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Author: Franklin J. Lunding

Publisher’s Perspective: Vice Mayor Kim’s Self-Serving Call for “Investigation”

There is an ongoing FBI investigation into public corruption at Irvine City Hall involving disgraced political consultant Melahat Rafiei.

So, why is Vice Mayor Tammy Kim calling for a separate City investigation? At the January 24th Council meeting, Kim stated that she wanted a quick 30-day City investigation to “clear my name.” (Rafiei ran Kim’s 2020 City Council campaign.)

It should be obvious to everyone that it would be a conflict of interest to have the City investigate itself … with the Council directing and overseeing the investigation. A friend who teaches legal ethics and is an expert witness in these matters told me that any internal investigation by the City that was controlled by the Council would itself be unethical, lack credibility, and viewed as highly questionable.

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Irvine Continues to Put the City’s Taxpayers & Electricity Ratepayers at Financial Risk

Three years ago, the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) was established with the promise that Irvine electricity ratepayers would receive greener energy at lower rates, and that the agency would provide the public with full transparency.

Since that time, the OCPA Board — none of whom have any experience in the electricity field — hired one of their political cronies to run the agency as its CEO, even though he too has no experience in the electricity field.

Last year, the Orange County Grand Jury found that OCPA is rife with cronyism, incompetence, and a lack of transparency.

Through its own audit, the County of Orange found the same problems, resulting in its decision to pull out of OCPA. Why won’t Irvine protect the City’s taxpayers and ratepayers?

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The Irvine City Council Finally Approves Councilman Agran’s Plan for the Long-Promised Veterans Memorial Park

After years of persisting in his efforts to implement the will of the voters … and to make good on the promise Irvine made to veterans and their families more than a decade ago, Councilman Larry Agran finally won Council approval for construction of the long-promised Veterans Memorial Park.

However, Agran’s win didn’t come easy. In fact, Councilmember Tammy Kim refused to support the construction plan until the words “Veterans Memorial Park” were removed.

Kim spent several minutes complaining about Agran’s proposal being called a Veterans Memorial Park. She insisted that all of the elements in Agran’s plan — the control tower, planes, and military artifact displays; the Walk of Honor; the Great Memorial Meadow; and every other amenity honoring the former air station — should be referred to instead as a “botanical garden.”

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New Year: New Start?

For most of us, the beginning of the year brings a renewed sense of optimism and hope. When it comes to the Irvine City Council, I am cautiously optimistic that many of the contentious items from last year may be overcome.

Sources tell me that four critical issues facing our City will be discussed by the new Council in January:

Great Park Development Plans

All American Asphalt Plant

District Elections

Veterans Memorial Park

We’ll have to watch the next few Council meetings to see if this new Council really will work together on behalf of the City’s residents to deliver on the promises they have made. Stay tuned!

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