Could Anaheim and Mickey get divorced?

COULD a November ballot measure drive a wedge between the City of Anaheim and the Disney empire? (Flickr/Mike).

The Nov. 6 general election will be of special interest to residents of Anaheim and Garden Grove. And how.

How? The Anaheim City Council voted 4-3 late Tuesday night to place on the ballot a measure which would require an eventual $18 per hour  minimum wage for employees at businesses that receive a subsidy from the city.

The measure is bitterly opposed by the Disney Resort people, who feel that the new city council majority has turned hostile to The Mouse, and that more friction between City Hall and Frontierland could well be on its way.

As the proposal first became a real threat – when the hotel workers union gathered enough signatures to quality for the ballot – here’s the response from the Disney people.

“Anaheim has become an increasingly hostile business environment, which is disappointing given our investments have created thousands of jobs and driven millions of tax dollars into the city,” said Disney’s Lisa Haines in a statement. “While Orange County will always be our home, the company has a choice on where it will invest and we are in active conversations about moving a wide range of investments elsewhere given the challenging dynamics.”

The main beneficiary of this whole thing could be Garden Grove, as Disney officials are threatening to take some of their development plans south of Chapman to the Big Strawberry, a city deemed more Mouse-friendly.

Approval by Anaheim voters is not a slam-dunk. While the hotel workers’ union is bound to push hard to get the measure approved, the construction trades unions are not thrilled, fearing that it will drive work out of the city.

Disney is considered likely to be active (financially as well as otherwise) in the election. It might also be considered foreseeable that, in an effort to cover all contingencies, the Disney officials start showing up in Garden Grove, considering less expensive possibilities.

The only thing new under the sun is …

The history you don’t know. That’s what Harry Truman said. In the interest of popularizing obscure local history, here are a few tidbits about Westminster, courtesy of local history buff Jerry Howard.

  • While many of us think of a downtown for the All-American City as being close to Beach Boulevard and Westminster Boulevard, the original central core of the community was a piece west, at Olive Street near what is now Sigler Park. What is now the Civic Center area was called New Westminster, as businesses moved east to be closer to the then-new Highway 39, now known as Beach Boulevard.
  • “Little Saigon” is the name applied to the Vietnamese business district, but it’s not called that by the folks who shop and work there. It’s more commonly referred to simply as “Bolsa” or “Bolsa Row.” That, of course, is Bolsa Avenue.

“Usually Reliable Sources” appears on alternate Wednesdays. Usually.







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