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Archive for the ‘Anaheim’ Category

DISTRICTS SHMISTRICTS!

Posted by James Madison on November 16, 2016

Two big cities in Orange County switched to district elections this year due to lawsuits filed by Hispanic activists to force the creation of Hispanic-leaning districts. How’d that work out?

In Anaheim, two districts were designated as “Hispanic” districts. Jordan Brandman beat Hispanic activist Jose Moreno in one of them, and Lucille Kring slaughtered leftwing Arturo Ferreras in the other. The upshot – Anaheim will now have seven Caucasians on its council, and no Hispanics.

In Garden Grove, two districts were also designated as “Hispanic”. In one, 23-year old Kim Bernice Nguyen beat Rickk Montoya, who had been the plaintiff in the districting lawsuit. In the other, white neighborhood activist Stephanie Klopfenstein beat LULAC-favorite Demian Garcia-Monroy. Bottom line: Garden Grove goes from a council of three Vietnamese and two Caucasians, to a council of four Caucasians and three Vietnamese, and still, no Hispanics.

In the meantime, in the cities of Westminster and La Habra, which have no district elections, Sergio Contreras and Rose Espinoza were easily reelected.

Just goes to show, if you have good candidates you can win anywhere, while if you have lousy candidates, you can’t force-feed them to the voters anywhere.

By the way, lawsuits to force district elections may soon be a thing of the past. They are all based on the California Voting Rights Act, which virtually demands that cities create districts by race. When new Trump justices join the Supreme Court, the Court could well rule the California Voting Rights Act to be unconstitutional as an illegal intrusion of race into the line drawing process. Are you paying attention, Fullerton and Costa Mesa????

Posted in Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, La Habra, Westminster | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Free Voter Guides Available at Robynnordell.com

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 21, 2016

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not get paid from politics (i.e. consultants and slate cards)?

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not accept money to give a proposition, a ballot measure or a candidate the thumbs up (or down)?

Are you looking for advice on national, state wide and local races that include all of the state wide and local ballot propositions / measures?

Then you should go over to Robyn Nordell’s web site for Voter Recommendations from Robyn and some of her friends like myself.

Her general web site is: Robyn Nordell.

Her Orange County page is: Robyn Nordell Orange County.

Finally my favorite page at her site is Craig’s Pics my voter recommendations which Robyn kindly allows to be published there.

She also has information on some other counties in California.

Who is Robyn Nordell?  She is an Orange County homeschool mother and advocate, a pastor’s wife, a tireless advocate for open and transparent government, a social and fiscal conservative and one of the most talented, honest, brightest and kind persons I know.  Robyn does not get paid one penny for her work in researching candidates and ballot propositions / measures, putting together her voter recommendations and publishing them on her web site.  Plus she is gracious to publish others voter recommendation lists (like my own) even when we make recommendations different from her own. She is a Patriot!

Posted in 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Board of Equalization, Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, California, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Coast Community College District, Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Cypress, Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, El Toro Water District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton School District, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Irvine, Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine Unified School District, La Habra, La Habra City School District, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Lowell Joint School District, Magnolia School District, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Midway City Sanitary District, Mission Viejo, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Cemetery District, Orange County Sanitation District, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia, Placentia Library District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Rossmoor, Rossmoor Community Services District, Rossmoor/Los Alamitos Area Sewer District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Margarita Water District, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Stanton, State Assembly, State Senate, Sunset Beach Sanitary District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, Tustin, Tustin Unified School District, Uncategorized, Villa Park, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

OC GOP Endorsements So Far

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 1, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgThe Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee met on August 15 and August 31 to consider endorsements for local offices and ballot measures. Further endorsements will take place on September 19 (and possibly more after that).

OC Political live-blogged the August 15 meeting and the August 31 meeting, but by popular demand here is the list of endorsements so far:

  • City Councils and Mayors
    • Aliso Viejo City Council: Mike Munzing
    • Anaheim City Council, District 4: Lucille Kring
    • Anaheim City Council, District 5: Mark Lopez
    • Costa Mesa City Council: Allan Mansoor, Steve Mensinger, Lee Ramos
    • Dana Point City Council: Michelle Brough
    • Fountain Valley City Council: Steve Nagel
    • Fullerton City Council: Larry Bennett, Bruce Whitaker
    • Garden Grove Mayor: Steve Jones
    • Huntington Beach City Council: Patrick Brenden, Joe Carchio, Lyn Semeta
    • Irvine Mayor: Don Wagner
    • Irvine City Council: Anthony Kuo, Christina Shea
    • La Habra City Council: Tom Beamish, Dawn Holthouser, Tim Shaw
    • Laguna Hills City Council: Janine Heft
    • Laguna Niguel City Council: Laurie Davies, John Mark Jennings, Jerry Slusiewicz
    • Lake Forest City Council: Francisco Barajas, Dwight Robinson
    • Los Alamitos City Council: Dean Grose
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 5: Lee Lowrey
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 7: Will O’Neill
    • Orange City Council: Mark Murphy
    • Rancho Santa Margarita City Council: Tony Beall, Carol Gamble
    • San Clemente City Council: Dan Bane
    • Tustin City Council: Allan Bernstein, Austin Lumbard, Charles Puckett
    • Westminster City Council: Kimberly Ho
    • Yorba Linda City Council: Tara Campbell, Gene Hernandez, Craig Young
  • College Districts
    • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7: Ryan Bent
    • Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5: Steven Nguyen
  • School Districts
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 1: Wendy Shrove
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2: Jim Reardon
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3: Laura Ferguson
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5: Jake Vollebregt
    • Santa Ana Unified School District: Angie Cano
  • Water Districts
    • Orange County Water District, Division 6: Cathy Green
    • Mesa Water District, Division 2: James R. Fisler
    • Moulton Niguel Water District, Division 6: Duane Cave
    • Yorba Linda Water District: Ric Collett, Andy Hall
    • No on the Yorba Linda Water District Recall of Directors Bob Kiley and Gary Melton
  • Ballot Measures
    • No on Measure J – Anaheim Elementary School District $318 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure K – Brea-Olinda Unified School District $148 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure M – Capistrano Unified School District $889 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure N – Centralia Elementary School District $49 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure O – Fountain Valley School District $63 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure P – Garden Grove Unified School District $311 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure Q – Huntington Beach City School District $159.85 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure R – Ocean View School District $169 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure S – Orange Unified School District $288 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure T – Westminster School District $76 Million Facilities Bond
    • Yes on Measure U – Anaheim 2/3 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure Y ­ Costa Mesa initiative to amend Municipal Code to require voter approval of certain changes in land use, retroactive to July 17, 2015
    • No on Measure HH – Fountain Valley 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure JJ – La Palma 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure LL – Laguna Beach 2% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 12%)
    • Yes on Measure MM – Newport Beach 5/7 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure OO – San Clemente 3% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 13%)
    • No on Measure PP – Santa Ana 700% Pay Raise for City Council (from $125/mtg to $1000/mo for Council and $200/mtg to $1000/mo for Mayor)
    • Yes on Measure QQ – Stanton 1% Sales Tax Repeal (from 9% to 8%)
    • No on Measure SS – Westminster 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Stanton, Tustin, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 24, 2016

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on August 31.

Endorsements Committee Members present are:

  • Chair TJ Fuentes
  • Thomas Gordon
  • Peggy Huang
  • Jeff Matthews
  • Baron Night
  • Mary Young

Endorsements Committee Member Jeff Lalloway is not present.

First up is Huntington Beach City Council.

Lyn Semeta grew up as the daughter of an Air Force Serviceman. She is a member of the RWF who graduated from UCLA and USD Law School. She worked with school districts without litigation to help her autistic daughter. She is Vice Chair of the Planning Commission. She wishes to advance conservative ideals. She wants to attract private sector jobs. She wants to outsource more. She notes she narrowly missed a seat in 2014, when she was endorsed by both OC GOP and CRA.

Joe Carchio speaks of his service on the City Council, Vector Control, and LAFCO. He wishes to streamline government and keep taxes low or eliminate them. He wants common sense Republican leadership to help the conservative Council majority.

Patrick Brenden became a Republican under Ronald Reagan. He states unbeknownst to him his registration was changed to DTS and when he learned of this, he changed it back to Republican. He lists numerous endorsements from Republican elected officials. He walked precincts for John Moorlach and Matthew Harper. He held fundraisers for Michelle Steel and Michael Gates. He helped the new Council majority get elected. He speaks of his family. He is involved in the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Club, and various other service groups that he listed faster than I could type.

Endorsements Committee Member Baron Night asks Carchio why he filled out that he wanted to remove the pro-life plank of the Republican platform. Carchio says he accidentally marked the wrong box and is pro-life.

Endorsements Committee Chairman TJ Fuentes states a fourth candidate submitted their application yesterday afternoon.

All three candidates present says the fourth candidate is new and threw his hat in the ring at the last minute.

Endorsements Committee Member Jeff Matthews moves to continue this to the August 30th meeting when the fourth candidate is scheduled to appear.

