Choi Seeks to Change Great Park Board

If new Irvine Mayor Steven Choi has his way, the Orange County Great Park would become the Irvine Great Park.  Now that Republicans have control of the Irvine City Council, Choi wants to eliminate the at-large members of the Board and make it consist of only members of the Irvine City Council than therefore turn control of the Park over to the Republicans.

In a memo to City Manager Sean Joyce, Choi cites the elimination of redevelopment agencies and the extensive planning work already done for the Great Park as the reasons for a “streamlined board.”

Choi writes: “Mindful of the thorough planning that has already occurred — and that the nine member Board of Directors has facilitated — while simultaneously mindful that the loss of redevelopment tax increment leaves us with finite resources to continue to add to the inventory of physical amenities at the Great Park, I believe it is timely to give consideration to streamlining the governance of the Orange County Great Park Corporation so that we can focus as much attention as possible to operations and, where feasible, future development of the physical park features in the near term.”

Choi wants to eliminate the at-large members completely, suggesting that at-large members are not accountable to the public. According to the Articles of Incorporation, the City Council can adopt amendments.

Back when Beth Krom and Larry Agran led the fight against the El Toro Airport (Christina Shea was out of office at the time and Choi was on the school board), it took a coalition of county leaders from South County in a unified effort to beat back the Airport and make the Great Park the choice of the voters.  With this move, Choi and the Republican majority are thumbing their nose at the rest of the county.

The Great Park Corporation is governed by the same requirements the city operates under. Councilman Jeff Lalloway, we’re told, has invoked the “City of Bell” in his rhetoric.  This is laughable.  The Great Park Corporation has a board which is paid a small stipend and a CEO with a salary in line with what a like sized business would make.  The city and the Great Park win awards for management.  City of Bell?  Not even close.

Council member Christina Shea has already volunteered to be on a committee for a forensic audit of the Great Park to look for waste.  Perhaps she’ll volunteer to reimburse the city for her trip to Charlotte in an effort to secure an NFL stadium for the Great Park site that she took during a previous stint on the council.

  12 comments for “Choi Seeks to Change Great Park Board

  1. January 2, 2013 at 11:10 am

    A better idea would be to look at how Irvine got control of the air base in the first place and then spent $200 million to build nothing. It originally belonged to all of us, and now the 33 other cities in Orange County have NO say in how it’s run.

  2. Ltpar
    January 2, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Considering the Agranistas stacked the Not So Great Park Board with their incompetent buffoon buddies, can a move to replace these guys hardly come as a surprise to anyone? Without such a move the Agranistas would continu to hold majority control over the Park and it would have been business as usual.

    Additionally, and you may agree, Irvine already has the finest Park System in southern California. Why not move the amateurs out of the way and get the profesionals involved in breaking the Great Park down into smaller sections and building it to Irvine standards. I am confident Irvine Community Services Department can do just that and cheaper than the fiasco during the past ten years. This, along with the audit of Park expenditures is a logical and prudent first step for the new Council in changing direction at the Great Park. Choi, Shea and Lalloway are to be congratulated for making this a top priority and moving on it right away.

    • January 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Amateurs? Can Shea even read a spreadsheet without a Dummies book?

  3. Ltpar
    January 2, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Dan, forgot to add in my previous comment.

    If my memory serves me correctly, various Council & Great Park Board Members Members were traipsing around the globe on a Park discovery junket. I also seem to remember a legitimite group of investors who were interested in the potential for a NFL Franchise on part of the El Toro Land, before it became the Great Park. I don’t know who went to Carolina or who paid for what, but it seems to me that trip is as reasonable as those taken to view Park Sites.

    Still, perhaps Christina Shea will consider reimbursing the City for the trip to Carolina, when your BFF Beth Krom reimbuses the City for her trip to China? That was the one where Krom cozied up to the Communist Chinese and cut an under the table deal to dump Irvine’s long time Sister City, Taoyuan, Taiwan. You do remember that one, don’t you? That was the incident where Krom instead of being accountable for her actions, put the blame on some low level City staffer, getting her demoted in the process. That incident spoke loudly about the character and itegrity of Beth Krom?

    Yep, Dan before you start throwing dirt at someone else, better make sure that your own house is clean. As long as you are in the Agranista House, it will never be clean. In case you forgot about China or wern’t around then, here is a reminder:

    • January 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      I remember the China thing Pat. I also remember Pelosi as Stalin on the new Mayor’s back and posing for Photos of Pelosi as an Nazi SS officer. A very Godly thing for the new mayor to do.

      Then there’s Shea’s three attacks on city employees with threats.

      And Pat, you left out the making Irvine a Romantic City at the height of the fight over the airport. No matter what Shea says publicly, she was a non-starter in the battle to defeat the airport and was out of office when Measure W was passed.

      And how many thousands of dollars did you have to reimburse the city for to pay off the legal fees associated with a politically motivated lawsuit? Was your share $10K or $20K….? I don’t remember. I do remember you were late paying it and please don’t blame it on your lawyer…

      • Ltpar
        January 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        Dan, as usual when you can’t respond logically to an issue you use the technique of “deflecting.” Sorry, but we all have seen enough of that crap from you to accept it for what it is. Lastly, I am not a player in Irvine politics, yet you still try to insult me with the lawsuit incident. Sorry bud, but if that’s the worst you can dredge up on me, I won’t respond because it is old news and nobody cares. It really gets to you doesn’t it, that after all your badmouthing, Steven Choi and Christina Shea are now in the Council majority. Better get used to it, cause they are going to be there for a while.

        • Dan Chmielewski
          January 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm

          Choi, at least 2 years; Shea 4…unless she threatens a city employee (again). It doens’t change my opinion of them Pat.

  4. January 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    A power grab just like the power grab Agran orchestrated with the current board? Have you forgotten that Don Papi Pulido serves on the board and is an Agran pal?

    • Ltpar
      January 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Dan, never forgets. He just has been drinking too much of the Agran kool Aid and it has impacted his mental faculties.

      • Dan Chmielewski
        January 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        Pat, answer the question; was is $10K or $20K…and were those raindrops on your face when you begged for relief or tears? You can buy a lot of umbrellas for what you paid.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      January 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      The same Don Papi who’s missed 100 meetings; haven’t forgotten. Shea missed 29 meetings last go-around too. But then again, the other at-large members know their stuff.

  5. Jay Sellars
    January 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    ANYTHING that furthers the progress (or lack thereof, in the past) is good.

    For a dozen years Agran, Krom and company have done little or noithing on this dront, unless of course you count selling out to home developers progress.

    I am stunned the people of Orange County and the FBI have not looked closely at this. I can’t believe you could spen the kind of money they have, gotten nowhere and fraud not be a part of it.

    Unless of course, it’s simple incompetence.


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