Anaheim’s Salvation is at Hand: introducing the Charter Gaffe of 2014!

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holy grail

This is adapted from my Council meeting speech of Sept. 27; as Cynthia observed later: “Kris Murray did not have the city attorney rebut your claim.  If they had legal opposition she would have said so.  To stay quiet means they know you are right.”

Rejoice, Anaheim!  Look up, and lift up your hearts, for the day of your redemption draweth nigh.  May I present … The CHARTER GAFFE OF 2014!

I direct you to paragraph 3 of section 511 of our latest City Charter, approved by voters in November of 2014, and effective beginning in February of last year.  This was part of the long dense text of Measure C, which was full of nasty surprises and secrets that nobody noticed, but also contained this remarkable gaffe:

Unless a higher vote is required by other provisions of this Charter, the affirmative votes of at least four members of the City Council shall be required for the enactment of any ordinance or resolution, or for the making or approving of any order for the payment of money.

No doubt the writers intended this paragraph to refer to the time AFTER we have seven council members, at the end of this year.  But this whole section doesn’t specify WHEN it goes into effect, so it literally went into effect in February of last year with the rest of the charter.

(And who knows?  Maybe clever voters realized this, and wanted extra protection from the abuses of the three-member majority through 2013-14.)

In any case, you know what this means, don’t you?  All of the terrible 3-2 votes this council has made in the last year and a half are NULL AND VOID.  They either need to be taken again before the end of the year with the hope of getting four votes, or put off until the next council takes office, or possibly just discarded and forgotten.  That would include:

  • July’s giveaway of $565 million in future taxes to Disney and Hong Kong-based Wincome Inc to build three unneeded four-diamond hotels – NULL AND VOID!
  • The hotelier subsidy policy itself which undergirded that giveaway and possible future ones – NULL AND VOID!
  • The exemption of Disney from a gate tax for the next 30 to 45 years – NULL AND VOID!
  • The rezoning of 7 acres of parklands in district 3 to industrial – NULL AND VOID!
  • Whatever rotten deal the council majority is cooking up with the Angels before November, might as well not bother.
  • Also NULL AND VOID, unfortunately, is the STR ban, although that’s not a big deal, it can be redone.  But that brings us to the ironic climax of who we have to thank for the discovery of this gaffe:

gail eastman party house

FORMER COUNCILWOMAN GAIL EASTMAN, who wanted to be allowed to continue running an STR, and sued her own city, leading to her clever lawyer discovering this CHARTER GAFFE OF 2014.  Gail, we thank you, and we hope your lawsuit succeeds.

Don’t worry, the two best votes of this year will still stand because they were unanimous:  The People’s Map and the sequencing that went with it;  and we get to keep the Rainbow Flag! 

ANAHEIM!  If you want to make sure this CHARTER GAFFE is taken properly to its conclusion, and all disastrous votes of the last two years rendered null and void, VOTE FOR:

On Ferris Wheel at St. Anthony Claret's 2015 carnival; picture by Julie Tait.

On Ferris Wheel at St. Anthony Claret’s 2015 carnival; picture by Julie Tait.

On that note, everyone please come to me and Donna’s fundraiser concert this Saturday at 3, at the Unitarian Church on Harbor, featuring myself on piano, the great Weapons of Mass Creation, and other surprise guests.  And rejoice in the CHARTER GAFFE OF 2014!

weapons of mass creation

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.