Anaheim City Council Kills Stadium Deal After Marathon Public Comment Session
The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to void the Angel stadium land sale that has divided the community for years.
It was a moment of vindication for longtime critics of the council, who filed in one by one during public comments, to give city leaders a piece of their minds. Residents said they were not at all surprised by the revelations that have come to light as a result of an FBI probe. They said the investigation has only confirmed what they knew for years – that the City of Anaheim is run by “cheaters, liars and thieves.”
“You f*cked with the wrong Mexican,” Jeanine Robbins told the council. Robbins, a Latina, is co-founder of the People’s Homeless Task Force, which unsuccessfully sued the City over the stadium deal before the allegations of corruption came to light.
“Basta!” shouted Jesse Shave. He said the resignation of former mayor Harry Sidhu was not enough. “He needs to be put in jail and prison,” Shave added, calling Sidhu an embarrassment to the Republican Party.
Some speakers demanded a second look at issues that had previously been waved off by Sidhu. Rashad Al-Dabbagh, founder of the Arab American Civic Council, has been trying to get the area of Little Arabia formally recognized. In 2019, she says she met with Sidhu. He allegedly told her to take a hike because her group had held a fundraiser for his election opponent. Al-Dabbagh called for the item to finally be agendized.
Small business owners from Sunkist Plaza were also there to once again request help thwarting a developers’ plans to turn their plaza into car wash/gas station.
Lupe Ramirez, a Rancho La Paz mobile home park resident and advocate, noted that the former mayor had tabled an ordinance to stop high rent increases in her mobile home park. She said the resulting stress led to numerous deaths.
“Damn you all,” La Paz told the council.
Other speakers said they were “embarrassed” for city leaders as they read the FBI complaints, which detail how lobbyists manipulated the council majority like puppets on a string.
Cheers erupted when the dais finally voted to kill the stadium deal. Council Member Jose Moreno had called it “the fruit of a poisoned tree.” The nixed deal could result in years of litigation.
There was more breaking news on Tuesday. Ahead of the City Council meeting, the Los Angeles Times reported that the mysterious “company A” cited in the FBI affidavits is indeed Disney. You can read more about Disney’s role in the investigation here.