Mayor Tait’s Phony Objections To City Attorney Appointment

Double standards are endemic in politics, but sometimes they really stick out like a sore thumb. Today’s Voice of OC story on tomorrow’s Anaheim City Council on whether to hire Arturo Fierro as the new city attorney provides a good example.

Mayor Tom Tait has already said he is going to vote against Fierro’s appointment (I have no opinion either way on the matter). His stated objections are:

1) The current council was elected at-large and therefore should punt the vote for a few months until after the swearing in of the expanded council elected by districts.

2) Fierro cannot represent the city as city attorney because he has a personal injury client currently in litigation against the city.

3) The severance package (half a year’s salary) will make it too hard to fire Fierro if it becomes necessary.

As to the first objection: the mayor is essentially arguing for the current city council to stop conducting the people’s business for the remainder of the year. Is there some magic to having the city attorney appointed decided by a 7-member council elected by a mix of at-large and by-district elections, instead of by the current council – elected by and accountable to all of Anaheim?

When the mayor has a policy priority he wants to push – such as his draconian measures to extinguish hundreds of legal, licensed short-term rentals – he sees no need wait for the new council to be seated. Indeed, a much better case could have been made for delaying Mayor Tait’s STR ban, since they are really only an issue in District 3 and 4. Would it have been better to wait until the voters of Districts 3 and 4 had made themselves heard? Apparently not – there were political and campaign considerations driving the timing of the mayor’s STR ban and amortization.

As for the alleged “conflict” objection: this one is almost comical. Mayor Tait was the driving force behind the city hiring influential attorney Wylie Aitken to negotiate with the Angels on behalf of the city. At the time, Aitken represented clients with pending litigation against the city. When critics of the mayor’s proposal pointed those out of possible conflicts, Tait waived off concerns about conflicts.

As for the severance package: it’s not unusual for city managers and city attorneys. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if former City Attorney Christina Talley had the same severance. Furthermore, a generous severance package didn’t prevent Mayor Tait from getting City Manager Tom Wood fired in 2011.

If the mayor has concerns about Fierro’s professional and personal qualifications to be city attorney, fair enough. He and the rest of the council were elected to make those decisions. But these phony-baloney objections are pure political – they are about the mayor wanting to hire his choice for city attorney, rather than someone he perceives as being Councilman Jordan Brandman’s choice.

22 comments

  1. Tait is using his family wealth to buy seats in his elaborate districting scheme of “bringing government closer to the people.” He only supports candidates who promise him in blood their blind loyalty. This is not a mayor “who listens thoughtfully to the interests” of anyone. Everyone who has served with him during his terms on the council or as mayor are very clear that when you peel back his “mayor of kindness” public persona, what lays beneath is a petulant bully.

  2. Alcalde Tait es un mocoso socialista con una gran cantidad de dinero para tirar a la basura!

  3. Anaheim GOP you got that right! Perfect description of who he really is, not who he wants everyone to believe he is.

  4. Why won’t Tait hired Cynthia Ward, Greg Diamond or David Zenger for this company? because they willingly carry his water for free

    • So when Mayor Tait says let’s wait for the newly elected city council before we hire this guy you use the same argument president Obama has made about the Repubican moves to block his selection for the supreme court.

      I agree with “honestly” you are clearly on a mission to discredit Mayor Tait and all of your cunbots but your crap hook line and sinker.

      But you never answer to the fact that the big money insiders have given 20 times the money the Tait family trust has given. So it doesn’t make any common sense when you allege and your clones join in that the Mayor is trying to but this election.

      Once again for every 5 thousand that he gives, they give 100 thousand. So who is trying to but this election….the same people that put this three clowns in there to begin with.

    • “The Mayor essentially arguing for the current city council to stop doing the people’s business for the rest of the year”

      So you also agree that the Senate should stop obstructing the work of the Supreme Court right?

