A chamber of commerce-backed interest group in Anaheim is making a comeback just on the heels of California’s top prosecutor clearing the way for the development of the land around Angels Stadium.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Monday announced he was fining the city $96 million for their elected officials’ sale of Angel Stadium.
Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu and city officials say the $96 million will be paid by Angels team owner Arte Moreno’s development company, which will go into a housing fund to build roughly 1,000 affordable units throughout the city.
The city spending advisory group, Anaheim First, has gone to bat for the controversial stadium deal in public but largely went quiet just before the pandemic.
Now the group’s scheduled to make more spending recommendations to city council members at their meeting on Tuesday.
To see what they are proposing, click here.
City Council members are expected to hold a public workshop about the group at 4 p.m. Tuesday, says the agenda for the meeting.
But no further details are offered.
Questions to Anaheim First spokesperson Xochitl Medrano went unanswered on Monday.
So did questions to Anaheim City Councilmember Gloria Ma’ae, who played a role in Anaheim First’s creation.
At the same meeting, Ma’ae looks to oust a resident, Leonard Lathinen, from the city’s budget committee.
Lathinen’s scrutiny over city spending extended to criticism of Anaheim First in the past.
“I did question whether Anaheim first is going to be interfering with boards and commissions with what they’re doing – maybe she’s got it in for me. I have no idea, she didn’t say anything,” Lathinen said in a Monday phone interview.
“I haven’t heard anything about Anaheim First for a long time – in fact I almost forgot about that group
Ma’ae declined to comment.
“I’ve never met her and I don’t know her, but she called me last month and asked me to resign from the budget commission because I don’t live in District 2 and that’s true,” Lathinen said in a Monday phone interview.
But, he also said council members have numerous commissioners and committee members who don’t live in the council districts they’re appointed to serve.
“If the council votes in favor of her motion to remove me, then all the council members are going to have to purge their appointees who don’t live in the district,” Lathinen said.
He pointed out that former District 4 Councilwoman Lucille Kring now serves on the city’s planning commission.
She was appointed by Councilman Jose Diaz, who represents West Anaheim’s District 1.
Spencer Custodio is the civic editor. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerCustodio.
Brandon Pho is a Voice of OC reporter and corps member with Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @photherecord.
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