Irvine Council member Christina Shea has her own blog and she used it recently to point her fickled finger of blame at council members Larry Agran and Beth Krom over what’s likely to be a court-ordered expansion of the Musick Jail in the City’s Northeast corner.
“I want to remind Irvine residents of the agreement that was reached in February of 2000, when I was Mayor. Councilmembers (Greg) Smith and (Mike) Ward joined me in voting for the settlement agreement. Councilmembers Agran and (Dave) Christensen voted against the agreement!
Our agreement of February 2000 capped the jail numbers and only allowed for minimum security prisoners. With the Agran/Krom majority taking control, in December 2000, they overturned this two and a half year negotiation agreement. Supervisor Todd Spitzer worked with me as Mayor and negotiated with my Council majority, to maintain a low level jail at Musick.
We wouldn’t be looking at a present proposal of over 7500 minimum, medium, and maximum security prisoners in our back yard, if Council member Larry Agran and Councilwoman Beth Krom, hadn’t irresponsibly overturned the best deal for Irvine!
Our residents need to know the truth about Musick Jail….”
Shea leaves out a few small details:
1. Her “settlement agreement” would have nearly quadrupled the immate population at Musick from about 1,200 to over 4,000. Shea couldn’t admit to a policy of appeasement.
2. The Democratic Council majority of Agran, Krom and Chris Mears were elected on a platform of fighting any expansion of Musick in Irvine. They voted to overturn the settlement Shea had negotiated with the county and continue to fight the expansion of the Musick Jail in court to this day. Placing the blame on the Democrats for fighting the expansion of a jail that Shea strikes us as dishonest.
Here’s the LA Times story on the deal. “A week ago, the Lake Forest City Council voted unanimously to accept a compromise plan for Musick, arguing that it was better to accept limited growth than the full-blown project sought by county supervisors. A majority of supervisors signed off on the deal a day later–but said it would be withdrawn unless Irvine approved it.
The Irvine council spent hours late Tuesday arguing the merits of the compromise. Mears wanted the council to appoint a committee that would work in the next four months to find a remote spot for a new jail where Musick could be moved.
Years of effort to find such a site, most recently by South County cities, fell apart after no suitable spot could be found. Lake Forest officials hoped Irvine would approve the compromise and put pressure on the county to find another jail site farther from homes and businesses. Lake Forest homes are within 700 feet of the Musick jail.
Pressure for Irvine to ink the deal increased Friday after an appellate court cleared the way for the county to build as many as 7,968 beds at Musick. There are 1,200 beds now at the branch jail; the compromise would allow up to 4,400 beds over the next 15 years.
The county’s expansion plans for Musick were approved by supervisors before the passage in March of Measure F, which called for two-thirds of voters countywide to agree before the county could build new airport projects, large jails near homes and hazardous waste landfills. A judge threw out Measure F earlier this month as unconstitutional and a violation of state law.
Mears said supervisors would be thwarting the will of voters countywide if they forged ahead with a full Musick expansion. Measure F passed with 67% of the vote.”
3. Shea is the only member of the council who’s already voted for allowing more prisoners to be housed at Musick.
So I sort of agree with Shea. Irvine voters need to know the truth. She sold us out to the county years ago. And the courts, thwarting the will of the voters, are letting the county have their way despite the continued fight to stop the expansion by Agran and Krom.
- Lady Macbeth