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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, October 15, 2016
Voters Express Anger Over Proposed Special Election On Luxury Hotels
Activists predict higher cost, lower turnout for special election to decide developer subsidies
WHAT: Press conference by dozens of Anaheim activists denouncing City Council shenanigans on Luxury Hotel referendums
WHEN: Monday, October 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM
WHERE: Steps of Anaheim City Hall
ANAHEIM, Calif—Activists are decrying a decision by the Anaheim City Council to hear at their meeting Tuesday a proposal to schedule two referenda for a special election instead of the November 2018 general election.
Outraged residents say a special election would cost taxpayer money and would likely have lower voter turnout than a general election. They add that a low-turnout election gives outsized influence to wealthy special interests who would spend big to sway voters to their cause.
The referenda challenge development agreements for two luxury hotels in which the Anaheim City Council promised to return over $200 million in hotel taxes to the developer.
“Anaheim voters like me signed the referendum petitions because we want a fair say in where our tax dollars go,” said Anaheim resident Martin Lopez. “It adds insult to injury if Council makes us pay extra money for a special election—which would favor the developer—just for a chance to have our say on the millions of dollars the Council is giving away.”
Concerned Anaheim voters say the development agreements give away public funds to build luxury hotels across the street from Disneyland, where no hotel should need subsidies to be profitable. Anaheim voters submitted more than 18,000 signatures in August to qualify the referenda to recall the development agreements. The City of Anaheim certified last week that the referenda are qualified for the ballot.
Activists say placing the referenda on the November 2018 ballot instead will enable Anaheim voters to weigh in on the luxury developments along with another key municipal issue: selecting the first by-district city councilmembers in Districts 2 and 6.
The Council proposal would schedule the vote on the referenda at a special election on June 2018 or any other date the Council selects.
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