The fourth candidate had asked for August 30th rather than August 24th because he had a Huntington Beach RWF meeting to speak at and also preferred to be interviewed separately from the other candidates. Semeta, Carchio, and Brenden all indicate they are going to the RWF meeting after this.

Endorsements Committee Members Mary Young and Thomas Gordon object to Mathews’s motion.

Gordon moves and Young second to recommend endorsements for Semeta, Carchio, and Brenden.

Fuentes expresses concern about not hearing from everyone.

Night states this fourth candidate doesn’t seem interested in the endorsement.

Huang is very concerned that the fourth candidate didn’t want to be interviewed with the other candidates.

The Gordon motion passes 4-2-1 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, Lalloway absent).

BRENDEN, CARCHIO, AND SEMETA RECOMMENDED for HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 5

Mike Glenn was recently removed as an alternate for Central Committee after getting in a disagreement with another Republican. He is involved in the Republican Liberty Caucus, the RWF, and the CRA. He wants to bring change, or at least bring attention to key issues. He accuses Lowrey of spreading falsehoods about Glenn.

Lee Lowrey has been a Republican since he was 18 years old. He considers himself a movement conservative. He walked precincts for Chris Cox and Dana Rohrabacher in 1988. He speaks of his long service to the GOP. He is Rohrabacher’s alternate on Central Committee and was an alternate to the late Chairman Emeritus Tom Fuentes. He speaks of his work founding Atlas PAC. He was OC GOP Volunteer of the Year in 2002. He grew OCYR membership from 75 to 300 when he was President from 2002 to 2005. He speaks of raising money and precinct walking.

Night asks Glenn what falsehoods he was referring to. Glenn says a push poll falsely argued Glenn wants to defund the military. Glenn says Lowrey’s campaign manager accused Glenn of being involved in a criminal enterprise for using the same software as that enterprise.

Lowrey says he has proof at home from 2014 that Glenn opposes a standing military. Lowrey asks what is false about the email.

Glenn argues that the email speaks of Glenn’s use of bitcoin and about how bitcoin is used by criminals.

Night says the email seems to be he-said, he-said, and it is simply part of politics. Night says Glenn needs a tougher skin.

Matthews says the voters should decide who is correct in the he-said, he-said issue.

Gordon expresses concern about the Newport Beach Councilmembers (Duffy Duffield, Kevin Muldoon, and Scott Peotter) who have endorsed Lowrey since the city has tilted leftward despite having seven Republicans.

Fuentes notes that the three endorsing Lowrey are the three more conservative members and have pulled the Council to the right.

Gordon says there has only been a small correction and that the city needs to move further right.

Matthews moves for neutrality, with seconds from both Fuentes and Huang.

Young objects, pointing to Lowrey’s long history of volunteerism for the party for a quarter-century, listing a number of times where she’s called on Lowrey to help the OC GOP, and he has stepped up.

Young moves to recommend Lowrey but gets no second.

Fuentes says both are good conservatives.

Huang says both have had lengthy histories of GOP activism, Glenn in Newport Beach and Lowrey countywide.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 5-1-1 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 5 (Young dissenting, Lalloway absent)

Next up is Newport Beach City Council, District 7.

Will O’Neill speaks of his family’s long Republicanism. He speaks of his grandmother refusing to use Roosevelt dimes. O’Neill’s father was appointed to the bench by Governor Deukmejian and as a federal judge by President Reagan. O’Neill was a Stanford College Republican (Go Cardinal!). He wants to battle Newport Beach’s pension liability, for as a young man, his generation will be saddled with the debt.

Fred Ameri lived in Berkeley and found it full of Communists before moving to Orange County. He speaks of growing his business. He speaks of being business partners with the late OC GOP Chairman Tom Fuentes. He speaks of 35 years of contributions to Republican candidates, including 13 fundraisers in 2014 for Michelle Steel, Young Kim, Steven Choi, Diane Dixon, and others. He claims O’Neill’s campaign manager (Dave Ellis) is suing claiming that Ameri is using a false name.

Phil Greer speaks of working on George Deukmejian’s campaign and working for the California Senate Republican caucus. He says his first political lawsuit was defending Ed Royce against OC Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro. As an attorney, he has defended, among others: Janet Nguyen, Patricia Bates, Ken Calvert, and the Capistrano Unified School District conservative majority.

Young asks who sued Ameri. Greer denies it, as does O’Neill.

Night asks why Greer did not sign the no-new-taxes pledge or the union-free pledge.

Greer notes that if marijuana is legalized, he would like to tax it. He says talking to unions is important to get things done in government. He says he is not a union stooge. Greer speaks of compromise in Sacramento in the 1980s because of having relationships without compromising principles, and he points to the examples of Ed Royce and John Lewis. He says he doesn’t have Ameri’s money or O’Neill’s campaign staff. He points to the Jesse Unruh adage that people should be able to take money from people and vote against them to be in politics.

Fuentes asks the other two candidates to respond to Greer’s comments.

O’Neill says he has a fine relationship of communication with union leaders without taking union money.

Ameri speaks of being a Lincoln Club member and pushing the union-free pledge.

Young complains about people not doing anything for the OC GOP and wanting its endorsement.

All three say they have done much for the party and will continue to do so even if they don’t get the endorsement.

Night asks a follow-up about volunteering for the party beyond being paid for it.

Greer says some of his legal work was paid, some discounted, and some free.

Huang asks about Team Newport and what circumstances they would walk away from the team.

O’Neill states most votes have been 7-0 while split votes among Team Newport are common. He notes he is the only candidate who has served on city committees, pointing to Duffield appointing him to the Finance Committee with unanimous consent by the Council.

Ameri says the Central Committee endorsed Team Newport in 2014 because the team “played games.” Ameri attacks Dave Ellis.

Greer says he would not join any organization that would have him as a member, other than the Republican Party.

Gordon says he received an email attacking one of the candidates. Matthews received it, but none of the other members of the Endorsements Committee received it. He says an OCGOP-endorsed Councilman sent an email that “smacked of racism” against one of the candidates that Gordon said conjured up images of the Twin Towers.

Ameri asks O’Neill what if his name is Will or William and if he is a puppet of Ellis.

The committee quickly rules Ameri out of order.

Gordon blasts the email for its content.

O’Neill asks why Gordon is looking at him.

Gordon says Scott Peotter sent the email and signed O’Neill’s endorsement paperwork.

O’Neill condemns racist emails.

Fuentes says both O’Neill and Ameri are good men but he doesn’t know Greer well.

Gordon moves and Young seconds recommending an endorsement for Ameri.

Matthews urges neutrality because all three would make great Councilmen.

Night expresses concern about Greer’s union stance and O’Neill’s inexperience with the OC GOP. He says he is looking for the best Republican Party representative.

Matthews moves and Fuentes second for neutrality.

Gordon says he would have supported neutrality if it weren’t for Peotter’s email. Gordon says he is disgusted by the email.

Huang says she did not see the email. She says it is better addressed by Central Committee Chairman Fred Whitaker rather than at Endorsements Committee. Huang says she herself signs everyone’s paperwork for endorsement. She says she personally supports Ameri but is voting for neutrality because they’re all good Republicans. She says Ameri has done much work for the OC GOP but says Greer has done much work for the CA GOP while O’Neill is a young candidate who is trying to get his foot in the door.

Young says she feels bad for O’Neill because she doesn’t think he is at fault for the email. She is voting for Ameri due to his long record though.

NEUTRALITY FAILS 3-3-1 (Gordon, Night, and Young against; Lalloway absent)

AMERI RECOMMENDED 4-2-1 FOR NEWPORT BEACH CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 7 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, Lalloway absent)

After an intermission, next up is Anaheim City Council, District 1.

Denise Barnes speaks of being a lifelong Anaheim resident with experience volunteering for community groups and nonprofits. She speaks of various West Anaheim community events she has helped in. She is a small business owner with an accounting background. She says she will advocate for sound fiscal policy to help residents not special interests. She wants to tackle Anaheim’s pension liability. She wants to improve streets and parks while increasing community policing. She is endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman James Vanderbilt. She speaks of benefitting from Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics.

Orlando Perez says he is the son of Cuban immigrants. His grandfather was a Cuban mayor. He was born and raised in Bell and moved to Anaheim at the age of 21, living in Anaheim for the last 30 years. He says he is a realtor who has been a Republican since the age of 18. He says he is endorsed by Grow Elect. He says he has a notary license and an accounting background. His top priority is public safety. He wants to keep the Angels in Anaheim and wants to attract an NFL or NBA team.

Steve Chavez Lodge warns that Anaheim is in dangerous times. He warns that people just deciding to run now are not who should be on the Council. He says it should be experienced people, pointing to his service on the Anaheim Budget Commission. He warns of the chance of a liberal Democrat capturing the seat. He is endorsed by Councilwomen Kris Murray and Lucille King and former Councilmembers Gail Eastman and Harry Sidhu. He calls for logic and pragmatism by the Endorsements Committee.

