Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu paid off his 2016 Assembly campaign debt and a portion of his 2018 mayor campaign debt by fundraising for both campaign committees beginning in December. It’s a move some local politics experts said is an example of loopholes in campaign finance regulations.
The private advisory group Anaheim First, which got $250,000 from the city to study neighborhoods, is facing criticism for being a hidden business organization and is set to begin its study to make spending recommendations on $250 million in spending over the next 10 years.
The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce got a $425,000 no-bid contract from the city, but it isn’t a gift of public funds, according to a government ethics expert. Mayor Harry Sidhu, who pushed the contract, answered no questions about it from Councilwoman Denise Barnes.
Anaheim First, a private group that’s going to make spending recommendations to the city on $250 million over the next decade, is facing heavy criticism for a lack of transparency and close business ties.
Anaheim City Council members voted to give $250,000 to a nonprofit group, Anaheim First, to study neighborhoods and make spending recommendations on the planned $250 million neighborhood investment over the next 10 years, but questions about study specifics, funding and a delay proposal led to a fight.
At a city council meeting packed with union leaders and Disneyland Resort employees, Anaheim leaders discussed a recent survey that found many of the resort’s workers struggle to buy food, pay rent and afford other basic necessities. Critics say the union-funded report was commissioned to bolster an upcoming ballot initiative.
At their first official meeting, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and his new city council majority worked through a laundry list of actions aimed at reversing major policies and actions taken by the previous majority.