• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

The Anaheim Living Wage Initiative and other Disneyland Resort issues that deal with Anaheim Politics

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
On Tuesday, October 9th, The Anaheim City Council will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting. As expected, Measure L is on it, as Item 17.

So the staff report and other relevant information has to be released to allow the council members to review it, as well as the general public.

The law is Friday Night by 5 PM for a Tuesday night building.

So we get to see the City Attorney's opinion....

https://local.anaheim.net/docs_agen...023/17025/19539/19562/Staff Report_L19562.pdf

>>Employers Covered1

This summary of Measure L’s applicability is distilled from the language of the Measure itself, particularly its numerous substantive definitions. For example, the Measure states in Section 6.99.010 that an “Employer shall pay an Employee a wage of no less than the hourly rates set under the authority of this article.” However, the definitions portion of the Measure (such as the definitions of “Employer” “Hospitality Industry,” and “City Subsidy”) all modify and limit the scope of this provision. Under Measure L, “Employer” is defined in part as “any business in the hospitality industry which benefits from a City Subsidy.” “Hospitality industry” is defined as a “hotel, motel, amusement or theme park, or a restaurant, snack bar, tavern, lounge, club or other venue offering food or beverages which is within or adjacent to a hotel, motel or amusement or theme park, or a retail store which is within or adjacent to a hotel, motel or amusement or theme park, located in whole or in part within the Anaheim Resort …. or Disneyland Resort [Zones]…” A business “benefits from a City Subsidy,” under the Measure, “if the person or an affiliate of the person receives a City Subsidy directly or is an Employer which is a contractor or subcontractor, lessee or sublessee, or tenant or subtenant, with respect to a person or an affiliate of a person who receives a City Subsidy.” A “City Subsidy” is defined as “any agreement with the city pursuant which a person other than the city has the right to receive a rebate of transient occupancy tax, sales tax, entertainment tax, property tax or other taxes, presently or in the future, matured or unmatured.” Taken together, and as summarized in the Impartial Analysis: The measure would apply to any for-profit business that is a hotel, motel, amusement or theme park, or any retail store, restaurant, or other venue offering food or beverages, that is within or adjacent to a hotel, motel, or amusement or theme park and that: (1) is located in whole or in part within the Disneyland or Anaheim Resort Specific Plan Zones, (2) has an agreement to receive a tax rebate from the City, or is a hospitality industry contractor or tenant of an entity that has such an agreement, and (3) has 25 or more employees.

Based on this interpretation, Measure L would apply to those employers located in the Disneyland or Anaheim Resort Specific Plan Zones that have entered into agreements with the City in which they are entitled to receive a tax rebate, assuming that they have 25 or more employees. Employers that we know have such agreements are:

(1) GardenWalk Hotel I, LLC, which has entered into two agreements, one related to a 446room convention hotel, which is under construction and will be branded as a J.W. Marriott, and the second related to a 350-room resort hotel that is still in the planning stages;

(2) FJS, Inc., a Texas corporation, for a 634-room hotel at 1030 West Katella Ave. which is under construction and will be branded as a Westin; and

(3) Good Hope International, Inc., a California corporation, for a 580-room hotel at 1700 S. Harbor Blvd. that has not commenced construction (and staff anticipates may not be built given that renovations have been made to the existing hotel on the property).

In addition, Measure L would apply to hospitality industry tenants and contractors of the covered employers. So, for instance, a restaurant or retail store that has 25 or more employees and is a tenant of one of the employers listed above would also be covered by the Measure. Some examples of these types of tenants would be restaurants that operate within the hotel (FJS has indicated that it plans to have three tenant-operated restaurants), convenience stores (FJS plans to have a “grab & go” market), and bars or snack bars operated by third parties in or adjacent to the hotel property. If these tenants employ 25 or more employees, then they would likely be covered by Measure L.

