I had forgotten just how good the public comments at the September 30 Special Meeting of the Anaheim City Council were. I guess that that means that the Fitzgerald Distraction™ worked on me. When I describe the Fitzgerald Distraction™ as a “distraction” — and reading its text may give you a slightly different take on exactly what that gadfly was up to that morning — what it was designed to distract you from was in large part the comments you see below. I present the transcript — the yeoman’s work on which was done by our commenter BigBoxOfRedWhine — below, and then a few of my own comments.
Like the September 3, September 24, and October 8 regular meetings of the Anaheim City Council, the September 30 Special Meeting may turn out to be important at some point to an understanding to the flim-flamming of the City that will last for decades — even most of a century — to come. To make it easier for people to follow and discuss, we’ve decided to transcribe important parts of these meetings (largely dealing with giveaways and government oversight) to make them easier to discuss — and copy and paste into other documents, should that ever prove necessary. We are training a team of transcribers right now — and if we are not, we would like to be — but for now these efforts largely come courtesy of our great new addition to the OJB family, “BigBox.”
Let’s check out the relevant portions of the Sept. 30 Special Meeting, which included:
(1) Jordan Brandman’s attempt to prevent Mayor Tom Tait from agendizing anything at all without a second from the four-person anti-Tait majority;
(2) the scaling back of that proposal to where Tait cannot add agenda items between meetings (for unclear and dubious reasons) and other Councilmembers can’t either unless the work through the City Manager, which shouldn’t be that hard for them; and
(3) the now-famous Fitzgerald Distraction™, where gadfly William Denis Fitzgerald explained how a few bad Applebaums provoked the Holocaust and threw a homophobic slur at the not admittedly gay (nor, as I’ve recently been informed by a friend of his, actually Jewish) Brandman.
Let’s get started!
Sept. 30, 2013, 8:00 a.m.:
Mayor Tom Tait (“TT”): Before I start the meeting, before we get into the additions/deletions, Mr. City Attorney, could I ask you if you could, for myself and those in the audience, if you could restate the current rule, regarding the process of the Mayor to placing items on the Agenda for an upcoming Council Meeting, if you would.
City Attorney Michael Houston (“MH” or “CA”): I would be happy to do so, if you’ll give me a moment … Policies of the City Council are adopted by resoution, and I will read policy 1.6, was initially adopted April 17, 2012, pursuant to resolution 2012-31, and it reads as follows-
It is the policy of the City Council that any member of the City Council may, during the City Council Communications portion of a City Council meeting, request that an item be placed on a future City Council regular meeting agenda. So long as a majority of the Council does not object to such request, the item will be agendized.
The Mayor shall have the authority to place an item on a future regular agenda outside of an open City Council meeting through the City Manager’s office.
TT: Very good. So that’s our current policy – so under that current policy, I”m going to ask our City Manager’s Office: I’m concerned about the negotiations with the Stadium lease, and while I still have that right, and while the public still has that right through me, I’d like to place, in the future, until this item is resolved, not every Council Meeting, but every third Council Meeting, so that the public has a chance to weigh in on this item, as it comes forward, that we can listen to the public, that we can have an opportunity to instruct our negotiating team, that is negotiating on our behalf, so that in a very broad sense that be placed on the Agenda, in the future every third council meeting, until it’s resolved. With that, are there any additions or deletions to today’s agenda?
City Council: No, there are not.
TT: OK. Now is the time for public comments on the Agenda.
William Fitzgerald (“WF”): [I am] spokesperson for Anaheim Home Owners Maintaining Our Environment. Our Board of Directors, almost all military veterans, many with extensive combat experience, and some of us have been disabled for life, from our Military service, we, more than often, have some disagreements on some issues, but there were NO disagreements concerning this cowardly Council Member, Jordan Brandman, and the other three Disney Council puppets, to curtail public discussion and information, especially discussion pertaining to giving away hundreds of millions in Anaheim resources. As veterans, we feel these actions by Jordan Brandman, and his fellow Disney puppets, are completely contrary to what our country, America, stands for: freedom of speech. A Voice of OC article last week mentioned in part, that Jordan Brandman’s action, to stop public discussion and information, was similar to the political tactics used by the Nazi government, to control the German people, political tactics that preceded the murders of over 6 Million innocent Jews in the Holocaust. 99% of the Jewish people are good, hard-working people who practice their faith. Unfortunately, less than 1%, are greedy, scheming malicious Jews like Jordan Brandman, and some say, like the Jewish leadership of the Disney Corporation, whose money had Brandman elected.
TT: Excuse me, (gavels) Mr. Fitzgerald….
WF: Please stop the clock.
TT: Yes, please stop the clock, .. If I could ask you to not … so much … on those kind of attacks.
WF: I’m sorry, I have freedom of speech, and that is something I believe in, rights given to me as an American, something our Directors fought for, and that’s what we do. So, I’m sorry.
TT: If I could ask you … maybe advice, then — it would be just more effective, if you didn’t … if the attacks weren’t so … mean.
WF: I know, but the little bastard got me up this morning, so I want to make sure the words show it. OK, continuing: it was the Jordan Brandman type of evil Jews that led to the hatred of ALL Jews in Germany, and the Holocaust. It is hoped that NEVER AGAIN will people confuse the actions of a few, evil, anti-American Jews, like Jordan Brandman, with the Jewish popuation as a whole. What is really ironic, that at a previous Council meeting, Jordan Brandman was bragging, about his mother having relatives, who died in the Holocaust. Jordan Brandman is one, very sick faggot. [Groans from audience]
TT: Please — Mr. Fitzgerald [shakes head]. You have free speech rights, you certainly do, but they are to a point, and I think that crossed it.
[Unidentified, off mike:] That’s not true! …That’s not true!
[Lucille Kring, off mike:] I’d sue him , Jordan.
08:24 Mark Daniels: 3181 W El Monte Dr., born in Anaheim. Let me first say that as an amateur historian and a love for the City, I will never attack you personally, in public. I don’t feel that’s necessary. I understand the freedom of speech, but at the same time let me say mazel tov. Then let me say that since the City of Anaheim imposed the direct election of Mayor, in 1974, to a 2-yr term, the mayor was also a council member, and had to defend their seat, if they wanted to run again for Mayor. Then as the years went on, we modified it in 1992, when they voted the Mayor as a 4-year term, separate from the City Council, the Mayor would in a sense have its own seat. And as we’ve gone on, we’ve been able to work with all these changes in our government, and we’ve been able to work in harmony, somehow, despite our differences, that as individuals, we should still maintain that decorum. And to isolate the Mayor itself, as we should change his ability to function — you are in a sense now re-assuring Mayor Tait’s re-election by continuing this attack. So as individuals, I believe, we don’t have to keep changing our government as it is, we just need to work together. [Addresses each Council member] Please let’s work together- we don’t need to have this disharmony continue which has torn our city to where it’s”us against them,” we don’t need that. Thank you.
10:49 Larry Larsen (from audience): I’ll pass, thank you.
11:00 Amin David: For the record, Good Morning, in this beautiful fresh morning, we come here to ask questions as to why this item has been agendized, for 8 AM today, it’s very strange, very strange. Certain things come from despicable people, such as Jordan Brandman. He wants to stifle you, Mayor, from putting items on the agenda that need clarity, that need debate, that need public input, and he wants to stifle you from doing that. We stand tall with you: you have opened the doors for public debate, it is healthy, very wise to do that, and now the door is closing on that. I do hope that the Council will take better  thinking about that, and not stifle, the people who employ you. Thank you.
12:08 Wally Courtney “Special Council Meeting” 8 a.m. Monday morning. WHY? Is the city filing bankruptcy? NO. DID City hall collapse in an earthquake? NO. Are the Rams returning to Anaheim? NO. So Jordan, Why do we need this special meeting? The agenda only shows one item – discussion to, in effect, censor the Mayor of Anaheim. REALLY? Did you think no one would notice? Did you think no one would show up? This is the USA, where we practice freedom of speech. Did you see the LA Times article where a Political Science professor from UC Irvine was quoted as saying that in California Mayors most always have the authority to set a City Council agenda, quoted as saying ‘it’s one of the very few explicit powers that they have. “It would be highly, highly unusual, to take that authority away from a Mayor.” Ironically, if you DO pass this measure, the Mayor will probably get MORE attention. he will just need to call more press conferences!
So Jordan, I’m not sure who you are getting advice from, but it’s not GOOD advice- we need to spend MORE time protecting Anaheim taxpayers money, LESS time censoring the Mayor, who is elected by the Citizens of Anaheim. Kris Murray, SHAME on you for going along with this. You need to check YOUR facts and do some of your own research. The $200 million study on the Stadium that you talked about last meeting didn’t even apply to Anaheim; it was done on a general basis throughout the US. I think I’m typical of an Anaheim Angels fan I rush home from work by 6:00, put on my red Anaheim Angels T shirt, I drive to the game, I have a hot dog and a soda, and I drive home. I went to 25 Angel games this past season, I did not spend ONE DIME outside the stadium, in Anaheim, or any other city, for that matter, and neither did anybody else in my party of 4.
You talk about the AGE of the Stadium. Did you notice a recent report, “The Bleacher Report,” where they did a study of ALL 30 major league stadiums? Anaheim ranked 3rd in Fan Experience. 2nd place? The 101-yr-old Fenway Park in Boston — so AGE is irrelevant. $150M in upgrades you’re talking about? Where does THAT number come from? We learned the $200M Economic study was flawed, what about the $150M in upgrades? Paragraph 2A of the Lease states it’s the Tenant’s responsibility, so why do we give up to Arte free land to pay for something he’s already got to pay for? Lucille and Gail, all I can say , is I’m very surprised and disappointed in both of you. Very disappointed.
CA: Mr Mayor, may I just mention something for your edification and that of the audience?
TT: Yes, Go ahead.
CA: At a special meeting, public comment is limited to the item that is on the agenda, unlike a regularly scheduled meeting, where the public can speak on any subject within the jurisdiction of the body. It’s your body’s will to do that, but the Brown Act does not require or specify that the Public may NOT speak on items that are not on the Agenda.
TT: Doe the Brown Act prohibit it?
CA: The Brown Act does not prohibit it, but I wanted to make you and the —
16:05 Eric Altman, (Executive Director of OCCORD, Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development): Good morning. I guess it’s a unique privilege to be addressing you in the morning as opposed to the regular time.
We work with residents in neighborhoods throughout the city, on issues that are very important to them in their neighborhoods: speed bumps to slow down dangerous traffic, removing graffiti, park improvements, neighborhood representation at City Hall. I can guarantee you that none of the hundreds of residents that we work with, thinks that their City Council, should be spending time at 8 AM on a Monday morning, talking about this issue. Maybe in Sacramento or Washington, DC, But Anaheim? Come on!
I’ll cite the same source that the previous speaker did, quoted in the LA Times, Prof. Mark Petracca from UC Irvine: “What you propose to do to day is not unusual, not HIGHLY unusual, but HIGHLY, HIGHLY unusual. But it didn’t stand the smell test, even before. If it was NOT HIGHLY, HIGHLY unusual., you wouldn’t have called an 8 a.m. Monday meeting. If it was NOT HIGHLY, HIGHLY unusual, you wouldn’t have a line of speakers here to address it. It’s not some “protocol” or procedural thing — that’s hokum!
Now I think you owe it — not just to this Mayor, but to the OFFICE of the Mayor of Anaheim, and the People of Anaheim — to explain, to his face and on the public record, why you are doing this. Because it’s clearly not some procedural or protocol matter. Explain why you are doing this to the OFFICE of the Mayor of Anaheim, and the People of Anaheim — and if you can’t explain it, then you shouldn’t take this action at all.
