Irvine City Council Defeats Cemetery Land Swap; Shea has a Fit

Christina Shea

Christina Shea

Not a single member of the Irvine City Council seconded a motion by pro-developer Council member Christina Shea to swap land designated for the Veterans Cemetery and Memorial with billionaire developer Emile Haddad and the effort failed at last night’s city council meeting.  Instead, a substitute motion by Council member Beth Krom passed on a 3-1 vote to reaffirm the action taken by the city council in 2014 to stay the course on the planned Veteran’s Cemetery and Memorial.

Mayor Steven Choi didn’t vote for the motion to reaffirm the existing plan and the reason there was only 4 votes is because Shea stormed out of the chambers when she didn’t get her way for her key developer constituent.  And the rant continues of Shea’s Facebook page this morning and it’s epic.

Shea writes (we’re not correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation errors; there are a lot of them):

Good Morning,
Well we had a disappointing outcome last night..A great turnout of our Veterans, and residents and our local Republican delegation. Representatives from Assemblyman Matt Harpers office,Assemblyman Don Wagner, Congresswoman Mimi Walters representative, Kate, all supporting our land exchange that would save tens of millions of dollars for our Veterans on their OC cemetery proposal. Former Councilmember Agran showed up opposing the land exchange charging that the developer was being dishonest and they would build thousands of homes on our present 125 acres If the swap occurred. However, our zoning only allows for 250 homes on that site not 1000s of homes. He also falsely claimed, (nothing new) remember Agrans politics? ….that the new cemetery won’t be on the base, but it is, another false claim.

Interestingly, after hours of testimony in favor, I made a motion to move forward and no one seconded the new proposal.
Instead Jeff Lalloway and his co supporter Lynn Schott opposed the plan supporting Larrys arguments, and also supported Beth Krom’s proposal and motion, to just reaffirm the present site with all its impediments.
Reaffirmation was not needed nor was giving the City Manager $100,000 to expedite the motion he has no control over. Mayor Choi opposed.
Jeff Lalloway seconded Beth Krom’s motion ( actually Larry Agran’s motion, it appeared)
Does it get any weirder?

I am being more and more amazed with my supposed Republican team! Jeff Lalloway and Lynn Schott, who continually are working against good common sense proposals, as promised, and siding with our opposition.

Just so we all remember Councilmember Lalloway voted for Occupy Wall Street, a liberal fringe group…remember, who set up a shanty camp in front of City Hall costing our taxpayers what? $60,000 to repair the lawn and pay for their porta potties. Then he proposed to support Miquel Pulito for AQMD against the Republican nominee, and last night voting for Mr Agran’s position against the land exchange which was a much better deal for our Vets, He and Lynn Schott, who by the way, is now running for Congress, and declared two months after she won election election to City Council by 180 votes, after three attempts, for Loretta Sanchez democratic seat. They made up all sorts of nonsense about the land exchange, just as former Councilmember Larry Agran and Beth Krom did.
Jeff Lalloway is up for reelection to the Republican Central Committee this June 7 th and I think allot of folks last night won’t forget how our Vets were ill served and our Asian friends maligned for their beliefs.
i don’t align with these beliefs but last time I looked we live in a country that allows freedom of thought and the right to individual belief.
And there has been much more shenanigans going on at City Hall…ask these two members of Council what happened to the legal cases we were discussing in light in our Great Park audit..ask Jefff and Lynn about what happened to recoup millions of taxpayer dollars. I have been asked but it was all done in Closed session so I can’t speak to it, but if they agree to waive executive privilege then the public will know what’s really going on behind closed doors…..remember elections are drawing near… June 7 th is our primary and both these elected’s are running for another office.
Again thanks to Five Points and Emile Haddad for his generous offer of a great location for our Veterans cemetery and thanks to Bill Cook Bob Brower and so many others that spent countless hours working for a solution to make their final resting a more secure location!
Have a good day!

The Irvine City News, already censoring comments on its Facebook page, had a report up this morning that was very pro FivePoints noting Emile Haddad spoke briefly at the council meeting.  From their story:

FivePoint CEO Emile Haddad spoke briefly, saying, “We hope that our offer of the property exchange leads to a win–win–win outcome, for the city of Irvine in its desire to have a cemetery on the previous base, a win for the veterans and for those residents who believe the existing site is incompatible with existing uses.”

Haddad left out one more “win.”  Him.  And there’s hundreds of millions of reasons why he’d be the biggest winner.

The OC Register has some interesting details in their story about the meeting; one, that Bill Cook from the Veteran’s group added his signature to the letter sent to the city council asking for the land swap when the letter was written by “someone” at FivePoint.

Anyone care to guess which FivePoint consultant wrote the letter?  All I have is a denial from someone who just might have to walk it back.

From the story:

Krom said her concerns over the transparency of the land-swap proposal process were compounded when she learned that the letter the council recently received requesting officials’ consideration of the plan, signed by Cook, had been written by someone at FivePoint.