One question that has arisen is whether Disneyland Resorts (“Disney”) would still be covered by Measure L, even though the City and Disney recently terminated two agreements that the proponents of the Measure had asserted would invoke coverage: (1) the July 7, 2015 Agreement Concerning Entertainment Tax Reimbursement; and (2) the July 1, 2016 Operating Covenant Agreement. The drafters of Measure L have asserted that, despite the termination of the two agreements referenced above, Disney would still be subject to the provisions of Measure L. Specifically, they have asserted that the1997 Bond Transaction (“Bond Transaction”) in which the Anaheim Finance Authority issued lease revenue bonds to help fund public improvements that resulted in Disney’s construction of California Adventure amounts to an “agreement to receive a tax rebate,” and thus invokes Measure L coverage.

The City Attorney’s Office has studied this issue, and does not believe that to be the case. (Bold added)

As stated above, Measure L applies to larger hospitality industry employers in the Disneyland or Anaheim Resort Zones who have an agreement to receive a tax rebate from the City. Certain elements of the Bond Transaction include agreements between Disney, the City, and the Anaheim Finance Authority in which Disney guarantees to pay any debt service shortfall and is entitled to reimbursement if it does so, but that does not amount to a “tax rebate” as that term would most reasonably be interpreted. “Rebate” is not defined in Measure L and it is not a fixed term in the law. However, the best definition of rebate (supported by legal interpretations as well as dictionary definitions) is that it amounts to a discount, most commonly one given retrospectively, such as a partial refund of money paid.

The City Attorney’s Office has found no evidence that the Bond Transaction discounts the taxes that Disney must pay, or that Disney receives a tax refund as a result of the Bond Transaction, as explained below. The Bond Transaction is complicated, but can be summarized as follows: The Anaheim Public Financing Authority (“Authority”) issued its initial series of Lease Revenue Bonds in February 1997.2 The proceeds of the 1997 Bonds were used to finance the acquisition and construction of certain public improvements, including the addition, improvement and betterment of the Anaheim Convention Center, various electrical, public safety, landscaping, storm drain, park and recreation, and street improvements, and certain public parking facilities located west of Disneyland and south of Interstate 5 (“Public Parking Facilities”). The Public Parking Facilities are managed by Disney and provide public parking for Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim Convention Center, and other day uses within the Anaheim Resort Area.

As part of the Bond Transaction, the City entered into a lease with the Authority, making payments for the use and occupancy of various public facilities, including the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim Stadium, the Anaheim Main Library, and the Public Parking Facilities, among others. Lease payments are payable from any legally available funds of the City (i.e., its general fund), but the amount of each lease payment to be made by the City under the Lease Agreement is measured by Lease Payment Measurement Revenues. “Lease Payment Measurement Revenues” generally are (a) incremental transit occupancy taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes from Disney properties above such amounts received by the City in Fiscal Year 1995, subject to a 2% annual increase on the baseline index, and (b) 3% out of the 15% City-wide Transit Occupancy Tax. Lease Payment Measurement Revenues are not actually pledged to the payment of the lease payments under the Lease Agreement but, rather, as the name suggests, are the measurement mechanism through which the amount of lease payments owed payable is determined.

Payment of debt service on the Bonds is guaranteed pursuant to municipal bond insurance policies. The Bond Transaction includes arrangements under which Disney is required to advance money to the bond insurer if the bond insurer is required to make payment on the 1997 Bonds, and Disney is entitled to be reimbursed from lease payments. This reimbursement is not a refund of any taxes paid by Disney and, therefore, would not amount to a “tax rebate” under Measure L. A more detailed description of these arrangements can be found in Attachment 3.

In summary, although there are many moving parts to the Bond Transaction, it does not appear to incorporate a direct City subsidy; that is, an agreement in which Disney is entitled to a “rebate of transient occupancy tax, sales tax, entertainment tax, property tax or other taxes, presently or in the future, matured or unmatured.” Therefore, it is the City Attorney’s opinion that Measure L would not apply to Disney by virtue of the Bond Transaction.<<
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#2
Advertisement
Description of Disney Reimbursement Arrangement

