Since she ran for the Irvine City Council in 2018, now-Mayor Farrah Khan has insisted that she supports the proposed Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery.  This past year, she has publicly and repeatedly endorsed the placement of the Veterans Cemetery on the 125-acre “ARDA” site at the Great Park.

In May 2020, then-Councilmember Khan voted to adopt the citizens’ initiative, which rezoned the ARDA site exclusively for a Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery.  By adopting the citizens’ initiative, the ARDA site became the only site legally available for a Veterans Cemetery in the City of Irvine.

The very next month (June 2020), Khan voted for a motion by then-Councilmember Melissa Fox to begin building the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery on the ARDA site immediately.  (That motion unfortunately failed.)

However, since being elected Mayor, Khan has displayed no interest in moving forward with the project.  She has rejected attempts by Councilmember Larry Agran to agendize Council discussion of the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery.  And so far, she seems unwilling to do what is necessary to secure tens of millions of dollars in additional State funding for the project.

The State has already allocated $24 million.  And now our legislators in Sacramento are telling us they may be able to secure millions more in the State’s Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget.  Meanwhile, Mayor Khan continues to say that we need to wait until a study is completed that compares the ARDA site to a completely different site that has already been rejected by Irvine voters.  (There is no other legally available site … and Khan and her Council colleagues know it!)

Khan’s unnecessary delay will not only result in Irvine losing millions of dollars in State funding; it will further delay the commencement of construction of the Veterans Cemetery at the ARDA site.

So, here’s my question:  Why is Mayor Khan holding up State funding for construction of the Veterans Cemetery that she has publicly endorsed?  Who benefits from this?  Certainly not Irvine veterans, their families, and the tens of thousands of Irvine citizens who support them and their noble cause.

If you are as outraged as I am about Mayor Khan delaying construction of the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery, I urge you to contact the Mayor and Council via email at irvinecitycouncil@cityofirvine.org.

Franklin J. Lunding