Angels executive Michael Schreter walked into City Hall Tuesday morning bearing what he called “an olive branch.”
Mayor Donald R. Roth looked up and saw Schreter armed with something different: an attorney and a public relations staff.
Roth and his colleagues turned down Schreter’s request to address them during the morning session. Instead, the City Council said Schreter could speak to it at 3 p.m.--giving the city time to contact the attorney representing Anaheim in its fight against the Angels’ $100-million lawsuit against the city over a proposed office tower development at Anaheim Stadium.
But to Schreter, who said council members knew that scheduling conflicts prevented him from returning for the afternoon session, the decision not to let him speak in the morning was a “blunt refusal” to hear him speak at all. Schreter wanted to address the council on an Angels-commissioned opinion poll, released Monday, that showed that most city residents surveyed support the ballclub and not the city in the lawsuit. Schreter is executive vice president of Golden West Baseball Co., the Angels’ parent company.
While the Angels saw the city’s action as an affront, the city saw the Angels’ request and comments as unreasonable.
“The council, in my opinion, went out of its way,” City Atty. Jack L. White said. Requests to address the council usually are made at least one week in advance.
“We saw them come in with their legal and (public relations) staff. We should be afforded the same opportunity,” Roth said.
The Angels-commissioned survey said 61% of residents polled think the Angels are right in their suit against the city, and 65% think the city should not develop the stadium’s parking lot with high-rise office buildings and parking garages.
It was the city’s commitment to a development project on 81 acres of the Anaheim Stadium parking lot that prompted the Angels to sue the city on Aug. 8, 1983.