The Bond Transaction includes an agreement among Disney, a municipal bond insurer (the “Bond Insurer”), a fiscal agent and the Bond Trustee that is referred to as the “Disney Credit Enhancement Agreement.” The Bond Transaction also includes an agreement among Disney, the Authority, the City and the Bond Trustee that is referred to as the “Reimbursement Agreement.” At the time of issuance of the 1997 Bonds, the Bond Insurer issued a municipal bond insurance policy (the “Bond Insurance Policy”) guaranteeing the payment of the debt service on the 1997 Bonds. Pursuant to the Disney Credit Enhancement Agreement, if there is a shortfall in the amount available to pay debt service on certain of the 1997 Bonds, Disney advances the amount of such shortfall, which advance is used to reimburse the Bond Insurer for its payment under the Bond Insurance Policy. Pursuant to the Reimbursement Agreement, Disney is entitled to be reimbursed for such advance from lease payments, but only after payment therefrom of debt service on the Bonds and certain other items.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#4
Wow, it has been a busy last 4 hours since the Agenda was released.

Thank goodness that word leaked out last night that the City Attorney did finalized his decision and it was going to be "narrow" in scope, and Disney wasn't going to be subject to it.

The one big question after reading the entire analysis is all the Businesses of the Anaheim GardenWalk (think House of Blues, the restaurants, etc.) It is not clear and something we (my group) needs to work on this weekend, aka persuading the councilmembers to ask the City Attorney at Tuesday's meeting.

I can tell you right now that UNITE HERE will say the City Attorney is wrong, and they will sue. Also, still campaign like Disney is subject to it.

In related news, SOAR (Disney money) has sent out their first mailer, supporting Jordan Brandman in District 2.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#5
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-disneyland-living-wage-20181005-story.html

>>Disneyland Resort would not be subject to an Anaheim ballot measure that requires all hospitality businesses that accept a city subsidy to pay workers a living wage, according to a legal opinion by the Anaheim city attorney.

Addressing a controversy that has been brewing for weeks, City Attorney Robert Fabela submitted his legal opinion in a staff report that was posted Friday afternoon for discussion to be held Tuesday by the Anaheim City Council.

Measure L was placed on the Nov. 6 ballot by unions that represent Disneyland Resort workers in hopes that the initiative would force the resort to boost the pay for many of its 30,000 workers.

If approved by a majority of voters, the measure would require large hospitality businesses that accept a city subsidy to pay workers a minimum of $15 an hour starting Jan. 1, with salaries rising $1 an hour every Jan. 1 through 2022. Once the wage reaches $18 an hour, annual raises would then be tied to the cost of living.




Union leaders say the measure applies to the Disneyland Resort because Anaheim agreed in 1996 to sell bonds to help the resort build a $108-million parking garage. The bonds are being paid off with taxes collected mostly from the Disneyland Resort but also from bed taxes from hotels throughout the city.

The question of whether Measure L applies to the Disneyland Resort depends on whether the bond agreement can be considered a city subsidy.

Anaheim business leaders say the 1996 bond agreement does not qualify as a subsidy. At the request of Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray, Fabela agreed to issue a legal opinion on the matter.

“In summary, although there are many moving parts to the bond transaction, it does not appear to incorporate a direct city subsidy; that is, an agreement in which Disney is entitled to a “rebate of transient occupancy tax, sales tax, entertainment tax, property tax or other taxes, presently or in the future, matured or unmatured,” he wrote. “Therefore, it is the city attorney’s opinion that Measure L would not apply to Disney by virtue of the bond transaction.”

Until recently, the resort had two tax rebate agreements with the city: a 2016 deal to reimburse the resort $267 million in hotel taxes if Disney agrees to build a luxury hotel in the resort and a second agreement that ensures the city won’t adopt any entertainment taxes for 30 years in exchange for the resort’s promise to invest $1 billion in the resort.

At the request of the resort’s president, who said the tax breaks were causing strife with the city and its residents, the Anaheim City Council voted unanimously in August to end both agreements.<<
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#6
So what has happened, and what will happen if Measure L (ALWI) passes.

Well, we know that Disney won't proceed with the 4th Hotel, and if it does later, without the TOT rebate.

The Anaheim Hotel at Harbor and Disney Way won't become a 4 Diamond.

The second Hotel for AGW won't be built as planned.

Two Hotels are too far along to stop. (JW Marriott and Westin). They have publicly stated they will sue for breech of contract.

