In addition, Mickadiet has since met with Gail Eastman, who clarified that she never makes a decision without a full presentation of the facts, including staff reports and public comments so that she can make an informed decision. But of course Lorri is not going to let voters know that. Galloway follows the standard playbook and lifts the bits and pieces of information she find useful, because her goal is not to benefit her City, her goal is to benefit Lorri Galloway.
For those looking for clear information on the hotel issue, we offer here a piece from Mayor Curt Pringle, shamelessly lifted from the RedCounty blog without the permission of Matt Cunningham, but we are crediting him, and hope he forgives us. Below is the entire quote from Mayor Pringle, unedited, and we hope it clears up some confusion about hotel development, and the way in which Galloway is abusing information to suit her own need for re-election. We would also like to restate that Gail Eastman has not expressed an opinion one way or the other regarding the hotel development. For more information our readers can also contact the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce at http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=24905329&msgid=348177&act=M30J&c=272806&admin=0&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.anaheimchamber.org%2F.
“I appreciate all of the Anaheim talk on the Blog over the last few days about our incentives for four/five star hotel properties. I would like to share my perspective on this.
It is always interesting that some wish to immediately be negative about what they hear on one issue, and from that, seek to claim that their interpretation of the situation defines conservatism or proper government management. I know there are opposing views, but one point of non-agreement does not define an entire political philosophy.The city of Anaheim takes great pride in its Resort district. It is an important economic engine to our city. We have fought hard this year to preserve it!
Even with 20,000 hotel rooms in our city, new hotel development is vigorous in Anaheim. At this moment in time, nearly 1500 new hotel rooms are under development in Anaheim. Many other developers are coming to the city expressing interest in developing hotels.
So we have seen in managing for our city’s future that many additional hotels are necessary. But in all cases, except the current construction of the 250 room expansion of the Disney Grand Californian, all of the new hotels are three star properties.
The current market conditions allow for the development of three star properties in our city, even with their current high property and construction costs.
But in planning for the future of Anaheim, we have considered how we could grow the Resort district, both in number of rooms and the average nightly rate.
We do not need to do anything to encourage three star properties. But four star properties and the additional construction costs that are required to get these properties to that level are much higher and they may not be built at the current cost of construction.
Four star properties can add to our opportunities to bring additional conventions to Anaheim and can assist in the growth of the Resort area.
On Tuesday’s agenda, we voted to provide a potential tax reimbursement to hotel developments if they seek to build four star properties. Our plan would be to require the full 100% of the bed tax be collected on the three star property equivalent rates. But we would consider, based on need, if we would reimburse for the first 10-15 years, the additional amount of taxes collected from the three star rate equivalent to the four star rate.
We are not reimbursing what the market will provide – in this case a three star property. But we see the value in growing the Resort for the long term. And a mix of high end hotels, even with higher construction and development costs, will insure that we have the mix of properties that will continue to grow the Resort.
At the council meeting, I respect that Councilmember Harry Sidhu wanted to delay this discussion for a few months in order to get more information.
And I also respect that Councilmember Lorri Galloway joined with HERE (Hotel Employee/Restaurant Employee Union) in opposing this plan. The HERE representatives were the only ones who spoke against this proposal.
I see a similarity in the council action on Tuesday, to when, in the Legislature, we provided a manufacturer’s tax credit on the purchase of new manufacturing equipment or when we provided an R&D tax credit to encourage more high tech research firms to locate to California. Some people didn’t like any type of tax credit or incentive programs. And I can respect that.
But with these incentives in Anaheim, I feel we are taking steps today to prepare for the long-term fiscal health of our city.
Sometimes planning for the long term is not seen by everyone in the short term.
But I will hold Anaheim’s fiscal position up as an example of a fiscally responsible and secure government even in these economic times. This year we have made a mid-year budget reduction of 2 ½%; we have maintained a 13% general fund reserve and are truly in a strong budget position.
I will proudly match our city’s planning and budget position to any other local government from Rancho Santa Margarita to Riverside. “
April 24, 2008 5:21 PM