, since the sales tax, like the property tax and TOT above the baseline set in 1995, gets diverted to pay for bonds to cover Disney’s improvements. But for all the taxes they pay, their biggest money maker goes free.

    Do you know what else is missing from Anaheim life today that was present when the 1996 agreement was made? BENEFITS to the taxpayers of Anaheim in exchange for our “investment” in their expansion, BENEFITS that disappeared over the years, without explanation, because the City of Anaheim failed to even review the 1996 agreement for compliance before renewing one cherry picked element of the agreement and creating a whole new agreement from the ONE element, leaving the still enforceable agreement valid until 2037, laying in a bathtub of ice with a note pinned to its chest telling it to get to the hospital, it had its gate tax rebate removed and sold on the black market.

  • OCservant_Leader

    More corporate welfare.

    I’m surprised Norby is claiming to be against this trickle down economic policy of the GOP.

    • David Zenger

      Why woould you be surprised? Norby has been against corporate welfare for 35 years. It’s a “policy” of the predominant kleptocratic wing of the OC GOP, for sure, the wing that always despised Norby for his integrity on these issues.

  • CitizensForAnimalShelterOC

    Well, well, well Mr. Norby. I have no more trust in what you say then I do in your former “colleagues” the OC Board of Supervisors. Not only did you not do anything about replacing the now 74 year old county animal shelter when you were a supervisor, you went on to vote against animal protection bills when you “moved on” to state legislature. How absolutely cruel and discompassionate. towards God’s creation. FYI, the shelter is now in worse condition then it was when you were on the BOS and just received another two Grand Jury Reports against it. OMG, are you thinking about running for supervisor again? Are you trying to grease the way? Do you have the same political philosophy as your buddy on the BOS?
    It seems just that you should write about the past because that’s how the BOS has governed, like we were back in the 50s.
    Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.

    • David Zenger

      Your comments are basically accurate, but you’re commenting on the wrong post, I think.

  • David Zenger

    “While there are thousands of Disneyland-related low wage service jobs,
    nearly all corporate profits leave the community, since only a tiny
    fraction of stockholders are actually Anaheim residents.”

    Sounds an awful lot like the Angels, too. We were told how much they contribute to the community every year – basically the price of a third tier, banjo hitting second baseman.

    Then there’s the Convention Center, an act so embarrassing they have to try to hide the debt service from the public.

    These “economic engines” won’t even turn over unless we keep filling the tank with public assets.

  • Kathleen Tahilramani

    Very interesting article. A trip down memory land and a eye opening realization that the area around the happiest place on earth has become conformist and rather boring.