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Irvine’s Mayoral Race


Although there are five candidates officially running for Mayor of Irvine, a study of the candidates’ records — and where they stand on the issues — clearly reveals the one best choice for Mayor: Irvine Community News & Views endorses Mary Ann Gaido for Mayor of Irvine.

Mary Ann Gaido (pronounced Guy-Doe) is the only Mayoral candidate with the knowledge, experience — and proven record — to deal with the excessive growth, traffic and overdevelopment that is now eroding Irvine’s quality of life.  Her campaign pledge is to “put the people back in control” through a Comprehensive Growth and Traffic Control Ordinance that will control and limit the number of building permits issued and require a ballot-box vote of the people before any major new residential development can go forward.

Gaido has amassed a 40-year record of service to the Irvine community, including as a former two-term City Councilmember and long-time Irvine Planning Commissioner.  (Full Disclosure: I served with Gaido during the late 1980s, when I was a Transportation Commissioner and then a Planning Commissioner.)

Mary Ann Gaido’s devotion to the City of Irvine and to the City’s master plan — known as the Irvine General Plan — is legendary.  She believes in the General Plan and the limits it places on growth, development and traffic.  Respected as the “Guardian of the General Plan,” Gaido has shown the courage to say NO to big developers who have pretty much “bought” the current Planning Commission, Mayor and City Council.  While they are intent on shredding the General Plan, Gaido remains determined to uphold it.

In recent years, Gaido’s courage has cost her.  Because she said NO to FivePoint Communities when the mega-developer wanted to build 10,000 houses at the Great Park, FivePoint Communities and allied developers spent more than $500,000 on a TV and mail blitz to defeat her by just 954 votes in her 2014 bid to unseat pro-developer Mayor Steven Choi.  This time, FivePoint and other big developers are again backing Gaido’s chief opponent in the Mayor’s race — termed-out State Assemblyman Don Wagner.  FivePoint and other developers/special interests encouraged Wagner to run.

Because Wagner’s campaign is essentially being “outsourced” to FivePoint Communities, and professional campaign management firms, Gaido’s grassroots, pro-resident campaign is emerging as a real “David vs. Goliath” contest — with Gaido in the role of “David.”  Read our excellent Page 1 story to learn more about the Mayor’s race.  And see the “Candidate Comparison Chart” we’ve included in our Open Forum/Community Voices section, Page 14 of the printed edition.

Publisher & Editor

Franklin J. Lunding


Irvine, CA
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