Editor’s note: a business trip prevented me from attending Beth Krom’s final meeting as an Irvine City Council member, so I’ve asked Larry Agran for permission to republish this letter from Irvine Community News & Views:
Congratulations to Melissa Fox on her election to the Irvine City Council! Elected to a four-year Council term on Nov. 8th, Melissa is sure to make her own affirmative mark on our City as a progressive civic-minded attorney and leader.
Of course, she takes a seat on the City Council that has been held by Beth Krom, who is retiring after 16 years of stellar public service. Beth Krom was first elected to the City Council in 2000, going on to win six more elections, including two successive 2-year terms as Mayor (2004-2008).
It was my privilege to serve on the Council with Beth for all but the past two years, so I had an up-close opportunity to work with this remarkable friend and partner, who has done so much to shape our planned community in ways that deserve our continuing gratitude.
- Beth Krom was among the foremost leaders in defeating the County’s proposed airport plan and replacing it, instead, with a vision for a great metropolitan park — the Great Park — at the former Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro.
- Despite a devastating recession and the loss of State funding, under Beth Krom’s leadership both as a City Councilmember and Chair of the Great Park Corporation, we managed to design and build major features that now define the first 300 acres (about 25%) of the Great Park.
- Beth Krom was among the original founders and continuing leaders of the Irvine Community Land Trust — a non-profit entity created by the City to acquire land and ensure the affordability of housing for many thousands of deserving seniors and Irvine families.
Like others, I’ve marveled at how often Beth Krom manages to capture in words and phrases our shared commitment to build a vibrant, caring community. Beth is right when she says, “Buildings don’t make communities; people make communities.” And, speaking of our diverse and fully integrated, multi-cultural community that she has done so much to create, Beth Krom says with pride, “Here in Irvine, our children can grow up and experience the world without ever having to travel beyond the borders of our City.”
There is a gritty strength to Beth Krom as well. Since 2012, as our City Council has come under the sway of developers, she has never hesitated to remind us that a Councilmember’s job is not to dutifully serve rich and powerful developers, but to serve the people of our City, especially the least among us.
Thank you, Beth, for a job well done!
— Larry Agran