Bite Me, Michael Houston.




houston problemDear Honorable Members of the Anaheim City Council:

I find the short memories of Anaheim’s public servants disturbing.  I hope that you do as well.

Recently, the City of Anaheim made some alarming and derogatory claims concerning a lawsuit related to the GardenWalk Hotel Economic Assistance Agreement.  Among them was a statement from Anaheim’s City Attorney, Michael Houston:

“The public should realize that the disruptive litigation practices of OCCORD, and those like them, have consequences: Lawsuits such as this cost the City economically and, for those doing business in the City, creates uncertainty and delay.”

This council needs no reminder that this Assistance Agreement was, and is, controversial.  In fact, the current iteration of the agreement is actually the city’s second attempt to pass an assistance package concerning these specific hotels.

The first was voided by Judge Steven Perk.

It was voided because the City of Anaheim broke the law.

It was voided because a group of concerned citizens filed suit.  That group was OCCORD.

The consequence of that lawsuit wasn’t uncertainty and delay.  The consequence included doing the right thing by Anaheim’s citizens.  In fact, the consequence included Anaheim securing a better deal to the tune of several million dollars.

I find it reprehensible that Anaheim’s City Attorney would take the unprecedented and chilling step to openly demean a community group, and those like them, that have proven track record of advocating for the rights of the public, particularly the right to an open and transparent government.  Apparently, it’s the policy of the City of Anaheim to value economics and those doing business in the city over the rights of its residents.  Perhaps Judge Perk’s lesson didn’t land as it should have.

As Anaheim’s elected officials, it falls to each of you to ensure that local government abides by certain principles.  Allowing your city attorney to pontificate on the validity of a local interest groups isn’t among them.  I trust you’ll take swift and strong action to ensure this is corrected.

Your public employees, particularly those in leadership positions, should be getting paid to represent the needs of the public.  The public doesn’t need poorly written politically laden press releases.  It needs an attorney who insists the residents he serves have every tool, including lawsuits, available to secure their rights.


Ryan Cantor,

OrangeJuice Blog.

About Ryan Cantor

Our conservative columnist, raised in North Orange County, works as an auditor.