Night asks Perez about his not answering a question on the questionnaire.

Neither Night or Perez is audible.

Gordon asks about their precinct walking efforts and hearing from the community.

Barnes says she wants to be the voice of her neighbors. She says as a property manager, she sees first-hand the squalor of West Anaheim.

Perez says he works in real estate and is recognizable and walks door to door.

Chavez Lodge says he has 15 precinct walkers who are experienced organizers. He speaks of his policy background helping with the homeless and with infrastructure.

Gordon asks about the Transient Occupancy Tax.

Chavez Lodge says he differs with Tom Tait, as he doesn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. He notes Tait spoke at his campaign kick-off in 2012. Chavez Lodge would like to compromise on incentives, which he feels are necessary.

Perez says he spoke with Tait and wants to compromise.

Barnes questions when using TOT for corporations would help the people.

Young asks about homelessness in Anaheim parks and having more parks.

Barnes says Anaheim is financially sound. She says West Anaheim has 52,000 people with just 5 parks due to the density of apartments and motels.

Mary Young says she never sees children in the 22 parks in her own city. She asks Barnes if parks are a waste.

Barnes defends parks and says community parks will bring children and after-school programs.

Huang asks Chavez Lodge about his law enforcement background and being a leader of the police union.

Chavez Lodge says he was on the Board of Directors and the Political Action Committee of his police union. He says he wasn’t let on to the PAC for years because the union thought he was too conservative. He said he was the conservative voice urging the police union to reflect the 90% of police who are Republicans. He says liberals have adopted dangerous policies like AB 109.

Huang asks if Chavez Lodge was ever on the negotiating team.

Chavez Lodge said he was not.

Huang asks all three candidates about Anaheim’s debt and specifically about ARTIC.

Perez gives a long rambling answer about needing productivity and people’s use of ARTIC. He says if it is ineffective, something different should be built.

Barnes says a lot of people are disappointed with ARTIC. She says it is a piece of art that won’t be truly used until at least 2029. She says the Council has rammed things down people’s throats without having a voice of the people.

Chavez Lodge notes this is a moot issue because ARTIC is already built and will last 100 years, during which time density will soar. He says the schedule is not customer-friendly. He says there needs to be better coordination with Metrolink. He says Metrolink was a mess until Shawn Nelson started improving it.

Huang asks about the bond for ARTIC.

Barnes says the city has given away too much money.

Fuentes asks the three candidates about whether they would have voted with the Council on TOT.

Barnes and Perez say no while Chavez Lodge says yes.

Fuentes asks about the Angel Stadium parking lease.

Barnes attacks Arte Moreno for renaming the Angels. She says the parking agreement was done out of panic.

Perez says there needs to be a future use and plan examined.

Chavez Lodge says the negotiations are ongoing. He notes $75-$100 million in renovation costs for Angel Stadium. He says the City cannot pay for the repairs, so it may be time to get the city out of the stadium business.

Fuentes asks all three candidates if they would have voted to support ARTIC.

Barnes and Perez say no while Chavez Lodge says yes because mass transportation, density, and technology are the future.

Fuentes asks about Chavez Lodge being on the union board.

Chavez Lodge says he pushed the board rightward and urged support of conservative candidates.

Fuentes asks Chavez Lodge if he supported Jordan Brandman or any Democrats.

Chavez Lodge says he gave Loretta Sanchez money 10 years ago as a personal friend.

Matthews moves and Night seconds for neutrality.

Night says they are all good Republicans. He says TOT and ARTIC are issues that should be decided by Anaheim voters.

Fuentes says these issues are important. He notes Tom Tait was the OC GOP Local Elected Official of the Year and points to ARTIC, hotel subsidies, and Angel Stadium.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 5-0-1-1 FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 1 (Gordon abstaing, Lalloway absent)

Next up is Anaheim City Council, District 4.

Lucille Kring speaks of her long Republican activism. She speaks of walking precincts for school vouchers. She warns of the Anaheim Council falling into Democratic hands. She says voters overwhelmingly voted for district elections with $50,000 of the $900,000+ for districts coming from Tom Tait. She says district elections create Chicago – style elections. She expresses concern about Councilmembers wanting district offices. She used to walk the whole city, including the Hills, but now only has to walk 1/6 of the city. She says the majority of short-term rentals are in her district. She says she respects property rights. She speaks of the Palm Lane Elementary issue. She speaks of having ten bonds on her property tax bill and not wanting another one.

Gordon asks about ARTIC.

Kring says much of ARTIC happened before she joined the Council, but she did vote for ARTIC, as did Tom Tait at first. She thought it should be more like a Japanese train station. She argues additional signage would help alleviate some of the problems. She says increased residential and mix-used will bring more traffic to ARTIC. She opposes high-speed rail. She notes that if it’s going to be built, she joins with Lucy Dunn in trying to get the rail to reach Anaheim.

Gordon asks about the stadium parking lease.

Kring says it was simply a starting point proposed by the former city manager. She says Tustin is off the table, and the city is negotiating with the Angels. She says there will be entertainment, restaurants, and bars, like L.A. Live.

Gordon asks Kring if she filled it out or if her consultant did.

Kring says she told her consultant her principles, so he filled it out reflecting her beliefs.

Gordon says Chavez Lodge had the same exact answer on one of the questions.

Kring says her seat is at risk of being captured by Democrats. She rails against the other candidates and points to Tom Tait supporting Jose Moreno and other Democrats.

Gordon questions Kring, asking her to express her own response. He is concerned about giveaways.

Kring says the city manager who made the deal before she was on the Council paid too much for the ARTIC land. She notes she is a lifelong Republican, was the Republican nominee for State Senate against Lou Correa, and has repeatedly been elected to Central Committee. She rails against Tom Tait, stating he has endorsed and donated money to Democrats. She says the Council supported a 50% TOT rebate to hotels in the 1990s by 5-0 votes, including Tom Tait. She said in the 1990s, hotels were being built in Garden Grove due to land giveaways and TOT rebates while Anaheim got no hotels until they voted for TOT rebates. She says Tait says he regrets the vote. She says the Register called for a blanket TOT rebate. Kring says 70% goes to the hotel, the city gets 10%, and bonds get 20%. She says the increased number of hotel stays increases revenue anyway, plus it goes to 100% in the future.

Young asks Kring why she left the Central Committee.

Kring says she was busy opening her new small business when she left.

Fuentes recommends endorsing for or against since she is an incumbent, rather than being neutral. He expresses concern about her challenging a sitting Republican mayor, her consultant filling out her questionnaire, and about her positions differing from what she promised the committee four years ago.

Night says these issues should be sorted out by Anaheim voters, not the Endorsements Committee. He says she has not violated any Republican platform planks. He expresses concern about a Democrat taking the seat.

Gordon argues the TOT and the quarter-billion bond violates the platform, and Young eggs him on.

Huang says she will abstain. She has problems with ARTIC and TOT. She does not like Kring’s position on the gate tax. However, she deeply respects Kring’s work for children, pointing specifically to Palm Lane Elementary.

Night moves for referring it to the Central Committee with no Endorsements Committee position.

The committee has spent nearly 45 minutes on this seat despite the schedule only giving it 10 minutes.

NO POSITION 6-0-1 FOR ANAHEIM CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 4 (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Anaheim City Council District 5.

Mark Lopez notes he filled out his application himself. He has lived in Anaheim half his life. He spoke of working on campaigns for Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Shawn Nelson. He says he is an alternate on the Central Committee and a member of the OCYR. He notes his volunteering to register Republicans at the OC Fair. He says he opposed the TOT because of the principles of limited government and free markets.

Steve Faessel says he has been a lifelong Republican and 48-year Anaheim resident. He was Chairman of the Anaheim Public Utilities Board during the energy crisis. He was on the Planning Commission during the financial crisis. He is currently Chairman of the Anaheim Budget Commission.

Night says he spoke to Lopez a year ago at the Rotary when Lopez spoke about bike paths and the Fourth District on behalf of Supervisor Shawn Nelson. Night says Lopez said he supported Obama. Lopez says that is incorrect. Night asks if he supported Sharon Quirk-Silva; Lopez shoots back that he worked for Chris Norby and worked with Young Kim in Ed Royce’s office. Night reads off a litany of liberal positions that he said Lopez supported, but Lopez disputes all of those. Night asks Lopez if he ever voted for Obama or Clinton. Lopez says no. Night asks if he voted for Obama or Clinton when he pulled the Democratic ballot in the presidential primary in 2008 or 2012. Lopez does not recall who he voted for, but it was not Obama or Clinton.

Night asks Lopez about his appearance at Democratic candidates’ events.

Lopez states that the seat is plurality Democratic, and he needs support from both parties to win, as he is running for Anaheim City Council, not Republican City Council.

Huang asks why Lopez was decline to state.

Lopez says he registered Republican, but objected to the Iraq War and supported Ron Paul. He switched to decline to state but worked for Republicans Ed Royce, Chris Norby, and Shawn Nelson.

Huang asks Faessel about ARTIC and bonds.

