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Author: Franklin J. Lunding

The City Council is Set to Vote on Massive Development Projects at the Great Park … Without Any Input from the City’s Planning Commission or Irvine Residents Who Will be Impacted

On Tuesday (September 27th), Mayor Khan and Vice Mayor Kuo are set to push through several huge development projects at the Great Park. Khan and Kuo want the Council to approve these projects, which will cost Irvine taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, even though there has been zero input from the City’s Planning Commission, Transportation Commission, or Finance Commission.

Even worse, there has been zero input from the residents who live in the Great Park neighborhoods, and will be impacted by these huge development projects.

Khan and Kuo’s so-called Framework Plan for the Great Park includes hundreds of millions of dollars in new projects: a 15,000-seat outdoor amphitheater run by Live Nation; a water polo facility; and a huge botanical garden that will replace the voter-approved Veterans Memorial Park. (The City has been warned of a potential lawsuit for willfully ignoring Irvine voters — and Irvine’s own City law — by refusing to build the Veterans Memorial Park.)

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City Election Analysis: Irvine Mayoral Race

In 2020, Farrah Khan won Irvine’s Mayoral race with just 47% of support from Irvine voters. Now, she’s running for re-election in November, hoping that her four opponents will split the vote, allowing her to win again.

Khan’s disappointing performance as Mayor includes flip-flopping on the Irvine voter-approved citizens’ initiative to build the state-funded Veterans Memorial Park at the Great Park.

It’s not the only issue where Khan has been on the wrong side. Khan worked with her appointed Vice Mayor Anthony Kuo and Councilman Mike Carroll to establish the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) using millions of Irvine taxpayer dollars. Beginning October 1st, all Irvine residents will be transferred from their current provider of electricity — Southern California Edison — and automatically enrolled in the new OCPA electricity plan, at a significantly higher monthly rate, unless they actively opt-out.

During the 2020 election, Khan falsely told Irvine voters that she had already created and implemented a Climate Action Plan. It’s been nearly two years since Khan made that false claim and Irvine still doesn’t have a Climate Action Plan.
So, who are Khan’s challengers and where do they stand on these issues?

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City Election Analysis: Agran vs. Kuo for Council

As the founding publisher of Irvine Community News & Views, I have been privileged for 8 years to write my “Publisher’s Perspective” column — weighing-in on Irvine civic affairs.  With election season now upon us, I want to provide our readers with my initial review of the candidates and issues at the forefront of our City’s November 8th election.   

Irvine has a 5-member City Council. Three of the five are seeking re-election this fall. Mayor Farrah Khan is running for a second 2-year term, and Councilmembers Anthony Kuo and Larry Agran are seeking election to a 4-year Council term.  I’ll have plenty to say about the Mayor’s race soon, but for now, I want to offer my “publisher’s perspective” on the Council race.

Councilman Anthony Kuo and Councilman Larry Agran both have years of local governing experience. Of course, both are now Councilmembers on the same City Council, sitting at the same dais. In fact, they are seated next to each other. But the commonalities stop right there. On the central issues of this campaign, Agran and Kuo couldn’t be more different. 

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Khan-Kuo-Carroll Electricity Tax Forces Irvine Residents to Pay 18% More for the Same Renewable Electricity SCE Provides

When Mayor Farrah Khan, her appointed Vice Mayor Anthony Kuo and Councilman Mike Carroll established the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) using millions of Irvine taxpayer dollars, they promised residents that we would be receiving greener energy at a lower monthly rate than what is provided by Southern California Edison (SCE).

There was also a 2020 City staff report based on OCPA data that claimed the City government itself would save money on its own $5 million per year electricity bill once the City was transferred from SCE and enrolled in OCPA.

We now know those were all flat-out lies. In fact, the City’s own electricity use was transferred over to OCPA this past April, and the City is now spending $100,000 per month more for electricity — paid for with Irvine taxpayer dollars!

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Embattled Irvine Mayor Faces Tough Re-Election Campaign

After breaking a number of campaign promises she made to voters back in 2020, embattled Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan appears to be headed for a tough re-election campaign.

When Khan first ran for Mayor in 2020, the local Irvine Democratic club enthusiastically supported her candidacy with many of the club’s members volunteering their time and donating funds to help Khan.

Less than two years later, the same Irvine Democratic activists are refusing to support Khan for re-election in the upcoming 2022 Mayoral race.

With local Democrats fleeing, Khan appears to be teaming up with her Republican Council colleague Anthony Kuo. Kuo and Khan — who are aligned on all of the major issues facing our City — have been out in the community over the past few months, posting “selfies” on their social media accounts.

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