And moreover, I would ask why we’re doing it here at a special 8 AM Monday morning meeting, and NOT a regular meeting, where the residents who come to speak about speed bumps or grafitti can hear you talking about it, and where the school kids and cub scouts who come to see how government functions in Anaheim, if you can’t do it at a regular meeting, for all those folks to SEE how government really functions in Anaheim, then you shouldn’t to it at all.
19:18 Jon Fleischman: I’m not a city resident, I live in south OC, but you guys had to try hard to agendize an item that would drag me over to the Anaheim City Council chambers to speak. I have not been here before, that I can recall. You have dealt with a lot of controversial issues, and I respect the fact that there are different sides of those issues, but I have great concerns about THIS agenda item. I feel it is like one of those things like Whack-a-Mole: if you don’t deal with it in another city when it crops up, it will crop up in YOUR city — and this has to do fundamentally with the rights of an individual City Council member to bring up those things that they feel should be discussed.
Each of you have been elected to your very important office, and each of you should respect the right of the others and each of you should have your own right to bring up things to be discussed. Thee things that you guys discuss here in Anaheim are often times VERY major issues that involve a lot of money, a lot of politics, intrigue, all that good stuff. And I would just implore all of you, regardless of your stand on all of those individual issues, to think about the fact that at some point in the future you may need to represent your constituents on a matter that doesn’t enjoy the support of your colleagues YET, but it’s here in City Council chambers where you have the ability to bring up issues, articulate them and sway your colleagues.
But if you pass a measure like this, you are basically saying that you don’t have the courage to listen to your colleagues when they bring up an issue, or you don’t have the courage to discuss those issues, or you don’t want to commit the time to listen to concerns, which is equally as disturbing. I’m not here to talk to individual issues that you bring up as a Council, those are all important and should be discussed, but to say that everybody here should have the right to bring up issues that they want discussed, and have the opportunity to influence and persuade their colleagues.
This kind of measure has a chilling effect on public speech and the ability for representative democracy to do its job. So I’m going to encourage you, here at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning, to reject this measure. I’m not going to question the motives of Councilman Brandman; I don’t think that really matters. I would encourage you to vote no. And by the way, I would do this as a NON-Anti-Semitic Jew, as opposed to that retard who was here a couple of minutes ago.
22:13 Mary Daniels: I live on Clementine St., just off Harbor Bl. in Anaheim. The Angels controversy brought me to my first Council Meeting — this is my third one — and the ongoing drama keeps me hooked. Long ago I saw a performance of the Village People, but today I am here at 8 Am on a Monday morning watching another kind of performance. Not many of us are watching you of course, which is why you people suddenly called this meeting on an off day,and why fewer people even know this meeting exists. Obviously, you want to silence Mayor Tait, without too many people watching you do it.
I think you are silencing him, by removing his power to add items to the agenda that are in reckless disregard for your own vested interests. Reckless behavior and sneaky meetings. At the first one, you shoved through Arte Moreno’s legally binding Memorandums, despite Mayor Tait’s objections, adding it to your agenda just before the Labor Day weekend, and you hoped nobody would notice, and you even tried to keep this item secret from Mayor Tait himself.
Your reckless behavior may potentially make Arte Moreno one of Anaheim’s biggest landlords, long after his Baseball Team leaves the City, because that memorandum gives this Billionaire over 150 Acres of prime Anaheim Real Estate, for a grand total of $66 payable to the City of Anaheim for a munificent $1 /yr. Moreno has already erased the name of Anaheim from the Angels, and, thanks to you, he has 3 extra years to figure out how to erase the Angels from Anaheim itself.
Good Job, folks, and I wonder how you’re going to be rewarded for it. Reckess behavior. Thank God for the Brown Act — it prevents people like you from operating completely in secret, but only just. That’s why we’re here on an off day at 8 AM on a Monday morning, watching you try to silence the only REAL public servant, on the City Council, and the only one who has Anaheim’s best interests at heart. Well, thank God for the Brown Act. Good Morning Mayor Tait, and welcome to the train wreck. I an really sorry to see these people trying to engineer yet another disaster for Anaheim.
25:20 Vern Nelson for the Orange Juice Blog: I’m not from Anaheim, yet, but you need to know that the whole County, the State, a lot of the outside world is watching in horror, the stripping down of Anaheim’s resources like an abandoned car, and the suffocation of democracy in its bed. With today’s assault of public discourse and the “right to know,” you have finally “jumped the shark” for good.
I’m also here as a Democrat, who is utterly perplexed to see that the Republican Mayor, Mr. Tait, is the only one on this dais who is reluctant to keep shoving City resources,which should go to parts of the City that really need it, to well-connected millionaires and billionaires, while the one “Democrat” on the dais is the most aggressive to cheer this robbery along. Yet I’m also gob-smacked to see the Republican Mayor be the only one up here who cares about democracy, open governance, discussing the peoples business in front of the people, and letting the people have their say, while so-called Democrat Jordan Brandman, leads the charge AGAINST all this troublesome democracy. In fact, if it weren’t for Kris, Lucille, and Gail, I would think I was in the wrong party. But mostly I’m here to represent for all my friends in Anaheim, who couldn’t be here because you scheduled this emergency anti-democracy meeting at the last minute, early on a Monday morning, so I’d like to read some messages from a few Anaheim voters you would like to silence.
This from my friend Richard Ward, a Colony resident: “Even though the mayor has in recent months been the only dissenting vote on many critical issues affecting our City, I approve of the way he is representing me and my family and other Anaheim residents. He is the voice for our reasoned dissent on these issues, even if later voted down by the rest of you. Please don’t silence Anaheim voters by changing that today. Quoting John Stuart Mill: “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation, those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth, if it’s wrong they also lose, almost as great a benefit, to clearer perception and livelier expression of truth produced by its collision with error.”
And then another statement for someone who couldn’t be here, I’ll read as much as I can. From Jeff Karish, another caring Anaheim voter who could’n be here on Monday morning: “I’ve been following the Councils deliberations and activity on recent matters affecting the City’ s very important relationship with the Tourism and Entertainment component of our city economy. Many things about our existing process and the Council’s pass through it greatly concern me — I’ll skip to the highlight — so I’m perplexed about how this morning’s proposal to condition the Mayor’s agendizing items on Council assent would have a positive effect on ANY of those factors: information, education, dialog, communication, as it seeks to RESTRICT opportunities for that dialog rather than expand them.
City Clerk: Mr Nelson, your time is up. That completes the speaker cards.
TT: Would anyone else without a card like to speak?
28:50 David Zenger 1577 W. Beacon ave. There was a reference made to ‘how things started out in Nazi Germany’ and I know Adam at Voice of OC didn’t write anything like that. But it got me thinking about how subtle changes could often be the start of something much more calamitous in a Democracy. You know it always starts in small increments that no one thinks are very important, and a jury that robs people of their right to influence their own duly elected representatives.
Mr. Fleischman said it almost perfectly — the one thing that he did leave out was not that you would be cowardly to refuse to listen to your colleagues, but that you would be cowardly to reject the appeals and comments of your own Citizens. We all elected each and every one of you. You are elected by the City — that power is indivisible each and every one of you should have the authority to put anything he or she wants on the agenda. That’s why we elected you; we didn’t elect you to be 1/3 of a potential majority vote. That’s why this meeting is so troublesome to so many of us.
An 8 O’clock emergency meeting. There is absolutely no emergency. The only emergency I see in this building is what seems to be an eagerness to dispense with City assets, which is the topic of another meeting, which SHOULD be an emergency, to find out what’s going on, and why. So I would urge you to reject this 8:00 morning emergency altogether, and stand up, and leave, and do us all a favor. Mayor Tait, a lot of us support what you stand for. We’re behind you 100%, and I said it the last time I was here: it’s tough being alone, but you’re not alone, so God bless you and keep fighting for all of us. And sooner or later, the truth is going to come out, and the truth s going to set all of us a lot more free than we are right now at 8 o’clock on a Monday morning.
31:15 Kandis Richardson (Renew West Anaheim Committee): I have to say I’m super, super disappointed. We have been working so hard in West Anaheim, and have had a lot of support from all of you, but this is just an atrocity, what you guys are doing here, and I’m … without words here. I don’t understand. I spend my time, my only time, when I can, to try and do good things. And we are doing good things in West Anaheim, but I don’t know if I can work with all of you when you take this political  and just beat it into the ground. And I want you guys to know, that I don’t think I can stay here anymore. I’m really thinking about putting my house up on the market, and moving. I do business in this City. I’m working towards cleaning up the city in West Anaheim ,and you guys want to take the Mayor and just beat him into the ground, and it’s not right.
And I just want you to know that this is uncalled for. And I’m telling you, I don’t know how much more I can do, I really don’t. I thought you guys ALL were on my side and the City’s side, and I don’t think you are. And I’m sorry, but I am really going to think about it in the next few months and see about moving — and walking away from what I’m doing.
33:30 Helen Meyers: Citron St. Anaheim, 10 yr Resident. During the invocation this morning, I asked God to speak to your hearts, Jordan, and Kris, and Lucille, and Gail, those of you who profess to be Christians. How can you go to church on Sundays, and pray to God, and take communion, and not have this in your hearts? I asked God to speak to your hearts, and tell you that what you are doing is wrong and that you are not representing the People of Anaheim. I don’t know who you are representing.
History will show someday the things that you voted on and how destructive you’ve been to our City. Me personally, I’m appalled , and my heart is sick, over the things that you have voted on, and the things you have done, especially, to disparage Mayor Tait the way you’ve done. And now I see that you — I don’t know what to say, I’m so disappointed at what you have done. The voters have voted you in, hoping that you would do some good for the City, and it appears, from what I’ve been reading and seeing, that you have something ELSE on your minds, either enriching yourselves, or enriching some very good friends, and it’s disappointing, and it’s disgusting, and I don’t know how you can live with yourselves, after all of the good things that you have done here. I’m asking you to cancel this vote today, and lets get back to helping Anaheim be a great city again.
35:28 Len Beckman: 514 Cherry Tree Ave Anaheim My dad came here in 1958,’m raising 11 kids as a single dad, It’s a privelege, it’s a great City.
The first day I worked in Anaheim was actually at the Stadium in 1967, and The Anaheim Angels actually invited all the greats, all the guys from around the country, to come play a game together. They played well together, and it was actually called the All Star Game. Jordan, a part of growing up, is understanding authority, and working through authority. I’ll leave that message to you. I’ve been working with young people for 30 years , as a youth Minister as well as a Real Estate broker, but Jordan, Kris, Tom, Lucille, Gail, you are all all-stars in your own right, and you know, every game you play, you need infielders, you need outfielders, we need catchers, we need pitchers. (We have a City Manager so that’s covered!) , but your REAL managers are the People, and many of them couldn’t be here for this rain-delayed game, because, well, they’re working, and, after the season ended yesterday, it’s kind of odd to schedule a game today.
This summer I flew twice to Albuquerque, and spoke to the Council there. In that city they kill kids up to birth, and after birth they drown them as well. That’s  Planned Parenthood. Well, THAT’s an emergency. I got up 4 in the morning, booked a flight, got there, booked it back, and ended up going to the Council and speaking. That was an emergency, saving children. The gentleman before mentioned the Holocaust issue, well give Margaret Sanger all the credit you want, but she did all she could to destroy the Jews and 11 million people, and  already killed off a thousand million world wide. THAT’s an Emergency.
What’s that to do with this? YOUR fans are the people who couldn’t be here, and just to understand, it’s not just Robert’s Rules, it’s about understanding responsibility toward leveling the playing field, which you do DO in the way you do business, but importantly, its about understanding the need for the levels of authority within the team. We can’t all be pitchers, we can’t all be catchers, only Marcie can be the City Manger, and Mr. Houston the Attorney — but on a team with fielders, first, second, third basemen,center, outfielders we need those people and its OK to be those positions, and it’s important to understand that. I hope you understand that this is NOT a good move for the City.
