Op-Ed: Why Irvine Should Vote for the Entire NO on B Team
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By: Harvey H. Liss
This election on November 6th is very different from previous ones for two reasons:
- Developer FivePoint has been earning hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from their General Plan – breaking development at the expense of the City and its residents, solely by virtue of a complicit City Council. Thus, FivePoint has been and is willing to continue spending millions of dollars to support its surrogate candidates and to oppose its opponents (the “NO on B Team of Three”) with a vast propaganda campaign.
- The NO on B campaign created a substantial base of voters out of the 28,638 voters who opposed Measure B, who will vote for the “NO on B Team of Three” candidates (Ed Pope for Mayor; and Jaci Woods and Frank McGill for Council) Hence, the election battle is really between the candidates funded by FivePoint and the “NO on B Team of Three.”
As a consequence, any vote for any candidate other than members of the NO on B Team will most likely be a vote for FivePoint. FivePoint only needs to win one seat to retain majority control of the Council, while the residents need to win ALL three seats (the Mayor and two Council seats) to overcome the votes of Councilmembers Christina Shea and Melissa Fox, who are both FivePoint surrogates.
Nonetheless, there are voters who may not understand the arithmetic of this reality, and want to know what, beyond building a Veterans Cemetery, the NO on B Team of three will do.
Following, is a list of what Pope, Woods and McGill can do after ordering construction to begin on the Veterans Cemetery on the ARDA site, which will forever prevent FivePoint from gaining control of those 125 acres for their massive development:
- Limit the issuance of building permits to a sustainable rate (about half the current rate).
- Have the required infrastructure completed before buildings are occupied.
- Re-establish a comprehensive school bus transportation system to help mitigate morning and afternoon traffic.
- Dramatically expand the iShuttle.
- Increase developer fees in order to modernize the traffic control system to be adaptive rather than fixed, so that traffic signals can not only be all synchronized, but their cycles will change with traffic conditions.
- Have the street and intersections updated and improved (right-turn lanes, bus cut-outs, etc.)
- Establish a Transportation Commission and City traffic engineer who would be beholden to Irvine’s workers and residents rather than to developers. That would prevent absurd traffic reports that claim development has no impact on traffic congestion, and that traffic congestion is in the drivers’ imaginations.
- Great Park development can be put back on track, following the original, $38 million world-class design that resulted from an international competition, and that was trash-canned when FivePoint took control of the City Council in 2012. E.g., a new, resident-supportive Council can put back the incredible canyon that was the most attractive feature of the Great Park rather than Councilmember Shea’s unnecessary and park-killing golf course. It can also put back other actual park features rather than more commercial enterprises that benefit FivePoint and kill the Great Park it was intended to be.
- Replace the Irvine Land Trust Board members beholden to FivePoint with the new majority Councilmembers beholden to the residents, so it can once again fulfill its original mission, which was to address affordable housing and the homeless, rather than serve FivePoint’s interests.
- Require schools and development to first address contamination issues that are so prevalent on the former MCAS El Toro, and have been covered up by FivePoint with their vast propaganda and lobbying that even reach into our State agencies to deceive the public.
- Restore development requirements that require traffic mitigation and public parkland that have been waived since 2012.
- The City Council is responsible for the health and welfare of the City’s students, and can have a great impact on the IUSD’s decisions that recently have been solely for the benefit of FivePoint.
- Make better use of the expertise available amongst UCI faculty.
But, first, the residents have to regain control of the City Council majority; otherwise, none of the above will be accomplished, and that is a question of arithmetic.
Gail LewisOctober 16, 2018 at 10:45 am
I agree Harvey. We need all three on the Council or 5Pt wins again.
Irvine VoterOctober 22, 2018 at 12:51 pm
Almost every single item on Harvey’s List would be impossible because of Development Agreements with Developers approved by Larry Agran, Beth Krom, and Sukhee Kang. Liss is so blinded by his loyalty to Agran that he can’t clearly see how things work. If Pope is elected, he will make a few motions like these, lose the votes or be told by the City Attorney that they aren’t legal, and the City will be stuck with an 82-year old guy who doesn’t know or care how to run a City. You can dislike Wagner, but at least he has more than a single issue he cares about.
Harvey LissOctober 22, 2018 at 5:56 pm
Dear Nameless Irvine Voter: I’m sure everyone is aware that merely writing something doesn’t make it true. I was on the Planning Commission in 2014. I know what can be done–everything I wrote, above. You are just repeating Councilmember Shea’s nonsense. If anyone wants to continue to give away the City to FivePoint at the immense expense of the City and its residents, don’t vote for our NO on B Team of 3: Pope, Woods, McGill.