UNITE HERE and other Disney Unions wasted close to a Million Dollars of its members dues. (Aka CM's)

This is a shame and a failure to everyone.

Hotels will not be built, jobs will be lost.

The city loses a lot of revenue, and high end guests will stay in other cities.

No matter if Measure L wins or loses, there will be nobody celebrating.

And that is very frustrating to the city of Anaheim, the city staff, and its residents.

Need to try and walk 5K in a few hours.....
 

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
#7
I would think the GardenWalk businesses are not direct recipients of the city subsidy. Only the mall was directly subsidized yet it went through several bankruptcies and ownership changes. So maybe the mall custodians can make more than House of Blues employees.
 

Evan-500

Well-Known Member
#8
So what has happened, and what will happen if Measure L (ALWI) passes.

Well, we know that Disney won't proceed with the 4th Hotel, and if it does later, without the TOT rebate.

The Anaheim Hotel at Harbor and Disney Way won't become a 4 Diamond.

The second Hotel for AGW won't be built as planned.

Two Hotels are too far along to stop. (JW Marriott and Westin). They have publicly stated they will sue for breech of contract.

UNITE HERE and other Disney Unions wasted close to a Million Dollars of its members dues. (Aka CM's)

This is a shame and a failure to everyone.

Hotels will not be built, jobs will be lost.

The city loses a lot of revenue, and high end guests will stay in other cities.

No matter if Measure L wins or loses, there will be nobody celebrating.

And that is very frustrating to the city of Anaheim, the city staff, and its residents.

Need to try and walk 5K in a few hours.....
And all because the city wanted to poke Disney?
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#9
And all because the city wanted to poke Disney?
NO, UNITE HERE has been working for years with the ACLU to get changes on the city council. We went from At Large to Districts, and from 5 members to 7.

Then when the map was drawn and the first 4 seats picked, UNITE HERE/ACLU didn't like it and protested/shut down the city council until District 3 was named one of the 4, and that was Dr. Moreno's seat.

http://www.anaheimblog.net/2014/01/...ntiffs-holding-press-conference-this-morning/

http://www.anaheimblog.net/2016/08/...ap-a-big-win-for-progressive-interest-groups/

www.anaheimblog.net/2016/01/12/prepare-for/

Anyway, the city staff and the previous council wanted and passed the TOT rebate plan to bring in 4 Diamond Hotels, so the big shot Convention center attendees would stay in Anaheim vs Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, etc.

It was UNITE HERE that help create the campaign of corporations are evil, and Disney therefore is Evil.

It has been the common thread in Anaheim Politics for the last few years.

And based on polling data (sorry internal, so can't share) it looks like the pro-business side will have a 5-2 majority next year. But a lot can change in the next 4 and a half weeks.
 
Last edited:

TP2000

Well-Known Member
#10
NO, UNITE HERE has been working for years with the ACLU to get changes on the city council. We went from At Large to Districts, and from 5 members to 7.

Then when the map was drawn and the first 4 seats picked, UNITE HERE/ACLU didn't like it and protested/shut down the city council until District 3 was named one of the 4, and that was Dr. Moreno's seat.

http://www.anaheimblog.net/2014/01/...ntiffs-holding-press-conference-this-morning/

http://www.anaheimblog.net/2016/08/...ap-a-big-win-for-progressive-interest-groups/

www.anaheimblog.net/2016/01/12/prepare-for/

Anyway, the city staff and the previous council wanted and passed the TOT rebate plan to bring in 4 Diamond Hotels, so the bug shot Convention center attendees would stay in Anaheim vs Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, etc.

It was UNITE HERE that help create the campaign of corporations are evil, and Disney therefore is Evil.

It has been the common thread in Anaheim Politics for the last few years.

And based on polling data (sorry internal, so can't share) it looks like the pro-business side will have a 5-2 majority next year. But a lot can change in the next 4 and a half weeks.
Thanks for all the great info and insight here. I read voiceofoc.org and their pretty good Anaheim blogs, but this thread alone has all the info and links you'd need to get up to speed on this fascinating story of big-spending loud-mouthed Unions, local two-bit politicians reciting their Union approved talking points over and over, and a giant lumbering company that pays half the taxes in the city but was slow to respond and suddenly wised up to what was happening.