Faessel says the city must build for the future. He says ARTIC was mostly funded by transportation funds and very little Anaheim funds.

Gordon asks where transportation funds come from.

Faessel says from taxpayers.

Fuentes asks Faessel about hotel subsidies.

Faessel says he would have voted for them.

Fuentes asks Faessel about ARTIC.
Faessel says he would have voted for it.
Fuentes asks Faessel about the Angel Stadium parking lease.

Faessel says he would have voted for it.
Young moves and Matthews seconds for letting Central Committee decide.

NO POSITION RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).

Now on to Yorba Linda City Council.

Craig Young sits down.

Before Craig Young speaks, Huang moves and Mary Young seconds to recommend endorsement of Craig Young.

CRAIG YOUNG RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1 (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Laguna Hills City Council.

Janine Heft met her husband at a state Republican convention in 1998. She speaks of her lengthy record with RWF and CRA. She speaks of her service on the OCTA Citizens Advisory Committee and the County Assessment Appeals Board. She is a Christian and a mother. She speaks of bringing more business and improved public safety. She speaks of her numerous endorsements from Republican elected officials.

Mary Young asks if anyone in the world who is more conservative than Heft.

Heft suggests the NRA president.

Gordon asks about a city funding project.

Heft explains it.

Young moves and Matthews seconds recommending Janine Heft for endorsement.

HEFT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Santa Ana Unified School District.

Angie Cano expresses her thanks for the endorsement two years ago. She expresses support for stronger education options, like charter schools. She notes there are two open seats of retiring incumbents and she is running on a slate with the third incumbent, Republican Ceci Iglesias.

Night asks about her opinion on bonds.

Cano says there are too many bonds.

Fuentes says Cano is part of the effort to get good Republicans elected in Santa Ana.

Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds recommending Cano.

CANO RECOMMENDED 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 6.

Frank Ury opens with a joke about his initials. He speaks of being a member of the county and state central committees. As a school board member, he won the OC GOP’s first-ever Local Elected Official of the Year Award. He speaks of his work with Mark Bucher and Jim Righeimer on paycheck protection. He speaks of his pension reforms as a Councilman before PEPRA. He speaks of his health benefits reforms as a Councilman.

Jeff Thomas was a Tustin Councilman. He helped Tom Fuentes work on John Moorlach’s first run for Treasurer. He got Tustin’s money out of the County treasury before the bankruptcy. Supervisor Marian Bergeson convinced him to be a founding member of the County Treasury Oversight Committee, where he was Chairman for seven years. He was the OC GOP Local Elected Official of the Year the year after Ury was. He notes his water district does not have lavish pensions.

Matthews asks Ury what he would do differently from incumbent Thomas.

Ury says there are water rate improvements that could be accomplished. He wishes to place meetings online for transparency. He wants to start setting examples, like how he walked away from $200,000 of lifetime medical benefits.

Gordon asks about the $43,331 in compensation that Thomas received.

Thomas says it’s a double edged sword. Meetings are $256 each, per state code. He says skipping meetings would be not doing the job. He says he worked with Brett Barbre to make the agency more conservative. He notes they paid off MWDOC’s pension liability. He went on John and Ken to stop a Metropolitan Water District of Southern California pension hike. He says he spends three times as much time on MWDOC as on City Council.

Citing his technology background, Ury urges using techology to conserve water like in Mission Viejo, where they have used special technology to only water plants on demand when the plants themselves are dry.

Thomas argues that the technology described doesn’t work for potable water.

Night asks about MWDOC pay. Night says he donates his own foundation meeting stipends to nonprofits.

Thomas says the stipend offsets his lost salary from his day job. His take-home pay is $600 per month. He says the amount of pay is set by the state. He says there are meetings at 8:30 AM which is problematic for people with day jobs; he was unsuccessful in getting the meetings moved or consolidated.

Thomas says Ury still gets lifetime medical benefits.

Huang asks about $15,000 being paid to his pension under protest, as noted in his questionnaire.

Thomas says water boards are forced to take it, and they are working with Senator John Moorlach on this issue.

Ury says it never should have been in place in the first place. He produces a document with his irrevocable decision to opt out of lifetime medical benefits.

Thomas says the document is unenforceable and that Ury voted for the benefits before he voted against them.

Gordon blasts Thomas for getting $256 for a 39-minute meeting. He asks Thomas why he accepts this.

Thomas says he got on the Board to prevent a split in agencies that would cost over $2 million. He says he cut $600,000 from the budget. He says he cut director pay. He says he cut water rates by 3.8% in 2016.

Gordon rails about executive employee compensation.

Night moved and Huang seconds for neutrality.

NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Orange County Water District, Division 6.

Cathy Green notes there are no pensions on her water district. She is a former city councilmember and Central Committee member. She left Central Committee to take care of her dying father. She is a long-time member of the RWF and just arrived from their event (as you may recall, the Huntington Beach City Council candidates headed there). She is endorsed by a litany of Republican elected officials.

Fuentes asks if she has ever been endorsed by the party.

Green was endorsed for City Council. When she ran for OCWD, both candidates were Republicans and agreed to not seek the endorsement. For her first re-election, the election was cancelled since she was unopposed.

GREEN RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 FOR REELECTION (Lalloway absent)

Next up is Los Alamitos City Council.

Dean Grose speaks of his multiple terms on the City Council and Central Committee. He says there are three candidates (all Republicans) for two seats. He tried to help register voters at the OC Fair, but gave up his shift to a married couple that wanted to work the booth.

Gordon asks about the questionnaire answer that Grose provided about seeking alternative revenue sources.

Grose speaks of selling City property. He also wants to sell City Hall. He wants to encourage more private businesses.

Night asks about the Los Alamitos Race Track.

Grose explains the race track is actually in Cypress despite being named for Los Alamitos. He speaks of working with the military at Joint Base Los Alamitos.

Matthews moves and Night seconds recommending Grose for endorsement.

GROSE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 6-0-1  (Lalloway absent).

Next up is Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5.

Steven Nguyen is helping restart the Orange County Republican Liberty Caucus. He speaks of volunteering for various Republican campaigns. He is the sole Republican running for this seat, where there are two Democrats, one a Republican. He is endorsed by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Supervisor Andrew Do, and various local elected officials. He hopes a split in the Latina Democrat vote will allow him to win, considering the large Asian population.

Night asks about his education.

Nguyen says he is a third-year college student. (Editor’s Note: Nguyen later contacted OC Political to say he meant second-year.)

NGUYEN RECOMMENDED 6-0-1 FOR ENDORSEMENT (Lalloway absent)

Last up is Fullerton City Council.

Larry Bennett speaks of his community experience and his litany of endorsements from Republican elected officials. He speaks of the Democrats running for City Council, including Sharon Quirk-Silva’s husband. He says there are four Republicans running for three seats: incumbents Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald, himself, and Suze Lupinski, who Mary Young noted is Pat Shuff’s daughter.

Huang asks how Bennett would have voted on marijuana dispensaries.

Bennett says he would have opposed agendazing the issue.

Huang asks which Councilmember he would be most aligned with.

Bennett says he would be like Greg Sebourn, who is a swing vote between Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald though he does say Sebourn has not endorsed him. He would like to bridge the two factions.

Huang asks about police-community relations and the recent police labor deal.

Bennett says he is a strong proponent of pension reform but has not studied the details of the recent labor deal with police. He says the city benefits from keeping officers employed beyond age 50 and both the city and officers benefit from a sustainable pension plan. He says outsourcing to the Sheriff’s Department did not make sense because Fullerton police officers are paid less than Orange County Sheriff’s deputies. He says the Fullerton Police Department was the first with body cameras.

Huang asks if Bennett has taken any union contributions.

Bennett says he has not taken any union contributions. He also has been a volunteer treasurer for various Republican campaigns.

Night asks Bennett which of the three Fullerton Rotary Clubs is a member of.

He started in Fullerton Sunrise, and then switched to Fullerton.

Matthews moves to recommend Bennett for endorsement.

BENNETT RECOMMENDED 4-2-1 FOR ENDORSEMENT (Fuentes and Huang dissenting, Lalloway absent).

The committee adjourn at 10:09, only 19 minutes behind schedule.

Posted in Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Orange County Water District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Republican Central Committee, Santa Ana Unified School District, Yorba Linda | 7 Comments »

Live from the Candidate Forum for Anaheim City Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 17, 2016

We are live from the Anaheim Phoenix Club for the City Council Candidate Forum sponsored by the Anaheim Republican Assembly (the Anaheim unit of the California Republican Assembly).

Uniquely for a CRA forum, non-Republican candidates are participating. (Editor’s note: 11 candidates participated, 6 Democrats and 5 Republicans.)

I estimate the audience to be nearly 100 people.

The moderator is David Florez.

