What’s On the Agenda This Week in Orange County

This week, Orange County supervisors will likely give final approval for the purchase of a bus depot that could help alleviate homelessness; the Garden Grove City Council will give residents a final chance to weigh-in on new proposed voting districts; and an Anaheim councilwoman is scheduled to condemn Donald Trump for his “divisive rhetoric.”

Here is a rundown of these issues and others that are on public meeting agendas this week:

Final Purchase of Bus Shelter for Possible Homeless Services Center

With the homeless population at the Orange County Civic Center continuing to be in the hundreds, county supervisors are slated Tuesday to take a potential step toward alleviating the problem by giving final approval to the $3.3 million purchase of an abandoned bus terminal that’s been temporarily used as an emergency homeless shelter.

Although the space was used as a temporary homeless shelter during El Niño rains in recent months, county officials have yet to come up with specific plans as to how they will utilize the property in the future.

The purchase comes as the county is undergoing a leadership transition for its lead staff member on homelessness. Their longtime point person, OC Community Services Director Karen Roper, is slated to officially retire on Thursday. And at a supervisors meeting last month her deputy, Julia Bidwell, introduced herself as the interim director of the department.

The county is also reportedly very close to hiring a “homeless czar,” who would lead countywide efforts on homelessness and report directly to the Board of Supervisors.

Corporate Sponsorships for County Animal Shelter, Parks and Libraries

County supervisors are slated to get an update Tuesday on efforts by county staff solicit corporate sponsorships for a range of things, including pet food, dog shelter kennels, and hygiene kits the county hands out to homeless people.

A marketing plan for attracting corporate sponsors was approved about a year ago, and so far has resulted in sponsorships of pet adoption events at the county shelter from the Anaheim Ducks hockey team and TV stations NBC and Telemundo.

Animal shelter officials are still trying to get a pet food supplier to sponsor the chow at the shelter, according to a staff report.

The county has also obtained product discounts for people in a low-income family program and helped raise money for county libraries.

In addition from the update from staff, supervisors are also slated to approve a revised marketing plan that also includes the county parks system.

(Click here to see the entire agenda for Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting).

Anaheim Councilwoman Set to Condemn Donald Trump

The Anaheim City Council Tuesday night is scheduled to discuss the man everyone else in the country has been talking about for months: Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump.

Trump is on the Anaheim Council agenda because Councilwoman Kris Murray, a fellow Republican, is proposing the council officially condemn Trump’s “divisive rhetoric.” Trump’s insurgent campaign began with calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, and he has called for killing the families of Islamic State terrorists.

Murray’s resolution emphasizes the importance of elected officials taking a stand against hateful speech. It also highlight’s Anaheim as majority Latino and home to “one of the largest Muslim populations in the country” with “a significant population of immigrants and refugees.”

The resolution goes on to describe Trump’s comments as “contrary to the fundamental principles of the State of California and U.S. Constitutions and as not being reflective of the City of Anaheim’s guiding principles of inclusiveness and kindness.”

Privately Run Anaheim Tennis Center Up for Multi-Million Dollar Taxpayer Renovation

Anaheim council members are also set to consider a proposal to oust the Anaheim Tennis Center’s private operator and have city staff take over running the facility.

Councilman Jordan Brandman’s proposal is aimed at concerns that the city’s controversial, multi-million dollar renovation of the tennis center will benefit a private businessman rather than the public interest.

Brandman’s proposal is unlikely to satisfy Mayor Tom Tait and Latino residents who say the renovation is a prime example of how an all-white city council is tone deaf to the needs of a majority Latino city.

When news of the project first broke, the tennis center project was the most expensive parks expense in the city budget.

Members of the council majority contend that they have no choice but to go forward with the project because of an agreement with the operator that requires the city to pay for the renovations. They also disagree with the opponents and say the tennis center is a valuable community space.

(Click here to see the entire agenda for Tuesday’s Anaheim City Council meeting).

Garden Grove Voting Districts to Get Final Public Hearing

The Garden Grove City Council Tuesday night will hold their last public hearing before voting on a electoral district map, selecting from five maps submitted by the public and their paid consultant, David Ely.

So far, there is division between a coalition of Vietnamese and Latino districts who want to see four districts with strong ethnic majorities, and residents who want to make sure the maps don’t divide the central part of the city where residents have had a history of organizing.

While both sides have each created their own version of a compromise map, they still don’t see eye-to-eye.

Garden Grove to Decide on Decade-Long Extension for County Animal Shelter Services

Garden Grove council members will also consider whether to enter into a 10-year contract with the county to continue to provide shelter services for the city.

Recent concerns about the contract’s rising cost prompted staff to propose an alternate contract with the Orange County Humane Society for shelter services, an option which would require the city to bring licensing and animal control services in-house.

