Funding For Anaheim Community Fireworks Show On The Line At Tonight’s Council Meeting

Last week, the Anaheim City Council deadlocked 3-3 on whether to upend the citywide fireworks sales program and give control of it to the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD)Foundation per a request by District 3 Councilman Jose F. Moreno. Handing the program over to the AUHSD Foundation would jeopardize funding for the annual Anaheim Fourth of July community fireworks show and festivities at Peralta Park in Anaheim Hills. Without the $40,000 in funding it receives from the current system operated by the Honda Center, the fireworks show would likely shut-down.

Because of the 3-3 tie vote, Moreno’s plan will be voted on again tonight, with Anaheim Mayor and long-time Hills resident Tom Tait in the position of casting the deciding vote.

Moreno’s proposal – backed by fellow Tait majority members James Vanderbilt and Denise Barnes – has caused an uproar in Anaheim Hills, which is the only section of the city where residents are prohibited from using safe-and-sane fireworks to celebrate Independence Day in their neighborhoods. The annual community fireworks show is there opportunity to enjoy the traditional American way of celebrating the Fourth of July.  Upset and concerned residents of District 6 (Anaheim Hills) have lit up social media sites and the comments section of this blog, and deluged the city council with e-mails opposing Moreno’s plan and imploring the city to continue the fireworks show funding stream.

Also of concern is Moreno’s attempt to give control of Anaheim’s city-wide fireworks sale to the non-profit arm of a highly-politicized, non-transparent school district governed by District 3 councilman’s political supporters. As this writer and the publisher of can attest, the AUHSD has a pattern of ignoring Public Record Act and media information requests from sources it disfavors – and only complying when the threat of legal action is raised. Yes, the Foundation is legally a separate entity, but it is tremendously influenced by the district leadership – which is in the hands of Moreno political allies Superintendent Mike Matsuda and AUHSD Board of Education member (and Moreno campaign manager) Al Jabbar.

Furthermore the Anaheim Union High School District covers only a part of the city of Anaheim, and serves four other cities in Anaheim. If one of Councilman Moreno’s objectives is to have a non-profit entity operate the citywide fireworks program, it makes far more sense to put it in the hands of one that exclusively serves Anaheim – such as the Anaheim Community Foundation, as Councilwoman Kris Murray suggested last week.

It will be intriguing to see the results of tonight’s vote. Non-profits from across the city are able to raise money via the current fireworks sale program, which is only in its third year. Many are wondering if the real goal of this proposal is to reward political supporters of Tait and Moreno and punish perceived enemies.


  1. According to the OJB, Associate (emphasis on ASS), Greg Diamond, Failed City Council, Assembly Candidate and general gladfly Brian Chachua, Non-Profits earn $30,000. – $90,000. at stands (Of course Greg gives himself and the fishy-cracker eating old guy and out by claiming “Today’s dollars), back in ’73 things might have been different.

    Back on point. let’s take Greg’s numbers and settle on $60,000. as the mid range. So If I am to understand the industry, which you can freely research and is published, the average margin for NON-PROFITS is 30%. So my math skills tells me that means a neighborhood stand would need to sell $200,000. in GROSS sales for the local AYSO. Let’s suppose that “in today’s dollars” The Ol’ 49ner, a longtime favorite Fireworks pack is $150.00, that means the neighborhood booth where Greg used to clean up the lot and set up a booth with his Old Man would sell: 1,333 of those!!!! In two weeks! That’s 95 kits per day from June 20 to July 4.

    NEVERMIND these are the same HOMELESS, STARVING, UNDERPRIVLEDGED kids that Jeff LeTourneu wants to feed, clothe and give more government money to.

    So either Greg is FULL OF IT, BRIAN IS CRAZY or this is just more of the money grab that Jose and company realized was out there.

    You can steal car stereo’s one at a time for $30. or you can steal from the government and get $3,000.


  2. I’d rather we move to a traditional system of fireworks stands operated by local groups to raise money. But putting the Anaheim Union High School District Foundation in charge? Are Tait and Moreno kidding?

    This is political cronyism. Tait and Moreno could get the exact same result by having the Anaheim Community Foundation run the fireworks program. But they don’t. They’re putting in the fix for their political cronies at AUHSD.

    Why can’t Tait and Moreno just BE HONEST about their real motives? If the Anaheim Community Foundation is good enough to run the State of the City, why not the fireworks program?

  3. That’s the last neighborhood barbecue Tait gets invited to.

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