The Irvine City Council approved a proposal by City Council member Larry Agran to set aside up to 100 acres of the Great park for a State Veteran’s Cemetery and Memorial. The council ultimately passed the resolution to approve the measure 4-1 with Council member Christina Shea the lone no vote. But the initial vote was 3-2 with Agran, Beth Krom and Jeff Lalloway voting down an alternative motion by Christina Shea to delay a move to support Assembly Bill 1453. Mayor Choi joined Shea in voting yes for the alternate motion, and seeing he’d lose on this, the Mayor, in weasel-like fashion, jumped on the bandwagon and voted with the majority to be able to say he voted to support a Veteran’s measure that he initially didn’t. So Lalloway was the swing vote here and did the right thing.
There were a number of speakers there to speak on behalf of City Council support for the passage of AB 1453 and the State establishment of the Southern California Veterans Cemetery in Orange County. We’ll note excellent comments by Irvine Community Services Commissioner Melissa Fox and her father, Stan Kay, a veteran of the Korean War, failed to sway the Mayor or Council member Shea. I’d argue the Mayor owns Mr. Kay an apology for not supporting this initially.
Shea’s alternative motion and rationale for delay made no sense. She is apparently confused over who owns the land at the Great Park and it’s the City, not FivePoint Communities. Her argument for the alternative measure was lame and you have to wonder if she was carrying water for FivePoint instead of our military veterans.
So no matter what, friends and neighbors, when it came time to do the right thing for our military Veterans, Choi and Shea voted against them.
Now a lot still has to happen to make the Veteran’s Cemetery a reality. But this effort is a real victory for State Rep. Sharon Quirk-Silva and a black eye for Choi and Shea.