Will Irvine’s Republican Majority Do Away with Community Partnership Funds?

Irvine City Council (l-r) Beth Krom, Jeffrey Lalloway, Steven Choi (Mayor), Christina Shea, Larry Agran

Irvine City Council (l-r) Beth Krom, Jeffrey Lalloway, Steven Choi (Mayor), Christina Shea, Larry Agran

In Larry Agran’s last city council meeting, there was opposition to charities Agran wished to offer Community Partnership Funds.  Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway said Agran’s awards would have left incoming council member Lynn Schott will limited options to make her own awards — likely to very conservative causes.  Each member of the city council has $10,000 in the city’s budget to award to various charities.  Mayor Steven Choi uses his to promote various Korean events or charities, for example.

Council member Beth Krom offered up a compromise offering a portion of her community partnership budget to cover all of the charities Agran wished to recognize on his way out of city hall.  The Daily Pilot covered this and you can read the story here.  From the story:

“Lalloway pointed out that the annual budget allows each council member $10,000 in grant requests per fiscal year and that Agran would serve only five months of that term. Lalloway expressed concern that incoming Councilwoman Lynn Schott would be left with no budget for charitable grants. Agran had already used $1,000 in grant contributions.

Discussion reflected animosity along political lines that prompted catcalls from the audience. Mayor Steven Choi twice called for decorum in the council chambers.

After 10 minutes of acrimony, Krom interjected with a compromise. She offered to use her own communty fund budget to help fulfill Agran’s grant requests.

“I don’t want to see those organizations that council member Agran has identified lose out because of this absurd conversation,” Krom said.

“For us to be sitting here pretending this is about anything other than one last smack at council member Agran on his way out the door is ridiculous.”

Lalloway bragged about this on his Facebook page which prompted a response from GOP bigwig Jon Fleischman who wrote:

“Community Partnership Funds” sound like a construct of a council run by Democrats for over a decade. Republicans should put an end to that practice. Using funds taken by force from taxpayers to give out to charities sounds like something that Barack Obama would embrace. There are many worthy causes out there for the citizens of Irvine to support, and they do — with their own hard-earned dollars.”

Lofty words spoken by someone who doesn’t live in Irvine and likely doesn’t give to Irvine charities.  No one takes funds by force except in Fleischman’s fantasy world.  If he believes that, he ought to stop driving on public roads, tell the police and fire department not to protect his family, and send his kids to private school only.

Fleischman is believed to be the author of many of the most negative and untruthful IE mailers targeting Irvine Democrats (one source tells me so…still waiting on others) and he has the ear of Irvine Republicans, especially those who might eye State Rep. Don Wagner’s seat should Wagner win the vacant State Senate seat Mimi Walters leaves to assume a seat in Congress.  It’s very possible Choi and Lalloway will make a run for assembly, so which Republican will suggest its time to do away with Community Partnership Funds to make themselves a taxpayer champion?  My money is on Lalloway, who wanted to cut funding to the Barclay Theater in 2013.  Choi’s Korean charities are dependent on Choi’s grants, and many believe Choi is too old and too inarticulate to mount a successful assembly campaign.

It should come as no surprise that Republicans in Irvine, who have a council majority by 1,163 votes, are going to govern like they won by 1.1 million votes.

  1 comment for “Will Irvine’s Republican Majority Do Away with Community Partnership Funds?

  1. December 2, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Probably. They’ve already been going out of their way to promote their own partisan agenda. Beth Krom alone may not be enough to stop them now.

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