District 6: How Is Patty Gaby “Undecided” On Measure L, The $18 Minimum Wage?

Anaheim voters are being asked to make a decision on Measure L, a union-sponsored initiative targeting certain unionization-resistant Anaheim Resort businesses with a minimum wage hike starting at $15 an hour in January 2019 and escalating to $18 in January 2022. It is opposed by the Republican Party of Orange County, among other organizations.

“Republicans know a union power grab when they see one,” OC GOP Fred Whitaker has said. “That’s what Measure L is.”

At the District 6 candidates forum held on October 9 by the Anaheim Hill Community Council forum, the three candidates – Republicans Trevor O’Neil and Patty Gaby and Democrat Grant Henninger – were asked for their stance on Measure L. After all, Measure L will have a significant impact on Anaheim’s economy, likely embroil the city in litigation and turn the City Manager into a labor relations cop. The initiative has been publicly discussed and dissected for months.

O’Neil and Henninger were decisive in their rejection of Measure L. Henninger termed it “wrongheaded” and “unenforceable.” O’Neil blasted it for being a “job killer” that would saddle Anaheim with the highest minimum wage in the nation. He said Measure L was really about “unions trying to bargain at the ballot box rather than doing so in good faith with their employer.”

Gaby, who was recruited to run by Mayor Tom Tait, initially dodged the question, saying “I say leave it up to the voters.” She then misstated the scope of the measure.

Later, in response to a speed-round question asking for a stance on Measure L, Gaby responded “Undecided.”

Huh? Undecided how? On what aspect? Does she think the wage hike should be higher? Or encompass more businesses? Measure L involves questions of principle and practicality. Does Gaby think it’s a good idea for the city manager to be charged with policing labor disputes? Does she think it is fair that businesses that are simply lessees or tenants of the GardenWalk or Wincome hotel projects are forced to pay the highest minimum wage in the country – even though they receive no tax incentive or subsidy? Does she think it is right or fair that GardenWalk mall tenants – many of whom are struggling – would be socked with a massive minimum wage hike?

It simply isn’t credible that Gaby is “undecided” on Measure L. If so, she’s the only candidate for Anaheim City Council who hasn’t been able to make up her mind. Her answers strongly suggest a dodge. This would be in keeping with the rest of Team Tait, which has maintained a conspicuous silence on the $18 minimum wage issue throughout. This silence is doubly as the mayor and his followers style themselves as champions of the free market.  Opposition to Measure L would be entirely consistent with their opposition to the TOT rebate policy – and yet they say nothing. It’s almost as if their antipathy to Disney and supporters of the TOT rebate policy is so deep and virulent they cannot bring themselves to be on the same side of this issue. They can collaborate with leftists and government employee unions – but not fellow Republicans with whom they disagree on this issue.

When it comes to an issue with such significant consequences for Anaheim, voters have a right to expect council candidates to have a position. Imagine the howls of derision and outrage from Team Tait if one of the candidates they oppose answered “undecided” when asked about the TOT rebate policy?

Gaby’s declaration of indecision is a cop-out, and one that is hard to believe.

4 comments

  1. Longtime Anaheim Resident

    She is following Tait and won’t divert from his explicit direction. So why would Anaheim hills residents vote for anyone who isn’t running based on their principles? She’s shown on several issues an incapacity to study issues, meet with independent sources and or come to any position that isn’t directed by Tait. We need elected officials who are there to serve residents not merely to keep a seat warm as a puppet of former officials. She was overheard at the reservoir cheerfully declaring that Mayor Tait was going to make her a councilwoman. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

  2. What does “Undecided” mean. Whatever “Undecided”means it may not amount to a misrepresentation. Meaning maybe she does not know or doesn’t want to go against Tait so she is telling the truth and says she is undecided. I agree “undecided” carries with it a whole set of its own problems. It is likely I would not vote for someone who is “undecided” this close to elections. But it’s not a lie.

    The real question for me is did Moreno, Tait, and Barnes know at the time this came before the City Council for vote that it did not apply to Disneyland? I remember Moreno bashing Disneyland and both Tait and Moreno allowing those people at the mic that night to bash Disneyland without correcting the record.

    Did they know it was not going to apply to Disneyland and allowed us all to believe it did? To me this would amount to a misrepresentation.

    Or did they not know and if they did not know how could they have lead all of us believe it like they did know. Afterall they had the information to know. Therefore they should have known.

    If measure L does not apply to Disneyland then forget the street car, forget the Angel deal, forget the Disney parking lot this one of the biggest misrepresentations I have seen in Anaheim politics.

    If am missing something here please help me out and correct me. I would be grateful. I don’t want to think that I have been lied to by people I voted for. .

    • Re Patty Gaby: I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe she is truly undecided on Measure L. My guess is she opposes it, but the policy from the Tait camp toward Measure L has, from the get-go, been silence. I think Mayor Tait and his allies are philosophically opposed to the $18 minimum wage initiative, but want it to pass in the hope it will kill the GardenWalk, Wincome and Disney hotel projects – and thereby kill the TOT rebate policy they hate as obsessively as Ahab hated Moby Dick.

      As for when did they know Measure L did not apply to Disney? They knew when everyone else knew: when Disney announced it was withdrawing from the TOT rebate and the gate tax ban agreements. Let me stipulate that Councilman Moreno is buying UNITE-HERE’s specious claim that Measure L still applies to Disney.

      Does Tom Tait believe it? Who knows? He’s been a sphinx on this issue. He has an opinion on every issue facing Anaheim except this one.

      As for Councilwoman Barnes: she’s probably waiting to follow the mayor’s lead.

      • David Michael Klawe

        I am hoping Ms. Barnes follows Mayor Tait out the door of City Hall in January and doesn’t return. Too bad that won’t happen in real life.

        But what would she do if we have Harry Sidhu as Mayor, Jordan Brandman in District 2, Mitch Caldwell in District 3, Lucille Kring in District 4, Stephen Faessel in District 5 and Trevor O’Neil in District 6…. I guess have Mayor Tait on speed dial, but then, you are not supposed to use your phone on the dias. Guess frequent Bathroom trips???

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