Citizens Advisory Committee: A Majority For 6 Councilmembers; Split on At-Large v. Single-Member Districts

The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections held its next-to-last meeting last night (I’ll post the video when it is available). It’s main business was voting on recommendations about the structure of the Anaheim City Council — specifically, whether to expand the size of the council, and whether to continue electing members at-large or switch to a single-member district basis.

The underlying dynamic has been a united bloc of CAC members appointed by Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway,  who have been coordinating from the get-go with a left-wing coalition led by OCCORD and UNITE-HERE Local 11 to achieve a recommendation for 8 single-member council districts. The other the six committee members are more disparate and have not approached the matter with the same single-mindedness; half of them were appointed midway through the process to fill vacancies left by resignations.

[This has been the case from the very beginning when the CAC elected its chair and vice chair. Martin Lopez (a Galloway-appointee and secretary of the UNITE-HERE Local 11 union) nominated Tait-appointee Vivian Pham (a liberal Democrat who has only lived in Anaheim for two years and provides major funding for OCCORD) to be chair — before she had even arrived at the meeting.  The motion was seconded by Tait-appointee Bill Dalati (another Democrat and a past council candidate). Pham then nominated Dalati for vice chair, which was seconded by Lopez. It was clearly plotted out ahead of time.]

OCCORD and UNITE-HERE ran one of their human wave drills, mustering 15 or so bodies to the microphone during public comments to rattle of scripted support for eight single-member councils districts. This is part of their attempt to create, for the CAC’s public record, the mirage of broad support for single-member council districts among Anaheim residents.

The professional facilitator hired to run the last two meetings where draft recommendations have been voted on, segregated last nights voting on council structure into two separate ballots: one on the size of the council, followed by a vote on the at-large v. single-member district.

On the size of the council, five members (Anthony Armas, Sandra Day, Amanda Endinger, Gloira Ma’e and Keith Oleson) voted to expand the council to six members, plus the directly-elected mayor. The Tait-Galloway bloc voted to blow the council up to eight members, plus a directly-elected mayor. CAC member Vic Real was apparently unable make up his mind and abstained. Oddly, the facilitator resisted acknowledging the reality that a a 6-member council won a majority vote.

On the at-large versus single-member districts question, it was a 5-5 split, with Vic Real joining with the Tait-Galloway bloc to support carving Anaheim up into ethnic fiefdoms and push it down the road to becoming a dysfunctional mini-Los Angeles.

I’ll have to confirm, but I think that means the preliminary recommendation is to put both alternatives before the voters.

A draft report will come back to the Citizens Advisory Committee on May 9, when they will have the opportunity to amend it and take a final vote, before forwarding their report to the City Council and disbanding.

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  1. Nice wrap-up. Your unremittingly harsh rhetoric is especially adorable today. How do you manage to spare your old friends Tom and Lorri, the witting or unwitting instigators of this horror, from your imprecations?

    As far as the 5-4 vote on council size, I don’t know, but are there bylaws somewhere for this committee which might specify that only 6 votes can be considered a majority of 10? That might explain it.

    I’m encouraged (and you’re evidently agitated) by the thought that it’ll be real hard for the Council to ignore this recommendation, after the instructions Judge Miller gave them last time. There wasn’t much wiggle room there.

    Districts are coming, brother! Unless your funders can find the courage to really throw a lot of money against them. Don’t forget, Disney’s in a tight spot too after that August 8 statement – even YOU think they want districts.

  2. Matthew Cunningham

    Don’t get ahead of yourself, Vern. For one thing, these are draft recommendations. The CAC has to vote on a final report.

    Secondly, the judges instructions don’t bind the City Council to the CAC report. The judge said he wants to see what the council does, but he also wants to hear the arguments from both sides of the case.

    Districts may by coming, the question is whether it is the single-member fiefdoms into which your left-wing friends want to carve up Anaheim, or at-large districts under which councilmembers are still accountable to the entire city.

    I fully expected the Tait-Galloway bloc to voote they way they did. They have been in the tank for single-member districts from the start, and they managed to pull the weak-sister in with them.

  3. A “weak sister” is what you call Vic Real eh? Nice. The one guy there who listened hard and thought about all the evidence rather than having his mind made up.

    We’re both a little ridiculous – I believe the purpose of the committee was properly to determine how to proceed with districting, so I forgive the predisposition of my bloc; you understood the committee’s purpose to be holding firm against districting and finding some alternative, any alternative, so you applaud your bloc.

    But Vic was possibly the only person who actually listened and thought. Weak sister.

  4. “I believe the purpose of the committee was properly to determine how to proceed with districting…” The purpose of the committee was to study all forms of elections allowed by law and to discuss ways to better engage residents between elections and improve voter turn out. You have railed against the citizens committee from day one and accused Murray, Eastman and Sidhu of appointing baised residents but none of their appointees had a direct connection (in one case a salaried full time position) with organizations running paid campaigns to lobby for one outcome – UNITE HERE and OCCORD for single member districts. Tait and Galloway attempted to rig this committee for political purposes from the beginning – don’t wag your finger at Matt or anyone else for pointing out this blatant power grab.

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