Proposed Ballot Question on Council Districts Ignores CAC report

At the May 28 meeting, Mayor Tait asked staff to come back with resolutions putting the recommendations of the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to a vote of the people. The left-wing coalition pushing for eight single-member council districts have been calling for the same thing.

The draft resolutions on the June 11 City Council agenda do not reflect the recommendations of the CAC. The CAC’s final report called for placing “the question of a potential change in the city election system, particularly the question of district or at-large council member elections to a vote of the citizens of Anaheim.”

Remember that this recommendation was unanimously endorsed by the Citizens Advisory Committee members — including the appointees of Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilmember Lorri Galloway.

It is vital to also remember that five of the 10 members of the Citizens Advisory Committee members opposed single-member council districts — and one of the five who initially voted for single-member districts later tried, unsuccessfully, to switch his support to at-large council districts.

In other words, only a minority of the CAC is committed to single-member council districts, while a majority of the CAC wants to continue electing councilmembers at-large?

So why is it that none of the draft ballot questions give Anaheim voters the option — as explicitly called for by the CAC — of choosing to continue electing councilmembers on an at-large basis?

Why are Anaheim voters being denied the opportunity to vote on keeping the at-large system? If the mantra of “let the people decide how they are governed” is truly the mantra of the single-member council district advocates, surely they will not object to giving the people the option to decide they want to continue being

Those who have been advocating for single-member council districts have attempted to arrogate to themselves the moral high-ground of “letting the people vote.” If that truly is their guiding principle, then surely they can have no objection to amending Resolution 1 so it is faithful to the explicit recommendation of the Citizens Advisory Committee?

Opposition to doing so will give lie to all the professions of allowing the people to have their say.

15 comments

  1. Another attempt to dictate to the people of Anaheim how they should be thinking, not an opportunity to make our own decisions. How arrogant is this mayor ?

  2. gabriel san roman

    Your desperation is really showing! A ‘No’ vote on a potential ballot measure for district elections in Anaheim is an effective ‘Yes’ vote to maintain the ‘at-large’ status quo. Grasping at straws, much? LOL!

    • Not exactly, Gabriel. All a no vote does is say no to the options presented. The option of “no districts” must be presented in order to have a clear mandate of what the residents want, so there is no continued push for other versions of splitting up the city representation.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      That is not true, Gabriel. A “no” vote would be a rejection of single-member districts. Since the status quo is not the only alternative to single-member districts, a “no” vote is not a de facto endorsement of the status quo when that is not presented as an explicit choice on the ballot.

      What seems to escape you is that OCCORD, UNITE-HERE and other single-member district advocates are calling in the council to put the CAC’s recommendations on the ballot. The proposed ballot questions on Tuesday’s agenda fail to do that. That is the truth, whether or not you like it.

      • gabriel san roman

        A no vote would defeat single-member districts at the ballot and maintain the at-large status quo. No other resolution was written in a manner considering other models because the CAC disregarded hybrids setting up an easily understandable ‘either or’ scenario–expect for those with buyer’s remorse who are trying to throw their jar of marbles on the floor. LOL!

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Gabriel:

          Here is the recommendation in plain English from the CAC report:

          “Place the question of a potential change in the city election system, particularly the question of district or at-large council member elections to a vote of the citizens of Anaheim.”

          That is extremely straightforward and simple. Even you ought to be able to comprehend the meaning of that language.

          • gabriel san roman

            I do. And I see all the 11th hour scrambling too! The CAC was structured with the hope and intention that it would deliver a 6-4 majority recommendation in favor keeping the at-large system and none of this put single-member districts before the vote of the people stuff. Keep it up. I’ll just pop some popcorn and enjoy the show! LOL!

            • Matthew Cunningham

              Judging by your earlier comment, you did not see that. Glad I was able to educate you.

              And you’re wrong, wrong, wrong about what you think the CAC was “structured” to deliver. The only councilmembers who appointed CAC members committed to a certain, specific outcome were Tom Tait and Lorri Galloway.

  3. gabriel san roman

    If you want to waste your time carving out arguments for the sake of tail-chasing redundancy, be my guest!

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