By providing the vote to kill the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park, Councilmember Melissa Fox either switched her long-held public position supporting the Veterans Cemetery without offering any good reason — or she has lied about her position all along. Either way, she deserves an angry rebuke from this newspaper, from all those who voted for her, and from the veterans who will soon need a burial plot.
In an interview reported in our August 26, 2014 issue of ICNV, when she was first running for City Council, candidate Melissa Fox said: “I’m going to make very sure that a Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery is actually created in the Great Park.” In 2016, throughout her second try for Council, Fox maintained this position. It was a major reason this newspaper endorsed her in both 2014 and 2016.
Yet, at a June 6th “special meeting” of the City Council, Councilmember Melissa Fox provided the vote needed by developer FivePoint Communities to kill the previously approved, fully-funded, “shovel-ready” Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park. Instead, she voted to accept a dubious “offer” from developer FivePoint — with no specifics, no surveys, no appraisals no environmental documents, and no City staff work — to swap the 125-acre Veterans Cemetery site in the Great Park to FivePoint, along with massive commercial development rights.
We join many others in wondering what influenced Melissa Fox to change her vote from a sure-thing Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park — as planned and approved by the City, State, and Federal government — to an uncertain and even unsuitable FivePoint land-site alongside the I-5 and I-405 freeways, far outside the Great Park.