38:44 [Unsure of identity — anyone know?]: I got back from a trip last might, and I understand that this special meeting was called to change the rules on how City-related issues become agendized for discussion for future voting. I further understand that this effectively strips the Mayor of his right to agendize items on his own, for future consideration.
I’m perplexed at the timing of this maneuver, as some sort of political back-biting smacking of something more than just coincidence, or difference of opinion. I’m equally perplexed as to why we all have to be here today. I should be at my office conducting my normal business, as should you, and most of those here. Of about 15 speakers this morning, NOT ONE is in support of this proposal, NOT ONE. I also speak to oppose this idea, it effectively censors the Mayor. I may not agree/disagree with everything the Mayor says all the time or with what YOU do/say all the time , or you with me. But it is the difference of opinion, and the open, free and transparent debate on the issues, that makes our City great To think otherwise, is unethical, counterproductive, and quite frankly down right (Un?)-American.
If you aren’t going to engage in the free expression of opinions and debate,then please get off the City Council, because that’s what we do here. It’s not good to have lock-step on every issue. You need to have open, free, and transparent debate on every issue. I would not want everyone to be thinking exactly the same,on everything that we do. There are more important things that we have to discuss, that we have as issues that are facing the City of Anaheim. Please reject this soundly  and lets move on.
40:58 Ronnie Meyers: Citron Street, Anaheim I would like to say I’m so very proud of my wife, who spoke minutes ago. She nailed it on the head — and I too had a similar prayer, for the Council, that they would have a change of heart. I do not understand at all why this is going on; it really makes no sense at all. It’s just shameful — I really have no other word for it, it’s just shameful. I also want to say that I do sympathize with Mr. Fitzgerald’s frustration, as many of us here do, but I denounce his racial slurs and statements that he made, those are uncalled for they are counter productive, and I just plead with all of you as my prayer to God was that you think about what you are doing here.
Gail, my wife and I have known you from virtually the moment we moved to Anaheim and thereafter, welcoming us into the community, the Colony, and the potlucks. I had the pleasure to sign the petition, to put your name on the ballot to be on the City Council, I was proud to do that,I don’t agree with everything you believe in, but I do believe in the process in America, and free speech, and our right to disagree on many issues, but I’ve come to regret now, doing that. Lucille, I don’t really know you, I’ve spoken with you, run into you a few times, just assumed you are a good person, but I’m beginning to see that may not be the case. I just plead with you to do the right thing here. Listen to these people — I believe that the Chamber does represent the majority of Anaheim residents.
Mayor Tait, I am SO sorry — every time I watch this on TV, what you have to endure is shameful, and you are a much better man than I am. I don’t think I could sit and take it. Kris, we also have met and talked many times at local pot-lucks in the community, and I don’t know what’s going on. I just … don’t understand. And I just wish that you could all vote to turn this down — or better yet, Jordan, just withdraw this whole agenda item this morning. And Jordan, you’re a neighbor, within walking distance to my house. We stored our bicycles through your generosity in your garage for some time, because we don’t have a garage in our home, and it’s so disappointing. I know we’ve not always agreed on–
CC: Mr.Meyers, I’m sorry, your time is up.
RM: I just beg you, please.
44:15 Cynthia Ward. I was born in Anaheim, I have the privilege of living in my dream home, where I assumed I would be carried out of the Anaheim Colony Historic District, in a pine box and, like Kandis Richardson, I now find myself talking to my husband about — well, at what point do we leave? Because
every time you give away our future revenues, you give away our opportunities to meet the rising costs of keeping this City great. Mayor Tom Tait is the only one up there who seems to object to that whole theory. Now you want to stop him from doing even that! California’s Conflict of Interest laws, say that “These laws are grounded in the notion that officials owe paramount loyalty TO THE PUBLIC. Your personal or private interests aren’t supposed to pay into these decisions, so I have to ask: “Where is the public benefit in what you are doing today?” Because I don’t see it. What I see is selfish, self interest.
In the Brown Act, it addresses that: “the people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The People, in delegating authority, do NOT give their public servants the right to decide for them what is good for the public to know and what is not good for them to know. The People insist on remaining informed so that they may continue to retain control” (and this is important!) “of the instruments THEY HAVE CREATED.” THAT is YOU.
Many of you pitched a similar fit when the Mayor called a special meeting following the GardenWalk GiveAway, again to YOUR FRIENDS, who were represented by a very special . Jordan, YOU SAT IN MY KITCHEN and you RAGED against the man who had the NERVE to open the Council chambers for the discussion of ONE SUBJECT. Welcome to the party! This is NOT about equalizing power and access — I have NEVER seen the Mayor deny YOUR requests to put something on the Agenda. By requiring him to get a second from the VERY people he is questioning, you in fact silence him — and in doing so, you send a message to US that is louder than any words the Mayor may have spoken, with or without your permission.
You are not equals, as much as you hate to hear that . The Citizens of this Charter City, chose to create a system in which the Mayor is elected independently, and he DOES hold specific authority and responsibility, which is set apart from the rest of you, but equalizing the duties and resources, in fact shorts him of what he needs to do his job effectively, which I believe to be the point of this Kabuki Theater this morning. I have to ask “What are you afraid of? What are you so afraid of, that you won’t allow that man to ask questions of staff? Because WE WANT ANSWERS. I had to go through the same ethics training you did, and our Council who far outdistances the City’s,
CC: Sorry Ms. Ward, your time is up.
CW: The only right thing to do is “Would you do this in front of your Mother?”
47:40 I’m Carol Meyers. Those are my parents over there. Although I am an exception to most teenagers, I do see what you’re doing . Most teenagers aren’t paying attention, but some are, and they see what you’re doing. I don’t know most of you. I do know Gail and Jordan. As my dad said, we kept our bikes in your garage, in your generosity, and I talked with you, I trusted you, I believed in you — but I don’t anymore because of what you’re doing. And I don’t understand how you could seem so genuine before, but now … you’re just … a monster.
48:55 Steve McKay, president Anaheim Canyon Community Coalition: Council members and Mayor Tait, the [decision] of this Council to schedule this emergency meeting raises some sobering questions. What is the City trying to stop the Mayor from doing? The Mayor is directly elected, by the people, and for the people. Any item he wishes to put on the Agenda is done for the people. This privilege is afforded the Office of the Mayor — not for the Mayor’s benefit, but for the People’s benefit. This is especially true in the case of Anaheim, for the people of Anaheim’s voice is best heard through the voice of their Mayor. He has brought out items on the Agenda for public discussion by this council — and now, THIS?
You are trying to stop him from bringing important matters before the public, like the outrageous Stadium deal. This is a deal that needs discussing. The Mayor has done you all a favor by giving you the options to publicly consider. Your actions to schedule this meeting, indicate your lack of interest in the taxpayers of this city. If you vote to take away the mayor’s right to agendize matters for discussion, you demonstrate a total disregard for the residents and taxpayers of this city. What is the NEXT thing you will do to undermine the mayor? The people of Anaheim elected you to make good decisions for our City. It seems like each week it’s another thing to strip Mayor Tait of making any decisions to make our City better.
Shame on you, Jordan Brandman, this morning up there, when are you going to start working together to make things better, and not find ways, to take things, that don’t make sense. Don’t we have better things to do? And Jordan, for a 16- year old lady, to say how ashamed of you, if you have a heart, that’s exactly where it should go to. So all I’m asking is, either reject it, Jordan — that this meeting is never happened, because we all have better things to do this morning than get up, and instead of going to work, coming in, and facing this, in support of Mayor Tait. Thank You.
51:35 Dr. Jose Moreno: Buenos dias, Mayor Tait; good morning, Counci Members. This morning, I was getting our girls ready for school, and had to get them ready a lot sooner, a lot quicker in frustration for coming in. I wanted to come; I wanted to participate in Democracy, no matter how much that Democracy is hidden, and try to be imposed in a way that we know that our Founding Fathers did not envision for our City, nor for our County, nor for our State, nor for our Country. So in explaining to my girls, why they had to hurry up to make lunches, and why we had to hurry up to get out of the house, to get them to school earlier, I said, well, the City Council is meeting this morning, and they’re talking about something very important, and what they’re talking about, is not letting the Mayor decide, what may go on the Agenda, for himself, for our City.
My sixth grader, who has gone through our Civics lessons in our schools — that you’re very familiar with, Mr Brandman, as a former Board Member — said “Why would they want to do that?” And I said, well don’t know, why do you think it’s important for any City Council to think that a Mayor should not be able to put things on the Agenda to discuss?” And she said, “Well, that’s just being mean, that’s just being mean.” What you need to think about — Mr.Brandman, Ms. Murray, Ms. Kring, Ms. Eastman — is that our children are watching, and it’s not just as a father that I’d like to be able to say to her “don’t worry about it, honey, that’s none of your business, let’s not focus on that, because that’s what adults are trying to figure out.”
They’re watching, because we’re teaching them to watch, we want them to watch, we want them to think, we want them to understand how government works. That’s why I bring them to City Council Meetings. That’s why I push in our schools to make sure they do more than Math and Reading, which you USED to be a fan of, Mr. Brandman. When my daughter said, “Well, that’s just being mean,” she said, “well isn’t the Mayor who is talking about ‘kindness’, and in our school, we’re trying to get a Million acts of Kindness?” And I’m just not sure how to answer my daughter, when you keep doing this, when you keep insisting on not letting the public, to engage. So I ask you to reconsider even having this as a vote. Don’t let history show your vote on this, as human beings, as Americans, be it Democrat or Republican.
Others are also watching this theater. And I know that last meeting, Mr Brandman, you said (or were quoted as saying): “this is how other governing bodies work.” Well, you were on the School Board – the President of the School Board, with the Superintendent, determines the agenda, and any board member can add an agenda item, which is the case here. I don’t understand why you are trying to use OTHER governing bodies, or one that You were part of, as an example — because that’s not how it used to work, and that’s not how it works, and you know that very well. So it’s unclear to me the motives, and I don’t care on the motives, but I just want to say that I hope you allow government to work as its supposed to work, the way that people voted it in over 3 decades ago. You talk about history and how important that is to us – Ms. Eastman, please let history stay consistent here with us, with our Mayor. And lastly, Mr. Fitzgerald, that was uncalled for, the gay slur that you made toward Mr. Brandman, I think here in Anaheim, we want to be better than that so please, Mr. Fitzgerald when we want to agree-
CC: Mr. Moreno, I’m sorry sir-
JM: Please you don’t need to denounce our fellow Citizens in the way that you did.
55:12 Theresa Smith: Good morning. My comment will be very brief. Mayor Tait, I just want to say that me personally and a lot of people here in Anaheim support what you do. SHAME on the rest of you.
55: 40 Good Morning. (I haven’t have my coffee yet.) My name is Donna Acevedo; I’m a lifetime resident of Anaheim. As we’re here so early in the morning, when kids may be watching, I thought that I’d explain why you should vote “no”on this measure, with a little puppet show. [While she speaks, Greg Diamond acts out the story with rudimentary finger puppets, fingers of gloves painted various colors.]
This is just a fable. I can’t tell you right now that it’s all true — but maybe it is.
We start with the City Council. one is short, one has yellow hair, one is tall and blue. and one has red hair.
The majority all agree, that they are opposed to the Mayor (He’s the thumb — we call him Tom.)
Some people say that the Council majority is under the THUMB of the former Mayor, with orange hair.
The City Staff is afraid of standing up to the Council majority, no matter what they do. They don’t want to get fired. like the former City Attorney, who told the Majority they broke the law. (She was right about this, too, but she still got fired.) That City Attorney was replaced with a new attorney, who always tells them, that they are OK.
