SOURCE: Orange County Business Council

Orange County Business Council

July 23, 2012 13:56 ET

Business and Labor Tell Anaheim Council: Focus on Jobs Not Another Ballot Measure

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 23, 2012) - Orange County Business Council and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council released the following statement today urging the Anaheim City Council to "stay the course" and support their previous public votes for innovative financing to create jobs and new hotels at GardenWalk. 

OCBC and LA/OC Building Trades Council urge the Anaheim City Council to reject the agenda item at the July 24th City Council meeting, calling for a public vote instead of supporting the council majority's previous votes for jobs creation and economic development. LA/OC Building Trades Council, in partnership with Orange County labor leaders, is hosting a Rally for Jobs on Tuesday, July 24 in Anaheim, at 4:00 PM on the steps of Anaheim City Hall, just before the City Council meeting.

For more than 10 years, Anaheim councilmembers, including Mayor Tom Tait, have voted for transient occupancy tax (TOT) financing support to encourage economic activity in Anaheim. From numerous hotel projects like the Grand Plaza, Doubletree, Anaheim Convention Center projects, parking structures, and sports facilities, innovative TOT and financing agreements have helped secure Anaheim's leadership in tourism and entertainment -- benefiting residents with both jobs and funding for city services. Tourism provides 15 percent of Orange County's employment.

Economic development provides opportunities for job creation and must be a priority in Anaheim -- a designated Red Zone where the unemployment rate is one of the highest in Orange County. With the loss of redevelopment, cities are faced with fewer options for economic recovery. Compounded by a lack of leadership from Sacramento, cities must use all the tools in their local toolbox to tackle jobs creation head on and lead economic recovery at the local level.

"This council has voted numerous times in support of TOT agreements to create jobs and manage development in Anaheim and should reaffirm that vote on July 24. The benefits to the public are clear and convincing. There is no need to waste time and precious taxpayer dollars on expensive ballot measures in tough economic times," said Lucy Dunn, President and CEO of Orange County Business Council.

"A lack of focus on jobs creation at the statewide level requires a greater effort locally. The Anaheim City Council has voted correctly in the past on these jobs-creating projects. They must continue to do so and vote 'no' on delaying tactics that kill jobs," said Jim Adams, of the LA/OC Building Trades Council.

Public-private partnerships are a proven strategy that the Anaheim City Council has previously supported on numerous occasions to advance tourism. It's time to move beyond the rhetoric and stalling to get Anaheim working again. The public-private partnership, for example, between Lake Development-Anaheim and the City of Anaheim to build two luxury hotels in the GardenWalk District is exactly the type of innovating jobs-creation strategy needed in tough economic times. The project's benefits raise the economic tide for the entire Anaheim community, in turn enhancing the overall standard of living for all residents.

About OCBC:
Orange County Business Council is the leading voice of business in Orange County, California. OCBC represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County's economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC serves member and investor businesses with nearly 250,000 employees and 2,000,000 worldwide. In providing a proactive forum for business and supporting organizations, OCBC helps assure the financial growth of America's sixth largest county. For more information,

About LA/OC Building Trades:
The Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council represents 140,000 skilled construction workers in 14 trades, with 48 affiliated local unions. Members of affiliates have built projects like Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Angel Stadium and the Anaheim Convention Center.

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