      To me. Anaheim GOP: you do you realize that for every 5 thousand that the Tait family donates to the campaigns of grassroots candidate, the big corporations give 100 thousand dollars…These big corporations have made wise investments in the purchasing of the current council but the give a ways must stop. I can’t wait to send them packing

  5. Tait too all of that big money too for years so spare me your outrage.

  6. Tait also took hundreds of thousands from special interests in the Bay Area to fool Anaheim residents into supporting progressive liberal districts so where is your outrage for those funds? Bringing government closer to the people – what a joke.

    • Truth for thee, but not for me

      Come on Cunningham. If you’re going to boot people for dishonestly, you need to seriously cull your own heard of anonymous flapping heads.

      The above claim is a lie. You only allow it and the person who wrote it to remain because it suits your narrative.

      That’s sad.

      • It’s mistaken in that neither Tom Tait nor his campaign committees accepted hundreds of thousands from liberal special interests from San Francisco, LA and Washington DC. All of that money did flow into the Yes on Measure L (the by-district election initiative) campaign – of which Tait was part and parcel.

        The truth IS that the long campaign for by-district elections was funded by huge amounts of out-of-town special interest money – a fact that districting advocates like you don’t like to talk about, because it illuminates the reality that it was not a grass-roots demand from Anaheim residents, but a political initiative by organized special interests.

        This was the only news outlet that discussed this reality. The OC Register ignored it, and Adam Elmahrek from the Voice of OC avoided the topic because it undermined his artificial narrative of “neighborhood advocates” and nameless “Latinos” against “the power structure.”

        • Robert Walsh/Honestly/Mirror

          It is amazing that when grass roots efforts get any money at all you cry and whine like the Donald. Yet ignore the big money that continues to buy city influence.

          How about your original post about the city attorney scam. What you purposely left out of your story was how tight this guy is to Jordan Bradman. You scream to high heaven if anyone has ever so much as said hello to mayor Tait and have no issue with Jordan hiring the father of his campaign manager and policy aide. This so dirty I can’t believe the lack of respect this council majority has for the people of Anaheim. Brandman and Kring must be fired… Get them out!

          • “You scream to high heaven if anyone has ever so much as said hello to mayor Tait”

            That’s nonsense. I disagree with much of what Tom Tait has done as mayor. For instance, neither I nor anyone else who urged him to run for mayor had any idea he would energetically support a progressive political coalition’s effort to take over the city, or that he would try to elect to the city council an OCEA activist (John Leos) or two leftist Democrats (Jose F. Moreno and Arturo Ferreras), or try to defeat to GOP incumbents. Please stop acting as if there are no legitimate grounds for criticizing the mayor.

            As I said, I have no opinion on Fierro either way. His qualifications or lack thereof were not the point of the post. But the “he’s close to Jordan” argument is ridiculous. Give Tom Tait a council majority and he will pack city appointments with individuals he believes will advance his political agenda. And neither you nor any other member of the personality cult would utter a peep of criticism.

          • “It is amazing that when grass roots efforts get any money”

            What grass-roots efforts? Measure L? Oh come on. You can’t seriously believe that.

          • Hola Socialista Roberto Walsh, estas de cupones de alimentos?!

          • Privet sotsialisticheskaya, ne prodovol’stvennyye talony?

  7. Yo have opinion? Really come on this so dirty and you know it. Mayor Tait has a duty to see that an honest person is hired in this key position. Remember this spot is open because the current majority… Primarily Kris Murray bullied and abused the previous person. Ms Talley was award all that money because she resisted being used as a political pawn…..so what should be done is find somebody with no ties to either side and let them do their job…but not with these criminals they bring in Jordan’s boy so they can have the influence that Ms. Tally wouldn’t give them.

  8. And when is Robert Walsh the Tait Sock Puppet going to tell us what he thinks about Tait’s hypocritical supporting carpetbagger Mark Lopez in District 5? Or about Tait backing a District 1 candidate (Denise Barnes) who knows nothing about city government and can barely articulate herself in public?

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