Now the time came for the City to negotiate a new lease with the Baseball team owner, who likes money. The City Attorney chose someone to negotiate on behalf of the City with the Owner, Mr. Black. Negotiator Black was the City Attorney’s former Mentor, and he and the City Attorney were like THIS. [Right index and middle finger crossed.]
One day, Negotiator Black came to the City Council and said, “I have a tentative proposal with Owner”. He produced it just before a Holiday Weekend, when almost no one was around. The Mayor hadn’t seen it before then; I don’t know if the City Council had seen it.
The agreement was very odd- It let the Owner take a very fine 155 acres of City property for 66 years , for $1.00 per year, and build expensive buildings on it, and the City wouldn’t get any money from that. And if he wanted to,he could sell the right to build and manage the profit from it, to someone else. A lot of people thought he was going to sell it to friends of the former Mayor. (The former Mayor liked the Council Majority a lot, and helped them win — but didn’t like the Mayor.)
The Council majority looked at the Draft Agreement, then looked at the former Mayor, and told Negotiator Black, “OK, sounds good, go negotiate, We won’t even say what we want – Surprise us!”
And the Mayor said “Wait a minute! This is valuable property, we have to make sure that the City gets as much money as it can, for leasing it out.
And the former Negotiator pitched a fit, and the Tall Blue one pitched another fit, and they both called the Mayor bad names, including on TV, and the Tall Blue one said: “We don’t want you to talk about this in our Public Meetings anymore”
58:52 CC:I’m sorry, ma’am, your time is up-
DA: -unless one of us says it’s OK…
59:01 Greg Diamond [still acting out the story]:
And the Tall Blue one continued “We don’t want you questioning City Staff, or Negotiator Black.”
And the Mayor said, “I think there might be something sneaky happening here! We should serve the City, not the financial interests of the former Mayor — and if I want to exercise oversight, and ask important questions, under this rule, none of you will let me. If there is something bad going on,between the former Mayor, and the Owner, and the City Attorney, and Negotiator Black, and the City Staff, this rule will let you COVER IT ALL UP, by keeping me from asking questions!”
Now, WAS there something bad happening? I don’t know, and the Mayor doesn’t know — but he knows that it’s good to ask questions, to find out IF something bad is happening, IF the interests of the City are NOT being served.
And if the Council majority passes a rule to keep the Mayor from asking the Negotiator, and City Attorney and City Staff, questions about the Lease (because if it doesn’t get on the Agenda, you don’t have the City Staff here, the paid City Staff, to answer his questions, then we the Public may never know what’s going on.
And THAT”S why a rule, to make it harder for the Mayor to ask questions — to make it possible that someone who is a friend of the City Council majority PROFITS with important City assets — is VERY VERY BAD. The End.
I hope that you will vote NO on this. I’m not going to try to appeal to Mr. Brandman and Ms. Murray, but I will try to appeal to Ms. Kring and Ms. Eastman, for your own political survival.
This makes the Council look guilty of something. This hiding the ability to ask questions about something this important raises questions in the Public mind — and potentially in the mind of investigators and beyond that — as to what was going on, and why this happened, and why you tried to prevent somebody, who is significantly trying to find out what was going on — who asked some great questions last time, that released some really important information — why you tried to prevent that from coming through.
I don’t know what THEY want, but I don’t think you two want to be the deciding votes that say that we couldn’t ask those questions.
1:02:22 Paul Beckman: 7301 East Sky Drive, former East District Chair, City of Anaheim. I just want to say, this is wrong on so many levels, that’s been addressed by the speakers who preceded me. This is shameful, this is really, really shameful. The Mayor was elected by us, to represent us, not by you to determine what he can say. Thank You.
1:02:55 TT: Is there anyone else who would like to speak in Public Comments?
1:03:01 Joanne Sosa: One of the things that’s incredible to me in the US, one of the biggest issues is ‘Bullying’ – Bullying with a capital “B” — and Mr. Brandman, you’re the face of that right now. People are talking about this. You have walked precincts, and you’ve been embraced by children, and you’ve done stuff for the school Board and School Districts – how can you be the poster child for Bullying now?
That’s what’s going on — and anyone who just pledged their allegiance to the US, and take a look, it says there, “In God we trust.” How could you show the public, and the rest of the world after what’s happened with the unrest, that NOW we have a bigger problem? Because I know that each one of you, have not gone to your churches, and there’s no way you can tell me you spoke to your pastors, or your worship leaders and they agreed, that you should come on a Monday, and change history. Re-define what it is to be a Mayor and the role of Mayor — not one of you, I do not believe you.
How could you put your hand over your heart, and pledge allegiance to that flag, when you are destroying Democracy? You know, there is a call-in on FISH Christian radio station that said Anaheim was one of the worst places to live, the most unkind, it was second — and that’s pretty incredible. You are helping us sink down into depths. We don’t need to be here discussing this. People need to be at work; you should be heroes. How could you be a Girl Scout, how could you serve … even think of holding the office, when you think: “How are we going to get rid of this guy? How are we going to get rid of this guy? Kurt Pringle doesn’t like this guy. We don’t like the people rising up.”
Do you not see, that by rising up, all the things happening in this City, that shows Democracy. It’s an amazing display of Democracy. Good or bad, like it or not, the issues are going to come and go, but to have this City thriving with all kinds of ideas, opposition, free speech, That’s what Democracy is — each one of you learned that in school; we all learned that. But to be a BULLY? To take the capstone of faith from this City, is to remove God from this City, and if you think that you’re going to get elected again, or you have a future, you’re wrong.
You keep saying that there’s a vocal minority. NO, there’s a vocal majority. But when you hold meetings at 8 in the morning, or Labor Day, we know you’re up to something. It’s suspect; it’s suspect. And Marcie Edwards: you came to Los Amigos and said “I serve the will of the Public, not the Council” and history will show, you can TELL the Council, that’s not a good move- redefining the role of Mayor, tying his hands, binding his mouth, he can’t speak, or agendize these issues. These are our rights. All of you are going to be accountable for that, if not here, then at a higher source. We’re going to have your names at the Ballot box, you’re not going to like what’s going to happen.
1:06:10 TT: Anyone else to speak on this item? Seeing none, [we] close Public Comments.
We will address the one item on the Agenda. This is an item brought by Council Member Brandman, who set a special meeting for 8 o’clock Monday. Council Member Brandman, you want to let us know why you brought this item? What do you like to do?
Jordan Brandman (“JB”): Thank you Mr. Mayor.
I brought this as a technical cleanup. And the reason why I did was — there was a meeting, last year, where this was discussed, and I was sitting in the audience, and as a member of another governing body, of which –I’m the only one on the Council who served in the previous elected governing body — and the policy that WE were governed by was: if someone wanted to but something on a regular session Agenda, they had to get the assent of at least one other person.
I wasn’t in favor of this OTHER provision that was in the current Policy, where you can put something on the Agenda, but if […] three members in Council Communications veto, then it can’t go forward. I think that’s against the Brown act, too. I am very well aware that you as the Mayor have the authority, sole authority, to call a special meeting, any time you want, on the 24 hour notice rule — and I think that that power, is legitimate, absolutely legitimate. You are the Mayor of this City, you are directly elected, and I would never, ever want to see that taken away.
[(Greg here.) Pardon the interruption, but: it should be noted that while the Mayor can CALL a Special Meeting, that Special Meeting still requires a quorum to consider business — and if three members of the Council decide not to show up, which is what happened when the Mayor called a special meeting after the Gardenwalk Giveaway vote in early 2012, then this awesome power of the Mayor is completely neutralized. If the Mayor can’t muster a quorum, there’s no need to take away the power to call a Special Meeting. The Special Meeting won’t happen regardless.]
JM: You are the Mayor. but that being said, in regard to regular session business, I think that we need to have equality on this dais, and I think we’d have full transparency. This IS about transparency: when you are in Council Communications at a previous meeting, I believe that it is appropriate, as with the previous body I served on, that you have to state what you want on the Agenda. I don’t think it’s appropriate, for ANY member of this Council, to through the City Manager by fiat, to ask for something to be put on the Agenda 24 hours before the Agenda is published before the meeting. I don’t. And I felt the need for this to be cleaned up this morning.
And I would also like to state for the record that this is not the first meeting in the morning, that we have had. Special meeting. This year. We had an 8 AM meeting in January, with regard to the districting lawsuit, which I feel was a very important matter to this City — and which by the way Mr. Mayor you and I are both on record as being in support of single member districts. Strongly supportive.
So I don’t think that this is a retaliation against you. I think this is a matter of cleanup, and to ensure more seamless governing, by the bodies, by the governing bodies as a whole. And I would like to say, we had a meeting at 10 o’clock, on districting. We had several meetings with regard to appointment of City Attorney and City Manager, at noon, mid afternoon, and so-on and so-forth, and now we’re having a meeting at 8AM. And previous years, we had a meeting at 11 am, we’ve had mid-afternoon meetings.
[Really really sorry to interrupt again. All of these meetings Brandman mentions were closed meetings. From the public’s perspective, I don’t think that anyone cares if the Council hold’s closed meetings at midnight or 3 a.m. It’s the timing of the OPEN meetings, the ones that the public are supposed to be able to attend, that is at issue. — G.A.D.]
I don’t find this, with regard to a Council policy, when I’m fully aware, that you, as Mayor, have the ability to call a special meeting, any time you want, which I would never, ever, want to see taken away from you, as the directly elected Mayor of Anaheim. We’re here to clean up a policy, for regular session agendizing, to make everything completely, fully transparent, and my intent is — and that is my intent. Thank you. Mr Mayor, I yield.
1:10:38 TT: Would anyone else like to comment on this?
1:10: 41 Kris Murray (“KM”): I would.
1:10:41 TT: Council Member Murray.
1:10:41 KM: I think it’s important to acknowledge for the record that the role of our Mayor, the Office of Mayor in Anaheim, is defined by the voters — not defined by Council policies, but defined by the voters. That is democracy, that is true representative democracy, and nothing that we’re doing here today affects that in any way.
I think it’s alarming and incredibly sad, that people have been misinformed or led to believe, that anything we’re doing, would stifle — you know, I sat here and listened respectfully, and I’m asking for the same courtesy.
The voters have specifically, and our Charter is being reviewed again now, it’s reviewed about every 10 years, but the residents and voters in Anaheim, have enumerated in the Charter of Anaheim, over and over again, that they want a legislative body that governs equally. We have just in the last 15 years as a City, elected to go with an independently elected Mayor, that has some specific authorities, that are in the Charter, including the ability to call a special meeting.
Our current Mayor is the only one, I think of the 3 that have served independently, to use that power, and use it repeatedly,but it is certainly his right to do so, but the voters did want a legislative body that was, cohesive, that would work together, and would govern together, and this item before us, is, truly, a technical cleanup of Council policy, nothing that affects his office, or censors him in any way. You are able, to, speak publicly at every single meeting, there is an item on every single Agenda, where the Mayor has an opportunity to comment,as well as, there is ample time at the beginning of every meeting, for our residents and voters, to comment. Nothing here today changes that, either.
The… worst you can say about this, is that it improves transparency, because nothing can be put on the Agenda, outside of public light, outside of public comment, it has to be done on the dais. As a resident, as a voter, as a person who has always worked to serve a greater democracy, and representative democracy, at that, in a number of public agencies in my lifetime,I just as a resident and a citizen of the United States, would prefer that public policy be done in open, versus in secret, and this requires it be done in open.
I am supporting of this technical measure, and I am asking that we try to eliminate the culture of character assassination, which is spreading in this City, and fortunately,not by anybody up here, that is serving in a Council capacity. I think it’s very sad what is happening and the kind of dialogue that occurred here and the misinformation that is happening. But I do support that every member have the equal right to ask for something in public if they want it agendized in regular session, and I support the voters, and the structure of our Charter.