Again, terribly riveting to watch this all play out! I can't wait to see where this saga goes next on the morning of Wednesday, November 7th.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#11
Thanks for all the great info and insight here. I read voiceofoc.org and their pretty good Anaheim blogs, but this thread alone has all the info and links you'd need to get up to speed on this fascinating story of big-spending loud-mouthed Unions, local two-bit politicians reciting their Union approved talking points over and over, and a giant lumbering company that pays half the taxes in the city but was slow to respond and suddenly wised up to what was happening.

Again, terribly riveting to watch this all play out! I can't wait to see where this saga goes next on the morning of Wednesday, November 7th.

It took about a week for Dr. Moreno to be declared the winner in November, 2016. (Very close election).

So don't be surprised if we don't have a final answer on the 7th....

The question is, how will my stomach be late night on the 6th.
 

Old Mouseketeer

Well-Known Member
#12
Thanks for all the great info and insight here. I read voiceofoc.org and their pretty good Anaheim blogs, but this thread alone has all the info and links you'd need to get up to speed on this fascinating story of big-spending loud-mouthed Unions, local two-bit politicians reciting their Union approved talking points over and over, and a giant lumbering company that pays half the taxes in the city but was slow to respond and suddenly wised up to what was happening.

Again, terribly riveting to watch this all play out! I can't wait to see where this saga goes next on the morning of Wednesday, November 7th.
Actually, this is not all the info. It's everything you need in order to understand the pro-business point of view and that's absolutely valid. I may disagree with Darkbeer on certain policy issues, but I respect and appreciate his analysis and insider understanding of all this from his place on the political spectrum.

What remains to be seen is whether the ALWI applies to Disney in light of the Mickey and Friends deal. Disney was given a benefit by the city--use of a parking structure that the bond arrangement financed and the ability for Disney to collect millions of dollars in parking fees. Disney received a material benefit in exchange for investing in its own property (DCA, etc.). The person who wrote the ALWI claims that it was specifically intended to make Disney subject to its terms. It will probably have to be decided in court if the ALWI passes.

But spare me the crocodile tears about how this is killing development in the Resort District. The developers of the two properties under construction are yelling "breach of contract". But did they demand contractual language that would indemnify them from the effects of a citizen initiative? Are you telling me that a four-star property can't afford to pay it's workers above minimum wage? If they are charging at least double the rate of a value-category property (100% more) they can't pay 20% more in wages? I realize that's an oversimplification because it fails to take into account all the increased costs of running a four-star property. But it's still a fair question.

Look, I really have no interest in killing the goose that laid the golden egg. I agree that it's a good thing to have more executive-level accommodations to support the convention business. I actually agree with the tax rebate deal as opposed to a lot of corporate welfare like stadium deals that I don't believe deliver the promised benefit in many cases (and don't get me started on the Olympics).

Reasonable people can disagree on where this balances out. I happen to believe that things have gone too far in Disney's favor for some time, including the Mickey and Friends deal. IMHO Disney played hardball for many years without calculating the long-term effect on their image as a corporate citizen and now that has become a problem. Their depressed wages have deprived businesses in Anaheim and surrounding cities of additional sales revenue and the municpalities of tax revenue. I think Disney's improved wages will help to alleviate that even as they improve the lives of Disney's employees.

I am hoping that we will enter an era where Disney and the city have what I consider to be a more balanced and productive relationship. But there is more ground to cover before we get there.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
#13
The developers of the two properties under construction are yelling "breach of contract". But did they demand contractual language that would indemnify them from the effects of a citizen initiative?
Why would one include provisions protecting against illegal action? Ex post facto laws are illegal. The author of the initiative admitting that the law is about targeting prior, legal arrangements between Disney and the City is a huge problem that has a greater chance of sinking the whole thing than getting it expanded beyond the City Attorney’s interpretation.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
#14
Actually, this is not all the info. It's everything you need in order to understand the pro-business point of view and that's absolutely valid. I may disagree with Darkbeer on certain policy issues, but I respect and appreciate his analysis and insider understanding of all this from his place on the political spectrum.