Garden Grove is the third-largest user of OC Animal Care services and would be required to pitch in an estimated $4.1 million toward the cost of the new county shelter. Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Hills are considering leaving the county shelter, while the Lake Forest City Council last week, in a narrow 3-2 vote, decided to stick with the county’s animal services.

(Click here to see the entire agenda for Tuesday’s Garden Grove City Council meeting).

Nick Gerda covers county government for Voice of OC. He can be reached at ngerda@voiceofoc.org.

Please contact Adam Elmahrek directly at aelmahrek@voiceofoc.org and follow him on Twitter: @adamelmahrek

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter: @thyanhvo.

  • LFOldTimer

    Murray is part of the crooked GOP establishment that has turned politics into a big house of prostitution and knows that Trump wants to tear it all down. Hence, she spews hyperbole to gain favor of the OC GOP establishment who want business as usual – which has ruined the country both financially and socially. Murray should wear a clown outfit to the meeting as she introduces the item.

    • Cynthia Ward

      Murray is NOT GOP establishment, GOP refused to even consider her for endorsement in 2014. Pretty bad when you burn your bridges in the Scott Baugh era GOP.

      You gotta be a special kind of staffer to collect a fat public paycheck while writing the sentence, . “Consistent with state law, no public funds shall be spent relating to the subject matter of
      this Resolution.” Who does not get that staff time is a public fund? Who does not get that the City’s official website has now played host, since Friday, to a political hit piece that identifies Trump by name, and elected office sought, and outlines negative info on him? Murray and senior staff miss the connection to “use of public funds for personal or political purposes.” Oops. And thanks to People V Bradley, even reimbursement of those funds doesn’t make it right, kind of like returning the watch you stole from someone doesn’t mean you didn’t steal it.

      Gov Code 54964. (a) “An officer, employee, or consultant of a local agency may not expend or authorize the expenditure of any of the funds of the local agency to support or oppose the approval or rejection of a ballot measure, or the election or defeat of a candidate, by the voters.”

      This one goes to the State Atty General, not buddy Rackauckus, and is not a quiet local issue to be swept under the rug with the rest of the lumps created by Tony’s pals, the story has gone national, and the Atty General is looking for higher office. B-bye Kris.

      How did the City Attorney let this even get on the agenda? When Kris demanded it during the end of the Council meeting, i sat there STUNNED waiting for Houston to tell her NO. Then figured he would tell her privately and this would just quietly never show up on the agenda. Well I guess that is the level of legal counsel we get when we fire the Latina who knew what she was doing and replace her with the younger, less experienced white guy, but pay him more to offer legal advice they WANT to hear instead of what they NEED to hear. But please Kris, tell us all about how you champion the rights of Latinos. Our former City Attorney would claim otherwise.

      City Attorney Houston is returning to the private sector where he belongs (with fewer opportunities for angry citizens to file bar complaints?) and Murray needs to follow Houston out the door. If she leaves now, the split Council will have to select someone VERY well balanced to appoint to complete her term. no other way to get 3 votes in that split Council. We might then have a chance at getting some public benefits wrestled out of the public service with Murray gone and a reasonably fair swing vote. If she has to be removed from office (increasingly likely and increasingly possible) she probably takes down her compatriots who will stick up for her, and we flip the Council majority anyway. Yes the Kleptocracy sacrificed Eastman for Murray, will they also sacrifice Brandman and Kring? (Could that be why Eastman is running in Brandman’s District 3? She is the fallback position in case he doesn’t make it? The Mouse hits Moreno hard and accepts either of the other contenders, whoever survives? Sorry getting off track.) Murray’s pals actually come out ahead if they throw her under the bus and demand she return to the private sector, maybe hooking her up with something even more lucrative than her current gig as a reward for being a good girl and taking one for the team.

      Meanwhile, the news trucks are once again lined up on Anaheim Blvd to portray Anaheim as the city of insane people. Now there is some forward thinking leadership for a city whose economic engine has now been foolishly tied to convincing the world to come spend money here as a desirable destination, then creating such hostility that we routinely land on the evening news with people screaming into microphones inside the building or bullhorns outside of it. You couldn’t write fiction this bad…

      • LFOldTimer

        The laughable part of this is that it doesn’t really matter what Murray or the Anaheim Council thinks about Trump or what their hidden agendas might be. Trump is on his way to sweeping the eastern seaboard delegates and has a higher percentage in the California polls than Cruz and Kasich combined. He’s about 300 delegates and 2M votes ahead of 2nd place Cruz. If the GOP attempts to steal the nomination from Trump the Republican Party will self-destruct. Hillary will move into the White House and the pubs will lose the majority in both houses. Someone with common sense should point that out to Murray at the meeting. Hopefully the Anaheim Latinos can see through her little phony brown nosing scheme.

