Last month, the Anaheim City Council majority made clear it would rather kill the TOT rebate agreement for Disney’s 4-Diamond hotel than accommodate a minor siting change. Consequently, Disney put the $700-million, 700-room project on indefinite hold.
This prompted Fred Brown, chairman of the Anaheim/Orange County Hotel and Lodging Association, sent the following e-mail on August 21 to Mayor Tom Tait and Councilmembers Jose F. Moreno, Denise Barnes and James Vanderbilt:
Hello Mr. Tait, Mr. Vanderbilt, Ms. Barns and Dr. Moreno,
Please take a moment to reflect on the bullet points below:
- 5050 construction jobs for 2 years
- 1150 permanent hotel jobs
- $25,000,000 in NET TOT general fund revenue over 5 years
- $1,000,000,000 (a BILLION) dollars in general fund revenue over 40 years.
Don’t buy the figures? Then cut it in half for argument sake:
- 2525 construction jobs for 2 years
- 575 permanent hotel jobs
- $12,500,000 in NET TOT general fund revenue over 5 years
- 500,000,000 (a half BILLION) dollars in general fund revenue over 40 years.
Look a bit more realistic to you at half of the loss? We could cut it in half again but we would come up with the same conclusion. Your actions in this matter are NOT in the best interest for the residents of Anaheim. Maybe you are gambling that Disney will move forward without the agreement? I would not take that bet but I guess it is easy to gamble with a BILLION dollars when it is not your loss if you lose.
Please help me understand how this helps the residents or businesses of Anaheim. This is not a rhetorical question. I would really appreciate a response because I can think of no fathomable explanation to your actions other than revenge. Your hatred of Disney has gone far beyond looking after the rights and well-being of the residents of Anaheim.
To date, none of the recipients have responded to Brown’s e-mail – with the exception Councilmember Denise Barnes, who sent him this reply:
Thank you for your email. I’m sure this will be handled properly.
Sent from my iPhone
That’s it: “I’m sure this will be handled properly.” When a nearly $1 billion economic development project is put on ice – the tax revenues from which factor significantly in the city’s five-year spending plans – it merits a meatier, more concerned response than a nonchalant I’m-sure-someone’s-handling-this brush-off from her iPhone, as if it were someone complaining about a missed trash pick-up. In fact, that would probably prompt a more engaged response.
At the same time, at least Councilmember Barnes actually replied to Brown.