Mayor, City Council Move Ahead With Key Initiatives
URL: https://www.ocregister.com (Article Available In Print Only Editions)
By: Alicia Robinson, Orange County Register
Date: January 21, 2019
“Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu has been in office less than two months, but he and the new City Council have wasted no time attacking two highprofile issues. The night he was sworn in, Sidhu called an emergency council meeting to address homeless issues. Two weeks later, an interim shelter opened, giving up to 200 people a warm, dry place to stay.
A few weeks later, he met with Angels owner Arte Moreno about restarting stadium lease talks after a two-year lull. The lease was set to end this fall, but was extended last week by 14 months to allow time to negotiate.
“I’m not a procrastinator. I’m a doer,” Sidhu said.
After two years of bickering on the dais, it may help that Sidhu presides over a council with a new makeup, which includes fresh off the 2018 elections Trevor O’Neil, a first-time councilman; Jordan Brandman, who returned to the council in December after a two-year break; and Jose Moreno, who was reelected for four years after serving a shortened first term.
The mayor and council members share some common goals, but each also has his own priorities as part of the first full council to represent a city divided into districts. Here’s a brief rundown of what to expect from Anaheim City Hall in the next few years.
He’s already gotten a running start at two goals, but Sidhu said there’s more to do to address homelessness, including ensuring two permanent emergency shelters are ready to open in the next few months.
As he campaigned, residents largely brought up homeless and public safety issues, he said, asking the city to clear encampments from parks, clean up used needles and address car break-ins.
“I want to make sure they have enough police presence.”
He pledged to add 25 more police officers in the next five years, and he sees the need for more firefighters and a new fire station in the fast-developing Platinum Triangle — which is on the books. Anaheim completed in 2017-18 an initiative to hire 40 officers in four years.
Sidhu has also made proposals to potentially streamline typically hourslong council meetings and get everyone working together: council members would need two colleagues to cosign items they want on the agenda, general public comments would come later in the meeting, and the full council would have to agree on board and commission appointees.
He rejected the notion that his agenda sign-off idea is a power grab, saying: “Now they have to work with the other council members to come together as one team.”
When it comes to a potential Angels deal, Sidhu said he’s starting fresh and not bringing up past talking points.
He doesn’t believe the city lost any leverage by extending the lease and said the additional year is the right amount of time to work out an agreement — but he vowed not to build a new stadium with taxpayer dollars.
The mayor also wants the city thinking ahead to coordinate development around the arena, stadium and ARTIC transit center to hit on the right mix for bringing people to Anaheim….”
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