As far as running a city, Wagner hadn’t a clue how to run a city before he was elected. And he never had to learn, because FivePoint has been running the City of Irvine since his election. With Pope as Mayor, the residents need have no such fear. In addition, Mayor Pope will have an extremely competent team of Irvine residents behind him, who will incorporate the best ideas of some of the Council candidates running who also support the residents, covering all aspects of running a city, along with a very competent City staff that’s been afraid since 2012 to speak out for fear of losing their jobs or of being silenced.
Irvine VoterOctober 23, 2018 at 4:24 pm
You prove that writing something doesn’t make it true because most of what you write is proven to be false, sometimes even by Courts of law.
You were on the Planning Commission, as Larry Agran’s appointee, and we all know that Larry Agran approved over 75,000 units in the City of Irvine. There is no criticism of growth in Irvine without criticizing Agran, Krom, Kang, Gaido, Neudorf, and you. Only when Agran lost did he become a critic of growth, but then he blamed it all on FivePoint, who has built 3,000 units, never on the other developers in town, who have built tens of thousands of units. It’s very telling that you and Agran never mention any other developers.
Since I know you live in your own dream world where everything Agran says is true, let me help you:
1. Limit building permits – NOT LEGALLY POSSIBLE WITH A DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT. Agran and his friends approved tens of thousands of additional units in the General Plan, Wagner hasn’t approved ONE SINGLE NEW UNIT in the General Plan. You can lie to people who don’t know the difference between the General Plan and a CUP level approval, but for purposes of point 1, the units were approved in the General Plan by Agran and CANNOT be stopped because of Development Agreements he approved. They give those developers an ABSOLUTE RIGHT to build those units. Agran was happy to take their cash for DA’s, he can’t now take away the development he granted, it’s not legal.
2. See above. Under DA’s, no new conditions can be added to projects.
3. School buses are run by the School District, not the Mayor.
4. Please explain how expanding the ishuttle will be funded. It’s not a bad idea, but after Pope spends $90 million on a cemetery and tries to stop all development (which pays the fees which funds the transportation) how will he pay for it?
5. Signal synchronization has nothing to do with fees. If you haven’t noticed, there are two freeways running through the City (three with the 73), CALTRANS controls those intersections. Pope can’t do anything about that.
6. Who is paying for all of your big infrastructure plans when building permits are stopped? They can’t be, but in your fantasy land, you stop the source of funds, but still have the funds for the projects.
7. Already done. The Traffic Engineer hired by Mayor Wagner is a professional who has already made huge improvements. He is not working with developers, he is a member of the City Staff which you say above is “very competant.”
8. The Canyon? You have always been delusional about Larry’s grand plan to take a flat parcel and carve a cayon which flows against the grade into it. If Pope were elected and spent the $90 million on the Cemetery, where would he get funds for a canyon? Your buddy Larry squandered all of that money and there isn’t any left to do all of the things you guys promise.
9. The Land Trust is an independent corporation and neither Pope, nor any member of the City Council can control who the corporation selects for its Board. Delusions again.
10. There was zero contamination at the Base from 2005 when it was sold until Agran was voted off of the Council by the smart voters of Irvine and then all of sudden, the same property you want to cut a 30-foot deep canyon into is contaminated? Why didn’t Agran, who had sole control of the Great Park from pre-sale through 2014 ever mention contamination? Because it was invented after he lost to try to scare buyers.
11. None of these exist to be “restored.” The State Quimby Act and CEQA govern traffic and parkland and no one can “waive” them. If it happened, you should file a CEQA lawsuit. None have been filed because it never happened.
12. A doubly false misstatement. You tried to create a issue at Portola High School. The State DTSC and DSA dismissed your claims as not credible. The School Board has never done anything “solely for the benefit of FivePoint.” More delusions with no facts to back them up. The City also can’t do anything about School issues. They are separate jurisdictions.
13. UCI Professors do not study the City of Irvine. They are a global research institution. This is a meaningless statement.
Harvey, all of the City Staff knew that you barely understood anything when you were on the Planning Commission. Your comments above show that you still don’t understand how the City works. You and Agran are reason enough that anyone who acres about the City of Irvine shouldn’t ever consider voting for the single-issue B Team. Irvine deserves the A Team.
tsuruNovember 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Outcome: Just proves that all the HATE out there from the one side trumps all accusations. You LOST and you got beat hands down on ALL counts. The real voters of Irvine saw through it quite well and clearly, even though all you could do is piss and moan about PAC money, which if you aren’t literate enough to know, that it is legal in America, voted you OUT.
Agran’s money stinks just as much, and apparently more, now that we see who DID NOT win! And the lies and deceit and illegal tactics getting your petition through also got Irvine voters to stand up against your lack of integrity, making sure that you lost! Bye Bye B team. Now maybe we can finally get our Veterans Cemetery NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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