District 1 Opening Statements

  • Denise Barnes (R) thanks the audience and says the districts mean Councilmembers are people’s neighbors. She says neighbors are struggling and children can’t visit their grandparents or go to parks while living in motels. She says the city is rich and has great resources but needs more fire and police. She states there are too many tax giveaways. She wants to fix parking, streets, and sidewalks. She says Anaheim Hills looks 100% better. She says a strong community can improve the city.
  • Mark Richard Daniels (D) says he was born in Anaheim in 1958 when the city was a small time full of farmland. He says he has lived in Anaheim his entire life. He states he will represent the people’s interests rather than special interests. He pledges to hold meetings across District 1. He says he does not have the donors, PACs, and interest groups behind other candidates and asks the audience for contributions. He pledges to work for the whole city.
  • Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal (D) says he grew up in the district, attending local schools. He says his family still lives in District 1. He says District 1’s schools, parks, and streets have been neglected for years. He says all the candidates are wonderful people who bring something special to Anaheim. He notes his degree in public administration. He points to his work with the German “Congress.” He says there are no homeless people in Germany, streets are perfect, and pools are plentiful. He wants to bring the German experience to Anaheim.
  • Orlando Perez (R) says he has lived in West Anaheim for 30 years after being born and raised in Bell. He says he is not corrupt. He is the son of Cuban immigrants. He moved to Anaheim after 21 years in Bell. His top priorities are public safety, the economy, and homelessness. He wants to improve police and fire after the 2008 economic crisis. He recalls his childhood in Bell. He wants to work with business. He wants to solve homelessness. (He’s not very specific.)
  • Angel VanStark (D) is 24 years old. He was homeless when he was 19. A homeless man confronted him saying there are lots of opportunities for youth then died that night. VanStark has worked in government because of his belief in public service. He worked for a city with 88,000 constituents. He pledges to make Anaheim as successful as possible.

District 3 Opening Statements

  • Jose Moreno (D) opens by attacking Anaheim Blog for caricaturing him as a Communist. Moreno discusses being a plaintiff in the lawsuit that brought districts to Anaheim. He says there were previously districts anyway: the Resort District and the rest of the city. He states there is a Corporate Party and the People’s Party. He pledges to invest in the children of Anaheim rather than the children of tourists. He states there is no strategic plan for handling affordable housing for the staff of the three newly approved hotels.
  • Robert Nelson (R) says districts bring Councilmembers who understand neighborhood issues. He says he is on the City Public Safety Board and the Anaheim Union High School District Bond Oversight Committee. He cites his work with veterans and his efforts helping Anaheim Police. He wants to focus on public safety, parks, streets, and myriad other things he said too quickly to catch. He says he will not cater to Disney.

District 4 Opening Statements

  • Arturo Ferreras (D) speaks of his various community leadership roles. He states he would bring the community together. Over 5 years, he brought homeowners and apartment dwellers together.
  • Robert Williams (D) says everyone else is part of the establishment except him. He has lived on Anaheim for 13 years after living in Fresno. He says he has seen Anaheim at its best and its worst. He wants everyone to work together for the best interests for Anaheim. He wants to bring jobs, businesses, and education back to Anaheim. He says he has no agenda or long term goals. He just wants to serve the people of all six districts. He says electing the establishment would simply repeat existing problems. He calls for new blood and new energy.

District 5 Opening Statements

  • Sandra Angel (R) says she is a regular person who wants to fight Disney and ARTIC. She does not want to sell the city to Disney or Chinese investors.
  • Mark Lopez (R) welcomes the audience to District 5 and thanks the organizers and attendees. He says he has been involved in the community and has spoken to residents. He says there is a growing disparity. He says there is a focus on corporations and luring jobs. He says there is a better path for economic growth.  He says he wants to work on traffic, transportation, and civic upkeep. He speaks of slurry sealing and improving State College Blvd. He says Anaheim’s General Fund is barely larger than Santa Ana’s but points out Anaheim has the Angels, Ducks, Convention Center, Disneyland, and California Adventure. He says there should be greater resources, like restrooms in parks.

Questions

The moderator asks about the Anaheim street car and tax incentives.

  • District 1 Candidate Denise Barnes rambles before saying it is a waste of money.
  • District 1 Candidate Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal blasts it as a waste of money and points to various other community programs it could be spent on.
  • District 1 Candidate Angel VanStark pledges to be more critical and fiscally responsible to help Anaheim residents, not tourists. He wants to prioritize children and society’s most vulnerable.

The moderator asks about short term rentals (e.g. Airbnb).

  • District 1 Candidate Mark Daniels says allowing short term rentals was one of the worst decisions in city history. He talked about people coming together to defeat them.
  • District 5 Candidate Mark Lopez says he refused to sell his late grandparents’ condo to an investor who wanted to turn it into a short term rental. He expresses concern about neighbor safety as a result of short term renters. He says he opposes short term rentals.
  • District 4 Candidate Robert Williams says he looked into the issue with an open mind and is now opposed. He says Anaheim is a small town. He will fight against short term rentals.

The moderator now asks the streetcar question again.

  • District 3 Candidate Jose Moreno blasts it as a giveaway that resulted from pay-to-play ordinances. He wants to ban major City contractors and vendors from spending in city elections whether as donors or IEs? (Editor’s note: is that even constitutional?)
  • District 4 Candidate Arturo Ferreras says no one uses streetcars or ARTIC. It is a waste of money, he says.
  • District 5 Candidate Sandra Angel says she will not waste money on streetcars.

The moderator switches back to the short term rental question.

  • District 1 Candidate Orlando Perez says short term rentals are abusive to property and neighborhoods.
  • District 3 Candidate Robert Nelson says he opposes short term rentals and there was one on his street. He wants to get rid of the existing 400 short term rentals without letting them become halfway houses for drug addicts.

The moderator switches to ask simply about “street car and luxury taxes.”

  • District 5 Candidate Mark Lopez asks what would a reasonable person would do. He says he opposes hotel subsidies and streetcars.
  • District 1 Candidate Denise Barnes says she opposes short term rentals. She speaks about kindness and listening to the community.
  • District 1 Candidate Mark Daniels says the streetcar is unnecessary because OCTA already provides world class service.
  • District 5 Candidate Sandra Angel says short term rentals lose the sense of community, and people could accidentally help burglars.
  • District 1 Candidate Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal says he opposes short term rentals. He expresses conern about their impact on families.

The moderator asks about hotel luxury incentives.

  • District 4 Candidate Robert Williams opposes the incentives and wants to spend the money on education and homelessness. He says homeowners and small businesses were not subsidized.
  • District 1 Candidate Orlando Perez says the streetcar money should be used for something else. He wants to build better restaurants, education, and other “wise causes.”

The moderator returns to the short term rental question.

  • District 4 Candidate Arturo Ferreras blasts short term rentals as harming the social fabric of neighborhoods and weakening schools.
  • District 1 Candidate Angel VanStark says he is skeptical about short term rentals. He says hotels benefit on the other side. He opposes them because he saw developers took advantage of short term rentals in San Francisco.
  • District 3 Candidate Jose Moreno is opposed to short term rentals. He says neighborhoods should not be hotel zones, and businesses should not be in neighborhoods. He says affordable housing is not allowed in the Resort District, so short term rentals should not be allowed in neighborhoods.

The moderator switches back to the streetcar.

  • District 3 Candidate Robert Nelson calls it a waste of money.

District 5 Closing Statements

  • Sandra Angel says she was raised to do the right thin when no one was looking. She wants regular people to stand up to the City Council and corporate greed.
  • Mark Lopez asks if people are better off than they were 2, 4, or 6 years ago. He says the city council will make decisions that have implications for decades. He touts his endorsements by Mayor Tom Tait, Councilman James Vanderbilt, and Supervisor Shawn Nelson. He is guided by limited government and free market principles.

District 4 Closing Statements

  • Arturo Ferreras asks what have people done with what they have been given. He notes his success with small things and will he very successful with larger things like the City. He speaks of his commitment to service.
  • Robert Williams says a lot of opinions are the same or different. He cites public safety, new blood, new thoughts, new direction. He says people who have been involved in the community led Anaheim to where it is today and calls for new blood.

District 3 Closing Statements

  • Robert Nelson thanks the audience and says he is not part of the establishment just because he is involved in the community. He says transportation funds cannot be used for education legally. He says it is important to have an understanding of the system. He says he opposes giveaways.
  • Jose Moreno says District 3 has the highest density and poverty, so it has the highest need. He says he has a proven record of advocating for the community.

District 1 Closing Statements

  • Angel VanStark calls for representing the interests of the people by leading with them. He calls himself a “byproduct of the community’s efforts.” He says his parents and friends are struggling. He says luck is when opportunity meets preparation, and he wants everyone to be prepared.
  • Orlando Perez says he has lived in Anaheim for 30 years. He urges people to vote for someone with experience living in the community.
  • Freddy Fitzgerald Carvajal says District 1 is his home, where he grew up and where his family lives. He says District 1 issues are issues for all of Anaheim. He calls for voting for people with education, experience, and love of the community.
  • Mark Daniels says he has been involved in politics and in the community for 40 years. He says West Anaheim will finally have a voice for the people. He says there are candidates who are not present, yet they are well-funded and well-connected. He attacks where their support comes from.
  • Denise Barnes says she viewed many Council meetings online and says they would make a great reality show. She says it is more important to vote on issues than on race. She echoes Daniels’s statements about the absent candidates. She says her money, time, family, son, and dog are invested in this election. She urges people to put up yard signs.

