The first meeting of the controversial “Welcoming Anaheim” Mayoral Task Force takes place this Friday, February 17 at 8:30 a.m. in the Gordon Hoyt Conference Room on the 2nd Floor in the Anaheim West Tower, 201 S. Anaheim Boulevard.
Click here for the agenda.
Anyone interested in attending should do so, as this may be the last meeting of the Welcoming Anaheim Task Force governed by the Brown Act open government law. At the February 7 council meeting, Councilmembers Kris Murray and Lucille Kring pressed for full public transparency for the Welcoming Anaheim Task Force, including livecasting the meetings and archiving the video. After all, many working residents cannot attend city meetings scheduled at 8:30 a.m.
Councilman Jose Moreno, the godfather of the task force, and Mayor Tom Tait, the name sponsor, opposed full transparency without explicitly explaining why. The mayor ultimately responded by agendizing repeal of the council action establishing the task force in order to de-couple it from Brown Act open government requirements.
If that happens, there would be no legal requirement to publicly notice Welcoming Anaheim Task Force meetings or even to open them to the public. The mayor and Councilman Moreno are controlling the task force membership and agendas; if transparency doesn’t serve their purposes for the task force, the meeting may not be open.
Given Moreno’s support of sanctuary city status for Anaheim, and since the Welcoming America program encompasses both legal and illegal immigrants, its reasonable to assume the District 3 councilman’s brainchild will deal with the topic of illegal immigration. At the February 7 council meeting, Moreno stated his concern about posting video of the task force meetings might inhibit the public from speaking – a concern that’s difficult to take seriously given that immigration activists are hardly shy about stepping up to a microphone and expressing themselves on video at Anaheim City Council meetings.
One of the reasons the Welcoming Anaheim Task Force engenders suspicion is how hard Tait and Moreno push back on full transparency. When was the last time anyone heard of an elected official seeking to unauthorize their own task force in order to escape open government law requirements? Presumably this task force will result in a set of policy proposals that will go before the council. Shouldn’t the process by which those proposals are generated – even if it is stage-managed and orchestrated by Moreno and his progressive political constitutencies – be open for the public to see?