01:13:46 TT: Councilmember Kring-
LUCILLE KRING (“LK”): Thank You, Mr Mayor, well good morning, everybody. I’m very delighted that so many of you DID come this early and talk about how you felt about this issue.
I just want to clear up a few things – as several people have said, today and in previous meetings, that they think we were very sneaky in putting the Angels MOU on the meeting after Labor Day, people were out of town, in all honesty, this is my 9th year on Council, and we never had a meeting after a Monday holiday, so I would, going forward, never have a meeting after a Monday holiday again.
However, having said that, we all knew that this item was coming up for discussion on September 3rd, all 5 of us, all City Staff knew it,. You only find out about something on the Agenda, the way we do, we get our binders on a Friday, you could go to the City’s website, and find out what the items on the Agenda are. The Mayor, if he puts something on the Agenda 24 hours before its printed, that’s when you’ll get it, the same time that we do. We don’t know if the Mayor’s putting something on, until we either get a call from the City Manager, or we see it on our binder.
If we are told on Council Comments, that something is coming up for discussion, we all find out in plenty of time for that, and what really concerned some of us, is the fact that, and he has the right, the Mayor wanted to put the Angels deal on every single meeting moving forward. There is no more information, we have let our negotiators for the City, and negotiators for the Angels, go out , and, negotiate. That MOU, you keep telling us how much we’re giving away, that MOU, there is nothing on that MOU that’s been negotiated. There are some things in there that I can’t support, there are other things in that MOU that have not even been discussed, so when you keep saying that we’re giving Mr. Moreno this most valuable property, we haven’t done ANYTHING, so please, please, please, stop saying it, its not true. We’re not negotiating in public, and for that-
01:16:14 CA: Councilwoman Kring, if I may — I’m sorry to interrupt you, but that is not —
LK: OK, I’m sorry, but that was the genesis of this whole thing, Again, I appreciate your comments, I appreciate your coming here this Morning, but, in all honesty, there was a death in my family, so I could not be here for the rest of the week, so maybe it’s my fault that this meeting hapenned at 8 o’clock
01:16:40 TT: Mayor Pro Tem Eastman?
GAIL EASTMAN (“GE”): Thank you. I would like to say thank you for that explanation, Lucille. When we do call a meeting, when a meeting is called, an emergency meeting, it’s imperative, if possible, that we all be available, and I believe that that was the case. We did not have a regular scheduled meeting within the 5 day time limit — because there was a limit of time when you can have that — so all of us were not available at any other time during this particular time frame.
So I hope you’ll understand that, we don’t purposely try to have a meeting outside of when we have normal meetings, and we appreciate every one of you that’s come out. Now, I’m especially disturbed at the MISinformation that I hear. People are understandably concerned about this negotiation, about all the other aspects that you’ve brought up here today, but as my colleague said we’re only here to do an administrative cleanup, which will further open transparency.
You’re going to know, at a Council communication, what’s going to be on the next Council meeting. There’s not going to be any more surprises for any of us at the dais or any of you in the Public. You will have more time to dig into an issue, to learn the facts, to even meet with us, if you have questions about why we might be bringing something forward. There’s usually a week, at least, between our Council meetings sometimes two. This will give the public an opportunity to meet with us privately and express your concerns.
One of the things that I know about my colleagues, and I feel very strongly myself, is that we try to make ourselves available as possible to meet with all of our constituents. And it really disturbs me to have people come forward and either assassinate the character of some of my colleagues or just question our motivation, assuming that we’re motivated by some ulterior motives. I think every one of my colleagues is here to serve the public, and we’re not politically motivated to stay in office, that was never my intent, to continue on in a place, or to enrich myself. This is my City, I love this City, I wanted to serve, and to try to make it a better City, when I’m done, because I intend to spend the rest of my life in this City, so I would be happy, to meet with anybody that was here today privately, and explain, anything that you’d like me to explain. But I’m really amazed that so many people have twisted what this is all about, because it is strictly, about administrative cleanup, of WHAT WE HAVE TO DO TO MAKE THINGS WORK HERE. And I don’t think that the Mayor will ever have a problem getting a second for something that he wants agendized. [noise from audience]. And I also would appreciate the same courtesy that we gave all of you, this is one of the things I find most difficult about being up here, is that the rudeness of people, when they come to this Chamber, so……that’s it.
01:20:30 TT: Well, um, I appreciate the comments from Councilmember Kring when she said, in talking about the Stadium issue, that it was the genesis of this whole thing this morning. I suspected that, and I appreciated you confirming that.
I’m going to read the preamble to the Brown Act — Cynthia Ward read that earlier, I think it’s worth repeating:
“In enacting this Chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public Commission and Councils, and other public Boards and Agencies of this State, exist to aid in the conduct of the People’s business. It is the intent of the Law that their actions be taken openly and their deliberations be conducted openly. The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the Agencies which serve them. The People, in delegating Authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The People insist on remaining informed, so that they may retain control, over the instruments that they have created.”
That’s what this is about. And let me ask our City Attorney: I’m concerned about this proposed action, about violating the Brown Act. As long as I’ve been Mayor, I’ve never ever not allowed any member to put an item on the Agenda. I think people have that right, I have that right, everyone on this Council has that right — and I think they have that right without someone else saying “I don’t think so” because its for open debate.
The Brown Act, for all those who might not know — we cannot discuss things. I cannot discuss things, with my colleagues here, privately. I’d break the law — and we all know that. So the only way you can discuss things is to discuss things here, at this dais, in a public meeting, with the public involved. That’s what the Brown Act says; that’s what democracy is about. And I would break the law, if I spoke to you [points to Murray] and I spoke to you [points to Kring] about something — so the only way I can do that is to do that publicly, and the only way to do that publicly is to put it on the Agenda.
That’s the job of the Mayor, and frankly the job of the Council Members. If you have something you want to speak to myself, and one other person at least., you need to put it on the public Agenda. I don’t think we do enough of it; I don’t think we do nearly enough of it. So Mr. City Attorney, the Brown Act actually, as you probably know, addresses this topic, under 18.104.22.168.4 point 2 subsection A-2, it says:
“a member of a legislative body, or the body itself, subject to the rules and procedures of the legislative body , may provide a reference to staff, or other factual information, request staff to report back to the body, or at a subsequent meeting concerning a matter, or, take action to direct staff to place a matter of business on a future agenda —
that’s the important part
— take action to direct staff to place a matter of business on a future agenda.
A member of a legislative body — so that’s me, and that’s my colleagues up here. So for us to limit myself, or actually for us to limit any of my colleagues up here, I don’t know how we could be consistent, with that provision of the Brown Act.
01:24:24 CA: Good question, Mr Mayor. The Brown Act does not preclude Cities from enacting their own policies on the way things are agendized. Indeed, statewide, a number of Cities have a variety of methods and manners that regulate the way, legislative bodies place items, or the way that legislative bodies allow their members to place items on an agenda.
And I think the critical — and, thank you for giving me that citation, because it allowed me the time to pull that section up — the critical conclusion to draw from the sentence that I’ll reread that you pointed out, is that it is the legislative BODY, you and your colleagues, who decide how to place things on your agenda. City staff does not make that, and the Brown Act does not make that determination, with one exception — and that exception is for Special Meetings,which authorize IN the Brown Act by statute,in a separate section, 22.214.171.124.6, that the Mayor, or 3 members of the Council, may place an item on the Agenda, for a Special meeting. The sentence that you point out, I believe, cannot be interpreted to REQUIRE any individual Member to place anything on the Agenda, and that is because of some preambular language, as follows:
01:25:48 TT: Because of what?
CA: Some preambular language, some language in the beginning of that sentence, that modifies the prior part of the sentence, but let me if I may: ”furthermore” (and I’ll emphasize verbally the critical language) “furthermore, a member of a legislative body or the body itself, SUBJECT TO THE RULES AND PROCEDURES OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY, may provide” etcetera, etcetera “or take action to direct staff to place a matter of business on a future agenda” — so this provision does not provide any member a unilateral right to do so, if the legislative body, you and your colleagues, have adopted rules of procedure that say differently.
01:26:35 TT: Well I’m, going to disagree. I don’t know how — I mean I think when you read that, I think the way it needs to be constructed, if we’re saying, “locally, we need 2 people,” and the Brown Act, says “A member,” the Brown Act can’t say “one Member can” and WE say “you need 2 members.”
I believe the State Law takes precedent. This would be in conflict with that State Law. The Brown Act lays out that right. I don’t believe the local agency can diminish that right. It could change it procedurally some way, but cannot actually eliminate that right. And if I’m not able to put an item on the Agenda, or any member of this body can’t, I don’t see how that is consistent with the Brown Act. I understand that we disagree, but I would like to ask that you get an Opinion Letter from the Attorney General on that — request that, I think, I would like to make that request.
01:27:54 CA: I appreciate your and my candid discussion regarding this and I was not anticipating a question like this, so you and I haven’t had a chance to discuss this. I am confident in my opinion, and I understand you have asked for backup, a request for an Attorney General Opinion letter would need to be agendized for action of this body to determine whether they would like to obtain that Opinion. The sentence is consistent, in my interpretation, and consistent with a variety of things, including the way a number of Cities, I understand, handle agendizing. There is no consistent practice, if you will among cities, in fact I am aware of certain case law where cities have, for a variety of reasons, actually deprived members to place items on an Agenda, and those have not been found to violate the Brown Act, as far as I am aware. But this particular sentence, by its very construction, puts the Rules of procedure of the legislative body in a position to determine those items. And so if the will of the Body would like to receive an opinion on that, that is more than my pleasure, to seek such an opinion. Actually, I will tell you that the City Attorney cannot ask for an opinion from the Attorney General, and the City cannot ask for an opinion from the Attorney General. An opinion of the Attorney General can only be requested by certain statutorially defined entities, of which the City Attorney is not one — at least, not an UNELECTED City Attorney — so in order to receive an Attorney General opinion, if the body desires to have such an opinion reached, we would have to reach out to some of the stautorially identified individuals who can — for example, state legislators — and there are a number of others who are defined. But if that’s the will of the body, to approach someone with that authority, that could be done,but I cannot actually seek an Attorney General Opinion.
01:29:54 TT: Councilmember Murray mentioned that she’d like to make that motion- can we do that now?
CA: No, you cannot do that now.
TT: So maybe she would like to put that on a —
CA: That meeting, if I may, to assist the body, I believe a request for a future Agendization, would be appropriate for Council Communications
01:30:10 TT: OK. … I’m going to respond to some of the comments … may have some questions. So, Councilmember Brandman, you mentioned that this was just a ‘technical’ issue that the Council wanted to put on the agenda, for a Monday Morning meeting. I asked you at the LAST meeting in council Comments, why it couldn’t wait until a regularly scheduled meeting, next week, Tuesday, when the public is here, [to] discuss it. Was there any reason why you wanted to call a special meeting? I guess I should ask the majority of the Council (Mayor Pro-Tem Eastman wasn’t here, by the way) the 3 Councilmembers decided to have a SPECIAL meeting, 8 o’clock. Why it couldn’t wait until the next Council meeting, after hours, when the public would have a chance to get here and not leave work, or leave their families to get here, at 8 o’clock on a Monday morning?
031:22 JORDAN BRANDMAN (JB): Mr. Mayor, as is consistent with almost every morning special Meeting that we’ve had, they were in the morning. And this is a matter of Council policy, and I thought it was appropriate, in between our regular sessions to do this technical cleanup, and so that’s why I wanted it. And when the available times for a Special Meeting came up, well, we’ve had other special meetings in the morning, so have this one in the morning, so there you have it. That was my — that’s how I came to this conclusion.