Conclusion

Anaheim Republican Assembly President Benita Gagne apologizes for the group’s inability to find every candidate’s contact info in a timely fashion.

The forum ends at 7:55.

(Editor’s note: this alternating question format is one of the worst formats I’ve ever seen. It is difficult to follow for the audience and the candidates.)

Posted in Anaheim | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Still Time to Run: 20 Races Where Incumbents Didn’t File for Re-Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 15, 2016

BeatTheClockUnder California law, the deadline for filing for most offices was this past Friday, August 12.  However, in races where there is an eligible incumbent who chose not to file for re-election, non-incumbents received an extra five days to file. Consequently, the deadline for non-incumbents to file has been extended until 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 17 for 20 races for college board, school board, and special districts. None of these require nomination signatures, so a prospective candidate could literally pull and file papers in the final minutes before 5:00 PM on August 17.

Three of these contests actually have more seats than candidates.  In other words, there aren’t enough candidates for these races, so anyone who files will go unopposed, but at this point, if no one else files, these three districts will have vacancies:

There’s an additional five contests where the number of seats equal the number of candidates.  In other words, if no one else files, all of these candidates will be elected unopposed:

Looking at the list below, some of you may be wondering why Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 1 is not listed.  In that case, incumbent Jose Solorio (D) actually resigned from the seat, so there is no incumbent.  When there’s no incumbent at all, there’s no extension.

For those of you who are curious

Here’s the complete run-down on the 20 contests where filing has been extended to 5:00 PM on August 17 because at least one incumbent failed to file, giving non-incumbents an extra five days to file:

  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 2
    • Incumbent Leonard Lahtinen (D) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for Anaheim City Council.  Three candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Centralia School District Trustee Art Montez (D), who was on the Centralia Board from 1998-2010, when he was defeated for re-election, lost a 2012 bid to return to the Board, and then finally returned to the Centralia Board in the 2014 election, but he’s already looking for another office just two years later
      • College Educator Ed Lopez (?)
      • Businesswoman/Student Ann-Marie Stinson (D)
  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7
    • Incumbent Tony Ontiveros (R), the only Republican on the North Orange County Community College District Board, did not file for re-election.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Attorney Barry Wishart (D), who served on the North Orange County Community College District Board from 1985 until his resignation in December 2001, three years into his fourth term
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3
    • Incumbent John Alpay (R) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for South Orange County Community College District.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Public Information Officer Laura Ferguson (R), who is the PIO for the City of San Clemente
  • Irvine Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Paul Bokota (D), Lauren Brooks (R), and Michael Parham (R).  Bokota and Brooks filed for re-election, but Parham did not.  In addition to Bokota and Brooks, four other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Betty Carroll (NPP)
      • Army Captain/Parent Mark Newgent (?)
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Naz Hamid (D)
      • Attorney Geri Zollinger (D)
  • Laguna Beach Unified School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Landsiedel (R) and Jan Vickers (D).  Vickers filed for re-election, but Landsiedel did not.  In addition to Vickers, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Constitutional Lawyer/Author Howard Hills (R)
      • Community Volunteer Peggy Wolff (D)
  • Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
    • Incumbent Mark Wayland (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace him:
      • Child Care Supervisor Nicole Baitx-Kennedy (NPP), the only one who has filed papers so far
      • Realtor Jeremy Wayland (R), the retiring incumbent’s son
      • Danielle Jacobs (R), who is director of operations for Sheldon Development, LLC, run by Orange County Water District Director Steve Sheldon (R)
  • Saddleback Valley Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Ginny Fay Aitkens (D), Amanda Morrell (R), and Suzie Swartz (R).  Morrell and Swartz filed for re-election, but Aitkens did not.  In addition to Morrell and Swartz, five other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Educator Edward Wong (NPP)
      • Teacher Bill Yarrington (R)
      • Water Agency Manager Mark Tettemer (R), a former Lake Forest City Councilman who retired in 2012 after two terms to pursue a Master of Public Administration
      • School Maintenance Specialist David Johnson (?)
      • Businessman Theo Hunt (D)
  • Santa Ana Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Jose Hernandez (NPP), Cecilia Iglesias (R), and Rob Richardson (R).  Iglesias filed for re-election, but Hernandez and Richardson did not.  In addition to Iglesias, seven other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Recreation Program Coordinator Gloria Alvarado (D)
      • Attorney/Santa Ana Commissioner Bruce Bauer (D)
      • Teacher/Parent Rigo Rodriguez (?)
      • Supervising Social Worker Alfonso Alvarez (D)
      • Congressional Liaison/Parent Bea Mendoza (D), who works for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D)
      • Educator/Santa Ana Commissioner Mark McLoughlin (NPP), a former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee
      • Santa Ana Businesswoman/Economist Angie Cano (R)
  • Huntington Beach City School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Bridget Kaub (R) and Brian Rechsteiner (R). Kaub filed for re-election, but Rechsteiner did not.  In addition to Kaub, three other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Elementary Principal Ann Sullivan (AI)
      • Rob Fishel (NPP)
      • Elementary Teacher/Parent Karrie Burroughs (R)
  • Ocean View School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Gina Clayton-Tarvin (D) and Debbie Cotton (R). Clayton-Tarvin filed for re-election, but Cotton did not.  In addition to Clayton-Tarvin, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Social Worker Amalia Lam (D)
  • Westminster School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Jamison Power (D) and Amy Walsh (R). Power filed for re-election, but Walsh did not.  In addition to Power, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Attorney/Business Owner Karl Truong (?)
      • Educator/Entrepreneur Frances Nguyen (R), a former President of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce
  • Capistrano Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for these two seats!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: Ambrose Mastro (R) and Stephen Muller (R), the two Republicans on a board with one Democrat and two NPPs.  Neither Mastro nor Muller filed for re-election.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If fewer than two people file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint people to fill the vacancies.
  • Emerald Bay Service District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Hart (R) and John Marconi (R). Marconi filed for re-election, but Hart did not.  In addition to Marconi, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Real Estate Investor Phil De Carion (NPP)
  • Surfside Colony Community Services District
    • Incumbent Michael Farrell (NPP) did not file for re-election.  Two candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Retired Business Owner Rudy LaLonde (R)
      • Linda Garofalo (NPP), ex-wife of former Huntington Beach Mayor Dave Garofalo (R)
  • Three Arch Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for the third seat!  There are three incumbents up for re-election: Alan Anderson (R), Elizabeth Gapp (R) and Gary Rubel (R).  While Anderson and Rubel filed for re-election, Gapp did not.  Only Anderson and Rubel have pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a third person does not file for these three seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Olson (D) and Chay Peterson (NPP). Neither Olson nor Peterson filed for re-election.  Four candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • IT Consultant Steven Duff (D)
      • Retired Educator Tara Saraye (D)
      • Realtor/Artist/Parent Heidi Murphy-Grande (?)
      • Dion Sorrell (D)
  • Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District
    • No one has pulled papers for the second seat!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Cahoon (L) and Stephen Rowe (D).  While Rowe filed for re-election, Cahooon did not.  Only Rowe has pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a second person does not file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • South Coast Water District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Dick Dietmeier (NPP), Rick Erkeneff (R), and Wayne Rayfield (D).  Erkeneff and Rayfield filed for re-election, but Dietmeier did not.  In addition to Erkeneff and Rayfield, four other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Business Owner Bob Moore (R), a former South Coast Water District Director who lost a 2014 re-election bid after foolishly using a non-incumbent ballot designation
      • Retired Project Manager Bob Oakley (R)
      • Civil Engineer Douglas Erdman (NPP), who appears to be the son of South Coast Water District Director Dennis Erdman (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who lost a 2012 re-election bid seeks a return to his old seat after losing a 2014 bid to reclaim a seat on this board (or he might not seek a return since he has also pulled papers for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 7)
  • Yorba Linda Water District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Michael Beverage (R) and Ric Collett (R).  Collett filed for re-election, but Beverage did not.  In addition to Collett, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Retired Business Advisor Benjamin Franklin Parker (R)
    • Incumbent Susan Hinman (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace her so far:
      • Moulton-Niguel Water District Director Donald Froelich (R)
      • Business Owner/Consultant Evan Chaffee (R)
      • Registered Professional Engineer Raymond Miller (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who has also pulled papers for South Coast Water District

Posted in Anaheim, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Emerald Bay Service District, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

68th Assembly District Candidate Forum This Tuesday, Feb. 2nd

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 31, 2016

As noted in my earlier post Mark Your Calendars! the California Republican Assembly is holding a Candidate Forum for the 68th Assembly District.

All four announced candidates have committed to participating.  They are ALEXIA DELIGIANNI-BRYDGES, Trustee with the Orange Unified School District, DEBORAH PAULY, former City Councilperson for the City of Villa Park, STEVEN S. CHOI, Mayor of the City of Irvine and HARRY SIDHU, former City Councilperson for the City of Anaheim.

