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.
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.
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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