Cook said the letter was composed that way for expediency’s sake, and that it accurately articulated his thoughts in favor of the developer’s offer.

As to the timing, Haddad said it wasn’t he who brought up the idea. It emerged as a possible solution to an ongoing controversy through his talks with Shea, Cook and others, he said.

It was a 2014 bill authored by then-Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, that kicked off CalVet’s effort with an allocation of $500,000.

Quirk-Silva, a teacher who is running for the 65th Assembly District, said the proposal had arrived at an inopportune time.

“Regardless of the advantages and disadvantages of either site, I was disappointed by the timing of the offer, coming only after much time and taxpayer money has already been expended,” she wrote.

However, co-signer Assemblyman Donald Wagner, R-Irvine, said at the meeting he would work legislatively to get backing at the state level for the new site were the council to approve it.

Lalloway said Wagner was making promises he would be unlikely to be able to keep as a Republican in a Democrat-controlled Legislature.


We regularly rip Irvine’s Republican City Council members cause that’s one of the things we do here at TheLiberalOC.  We are grateful to council member Beth Krom for reaffirming the existing plan and we are pleased that Jeff Lalloway and Lynn Schott voted as they did.  Thank you. Choi deserves a golf clap for not seconding Shea’s original motion.  As for Council member Shea, nice to know elected officials are still for sale.

The cemetery is facing a July 1 deadline for federal grant requests and is on target and not delayed as some advocating for the landswap are saying.  About a half million dollars from the state for design and planning has already been spent and opponents of the swap believe a relocation would more than likely delay the cemetery or possibly kill it altogether.

  16 comments for “Irvine City Council Defeats Cemetery Land Swap; Shea has a Fit

    April 13, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Thank you Dan for the reporting of the recent land swap “bait and switch”.

    I was thinking during this very long meeting why were the Veterans being corralled into this “switch “? Then it happened – the cemetery is being used as a political football – by none other than Shea and party (Choi, Matthew Harper, Anthony Kuo and others)

    The former El Toro Marine base is intrinsically linked to the veterans of Southern California. Creating a veteran’s cemetery on its grounds would allow veterans to have their final resting place on the very ground where many of them worked tirelessly to serve our country. Additionally, the creation of a veteran’s cemetery would serve as a reminder to our future generations of the sacrifices made by their ancestors. Understand, I absolutely want what the Veterans want – I have no problem what site they choose, however, I do not want these Veterans used for political gain for the few.

    It’s an election year and these three (Christina Shea, Matthew Harper, Anthony Kuo) are running, and only one person has the money, “dark money “ these are wealthy donors buying political favors without being held accountable.

    This is a serious problem, because political campaigns involve the exchange of millions of dollars. One must always follow the money, and when that much money is in play, large favors are expected in return.

    This decision by Christina Shea would serve as a major disservice to our Veterans.

    • April 13, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Haddad doesn’t have to spend that much to buy the council he wants. Its going to be up to the voters to see past this.

  2. junior
    April 13, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    All else aside – is one site better than the other for a Veterans’ cemetery?

    Does the disagreement boil down to the potential value of the original property to the developer?

    • April 13, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      There’s evidence swapping sites might place the entire project in jeopardy. A bill was passed and signed into legislation. You have to start from square one.

      • junior
        April 13, 2016 at 3:55 pm

        Is that the argument of the “No” votes on the Council – that to swap sites could put the entire project in jeopardy?

  3. Alan
    April 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Everyone just needs to remember that big business does not do things out of the kindess of their heart. They do things for one reason and one reason only. PROFIT, PROFIT AND MORE PROFIT!!!! Think about it. The whole offer from Five Point is very suspicious.

    • junior
      April 13, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      I have no problem with a developer making a “PROFIT” when dealing with a government/public entity – as long as the process is transparent and at arms length and with appropriate benefit to both sides. “PROFIT” is not the issue here – and “profit” is not a dirty word.

      • Alan
        April 13, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        Jr. You are correct profit is not a bad thing however profit at any cost is. I don’t believe Five Point cares at all about the Vets. I believe they are using the Vets to get what they want.

    • John Jaeger
      April 14, 2016 at 5:02 am

      Alan, you need to remember that socialists have long condemned those evil “PROFITS” and as a consequence, have subjugated billions of people to lives of squalor and misery. Is that the kind of life you want for yourself and your family? The life of socialist oppression? People worldwide are dying to escape such misery and ignorance. Only “PROFITS” enable businesses to continue. Only big government can operate year after year while losing money. Barack Obama has demonstrated his talent for shooting his mouth off, condemning George Bush for deficit spending, and then setting a record deficit of $17 TRILLION. Liberalism is an unmitigated disaster thanks to people like you, who next want to continue bringing in illegal aliens by the millions and Syrian “refugees” by the hundreds of thousands, so that they can wreak havoc, and rape, and riots and terrorism here as in Europe. Will you Leftists NEVER learn? No. You don’t want to learn, even from the clear lessons of history.