The Forum will be held at the City of Orange, City Council Chambers located at 300 East Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866 starting at 7:00 p.m.  The Forum will be recorded and all are invited to attend.  This forum is being organized and presented as a community service by the California Republican Assembly.

The CRA will be conducting an endorsement convention that will include consideration of the 68th Assembly District in March.  The seat is currently held by Assemblyman Don Wagner who is not seeking re-election due to term limits.

For more information about this forum contact CRA Executive Vice President Craig Alexander at cpalexander@cox.net or CRA Vice President Dale Tyler at mailcoll@tylerent.com.

Posted in 68th Assembly District, Anaheim, Irvine, Lake Forest, Orange Unified School District, Tustin, Uncategorized, Villa Park | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Special Election Qualifies for North Orange County Community College District Trustee Area 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 8, 2015

On June 30, North Orange County Community College District Trustee Donna Miller (D) resigned just seven months after being re-elected to a four-year term.

Five people applied to fill the vacancy in Trustee Area 3, including Daniel Billings (NPP) and Buena Park Library District Trustee Al Salehi (NPP).  The NOCCCD Board appointed Billings unanimously on August 25.  Billings would hold the seat until November 2016, when the seat would be up for a two-year short-term election.  The seat would then resume a regular four-year term in the November 2018 election.

Salehi then circulated a petition under Education Code 5091, which allows an appointment to be invalidated by a petition of 1.5% of registered voters submitted within 30 days of the appointment, which would then trigger a special election.  (1.5% of registered voters in NOCCCD Trustee Area 3 is 799 valid signatures.)

County Superintendent of Schools Al Mijares (R) must call the special election for a Tuesday within 130 days of certification of the petition (which occurred on Tuesday), so the special election for NOCCCD Trustee Area 3 will likely take place in late January or early February (no later than Tuesday, February 9).

NOCCCD Trustee Area 3 consists of the entire City of La Palma, most of the City of Buena Park, City of Cypress north of Orange Avenue, and two portions of Anaheim (one north of Ball Road and west of Beach Boulevard; the other north of La Palma Avenue and west of Magnolia Avenue).

Besides Salehi, rumored candidates include 21-year-old Centralia School District Trustee Connor Traut (D), Centralia School District Trustee (and former La Palma Councilman) Henry Charoen (R), La Palma Councilman Steve Hwangbo (R), and Anaheim Union High School District Trustee (and former La Palma Councilman) Brian O’Neal (R).  (Update 10/27: This list inadvertently left off Billings; OC Political regrets the error.  O’Neal sent an irate email denying any interest in the seat.)

In both 2012 and 2014, Salehi came in fourth out of eight for Buena Park City Council after moving into the city in 2010.  He won 2.4% of the vote when he came in fourth in the primary for the 45th Congressional District (on the other side of the county, where he had zero name ID) behind now-Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R), Drew Leavens (D), and now-Mission Viejo Councilman Greg Raths (R).

If the election is conducted as an all-mail ballot election (aka all absentee ballot election), NOCCCD taxpayers would pay $168,000-$197,000 for the costs of the election.

Posted in Anaheim, Anaheim Union High School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Centralia School District, Cypress, La Palma, North Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Anaheim City Council Passes Both Schools Line Item in Budget and Resolution on Charter Schools and Parent Trigger Law

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 16, 2015

City_of_Anaheim_Seal_svgIn a lengthy meeting that began at 5:00 PM yesterday and dragged on to nearly 1:20 AM this morning, the Anaheim City Council voted 3-2 to approve the creation of a line-item in the City budget for facility joint-use purposes with schools in Anaheim and to pass a resolution in support of charter schools and the Parent Trigger Law.  Councilman James Vanderbilt was the only person who was in the majority for both votes.

Budget Line Item

After hours of public comment and lengthy debate by the City Council members, the Council approved the creation of a line item in the City budget for facility joint-use projects that provide community benefit (i.e. benefiting both school districts and the general public). No specific dollar amount will be determined until the FY 2016-17 budget process begins.

The vote was 3-2, with Mayor Tom Tait and Councilmen Jordan Brandman and James Vanderbilt in favor.  Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring and Councilwoman Kris Murray opposed.

In August, the Anaheim Union High School District had passed a resolution asking the City for direct financial support.  The item was agendized to create a budget line item for direct financial support, but was amended from the Council dais during the meeting to narrow it the item to only direct financial support for facility joint-use projects that provide community benefit.

Prior to the final vote, Murray had made a motion, which Kring seconded, that would have delayed the item by 45 days to poll the six other school districts in Anaheim (Anaheim City School District, Centralia School District, Magnolia School District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda School District, and Savanna School District) as to their desires on this item since only the Anaheim Union High School District had asked for this.

Resolution on Charter Schools and Parent Trigger Law

After nearly 45 minutes of debate, the resolution in support of charter schools and the Parent Trigger Law was approved by the Anaheim City Council on a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring, Councilwoman Kris Murray, and Councilman James Vanderbilt in favor.  Mayor Tom Tait and Councilman Jordan Brand were opposed.

At the start of the debate shortly before 12:30 AM, Tait expressed his opposition to the resolution’s declarations/implications about Anaheim having “low performing” and “worst performing” schools.

At one point in the debate, Tait pointed to U.S. News & World Report ranking all 9 Anaheim Union High School District high schools among the top schools in the country.

As Tait, Murray, and Kring battled on procedural motions, Vanderbilt sought in vain for amendments that would get the resolution to a 5-0 unanimous vote.

Shortly before 1:00 AM, Tait stated he would not vote for the resolution. Two minutes later, Brandman told Vanderbilt, “you will never get my vote” for the resolution in response to Vanderbilt’s efforts for unanimity.

In order to gain Vanderbilt’s support and get the resolution to 3-2, Murray agreed to support Vanderbilt’s amendment to remove four paragraphs.

For more from OC Political on the original resolution, click here.  The resolution, as passed with the Vanderbilt amendments, reads:

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM SUPPORTING ANAHEIM’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND OFFERING TO WORK IN CONTINUED PARTNERSHIP WITH ALL CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ENSURE STUDENTS IN THE CITY HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO A QUALITY EDUCATION, INCLUDING SUPPORT FOR PROGRAMS, POLICIES, AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES PROVIDED IN STATE LAW TO EMPOWER PARENTS AND STUDENTS TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP (AKA THE “ANAHEIM PARENT AND STUDENT EMPOWERMENT ACT”)

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim has a long-standing, supportive partnership with its school districts providing millions annually in supplemental educational resources; and

WHEREAS, the city’s financial support includes funding public safety officers and crossing guards at public school campuses, after school enrichment programs, joint-use agreements for city parks and libraries, and community services that provide a direct enhancement to the education of the City’s children; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim’s greater business community contributes millions annually to support the City’s public schools, including a recently completed Youth Assessment Survey funded by the Disneyland Resort, and the new grant initiative Accelerate Change Together (ACT), managed by the Orange County Community Foundation with financial support provided by the Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball, and Anaheim Ducks, to address gaps in service for underserved Anaheim youth; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim agrees all residents, parents and children, deserve equal access to a quality education; and

WHEREAS, many school districts across the City are achieving and exceeding state standards, with many of their schools recognized as California Distinguished Schools, and

WHEREAS, several school districts in the City of Anaheim are unfortunately listed as having among the worst performing schools in the County of Orange, including the Anaheim Union High School District, which reports that half of their schools are failing to meet state standards despite having among the highest levels of per pupil funding per the state Department of Finance; and

WHEREAS, parents at chronically low performing schools in Anaheim have sought to exercise their legal rights under California’s Parent Empowerment Law to improve access for their children to a better education and have faced staunch political and legal opposition by elected and administration officials governing these schools at taxpayer expense; and

WHEREAS, charter schools provide a personalized approach to education including smaller classrooms, innovative teaching methods, and parent involvement, such as the acclaimed El Rancho Middle School with Orange Unified School District and the independent GOALS Academy, which opened its doors on August 17, 2015 with the full support of the Anaheim City School District administration and trustees; and

WHEREAS, Charter Schools have been used effectively in the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide an alternative for economically disadvantaged students who have been attending chronically underperforming public schools; and

WHEREAS, the AUHSD has unanimously adopted a resolution asking the City of Anaheim to establish an undefined, unrestricted line item in the City budget to supplement funding for all public schools within the City, above and beyond the millions in public and private financial support provided by the City today and without any advance communication or collaboration by the AUHSD trustees or administration with the City; and

WHEREAS, AUHSD covers five cities in its jurisdiction, Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma, Stanton and its resolution was directed only in Anaheim and provides no taxpayer safeguards that if adopted by the City, the additional funding would be used to support schools and students in Anaheim, rather than the other four cities of the AUHSD service area; and

WHEREAS, the line item in the City budget requested by AUHSD would have no restrictions, taxpayer oversight or accountability and has the potential to divert vital city funding for Anaheim police, fire, parks, libraries, roads and closing the gap on the City’s escalating pension liabilities; and