01:3203 TT: So when you talk about when you went and talked about transparency — to be transparent, to make it more difficult to put something on the agenda for a Council Meeting to be discussed publicly — It is truly Orwellian, I believe, when you said  that it increases transparency to make it more difficult to discuss an item publicly. Sometimes the obvious is most difficult to argue, and I’m finding myself in that spot. But this, you know, it’s not about — it shouldn’t be about me. This is the public’s right, these meetings are the public’s meetings, they belong to the public.
And to limit me, or any member of the … or the Mayor, forget me, to limit the Mayor, the Mayor in the future in this City, to not put something on the Agenda if he doesn’t get another vote — there have been a number of votes that have been 4-1. It doesn’t get another vote — then it won’t be put on the Agenda — is anything but transparent. Any other comments?
0133:40 LK: I have one comment.
01:33:39 TT Councilmember Kring?
LK: Regarding that last item, you said Mr. Mayor, that.. you won’t be able to get anything on the Agenda without a second. I don’t remember you asking to put anything on the Agenda, where you have not gotten a second, and I’d always be very happy to say in public now, if you want to put something on the Agenda during Council Comments, I’d be more than happy to.. second that..because if lo — (Thank you, Mr. Diamond, I appreciate that) [I believe that I was applauding her statement] …and I think my colleagues would be very happy to do that too, because if we want to put something on the agenda — actually, I don’t even know, could we change that, to say that if somebody wants to put something on the Agenda during Council Comments, that it could happen without a second, could I make that motion?
CA: Uh, it —
TT: I’d support that.
01:34:30 LK: During Council Comments?
CA: That, um, there are a number of cities that I’m aware of, as I said, there are a variety of ways to place things on the Agenda, the critical factor is, that it is your body’s decision on how to do that, with the exception of Special Meetings. If that was your desire, then its possible that the policy that’s proposed could be amended, to do that, there’s nothing that would preclude that.
LK: OK, before I legitimately make that motion, so what we’re saying now, that anybody, during Council Comments, just one person could say, “I want to put XYZ on the next Council Meeting”, but not calling up the City Manager, 24 hours ahead of the Agenda ?
CA: I believe, if I understand what your question is, your question is, could you write a policy that says, “Any member of the body could, at a Council Meeting, request that an Item be agendized for an upcoming Regular Council Meeting?-
LK: In Council Comments-
CA: That would be ..Yes, you could have a policy like that.
LK: OK. … But according to what Mr. Brandman is saying now, the only thing that he is wanting to clean up, is the fact that the Mayor would not be able to,.. just call up the City Manager, 24 hours before the Agenda, and put something on.
01:36:03 CA: I would suggest, that if you adopted a policy along the lines of what you spoke of, no member of your body could contact the City Manager to place an item on an Agenda, outside of a regularly scheduled Meeting. And in fact I would follow that up by saying, I think that if would look at the fact that we are changing, the prior policy was, the intention of that change would be clear, that neither the Mayor, nor anybody else, could do so, outside of a regularly scheduled meeting.
LK: OK, I would like to make that a motion, then, during Council Comments, at a regularly scheduled meeting,that any one of us, could ask to agendize, whatever,and it would go on the Agenda, without a second.
JB: And I’ll second that, Councilmember Kring, could I clarify that real quickly?
TT: No, Councilmember Kring has the floor.
LK: No, I’m done, that was my motion, Thank You.
TT: OK, we have a motion and second, to change the policy, the proposal, to, ‘anyone could put an Item on the Agenda, at a Council Meeting, during Council Comments, without requiring a second-
01:37:25 CA: If I may, for ease of reference — and it looks like their may be a question, Mr. Mayor, you are the presiding Officer and you direct it, if I may —  I think the way that you would solve it, or implement her motion that was seconded by Councilmember Brandman, were to be simply, if you were to look at the Agenda Packet that has the strike through on it (and I don’t know if the members of the public also have this packet as well) I believe all that we would have to do, to pass this motion as seconded, would be to remove the second sentence, and the policy would therefore read, Mr Mayor:
It is the policy of the City Council, that any Member, may during the Council Communications portion of the City Council Meeting, request that an item be placed on a future City Council Regular Meeting Agenda.’ (End of Policy)
I believe that would satisfy the intention of the movement and the seconder.-
01:38:25 TT: OK, then, that helps, but we’re still not there, because there’s still a problem when, OK, for example in this last, this month, we had 3 weeks before meetings, often usually 2, items come up that need to be discussed publicly, that need to be discussed between us, as Council Members, with the public. Now, there is a way that that is done — and the Mayor has an ability to put that on the Agenda. Any of you, if you’ve ever asked me, I’ve never denied, I would never deny anybody, putting something on the Agenda , who’s asked me, never.
So why are we to take away that power, for the Mayor to put something on the Agenda? You could put something on the Agenda, just by asking me to, between Council Meetings. That’s essential for getting the work of the City done. How can we — two weeks, something comes up, to put something, some issue, on the Agenda, for public discussion. I can’t talk to you, I cannot talk to any of my colleagues, except at that Council Meeting. So things come up, that the Mayor needs an ability, just for good governance, to put something on the Agenda. If any of you want to put something on the Agenda, you can do it directly, we can do that right now, I don’t mind any member of this council putting something on the Agenda during the week….. Councilmember Kring-
01:39:59 LK: Mr.Mayor, the Brown Act does not preclude you from talking to ONE of us, you could always talk to ONE of us, and say you’ve got an issue that you’d like to agendize, can I get your support. And I’m sure each and every one of us, would say,”Sure”. So the Brown Act does not preclude that, your desire, at all.
01:40:24 TT: You say the Brown Act, but what we’re doing today, will preclude the Mayor’s ability — Councilmember Murray-
KM: Thank You. The item as amended, which I’m in full support of, now without any possible confusion on transparency, allows for every member of this Council, to agendize an item, in public, in public only, not in secret, not behind the scenes, but in public, and allows for greater and more enhanced public input, than we have under the current policy.
We have a charter in place; it enumerates some special powers for the Office of Mayor. It does not enumerate — and this was approved by the voters — special powers from the perspective of governance. We govern equally — we are a legislative body, that governs the City equally — and a Charter Commission is convened right now. If you believe that there should be additional powers ascribed to the office of Mayor, and this isn’t about any individual sitting here today, then we have a Charter Commission that can hear that and make those recommendations to the General Public. But I don’t believe it is the office of any one of us sitting here, to change the will of the voters through Council policy. I support the amended item, it does allow for greater public discourse. If there is an urgency, and we have a 2 or 3 week delay, the Office of Mayor can call a Special Meeting. That is absolutely within your purview, if there is an urgency. With that I would like to move the item before us, or I would like to proceed with the item that has been moved and seconded before us.
01:42:00 TT: What we are doing today is just taking the Mayor’s ability to set an item on the agenda — because in practice, we’ve never required another member to second, so that’s what we do right now — but what we are doing today is taking away the ability to put something on the Agenda, between Meetings, which is essential to run a City. It is essential for the Mayor to be able to do that. If any one of you wanted to do it, please — you have that right, if whenever you wanted to just ask me, or if we could change our policy to anyone on the Council to do it directly, it doesn’t matter — but we need to have public discourse on these items.
KM: Mr. Mayor, I-
TT: Yes Kris-
KM: Mr. Mayor I have a question for you then-
TT: Councilmember Kring, I mean Councilmemeber Murray-
KM: How does granting a secret right to any of us to agendize things in private, vs. in public, improve governance or improve, somehow, compliance with the preamble of the Brown Act, that you read earlier
TT: A Secret Right?
KM: It would be done behind closed doors, vs in the public setting-
TT: No, there is requirements to put things on the Agenda with public notice, by the Brown Act, you need a certain amount of time, you need 72 hours to put a notice of regular meeting. How is going to the City Manger and saying “I want to speak about something publicly,” somehow secret?
KM: Because you are doing it behind closed doors instead of just asking the City Manager in front of the entire city and anybody who is listening.
TT: No, we are simply saying to the City Manger: “put it on the Agenda, so we could talk about it.”
KM: But we should do it in public!
TT: Yes, publicly, so we can talk about it publicly.
KM: We agree it should be in Public!
TT: You don’t understand what you are talking about.
[Audience laughter, applause]
01:43:59 KM: Well, clearly, we have convened a group who feels it should be done in private, but the facts are, the item before us ensures total public scrutiny on any item that’s added to the agenda.
TT: Only in an Orwellian world, would this be called ‘Secret’ by putting something on a public Agenda.
KM: It’s done behind closed doors, how is that Orwellian, that we would ask that it be done publicly? I’m asking a fair question. How is it better to be done behind closed doors, instead?
TT: Because, sometimes, you have to put something on the Agenda between Meetings.
KM: That’s what the Special Meeting is for, you can even call a Special Meeting, immediately following an agendized meeting.
TT: Are you serious?
KM: If it’s urgent, and it comes up between meetings.
TT: Why not let me put it on the regular Agenda? When everyone’s planning on coming to the meeting?
KM: I don’t understand the fear of asking for things in public.
TT: That’s exactly what I’m doing.
01:45:04 TT: So the motion, as it stands, strips away the Mayor’s ability to place something on the agenda, between meetings, so I have a…any other comment on this?
LK: Yes, just a small comment. If you put something on the agenda between meetings, you call the City Manager, and you say you want to put XYZ on the Agenda. The only way this body ever finds out, is IF the City Manager calls us, to inform us, that you have wished to put something on the agenda; that’s the only way we find out. And the only way that the public finds out, is when you look at the Anaheim.net, and you go online, and you look at the Agenda.
If we are doing at Council Comments, you get it instantly here, or you are streaming it live, or you look at your computer later,but you can absolutely see, so I think that’s what Councilmember Murray was saying, it tends to be more transparent, it’s more in the public eye, it’s not something that’s just happened . I don’t recall you having that many items that you have put on the Agenda, I think to date there’s been three, so, because there was a concern about a certain item, so that is the reason why…
01:46:34 TT: I appreciate you saying that, again, Councilmember Kring. So I put it on an agenda — and I think it’s probably obvious, why we’re having this meeting at 8 o’clock. I put it on the agenda, the Stadium issue, because the public only had, 3 days over Labor day weekend, of notice. I wanted to hear from the public, on that item, before an MOU, transferring our largest Real Estate asset, for a dollar a year. So I used my — I used those powers then, because I felt the public needed to hear about it, and there’s 3 weeks between a meeting.
As far as the City Manager, the City Manager should call you immediately — and if the City Manger doesn’t, I will direct, I will ask the City Manager to do that, call you immediately — when I ask for a special meeting, so you get the same amount of notice that the public gets. That’s why I did it — and I did it another time, since you brought up 3 times, I did it when, I think, regarding putting items on Agenda to vote on, for the people to vote, because we were running out of time, against a deadline, for the November election. One was for Districting, one was requiring the people’s vote before we give away$158 Million to one hotellier. I did it those times. Those were big issues, the public needed to weigh in, and if we wanted to get ti on the ballot on time, we had to have it on the Agenda. They’re big issues, and the public needs to weigh in on them, I think.
01: 48:20 KM: I’d like to respond, Mr Mayor.
TT: I think it’s very important, that I have that ability, that we bring these issues to the public, that the public gets to decide that – WE get to talk about it, actually, we can’t even talk about it if it’s not on the Agenda. So I’m just — so all I say… all the Mayor does, when I put it on the Agenda, is say: “I want to talk to you, I want to talk to my colleagues, about this issue.” We can’t talk privately, we shouldn’t talk privately, I’m not saying that, we want to talk publicly. ..Councilmember Murray-
01:48:53 KM: I do want to make it very clear that I believe this is about basic equanimity, that most cities allow, in public, for any item on the Council, any Member of the Council, to agendize an item. Our Charter specifically states that we govern equally, I don’t think that’s in dispute here today. And if the Mayor, or anyone else, would like the Office of Mayor, to have special privileges, or governing authority, then now is the time to bring that up, for the Charter commission, again, for public review and discourse, and then, brought back here, for approval for the ballot. And we have the ability to do that right now, if it is the will of our residents, the Mayor, and anyone here. The Charter Commission is meeting now, this is a great time fr this dialogue.