What remains to be seen is whether the ALWI applies to Disney in light of the Mickey and Friends deal. Disney was given a benefit by the city--use of a parking structure that the bond arrangement financed and the ability for Disney to collect millions of dollars in parking fees. Disney received a material benefit in exchange for investing in its own property (DCA, etc.). The person who wrote the ALWI claims that it was specifically intended to make Disney subject to its terms. It will probably have to be decided in court if the ALWI passes.

But spare me the crocodile tears about how this is killing development in the Resort District. The developers of the two properties under construction are yelling "breach of contract". But did they demand contractual language that would indemnify them from the effects of a citizen initiative? Are you telling me that a four-star property can't afford to pay it's workers above minimum wage? If they are charging at least double the rate of a value-category property (100% more) they can't pay 20% more in wages? I realize that's an oversimplification because it fails to take into account all the increased costs of running a four-star property. But it's still a fair question.

Look, I really have no interest in killing the goose that laid the golden egg. I agree that it's a good thing to have more executive-level accommodations to support the convention business. I actually agree with the tax rebate deal as opposed to a lot of corporate welfare like stadium deals that I don't believe deliver the promised benefit in many cases (and don't get me started on the Olympics).

Reasonable people can disagree on where this balances out. I happen to believe that things have gone too far in Disney's favor for some time, including the Mickey and Friends deal. IMHO Disney played hardball for many years without calculating the long-term effect on their image as a corporate citizen and now that has become a problem. Their depressed wages have deprived businesses in Anaheim and surrounding cities of additional sales revenue and the municpalities of tax revenue. I think Disney's improved wages will help to alleviate that even as they improve the lives of Disney's employees.

I am hoping that we will enter an era where Disney and the city have what I consider to be a more balanced and productive relationship. But there is more ground to cover before we get there.
Oh, don't even get me started on horrible corruption like the Olympics. I was so proud of Boston (I lived in New Hampshire decades ago) for backing out of that sham, but so sad to see the LA politicians leap into action to nab the '28 games for their city. The Olympics are nothing but waste and decadence designed to enrich TV executives, the CEO's of Nike and McDonalds, and the fat cat bureaucrats at the International Olympic Committee offices in Paris.

Back to the ALWI, if the authors of that initiative had the 1996 parking structure deal in mind when he wrote the bill, then why didn't they spell that out? The language in the ALWI seems to avoid any mention of the parking structure or any city bonds. Instead it just talks about a “rebate of transient occupancy tax, sales tax, entertainment tax, property tax or other taxes, presently or in the future, matured or unmatured,”. Not a single mention of any city bonds or benefits from such bonds, which is what funded a minority share of the parking structure. State and federal taxes funded a majority of the parking structure, but those are also not mentioned in the ALWI language.

If the authors of ALWI had the parking structure bond funding of 1996 in mind when they wrote their bill, they had a really bad way of writing that into the text of their own bill. :confused:
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#15
https://www.ocregister.com/2018/10/...nimum-wage-ballot-measure-city-attorney-says/

>>Measure L does not define “rebate,” and Fabela concluded that the 1997 deal doesn’t provide Disney with a tax break or tax refund.


Disney officials agreed with Fabela’s assessment. They also pointed out recently signed contracts that raised most workers’ wages. In a statement, company spokeswoman Liz Jaeger said, “We are proud to have implemented a $15 minimum wage for our cast members, three years ahead of California. We also are excited by the response to Disney Aspire, our groundbreaking educational program that picks up 100 percent of the cost for hourly cast members who want to go to college or pursue a degree.”

Worker unions supporting Measure L have said they believe it still applies to Disney and they planned to say so to voters. Reached Monday, Unite Here Local 11 spokesman Austin Lynch said: “We feel confident that Disney is covered.


“Measure L goes beyond Disney. It always has. It covers anybody who gets these subsidies and any future subsidies that get handed out,” he said, adding, “We’ll be happy to enforce it in court if necessary.”<<
 
#16
https://www.ocregister.com/2018/10/...nimum-wage-ballot-measure-city-attorney-says/

>>Measure L does not define “rebate,” and Fabela concluded that the 1997 deal doesn’t provide Disney with a tax break or tax refund.