WHEREAS, the City’s schools have received record levels of increased state funding over the past two fiscal years and the state Legislative Analyst Office has stated that the next fiscal year will be at or above existing levels, in addition to a $249 million bond approved by voters for AUHSD in 2014 and a $169.3 million bond approved by voters for ACSD in 2010; and

WHEREAS, ACSD had just approved an expenditure of $670,000 in funding that will go to legal fees rather than its public schools to appeal the Superior Court ruling in favor of Palm Lane parents exercising their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment Law; and

WHEREAS, a high percentage of Anaheim’s economically disadvantaged students continue to attend chronically low performing schools and there is insufficient evidence that unrestricted funding by the City would be used to improve upon the status quo and bring about substantive reforms, as evidenced by the increased levels of local and state funding in recent years that has yet to substantively close the achievement gap at schools reported as underperforming in the City; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim and its public school districts should work together to adopt programs, policies, and reforms that are directed at closing the achievement gap at existing schools currently underperforming by state standards to ensure all students in the City have equal access to a quality education; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Anaheim:

  1. The City of Anaheim will continue to provide significant financial resources based on existing budgetary practices to continue the City’s historic support of its public schools and will continue to partner with its school districts on joint-use facilities and programs to enhance educational opportunities for families, parents and children in the City; and
  2. The City of Anaheim urges the seven school districts that serve Anaheim students to adopt policies and programs to provide greater levels of high quality educational choice, including charter schools, and to adopt strategic plans and reforms to close the achievement gap for chronically low performing schools in Anaheim before seeking additional city funding; and
  3. The City of Anaheim urges all seven school districts to actively inform parents of their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment law and its Parent Trigger provisions, and to support and not in any way legally hinder or cease existing legal efforts to challenge parents exercising their legal rights as authorized by state law.

 

Posted in Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Centralia School District, Magnolia School District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Anaheim City Council to Weigh in on Charter Schools and Parent Trigger Law

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 14, 2015

City_of_Anaheim_Seal_svgOn Tuesday, the Anaheim City Council will vote on a resolution supporting students’ “equal access to a quality education,” specifically pointing to charter schools and the rights of families to use the Parent Trigger Law (also known as the “Parent Empowerment Law”).

The resolution reaffirms the City’s “existing budgetary practices…in support of its public schools,” including “joint-use facilities and programs…” (The City currently provides indirect financial support to the tune of $5.7 million each year through facilities/joint use, programming, and public safety.  Additionally, the City has provided indirect financial support for capital improvements/infrastructure worth $19.9 million over the last five years.)

The resolution also urges the seven school districts serving Anaheim to provide more charter schools and “adopt strategic plans and reforms to close the achievement gap for chronically low performing schools in Anaheim before seeking additional city funding.”

These two portions are clearly in response to the request by the Anaheim Union High School District for direct City funding of that district, which was agendized for the Council meeting by Mayor Tom Tait.

Finally, the resolution “urges all seven school districts to actively inform parents of their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment law and its Parent Trigger provisions, and to support and not in any way legally hinder or cease existing legal efforts to challenge parents exercising their legal rights as authorized by state law.”  This portion is obviously in response to the Anaheim City School District’s actions after parents at Palm Lane Elementary School utilized the Parent Trigger Law and prevailed in court.  (Among other things, the school district is appealing the court ruling.)

For those wondering, there are seven school districts that serve the City of Anaheim:

  • Anaheim Union High School District, 22,531 students, 14 schools
  • Anaheim City School District, 19,164 students, 25 schools
  • Orange Unified School District, 7,383 students, 10 schools
  • Magnolia School District, 5,679 students, 8 schools
  • Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, 3,719 students, 1 school
  • Savanna School District, 1,941 students, 2 schools
  • Centralia School District, 1,245 students, 2 schools

The resolution was agendized at the request of Councilwoman Kris Murray in response to the Tait item to provide direct City funding to the Anaheim Union High School District.

Click here for the staff report on this item.  Below is the full text of the resolution:

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM SUPPORTING ANAHEIM’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND OFFERING TO WORK IN CONTINUED PARTNERSHIP WITH ALL CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ENSURE STUDENTS IN THE CITY HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO A QUALITY EDUCATION, INCLUDING SUPPORT FOR PROGRAMS, POLICIES, AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES PROVIDED IN STATE LAW TO EMPOWER PARENTS AND STUDENTS TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP (AKA THE “ANAHEIM PARENT AND STUDENT EMPOWERMENT ACT”)

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim has a long-standing, supportive partnership with its school districts providing millions annually in supplemental educational resources; and

WHEREAS, the city’s financial support includes funding public safety officers and crossing guards at public school campuses, after school enrichment programs, joint-use agreements for city parks and libraries, and community services that provide a direct enhancement to the education of the City’s children; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim’s greater business community contributes millions annually to support the City’s public schools, including a recently completed Youth Assessment Survey funded by the Disneyland Resort, and the new grant initiative Accelerate Change Together (ACT), managed by the Orange County Community Foundation with financial support provided by the Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball, and Anaheim Ducks, to address gaps in service for underserved Anaheim youth; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim agrees all residents, parents and children, deserve equal access to a quality education; and

WHEREAS, many school districts across the City are achieving and exceeding state standards, with many of their schools recognized as California Distinguished Schools, and

WHEREAS, several school districts in the City of Anaheim are unfortunately listed as having among the worst performing schools in the County of Orange, including the Anaheim Union High School District, which reports that half of their schools are failing to meet state standards despite having among the highest levels of per pupil funding per the state Department of Finance; and

WHEREAS, parents at chronically low performing schools in Anaheim have sought to exercise their legal rights under California’s Parent Empowerment Law to improve access for their children to a better education and have faced staunch political and legal opposition by elected and administration officials governing these schools at taxpayer expense; and

WHEREAS, charter schools provide a personalized approach to education including smaller classrooms, innovative teaching methods, and parent involvement, such as the acclaimed El Rancho Middle School with Orange Unified School District and the independent GOALS Academy, which opened its doors on August 17, 2015 with the full support of the Anaheim City School District administration and trustees; and

WHEREAS, Charter Schools have been used effectively in the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide an alternative for economically disadvantaged students who have been attending chronically underperforming public schools; and

WHEREAS, the AUHSD has unanimously adopted a resolution asking the City of Anaheim to establish an undefined, unrestricted line item in the City budget to supplement funding for all public schools within the City, above and beyond the millions in public and private financial support provided by the City today and without any advance communication or collaboration by the AUHSD trustees or administration with the City; and

WHEREAS, AUHSD covers five cities in its jurisdiction, Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma, Stanton and its resolution was directed only in Anaheim and provides no taxpayer safeguards that if adopted by the City, the additional funding would be used to support schools and students in Anaheim, rather than the other four cities of the AUHSD service area; and

WHEREAS, the line item in the City budget requested by AUHSD would have no restrictions, taxpayer oversight or accountability and has the potential to divert vital city funding for Anaheim police, fire, parks, libraries, roads and closing the gap on the City’s escalating pension liabilities; and

WHEREAS, the City’s schools have received record levels of increased state funding over the past two fiscal years and the state Legislative Analyst Office has stated that the next fiscal year will be at or above existing levels, in addition to a $249 million bond approved by voters for AUHSD in 2014 and a $169.3 million bond approved by voters for ACSD in 2010; and

WHEREAS, ACSD had just approved an expenditure of $670,000 in funding that will go to legal fees rather than its public schools to appeal the Superior Court ruling in favor of Palm Lane parents exercising their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment Law; and

WHEREAS, a high percentage of Anaheim’s economically disadvantaged students continue to attend chronically low performing schools and there is insufficient evidence that unrestricted funding by the City would be used to improve upon the status quo and bring about substantive reforms, as evidenced by the increased levels of local and state funding in recent years that has yet to substantively close the achievement gap at schools reported as underperforming in the City; and

WHEREAS, the City of Anaheim and its public school districts should work together to adopt programs, policies, and reforms that are directed at closing the achievement gap at existing schools currently underperforming by state standards to ensure all students in the City have equal access to a quality education; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Anaheim:

  1. The City of Anaheim will continue to provide significant financial resources based on existing budgetary practices to continue the City’s historic support of its public schools and will continue to partner with its school districts on joint-use facilities and programs to enhance educational opportunities for families, parents and children in the City; and
  2. The City of Anaheim urges the seven school districts that serve Anaheim students to adopt policies and programs to provide greater levels of high quality educational choice, including charter schools, and to adopt strategic plans and reforms to close the achievement gap for chronically low performing schools in Anaheim before seeking additional city funding; and
  3. The City of Anaheim urges all seven school districts to actively inform parents of their legal rights under the California Parent Empowerment law and its Parent Trigger provisions, and to support and not in any way legally hinder or cease existing legal efforts to challenge parents exercising their legal rights as authorized by state law.

Posted in Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Centralia School District, Magnolia School District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Savanna School District | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »