City Council Attendance Report Card

As the saying goes, showing up is half the battle. When it comes to elected office, the voters expect their representatives to be present, on time, and in person. A missed Council meeting or vote on the dais could be the difference maker in enacting important city policy for Irvine’s 310,000+ residents and beyond.

Irvine Watchdog compiled City Councilmember attendance records by combing through every City Council meeting minutes since January 8, 2019, when then Councilmember Anthony Kuo and current Mayor Farrah Khan, took office. Irvine Watchdog reviewed 125 meetings and tallied all the instances when a Councilmember 1) no-showed a meeting, 2) missed a portion of the meeting (not including short bathroom breaks), and 3) opted to attend by Zoom teleconference. We graded each Councilmember’s attendance, factoring in these three categories. It should be noted that the City closed public participation at City Hall from March 2020 to June 15, 2021, in response to COVID-19. During this time, Councilmembers frequently participated by Zoom for health considerations and because the City Hall auditorium was empty. Below are our attendance grades from best to worst. City Council meeting minutes may be accessible here.

Grade A

Mayor Farrah Khan (in office 1/8/2019 to present)

Councilmember Larry Agran (most recent office held 12/8/2020 to present)

Former Mayor Christina Shea (most recent office held from 2012 to 11/24/2020)

None of these three Councilmembers have missed a City Council meeting since January 8, 2019, a testament to their commitment to the City and constituency. Moreover, Shea and Agran never missed any portion of a meeting and their Zoom attendance is almost exclusively when City Hall closed off to the public in response to COVID-19 precautions.

Grade B+

Former Councilmember Anthony Kuo (in office 1/8/2019 to 12/13/2022)

In an otherwise unblemished attendance record, after a loss to Councilmember Kathleen Treseder and Larry Agran, Kuo failed to attend his very last Council meeting. Regardless, Kuo never missed any other meeting and only teleconferenced two meetings after the COVID-19 public participation restrictions were lifted.

Grade B

Councilmember Tammy Kim (in office 12/8/2020)

From when she took office until the start of 2022, her attendance was immaculate. Within the last year, however, she has accumulated 6 partial absences from meetings. Most partial absences appear to be in solidarity with Councilmember Treseder’s walkouts during Gaza/Israel public comments.

Grade B-

Councilmember Kathleen Treseder (in office 12/15/2022 to present)

The newest member of the Council has made a habit of walking out of the Council chamber for non-agendized public comments regarding the Gaza/Israel conflict. Outside of Gaza/Israel-related public comments, Treseder has never zoomed or missed any other parts of Council meetings apart from one member of the public who made thinly veiled threats in response to a proposed gun safety ordinance. Since Treseder is the newest member, there is a small sample size to draw conclusions from.

Grade C-

Former Councilmember Melissa Fox (in office 2016 to 11/24/2020)

It is unclear why Councilmember Fox missed three meetings within six months and partially missed four other meetings in 2019. Fox left office at the end of her Council term to pursue a run for California State Assembly (District 68) which she lost. Since then, Fox has been largely out of politics. It should be noted that Watchdog conducted an attendance audit beginning 1/8/2019 and Fox’s attendance record is unknown for the first two years of her term when she began in 2016. It’s entirely plausible that Fox started her first two years on the City Council with good attendance.

Grade D

Councilmember Mike Carroll (in office 1/8/2019 to present)

In total, Councilmember Mike Carroll has missed 10 meetings, Zoom teleconferenced 10 other meetings after the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, and partially missed five other meetings.

Carroll began 2019 with a good attendance record. However, since July 27, 2021, right after City Hall opened back up to the public, Carroll has missed, partially missed, or Zoomed 37 percent of the meetings until present. Notably, all ten of his no-shows occurred after City Hall reopened to the public. Since public attendance resumed in 2021, 55 percent of all combined no-shows, partial absences, and Zoom meetings among all council members came from Carroll. Most recently, he did not attend the March 26, 2024 City Council meeting.

 

Editors Note: Data is as recent as April 2024 but did not include the most recent council meeting (5/14/2024) in which Mayor Khan missed due to city business with Irvine’s Sister City.