Anaheim Insider here.
The gloves are really off now.
Lucille Kring unleashed a broadside on Friday against Tom Tait after the Angels informed the City they were terminating negotiations on the MOU. She told the LA Times:
“Mayor Tait seems bent on driving the Angels out in order to demolish the stadium and make a quick buck on more generic development. I wonder if the residents of Brooklyn are glad that they have high-density apartments instead of Ebbets Field and the Dodgers.”
She followed up by blasting out an e-mail blasting Tait for alienating the Angels:
Enough is Enough!
A Failure of Leadership
Yesterday the City of Anaheim received a letter from the American League Division Champion Angels Baseball organization saying that they were electing to terminate the Stadium Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as well as negotiations with the City of Anaheim. (View Letter)
l am at a loss to express my disappointment other than to say that this represents a total lack of leadership on the part of our current Mayor, Tom Tait.
As the Angels’ letter points out, the MOU was meant to be a starting point in the negotiations process. And yet, time and time again I have listened to the Mayor tell the media and our residents misleading information.
Mayor Tait has characterized the MOU as everything from a nefarious plot to bilk the City out of money to a sneaky attempt to giveaway the City’s biggest asset. Is it any wonder the Angels no longer want to continue this process?
For shame Mr. Mayor, for shame.
One city seems more than willing to welcome the team that Tait forgot. On Tuesday the City of Tustin will discuss luring our Angels to their city during a special Closed Session meeting.
While the Angels have been compiling the best record in baseball, there has been no “kindness” for our beloved team at home. Tom Tait has willfully ignored expert advice, belittled our professional city staff and, more importantly, failed to negotiate in good faith. This is not what our City needs.
Enough is enough!
If you agree with me that the Angels are an important part of our City’s heritage and that Keeping the Angels is vital to maintaining Anaheim’s unique character, I urge you to do two things:
1. Contact The Mayor Now
2. Vote for a New Mayor Nov. 4
God Bless Anaheim and the Angels!
Councilwoman Lucille Kring
City of Anaheim
Before any Taitbots come unglued over the tough rhetoric, they should remember their man has been blasting Kring and the rest of his colleagues as tools of special interests for the better part of two years now.
Lucille Kring is correct that Tait’s failed leadership has brought us to this point. he has no ability to bring his council colleagues along, even though their real philosophical differences aren’t that great. Since early 2012, he has actively, unnecessarily alienated his council colleagues. He publicly supported an OCEA-funded campaign condemning them as “giving away” tax money to special interests and being uncaring about the needs of average Anaheim residents. His council assistant actively works to embarrass his colleagues, coordinating with the Voice of OC to generate negative coverage of his colleagues and his close political allies harass them. True, there has been tit-for-tat, but Tait initiated and perpetuates this intra-council strife.
So when the Angels MOU comes up and he disagrees with parts of it, he has no political capital or good will to draw upon to incorporate his input. The smart approach would have been to quietly make his case to colleagues and the Angels, without impugning their motives and integrity. Instead, true to what has become his leadership style, Tait responded by lashing out at his council colleagues, at Arte Moreno and the Angels and anyone who disagrees with his stance. Mayor Tait’s my-way-or-the-highway leadership style is a failure, and the termination of the Angels negotiations is the bitter fruit of his publicly castigating the Angels and the MOU the team agreed to.
Taitbots understand this is politically damaging to the Mayor and are spinning hard. One of their angles is this now frees the Mayor and Arte Moreno to negotiate a “better deal.” Better for whom? Certainly not the City of Anaheim. Under the MOU framework, the Angels had to pay to upgrade the stadium, and all the risk that goes with investing in a development was carried by the Angels. It was a good deal for the city, which is why the city had proposed it (something which only recently dawned on Ward and the CATER bunch). Any new deal the Angels and Anaheim work out (assuming we don’t lose them to Tustin) will not be as good.
So dream on, Taitbots. Mayor Tait told Arte Moreno two springs ago that he thought the framework of what became the MOU was a good one. Moreno ultimately agrees to it, and then the Mayor wages a PR campaign against him and the MOU. That’s the kind if thing that negates the trust necessary for the Mayor to successfully negotiate with the Angels does’t exist. I don’t know that Mayor Tait wants the Angels to leave, but if he did he’d have a hard time doing a better job of accomplishing that goal.