  • Cynthia Ward

    As far as the Tennis Center, YES the agreement obligates the City to provide BASIC upkeep and rehab of the Wagner House, a historic 1920s house now converted to public use as a clubhouse, that does not cost ANYWHERE NEAR the MILLIONS budgeted. While historic rehab is expensive, you can tear that house down and build an exact replica for under a million, the rehab isn’t close. Yes we have to do some basic landscaping and help with some tennis amenities. But we DO NOT OWE THE TENNIS CENTER OPERATOR $7MM in a BANQUET CENTER, and frankly incorporating an event center on the property is probably a violation of the agreement anyway, which states the operator may not use the site in any way that impacts the quiet enjoyment of the nearby residents, as single family homes back right up to the tennis center. The “whump-whump” of tennis balls hitting back and forth, even in a heavily attended tournament, has NO COMPARISON to Buffy and Jeff’s nuptial celebration! Where is the parking study showing impacts for 100 guests arriving for an evening of dinner and dancing while the Little Leaguers who also use the parking lot for the SAME PRIME SUMMER SATURDAYS are already forced to unload their gear on busy St College because the tennis guy has signs claiming chunks of the parking lot as HIS (I put in a CPRA for any discussion or permission for that and got nothing!) WHY are we giving a private business this increased benefit FAR ABOVE what is owed and pretending it is what we owe him? Brandman’s thinly disguised scam to show the cost of staffing the place is his attempt to play Machiavellian manipulation, as if the only two scenarios are give the tennis guy millions in benefits we don’t owe him vs pay taxpayer funded staff to run the place. But the obvious middle ground is to have the tennis guy run the site based ONLY ON WHAT IS OWED and make sure he is ALSO offering the FREE tennis lessons to low income kids that is obligated in the agreement, and allowing the PUBLIC ACCESS for the City/charities to use the space as outlined in the agreement. In fact, i would LOVE to see the tennis guy held to his commitment to KEEP running the place AS AGREED. Jordan is an idiot who thinks we can’t see through him, and I have had enough of his games.

    • David Zenger

      So Brandman is really just throwing out the old red herring: “I really don’t even support my own proposal but I’m trying to scare you with the cost of this scenario so you’ll back what I really want?”

      That’s pretty lame. I can’t see anybody smarter than a doorknob falling for that.

      What on Earth is wrong with just making the operator stick to the agreement? My guess is that the operator has employed the services of a lobbyist. Maybe even a lobbyist who likes tennis.

      • Cynthia Ward

        David, I don’t think the operator hired a lobbyist. Because…the deal dates back to 2007 when the lobbyist was a public official who had a say in how that deal was structured, and he sure had friends (and maybe some clients?) who needed a certain Tennis Center operator moved off the Ridgeline Country Club where he was operating…you remember, the place in Orange Park Acres where developers miraculously found the map showing the “open space” that had prevented previous owners from developing the land was really permitted for housing? The group that hired Matty C and may have been a catalyst for his removal from Planning Commission? You know…the guys who tried to placate the neighbors by dedicating the Mara Brandman Equestrian Center as a community benefit? Yeah…THOSE guys…couldn’t very well develop housing with a tennis center being run on their building lot, now could they? What’s that? Oh there is a place in Anaheim that might be available? Gee, do we know anyone in Anaheim to talk to? After all the Ridgeline Country Club also brought in WEDDING MONEY, we would expect to be able to account for that loss of revenue if leaving Ridgeline…right? And this would have NO CONNECTION AT ALL to Anaheim’s City Attorney bringing forward an Amicus Brief for Council to discuss in CLOSED SESSION (not supposed to discuss in Closed Session litigation someone ELSE is involved with) so Anaheim taxpayers funded more legal costs to send support for the Ridgeline project…nope, no connection at all. Is that $7MM (the mind reels) banquet center a public improvement or a thank you note for moving off the Ridgeline Country Club? I dunno, I’m just an activist, “politically motivated and misinformed” to hear Murray tell it. Note I am not making accusations, just asking questions here, folks…and unlike Murray, NO PUBLIC FUNDS were expended for this little piece of my opinion.

        • David Zenger

          All that makes perfect sense. Except that they’re not sticking to the original deal; instead they are performing what amounts to a gift of public funds under the guise of obligation. It’s hard to believe this isn’t happening without the impetus from a certain lobbyist who bought and paid for Murray, Brandman and Kring.

          How come?

  • David Zenger

    Trump says he wants to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out; Murray tried her hardest to keep Mexican-Americans from getting a fair shot at Council representation in Anaheim. Which is worse, the blatant gesture to foreigners or only slightly more subtle one to American citizens?

    If it weren’t so insidious it would be comical: Anaheim’s kleptocracy now sees it needs to compete for Latino votes in Districts 1,3, and 5. So Murray has also discovered West Anaheim and her “pit crew” are racing westward to throw more tax kickbacks to developers.