      • April 14, 2016 at 5:15 am

        John, you don’t seem to understand the difference between deficit and debt. Under President Obama, our budget deficit has shrunk by about a trillion dollars a year. Now as for the debt, the bailouts were initiated by both presidents. Would it have been better to let the nation’s economy and the global economy collapse? Where was the invisible hand of the free market? De-regulation had a lot to do with the economy’s near collapse. When will Leftists ever learn? When will conservatives

        • junior
          April 14, 2016 at 7:55 am

          “Under President Obama, our budget deficit has shrunk by about a trillion dollars a year.”

          Only because Obama more than tripled the cumulative deficit over the previous 8 years under Bush.

          Cute trick …. comparing your “good self” to your own “evil self.”

          • John Jaeger
            April 14, 2016 at 11:16 am

            Junior, you are correct. Spinning and verbal obfuscation is a liberal specialty. When Bush was forced to increase spending dramatically to conquer Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and attack terrorist bases in Afghanistan, both strongly approved by Americans, liberals screamed bloody murder. Bush alone was to blame. Even Disaster Obama condemned Bush increasing the national debt, calling it “unpatriotic.”

            But when their incompetent chosen one spent far, far more, on welfare, on giveaways, on everything, well, the Leftists excuse it with babble like Danny Chmielewski’s.

            America is now the laughingstock of the world, thanks to the Muslim who will stick with his terrorist buddies should the winds blow against them. Disaster after disaster, with no end in sight.

            • Alan
              April 14, 2016 at 4:19 pm

              John, ” When Bush was forced to increase spending dramatically to conquer Saddam Hussein in Iraq”. We are still waiting for those weapons of mass destruction. The people supported it based on the lies they were told. You do understand that the Iraq war destablized the whole region and for the most part created Isis. What a disaster it was.

  4. John Jaeger
    April 13, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I spoke last night at the city council meeting after waiting for three hours to speak for less than sixty seconds. I opposed both the proponents of archaic superstitious beliefs as well as the veterans who claimed to support a land swap. The only possible reason the vets supported the “YES ON LAND SWAP” crowd was because they were afraid the city council would not have the courage to stay the course. Some land was better than none, they no doubt felt.

    Kudos to Larry Agran, Beth Krom, Jeff Lalloway, and Lynn Schott. This swap would not have been a “compromise” but a capitulation. What would be next, the number 8 in every Irvine address, for good luck? No more cul de sacs, because the evil spirits can’t get out of them? Take such silliness back to Shanghai or Beijing. It does not belong here in a modern American city.

  5. April 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    See link:

    Please add your name to the end and send the following e-mails to:,,,,

    Please forward it to as many news media and the opponents for Council members Jeff Lollaway, Lynn Schott, Beth Krom, and Mayor Choi:

    Shame on you for not backing up a great win-win solution for the landswap!

    To: 4/15/16

    Mayor Steven S. Choi, Ph.D.

    Irvine City Councils: Jeff Lalloway, Lynn Schott, Beth Krom,

    City of Irvine

    1 Civic Center Plaza

    Irvine, CA 92623-9575

    Phone: 949-724-6233


    Mayor Choi, Council members Lollaway, Schott and Krom,

    Shame on you for not backing up a great win-win solution for the landswap! We are VERY, VERY upset and angry about your action. You are our mayor and councils, and you were supposed to represent our interests, how could you vote against the will of the veterans and the community? Your excuses to reject this great proposal are nonsenses. This landswap is proposed by the veterans, supported by the community, and second and vote yes on Shea’s motion was the right thing to do.

    We do NOT understand why you did not second or vote yes on the landswap. Do you have some kind of hidden agenda? Are you getting some secret benefits from someone for rejecting this great idea?

    Mayor Choi, we know you are running for the state assembly, but you are still Irvine mayor for now, as long as you are on the job, you should ALWAYS put Irvine people’s interest first. Otherwise, what will people think? Do you want to see this headline in the news:

    “Steven Choi’s record as mayor is a record of selling out Irvine. If he can sell out Irvine people’s interest when he is Irvine mayor, what will he do when he becomes your assemblyman? Steven Choi, a politician we can NOT trust.”


    We know you are running for congress, and Jeff is running for a leadership position for Republican, Republican Central Committee, you guys do not want to see similar headline for your upcoming election, right? So, go do the right thing and correct your own mistake, second or vote yes on the landswap when it comes around again. OR, you WILL pay for your own actions of ignoring people’s will.

    We voted Agran’s team out in 2014 for what they had done. Apparently Jeff, Lynn and Choi, you have not learned from Agran and his team and voted against Irvine people’s will on 4/12/16.

    Politicians have to be held accountable for their actions, and their actions have consequences.

    If you continue to ignore the will of Irvine people, a recall of you as the city council or mayor is necessary. WE are NOT going to let you get away with selling out our community’s interest.


    • April 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      It’s Lalloway, not Lolloway. Your spelling is as bad as Shea’s

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