Disney officials agreed with Fabela’s assessment. They also pointed out recently signed contracts that raised most workers’ wages. In a statement, company spokeswoman Liz Jaeger said, “We are proud to have implemented a $15 minimum wage for our cast members, three years ahead of California. We also are excited by the response to Disney Aspire, our groundbreaking educational program that picks up 100 percent of the cost for hourly cast members who want to go to college or pursue a degree.”

Worker unions supporting Measure L have said they believe it still applies to Disney and they planned to say so to voters. Reached Monday, Unite Here Local 11 spokesman Austin Lynch said: “We feel confident that Disney is covered.


“Measure L goes beyond Disney. It always has. It covers anybody who gets these subsidies and any future subsidies that get handed out,” he said, adding, “We’ll be happy to enforce it in court if necessary.”<<
Ah, so now they've changed their talking points a bit because they got the bad news. From this is all about Disney, to it goes beyond Disney.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#17
At the council meeting now. More later.

Check out the Voice of OC and Richard McCracken, an attorney for UNITE HERE and Measure L. And his claims. They are a doozy.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#18
Ok these last few public comments about Disney are Wacko and so misguided and mistaking facts. I am going a bit crazy right now, but knew that coming in the door.

By the way, had a great weekend for the most part. The Sunday night dinner was long but very interesting. Many stories I can't tell.

Looks like public comments is finished.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
#20
Actually, this is not all the info. It's everything you need in order to understand the pro-business point of view and that's absolutely valid. I may disagree with Darkbeer on certain policy issues, but I respect and appreciate his analysis and insider understanding of all this from his place on the political spectrum.

What remains to be seen is whether the ALWI applies to Disney in light of the Mickey and Friends deal. Disney was given a benefit by the city--use of a parking structure that the bond arrangement financed and the ability for Disney to collect millions of dollars in parking fees. Disney received a material benefit in exchange for investing in its own property (DCA, etc.). The person who wrote the ALWI claims that it was specifically intended to make Disney subject to its terms. It will probably have to be decided in court if the ALWI passes.

But spare me the crocodile tears about how this is killing development in the Resort District. The developers of the two properties under construction are yelling "breach of contract". But did they demand contractual language that would indemnify them from the effects of a citizen initiative? Are you telling me that a four-star property can't afford to pay it's workers above minimum wage? If they are charging at least double the rate of a value-category property (100% more) they can't pay 20% more in wages? I realize that's an oversimplification because it fails to take into account all the increased costs of running a four-star property. But it's still a fair question.

Look, I really have no interest in killing the goose that laid the golden egg. I agree that it's a good thing to have more executive-level accommodations to support the convention business. I actually agree with the tax rebate deal as opposed to a lot of corporate welfare like stadium deals that I don't believe deliver the promised benefit in many cases (and don't get me started on the Olympics).

Reasonable people can disagree on where this balances out. I happen to believe that things have gone too far in Disney's favor for some time, including the Mickey and Friends deal. IMHO Disney played hardball for many years without calculating the long-term effect on their image as a corporate citizen and now that has become a problem. Their depressed wages have deprived businesses in Anaheim and surrounding cities of additional sales revenue and the municpalities of tax revenue. I think Disney's improved wages will help to alleviate that even as they improve the lives of Disney's employees.

I am hoping that we will enter an era where Disney and the city have what I consider to be a more balanced and productive relationship. But there is more ground to cover before we get there.
If the only thing that would cause Disney to have to pay all the employees in DL more was the agreement related to the parking garage I would expect Disney would simply create a new Disney Parking company, move all the parking assets into it and then it would only apply to the employees of that parking entity. I worked at a place in the past that own all the parking near their headquarters and because the didn't want employees to realize that they were having to pay the company to park there cars while they went to work they actually entered into a partnerships with a local parking lot operator where they transferred all their parking lots into a joint owned partnership that would make all the parking lots appear to be owned by the other operator even though my company still controlled them and received the money the parking lots generated except for a small fee that the local operator got from the partnership.

I could see Disney doing this as it would be a low cost way of avoiding substantial payroll increases.
 
Top Bottom