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Author: Franklin J. Lunding

From the Publisher: We Can’t Allow Developer FivePoint to Derail Plans for Our Veterans Cemetery … Again!

If Mayor Khan had simply followed the law that she and two of her Council colleagues — Anthony Kuo and Mike Carroll — adopted in May 2020, designating the Great Park ARDA site as the legal location for the community-supported and voter-approved Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery, construction would be underway right now.

Instead, here we are in the midst of the latest scheme hatched by billion-dollar-developer FivePoint and embraced by Khan, Kuo and Carroll to abandon plans for the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the Great Park in Irvine.

The latest scheme is particularly cruel to the families of veterans; it pushes the Veterans Cemetery completely out of Irvine and shoves it alongside the busy, polluted 91 freeway (Gypsum Canyon), just a few miles from the Riverside County line, and more than 20 miles from Irvine.

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Editorial: The Undemocratic “Rule of Two” is Being Used to Silence Thousands of Irvine Residents

Through my previous work on the Irvine Planning Commission and Irvine Transportation Commission, I saw firsthand how, with the right leadership, our City can do big things — preserve thousands of acres of open space, ban harmful chemicals in our air, establish thousands of attractive affordable housing units, and build a beautiful Community Parks system.

None of those “big things” happened without plenty of input from the entire Irvine community. Back then, City leaders encouraged Irvine citizens to become actively involved in the legislative process and to participate in public discussions on critical issues.

But, that is no longer the case! As I watch City Council meeting this year, it has become clear that our new Mayor and her Council majority have no interest in hearing from residents, particularly when it comes to a number of critical issues directly impacting thousands of Irvine citizens.

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Disrespecting Voters. Disrespecting Democracy.

Later this year, Irvine will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Historically, voters and City leaders in Irvine have shared a mutual respect for one another. Voters have trusted that the people they send to City Hall to represent them will do just that … represent the will of the people. And, previous City leaders have respected the voters enough to implement the will of the people.

However, respect for voters and respect for our local democracy seems to be disappearing in Irvine. For example, the Mayor’s undemocratic “Rule of Two” — requiring two Councilmembers to put matters on the Council agenda — has resulted in the Council refusing to even talk to the voters about critical issues that directly impact thousands of Irvine residents.

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Mayor Khan and Councilmembers Kim, Kuo & Carroll Want the Veterans Cemetery Relocated to a Site Alongside the 91 Freeway

Three months ago, at the March 23rd Council meeting, Mayor Khan said that honoring veterans with a Veterans Cemetery was a “top priority” for the Council, stating: “We are in a unique position as a City to actually get this done. I see it happening in May or June….We are all committed to making this happen!”

Khan, Kim, Kuo and Carroll have now unilaterally decided — contrary to the expressed will of the people — that Irvine no longer wants a Veterans Memorial Park. (Councilmembers Kim and Carroll even attended a July 1st press conference in support of the newly proposed “Gypsum Canyon” site which is located just past the 241 toll road and the 91 freeway connector.) This latest freeway site is 23 miles from Irvine, just 5 miles from Riverside County.

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Apparently, Telling Lies is the New Normal at Irvine City Hall

Through my decades of work as an attorney specializing in election law, I have unfortunately witnessed a few politicians who will say one thing to voters during a campaign and then do another thing once they are in office.

But, I have to admit I’ve been shocked to see how Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan and Councilmembers Tammy Kim, Anthony Kuo, and Mike Carroll have taken lying to a whole new level.

Call me old-fashioned, but I expect elected officials to follow-through on promises they make.

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