I will say that I’m — I did not come here to support an item based on one issue. I was not aware that you were planning to bring back an item regarding the Angels over and over again until you said it, recently in a local media outlet, I don’t recall which one, but that was after this item had been scheduled. And you accused us of doing it for that purpose, but in my case, I was not aware that you were planning to do that, at the time. So I have served with you for 3 years, you have used this over and over again, including to try and restore a salary for your personal council aide, and I think if you are going to ask for things, it should be done in a public venue, at the dais, for everyone to be aware of. And there’s also the time in between the item being requested, that our residents will be aware, much more in advance, than the 3-day notice of the Brown Act. So there is nothing harmful here, I don’t know why you keep saying it’s stripping your ability away, you will have as much ability as ever, to add an item to the Agenda, and nothing affects your Charter priveliges And with that, I think we’re starting to beat a dead horse.
01:50:50 TT: That’s just not true, I will not have as much ability as ever. What we’re doing today is taking away my ability to put something on the Agenda. When you say that…. oh.yes, I did forget about my Council Assistant, that was the other time. I put it on the agenda because my council assistants salary was cut 40% by this Council — that you brought up, Council member Murray, in a Budget hearing, under the broad guise of a $1.4 Billion budget, you picked my Council Assistant–
01:51:30 KM: I’m kind of glad you raised that Mr Mayor, I’d like to respond —
TT: — to decrease her pay 40%. We did have notice on that item, under the guise of talking about the Budget.
KM: May I respond to that allegation Mr, Mayor?
TT: So that’s why I brought it up, so that we could have a discussion on it because it was the way that you brought it up, very UN-transparently.
KM: Mr. Mayor, I’d like to respond to that —
TT: Councilmember Murray —
KM: First of all, the Council did not, in its budget action, reduce YOUR person’s salary, they made all of the offices part-time offices, salaries equal. The only reason that your Council aide exhausted the budget, was because of a very lucrative pension she receives currently for part time work. She could have received the same salary, and like every other Council Aide, leading by example, chose not to take a pension any longer, while we’re trying to implement pension reform, so that was not correct.
TT: I just have to keep on responding to this. My Council Aide gets paid $38,000 per year, that’s not ridiculous, that’s what she get paid. Your council aide, on the other hand, is a private public relations firm that gets over $100 per hour , and gets paid something like $60,000 /yr.
…and you brought this up, so I’m going to respond to it.
KM: Are you saying that your Council aide cannot receive a full $60,000 that’s attributed to every single office office? Are you saying that she cannot receive that?
TT: Yes. She gets paid $38,000 /yr
KM: She could choose to just not take a pension.
TT: That is as much as she is allowed.
KM: Why is she taking a pension when we’re trying to implement pension reform for part time work?
TT: Because she —
KM: She’s getting a pension!
TT: She’s always getting a pension….
KM: She’s getting $60,000. I’m sorry, Mr. City Attorney, but we’re going to correct the record here.
TT: That’s forcing her out of a pension, is that what you’re saying?
KM: No, I’m saying you choose your salary based on the options that are available, and it’s entirely in your purview, how to structure that. She gets the same total compensation of every other person-
TT: No, she doesn’t —
KM: Every other person.
TT: No, she doesn’t.
KM: Yes she does! That’s just incorrect.
CA: Mr. Mayor, may I —
01:53:53 TT: Yes, I know we’re completely off the subject-
CA: Thank you very much for understanding-
TT: but for the record, I did not bring that up. All right, we have, I think we know where we stand, where everyone says they stand, we have a — what is the motion, does everyone recall, a motion made by Councilmember Kring?
CA: Would you like me to restate the motion, Mr Mayor? My understanding is a motion was made by Councilwoman Kring, and seconded by Councilmember Brandman, that takes the policy as proposed by Mr. Brandman, and deletes the second sentence of his proposed change to Policy 1.6, such that Policy 1.6 would now read, based on the motion and second”:
It is the Policy of the City Council, that any Member of the City Council, may, during the Council Communication portion of a City Council meeting, request that an item be placed on a future City Council Regular Meeting Agenda (period) (End of Policy Section)
I believe that accurately reflects the motion that was made and seconded.
01:55;10 TT: So I’m going to vote against this, because it strips the Mayor of the Mayor’s ability to put something on the Agenda, outside a Council Meeting, and also strips the Council of its ability to put something on the Agenda, outside a Council meeting So, a- we have a motion, and second, please vote.
City Clerk: The Resolution of the City Council of the City of Anaheim, amending City Council Policy 1.6of the City Council Policy Manual, relating to the manner in which members of the City Council may place matters on the Agenda of a regular City Council meeting,and the vote is 4 Ayes, 1 Nay, Nay being Mayor Tait, the resolution is approved as amended.
[negative reaction from audience]
01:56:05 TT OK Accept Council communication, I’ll start to my right, Councilmember Brandman
JB: I don’t have any communications at this time.
[appaluse from audience]
TT: Councilmember Murray-
TT: Councilmember Kring-
TT: Councilmember Eastman-
01:56:30 GE: My only request would be that people think about this before you come to Council Meetings, again, and allow everyone to have respect, refrain from cheering, clapping, we all have a chance to hear you, when you come for Public Comments, and it’s extremely rude to clap, or cheer, over ANY member of this body that’s speaking. It makes it very difficult for us to do this job, so I would just request that you give that some thought and some consideration Thank You.
01:5715 TT: My Comments: It’s unfortunate, today was a — I think it was a mean-spirited act, it was bullying by this Council. Who it hurts: it hurts the Office of the Mayor, it hurts the way the City operates — actually, I frankly don’t know how the City is going to operate, if the Mayor or Councilmembers, cannot put something on the Agenda, between meetings. I believe it’s vindictive, and the people of Anaheim and democracy is hurt by this action. And with no other business before the Council, we stand adjourned till October 8th.
SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE OCTOBER 8 TRANSCRIPT:
0:46:25, Mayor Tom Tait (”TT”): Normally, we just have Council Comments at the end, but we’re going to change that, and have Council Comments, after Public Comments portion, and again at the end. Before we start public comments tonight, in light of what happened Monday morning, an individual, William Fitzgerald, said some very disturbing and disgusting things, there’s been questions about what we can and can’t do about that, and I’d like to… Mr. City Attorney, can you give us a little advice on that?
0:47:05 City Attorney Michael Houston: Yes, Mr. Mayor, members of the Council, community, I can do that. I have some remarks:
Statements made Monday raised anti-Semitic and homophobic themes that have no place in respectful discourse. However those comments, based on the factual circumstances in which they were made, were protected by the First Amendment . The statements also did not violate the City’s existing Decorum policy, found in Anaheim Municipal Code, Section 1.12.017, given that an actual disruption did not occur. I’m sure I speak for all staff when I reflect that the language used last Monday by one speaker, who chose to lace his comments with anti-Semitic and homophobic themes, cannot be condoned – and demonstrated both poor judgement, and insensitivity to Jewish, GLBT individuals. The fact that a speaker uses hateful language, however, in and of itself does not warrant censorship.
Indeed, what distinguishes our City and our Country from so many places on Earth is we are required to allow such speech to occur, but we are NOT required to condone it. We hope that by allowing such speech, as unintelligent and offensive as it may be, listeners can then judge for themselves the credibility and quality of a speaker’s ideas and judgment. The Brown Act allows speakers to comment on any matters within the City’s jurisdiction – and persons who avail themselves of this right, without causing an actual disturbance of a public meeting, are afforded protection by the First Amendment.
The First Amendment’s protections frown on censorship of speech merely because it is profane, homophobic, anti-Semitic, racist, consists of personal attacks, or is otherwise unpopular, when such statements are used to make points critical of, challenge positions of, the City’s government, City Staff, elected officials, or any of the matters within the City’s jurisdiction. One exception to this protection, however, involves fighting words, which are, as defined by the Supreme Court, words, that by their very utterance, tend to inflict injury or incite breach of peace. In such cases, words alone are not protected. In simple terms, this means the City cannot censor profane, offensive, or disrespectful speech, merely due to the content of the comments, unless they are within a very narrow universe, and the line between such words is difficult to draw, making it prudent in most instances for public agencies to err in favor of free speech, rather than censorship.
It is very important to note, that the City and its elected Officers and Staff, as well as the citizens in attendance at such meetings have the same First Amendment rights, and are empowered by those very same considerations, to be able to refute, condemn, or criticize statements made by someone who uses profanity, or uses racist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic themes. In instances where a commentator chooses to step down from that respectful discourse, into the sewer of profanity, anti-Semitism, or homophobic statements, then the Courts have stated a very clear remedy, and I quote, it’s called ‘counterbalancing speech.’ As the 9th Circuit stated in Garthwright v. City of Portland it is clear “that the way to oppose offensive speech, is more speech, not censorship, enforced silence, or eviction.
The City Council, and its presiding Officer, the Mayor, are limited in how they can deal with speakers using profanity, homophobic, Anti-Semitic, personal attacks, or other unpopular language. Relevant case law is clear – the ability to stop such a commentator cannot be based on the content of speech, but whether the speaker , or his speech, actually disrupts a public meeting. As quoted by a recent federal district court, in ‘Dow v. Los Angeles”, ” a disruption must, in fact, have occurred” – ‘actual disruption’ means just that, actual disruption, it does not mean technical disruption, virtual disruption, or imaginary disruption.
As you can see, based on this standard, it is not appropriate for the Mayor, as presiding officer, or the Council as the Body ultimately in control of the meetings, to take action to terminate a speaker’s right, or eject a speaker, unless actual disruption is reasonably occurring. Courts have recognized, that a presiding officer must not allow the content of a speech, to motivate a decision to terminate a speaker’s rights. This in no way means that such statements need go without response. The Council, or the Mayor may counter with their own speech, upon obtaining the floor.
Speech can also be curtailed if it is unlawful, or irrelevant, or unrelated to City business. But determining what is irrelevant or unrelated to City business can be tough – and places the Mayor and Legal Council, in the position of trying to guess the speaker’s language and intent on the fly. In most cases, where statements are related to City business, even if tangentially. the wiser course is to allow speech to continue. I would be happy to answer any questions if you have them, this concludes my remarks.
0:52:06 TT: Thank you (audience applause) Thank you, Mr City Attorney.
One of the best things about our country, is our First Amendment right, free speech, the ability,for us, to voice our opinion, especially at Council meetings. Having said that, I believe now is a good time to address a form of speech that is intentionally carried out, with hate and disrespect, with a goal to personally and emotionally harm someone.
This past Monday, a Special Meeting of the Anaheim City Council was held, and an Anaheim resident who regularly attends Anahiem City Council meetings, and makes offensive comments, came forward and provided malicious, homophobic, and Anti-Semitic comments. Like many of you, my colleagues and I sat at this dias, and had to witness this spiteful attack on my Council colleague, Jordan Brandman. I want everyone here tonight, our community to know, that this Council does not condone such behavior. Although it may be legal, it is not right, nor moral. Anti-Semitic, homophobic, and any other types of mean-spirited, racist attacks are despicable, and I am disgusted that individual continues to say such things.
So what can we do? Understanding that we are restricted in our abilities to limit such speech, I would request the Council to join me in asking our City Attorney to look into what this Council can do, or adopt as a body to condemn these types of comments. I would also like our City Clerk to draft language that can be announced prior to the start of Public Comments, at each meeting, that will remind our speakers of the decorum policy. Thank you, and I believe Council member Brandman would like to make a statement also.
