Councilman Jose F. Moreno regularly accuses or insinuates – without proof or evidence – that his council colleagues trade votes for campaign contributions.
At the same time, he also regularly whinges that his council colleagues do not extend him courtesies and considerations for his requests.
Here’s a thought: maybe routinely smearing one’s council colleagues isn’t the best strategy for winning their consideration.
For example: at last night’s council meeting, he accused Mayor Harry Sidhu of having an “implicit bias” against working class Latinos. His evidence?: a few weeks ago, Mayor Sidhu wanted to limit public comments during the public hearing on a medium-size infill residential project called “Downtown Anaheim 39” in District 3 to 1 minute. Presumably this was due to the packed council agenda. A number of working class Latino residents who lived near the project voiced objections to it.
Last night, the council conducted the second reading on the denial of an application to build an ARCO gas station at the intersection of La Palma and Imperial Highway. The application was the subject of an intense battle between the applicant and the owner of an existing gas station at the same intersection. At the end of the day, what doomed the ARCO station proposal was only one driveway for access in and out at a major intersection. Anyone who buys gas at ARCO knows they are jam-packed and have only one way in-and-out is a recipe for trouble.
Yet Moreno tried to turn even that into a racial bias game – complaining Sidhu allowed members of the public the full 3-minutes during the gas station public hearing, compared to 1-minute for the infill development hearing. Moreno alleged “implicit bias” against the “working class Latinos” of his district and in favor of Hills residents.
What Moreno apparently forgot was that during the Downtown Anaheim 39 hearing, he requested extending the public comment time allotment from 1 to 3 minutes – and his colleagues agreed!
Moreno’s allegation is ridiculous. Maybe it has currency in Moreno’s intersectional world of ethnic studies academia, where it is assumed all human behavior can be reduced to racial and ethnic animus of one kind or another.
In real life where most people live, it is offensive and malicious.
Later during the same council meeting, Moreno accused Councilmembers Jordan Brandman and Steve Faessel of having an ethical conflict of interest when it comes to the council approving financial support for the Muzeo – because they also sit on the Muzeo Board of Directors (along with two members of city staff).
Moreno would rather use that money for other purposes. Fine. Moreno he can’t seem to resist crossing the line and impugning their integrity when they disagree with him.
Brandman and Faessel have no conflict. Moreno disagrees with the subvention for Muzeo and would rather program the money elsewhere – but the allocation was done above-board and honestly. Moreno has no basis for accusing his colleagues of unethical behavior.
The Anaheim Elementary School District Board of Education is totally controlled by Councilman Moreno’s friends and political allies – four of whom are employees of the Anaheim Union High School District. AUHSD Superintendent Mike Matsuda is their boss and political patron. AUHSD also a huge, multi-million dollar food services contract with the AESD. Given Moreno elevated social conscience, has he ever objected that his friends and campaign supporters are behaving unethically by voting to award a lucrative contract to the entity for which they work?
No. Apparently that is permissible cronyism.
Going forward, Moreno might want to reflect on whether constantly turning policy disagreements into groundless assaults on the character and integrity of his colleagues is the best approach to eliciting their consideration. When you baselessly accuse your colleagues of corruption, don;t be surprised when they’re less than eager to work with you.