What, Us Worry?

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. 

Thank you,


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.


  1. Barnes the gift that keeps on giving, D1 recall her.

  2. What about the lost jobs at Rainforest and ESPN? I notice you didn’t mention anything about those.

    When the agreement was made those jobs were going to stay. Then they moved the hotel and shut down those 2 business. That cut the number of long term jobs in half.

    How come you don’t put that in your blog.

    And while we are at it, do you think that property will sit vacant?
    If that same hotel doesn’t get built, I’ll bet something else will.

    This isn’t an all or nothing proposition.
    Businesses don’t need city money to build next to Disneyland.

  3. I believe staff at those businesses were offered jobs and nearly all have been placed.

    • Even if that’s true, then those shouldn’t be counted as new jobs created.

      • If they are working for a new business entity, they are new jobs. The jobs lost should be deducted from the total employment figures. But they are new jobs. Perhaps you could apply — except for that part of the application where you’re asked if you’ve committed any felonies.

      • Someone else wanna take this? Dan is too stupid for me to argue with.

  4. said the guy who has no real job and doesn’t run a business and has little actual experience in the workforce.

    Jobs go away; new jobs get created. Total employment might stay the same, but new jobs created are new jobs. Otherwise, without those newly created jobs, it’s a net loss. Go tickle the ivories Vern.

    • And what was the point of this article, O Man With Memory of a Gnat? It was, as usual, give Disney whatever they want because they create lots jobs.

      To the degree many of those jobs are “created” by destroying other jobs, that argument melts away.

      Duh. And again, duh.

      • What jobs were destroyed to gain other jobs? And don’t point to ESPN Zone or RainForest. Those jobs would have been replaced many times over if the council majority hadn’t decided to exploit a minor siting issue to kill the TOT rebate and thus the project.

      • Pray tell old man with no builder or job creation experience, tell us what jobs were destroyed at the cost of others. I get you like to talk but haven’t you learned yet not to make unfounded statements without substantiating with facts.

        It’s a dumb statement to say “Disney was given what they wanted” without cost. The City offering up in negotiations what the City has in trade for badly needed revenue. The cities bills have to be paid.

        • I believe the post was about construction jobs and permanent hotel jobs being created that won’t be as Disney has placed projects on hold. Another poster brought up restaurant jobs and Matt says those displaced employees have been placed elsewhere. And that is a good thing and those jobs they moved into should be considered new jobs. I question your reading comprehension sometimes.

  5. Frankly I’m tired of Disney anyways. Anaheim wants to prohibit fireworks for locals but still allows Disney to blow up and disturb every resident near them 4-5 times a week at least. traffic is always stupid, tourists are always a pain and also drive like idiots (wife and I have been hit by out of towners), and frankly they don’t do anything for me except punish me because i can’t even park on my street without a permit which I have to pay for because I’m too close to the damn park. How about home owners get free permits rather than have to pay for them? It’s all because of Disney that I need them in the first place so make them pay for the permits. Then you have the whole FAA no fly zone surrounding Disney which means my kids can’t fly a drone at our own home because again…we are victims due to proximity to Disney. I guess the benefits for living so close to Disney are….well…not a damn thing!!!!! We get more homeless in our area because there are tourists and they get money begging. it draws in traffic we deal with the noise, the streets might be well maintained but its for their tourists not the residents and my animals are all suffering PTSD from the nearly nightly explosions.

  6. Of course this is a LOADED question. But it is a fair one. A question tht so far, Vern and company, UNITE HERE, Ada Briceno, The lawyers, Mayor Tait and The champion of this cquest for “Fair Wages” Jose Moreno have been UNWILLING or Afraid to answer. It is simple and I have a methodology for why I ask.


    To be clear:

    How many of those who “suffer” from wage oppression LIVE, Rent, own in Anaheim?
    Do their kids go to our schools? How Many?
    What is the overall effect of the wage inititive to the micro communities in Anaheim?

    Maybe Vern could attest to how many Anna Drive residents actually work at Disney, my guess is fewer than SIX (yeah I KNOW THE ANSWER), Let’s let the vodka economist tell us tough.


    • It’s well known, and has been said many times, that many of them DON’T live in Anaheim because they can’t afford to, but they would LIKE to. So what? What’s your brilliant “methodology” that flows from that tidbit?

  7. whoiscater: Excellent question one I hope you get an answer for. Well Vern and company?

  8. Vern Nelson. I’ll tease you with this. Last Thursday, DLR closed California Adventure at 5:00 PM. At 7:00 PM the parked reopened for TEN YEAR PLUS cast members and guests.

    All you could eat, all you could drink top of the line fine food, top shelf liquor ( I know you don’t drink) but this was a several hundred thousand dollar event. I doubt Tesla, Nordstrom or anyone does this for rank and file employees.

    Attendees took GREAT EXCEPTION to the suggestion that this was in response to your living wage fallacy. Disney has done this for 25 years.

    I will expound on my reasoning and methodology, which is based census FACTS not some crazy, song singing fool, being propped up by a union buffoon and her cadre of out of town agitators.

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