00:54:03 JB: Thank you all for being here tonight. Free speech is all our right, as Americans. However during last Monday’s Council meeting, a resident broke our treasured norm of civility in public discourse, when he chose to express his feelings using hateful, and inflammatory rhetoric, intended to incite irrational vitriol, which we as a society have worked to subdue. Such expressions of hate speech, against any race, ethnicity, religion,or sexual orientation, have no place whatsoever, in our Council Chambers. Bigotry not only tarnishes a hallowed place of reasoned discussion, in search of the common good, but is an affront to all of us, as individuals,and as a community. We must stand together in upholding the values of inclusion, and mutual respect our great Nation and City are built on, and for which the members of this Council are sworn to defend. All residents have the right to feel safe in their own community, and we must condemn utterances of hatred, that threaten this most basic right. Thank you (audience applause)
0:55:50 TT: Thank you, Councilman Brandman. Any other Council Members (who) would like to speak at this time? Council member Murray-
0:55:58 KM: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I want to thank you for your efforts to lead our City away from what occurred, here in Council Chambers. I know, Mr. Mayor, that you truly have the best interests of our City and residents at heart, We as a Council may disagree, from time to time on policy issues, and that can be very difficult. But I know that each of us, abhor hate speech, and comments that are hurtful to groups or individuals. I like the suggestion you have made tonight, and would like to support and participate, in an effort to bring back the suggestion you have made, and perhaps even a Resolution, if that’s what you’re intending, I would like to work with you to do that. It is the sacred right of every resident of the City of Anaheim and beyond, to come before this body, and share their thoughts and feelings and their political philosophies. At times that freedom of speech can be racist, derogatory, hateful, and slanderous, and abusive, and while the Council led by our Mayor, has….is looking out for the rights and freedoms of our Citizens, they are allowed to use such language. We denounce and condemn in the strongest possible terms, speech and conduct which includes ugly stereotypes, racial hatred, misogynistic slurs, impugns the character of the Mayor or Council, Staff, other residents, and guests within these chambers. Statements such as these, whether arbitrary or deliberate, lower the civility of our governing body and our ability to work together for the greater good, and I would like to work with you, Mr. Mayor, to address these issues, and would hope that we never let hate speech divide us as human beings, as a Council body, or as a community, and thank you again for leading the effort.(audience applause)
00:57:50 TT: very good, Thank you. Council member Kring-
LK: Thank you Mr. Mayor. I’d also like to join you in moving this decorum of this valued and hallowed Chamber, in moving forward. And I notice that the speaker is not here tonight, so, maybe, people have gotten through with, to him, because last week, after he mentioned those horrible words, and directed his comments at one of our colleagues, several people did get up, and did decry, and did tell him that he was completely off base, and as I have mentioned before, I have known this man for almost 20 years, and I always knew him as a very gentle man, a big guy, as we all know, he’s rather large, he always had , he could always disagree with you, but he did it in a gentlemanly way, he was never mean, he was never mean spirited, he never called people names. So I am not quite sure what has happened to this man over the years , he has attacked each and every one of us on the dias, he has attacked many of our staff members, all with no cause, all with misinformation, no truth behind his words, so maybe the tide is changing, and maybe he will not show up at another Council meeting. So I just think, when you have a speaker like that, it really puts the fear of God in other speakers, who want to come and express THEIR opinions about what this body is doing, because I know many people have said to me, “I don’t like what is happening in the Chamber, I do not feel comfortable being around those types of people” So, maybe this, as I said is a turning point, and the good people of Anaheim will come back, and discuss what is important to them. Thank you very much. I look forward, again, to working with you.
00:59:42 TT: Mayor Pro-Tem-
GE: Thank you Mr. Mayor, I, too want to add my ‘thank you’ to you, for the statement that you read, for the action that you suggested we take as a body, I am totally supported of the crafting of the (narrow,less ?) yet most inclusive statement of decorum, that would just remind people when they come into our Chambers, that this is a place for business, and although we want to hear peoples opinions, there’s not a single person serving on this dias that deserves to be personally attacked, or have their family ridiculed or personally attacked up here. We’ve each one of us been elected by the electorate to serve all of you, and I think that even though we may disagree at times on policy issues, we continue to strive to work together for the betterment of all of Anaheim, not any one particular person, so I am just absolutely happy and overjoyed to be working on putting a decorum policy in place, that will.. has parameters, that we can remind people of on a regular basis, Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for bringing that forward.
1:01:03 TT Thank you-
SELECTED PUBLIC COMMENTS (MORE TO COME)
1:55:50 Good evening Honorable Mayor, Members of the Council. My name is David Robert Heywood, born and raised in Anaheim and very proud to still live here. First I would like to echo the comments of previous speakers. Mr. Fitzgerald, your comments – your deceitful, ignorant, racist, and homophobic rants are not welcome in Anaheim; that is not how we do things here, sir.
Mr. Mayor, I have three numbers I would like to share with you this evening: 2, 10, and 0. Mr. Mayor, while I’m sure we all agree that a robust and free exchange of ideas is essential to the healthy functioning of our democracy, I hope we can all agree to have these conversations in a civil and respectful manner.
Mr. Mayor, I do not believe for a moment that you are directly responsible for the hateful speech of Mr. Fitzgerald, sir, I want to be clear about that. However, and this is where my first number comes into play, over the past two years I’ve seen a steady escalation in the level of rudeness, threats, disrespect, and general mob-like behavior from the gallery of this chamber. Put another way, I’ve seen a marked decrease in kindness. Sadly, Mr. Mayor, this continued escalation was avoidable, but for your lack of action. You are complicit in the escalation of rude and threatening behavior and speech through your inaction.
Mr. Mayor, I heard you say on PBS last week and again tonight, and thank you, that you’ve directed staff to look into what can be done to avoid a repeat of Mr. Fitzgerald’s disgusting rant. This begs the question, why did it take two years, Mr. Mayor? Why wasn’t this done earlier? You could have and should have set the tone early in your administration that this type of speech and behavior is not welcome in this chamber.
The number ten: Mr. Mayor, during the Council’s discussion and debate, not Public Comments, but during the discussion and debate on the dais last week, I counted ten times – ten times, Mr. Mayor – in which those sitting in this gallery yelled out disrespectfully at individual members of this Council, [indecipherable] there’s a crowd, or what I would call a mob, applauded and otherwise engaged in disrespectful behavior towards your colleagues – ten times.
Which brings me to my last number, zero. Zero is the number of times that during that same debate, you used your gavel. Mr. Mayor, we need you to be the leader you were elected to be. We need you to actually preside over and control these meetings. Your colleagues shouldn’t have to struggle over shouts from the gallery. It’s embarrassing to this body and this city, the city you were elected to lead. Sometimes, to foster an environment of kindness, you must use the gavel. I encourage and respectfully request that you begin doing just that.
1:59:05: Honorable Mayor, Council Members, my name is Henry Vandermeir, Chair of the Orange County Democratic Party, and I’m here in regards to the comments made last week – the hate speech, obviously.
Mayor Tait, I do want to thank you for speaking out about last week’s Council meeting where Mr. Fitzgerald during Public Comments attacked your colleague Jordan Brandman with a shockingly bigoted, anti-Semitic, and homophobic tirade. I appreciate that you have now called Mr. Fitzgerald’s remarks exactly what they were, hate speech that has no place in this chamber. It’s good to see that unlike Washington, Democrats and Republicans in this chamber can agree at least on one thing.
While I agree that the foundation of democracy lies in the people’s freedom of speech and that Mr. Fitzgerald’s reprehensible remarks were certainly included in those rights, I also believe that we have a responsibility to respond when those rights are maliciously abused and the boundaries of a public respect are overstepped. That was clearly the case last Monday evening.
There are some here who undoubtedly espouse the absolute right to say whatever they want — and yes, we do have free speech in this country. But in a civil society such as ours we also have rules and consequences that prevent you from doing such things as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, talking about bombs in airports, sexual comments in the workplace, or using obscenities in schools. Regardless of what his reasoning was in attacking Mr. Brandman, there’s absolutely no situation in a forum like this where such hate language should be used.
I’d like to emphasize that unlike some nutcase conspiracy theorists, I don’t believe that you purposely let those comments continue, nor do I conform to the theory that there is some campaign against you in retaliation for that. What I do believe is that you are simply the victim of having the privilege of being the presiding officer of this body when this happened, and as such bore the responsibility for that incident. But with that position also comes the responsibility to act and act quickly when such incidents happen.
Mayor Tait and Council members, you have all been the victim of such attacks, which is why for the safety and civility of this Council I am urging that you and the City Council do what you had suggested earlier this meeting and find some legal way to not allow such hate speech to continue in this chamber without consequences. Thank you.
2:16:10, Greg Diamond – Welcome, Mr. Mayor and Council. I want to thank you for your condemning the actions, or the actions and the speaking, that went on expressing bigotry.
When Henry Vandermeir, who is Chair of the Democratic Party in Orange County, condemned them, he was speaking for the party, because we have had resolutions in the past along those lines. I want to make clear, as someone who is the Vice-Chair of the County Democratic Party for the Northern region, that he was not speaking for the party with anything else he said, when he went after Mayor Tait and in writing asked Mayor Tait to apologize to Jordan Brandman. I don’t know why that said he was speaking for the party, but if there had been a meeting where we decided it, I would have been at that meeting, so I know there wasn’t one.
I speak not only informed by being Vice Chair but by having taken a class at Columbia Law School with Steve Shapiro, of the American Civil Liberties Union, where I learned quite a bit about some of the issues that you’re facing today.
I will tell you first of all: courtesy can sometimes be overrated because courtesy can become a shield, in which people who are doing wrong, such as stealing from future generations in Anaheim who will need the General Fund to be full, don’t have a voice of their own. And if you enforce courtesy, people can’t speak to you with the emphasis that is probably required.
When you say that personal attacks are not going to be acceptable – well, that’s just wrong, because the things that we have to say to you from the public are personal. Because you are personally voting, you are personally involved the various kinds of activities that may harm people. And if you go after that you’re going to lose a lawsuit.
I noticed that a number of people were saying “well, let’s just come up with a legal way to stop this.” When you say “just come up with a legal way to stop people from doing what they can otherwise do, you are announcing that you are acting in bad faith. And I’ll tell you that there are legal precedents from a lot more recent than 1974 that say you can’t do that.
Now I’m going to say something specifically to Ms. Kring. You have made some remarks previously about how we’ve dealt with all of the issues that were displaced by the Fitzgerald Distraction this time. I just want to ask you a question. What instructions do you think you have given to the negotiators who will be going to the Angels? They have the MOUs, which you basically said “OK, thanks for the MOUs.” You didn’t change a comma in there. And now, they’re going to go out. Do you think that maybe they are going to be guided by the MOUs, since you haven’t given them any contrary instructions? And if so, please don’t disclaim the importance of the MOUs. They ARE your instructions as it stands.
EXCERPT [unsure of speaker] 2:21:10 –
What happened on Monday was ridiculous. We have Robert Reade who has, for over a year, talked crap and turned the City Council, and this room, into a circus. He’s belittled and degraded these mothers [of sons shot to death by Anaheim Police] and nobody has done anything. But once it’s turned, and you’re being criticized and you’re being ridiculed – “Oohh! Lord Jesus! We need to fix this! We need to stop it now.” By you doing that, again you’re showing that you really don’t give a crap about anybody in the city, you only care about yourself. The only time you jump or move is if it’s a direct attack towards you or it’s a political or personal gain that you’re going to get from it. So don’t sit there and say that you care about the City, and you care about the people, because your actions clearly show otherwise.
[I’m adding one more document: a press release sent out a week ago by the DPOC.]