TIME TO TAKE BACK OUR CITY
Our City has been run, far too long, by three majority councilmembers who receive large donations from developers and contractors. Our City has become overcrowded, causing traffic congestion and shopping nightmares. Soon our schools will no longer be considered as one of the top in the country. Overcrowded classrooms make it difficult for teachers to effectively respond to the needs of its students. Irvine has forever been labelled as one of the safest Cities ... however we are seeing crime in our communities like never before. It is time to take back our City and get people on our City Council who will serve the people and not developers. Irvine does not have a Veterans Cemetery because Mayor Donald Wagner, Councilmembers Melissa Fox and Christina Shea refused to accept the votes of 63% of Irvine residents. The residents successfully voted to stop a land-swap deal between developer, FivePoint from taking the Great Park site that was planned and approved for development of a Veterans Cemetery. However, the three council majority decided they would not approve funding for the Veterans Cemetery against the wishes of, not only the voters, but all the people that packed the council chambers to express their wishes to get the cemetery built. Mayor Donald Wagner is up for re-election again ... and again ... developer FivePoint is funding his campaign. We can vote him out, but for Melissa Fox and Christina Shea, they have two more years before their term expires. We need to get people on our City Council that will listen to the residents and not developers, people that will not accept donations from lobbyists or private interests, people that promise to get the Veterans Cemetery built at the Great Park site and at no additional cost to taxpayers. Please vote ED POPE for MAYOR, JACI WOODS and FRANK MCGILL for CITY COUNCIL so we can take back the majority vote for our City. Here is yet another example of what our councilmembers have been up to at our expense ...
IRVINE CITY COUNCIL & IRVINE COMMUNITY LAND TRUST
CONFLICT OF INTEREST & CONFLICT OF INTEREST FOR FINANCIAL GAIN
In the June 12, 2018 City Council Meeting, City Councilmember Melissa Fox requested $3 million of City funds be transferred to the Irvine Community Land Trust (ICLT). Melissa Fox also sits on the Board of the ICLT as President. The ICLT is a separate entity and is not governed by the City. The City donates 10 to 15 percent of budget funds every year to the ICLT specifically for Affordable Homes. This Land Trust is also funded by CDBG and HOME Federal Grant money. City Councilmember Lynn Schott expressed major concerns about this request because of the amount of money that the City already gives them for the projects they have in their pipeline. And, she stated she was very uncomfortable giving this Land Trust additional funds for a project she knew nothing about. City Councilmember Christina Shea jumped in by stating in was for a project they had problems with. City Councilmember, Christina Shea, is also on the Board of the ICLT as Treasurer. However, with a very vague explanation, the request was put to a motion and the motion passed 3-2 with Councilmembers Lynn Schott & Jeff Lalloway opposed and Melissa Fox, Christina Shea, and Mayor Donald Wagner approved. It is also important to note that a registered Lobbyist, Patrick Strader of StarPointe Ventures (and who contracts with Emile Haddad of FivePoint Communities) is also on the Board of this Land Trust. FivePoint Communities is the “go to” developer for the City.
Problems with this transaction:
City Councilmembers, Melissa Fox and Christina Shea should have recused themselves from being part of the vote because they are both on the Board of the ICLT and the requestor of these funds.
StarPointe Ventures (Patrick Strader, CEO) has given Melissa Fox $10,000 and the Strader Family has made donations to Melissa Fox & Christina Shea’s campaign accounts.
The City has a process for organizations to go through that are in need of funds from the City. The organization makes a request to come before the Council and they state their case, in detail. The Councilmembers then ask questions if more information is needed and it is then put to a vote. This process was not followed.
Recently the ICLT amended their By-Laws to state that they will now hold closed door Board Meetings and, if someone from the public wants to attend, they must do so in advance and in writing as to the reason. Because this Land Trust is part of an entitlement program, they are required to provide:
citizens with reasonable and timely access to local meetings, information, and records related to the grantee's proposed and actual use of funds
for public hearings to obtain citizen views and to respond to proposals and questions at all stages of the community development program, including at least the development of needs, the review of proposed activities, and review of program performance
for timely written answers to written complaints and grievances
for the needs of non-English speaking residents so they can be reasonably expected to participate
However none of this is being done because the public is shut out from attending its Board Meetings and they stopped posting the Board Agenda and Minutes on their website.
How is the public suppose to know about affordable housing that is available? How do we even know that they are following the guidelines of making a certain number of units available for low-income people? We don’t and we are not seeing any available either. We need to STOP these councilmembers from receiving money while they sit on the council and take City funds without any transparency or accountability. We, the voters, are the only ones that can do this! Please vote ED POPE for MAYOR, JACI WOODS and FRANK MCGILL for CITY COUNCIL.
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