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Guest Editorial: Let the Sunshine In on Irvine Community Land Trust

Harvard Park, Irvine

The below editorial was sent to us for publication and the author has requested to be kept anonymous for fear of reprisal by supporters of the City of Irvine’s pro-developer majority.  Typically, I ask that those seeking publication of posts put their names to what they write.  I am making an exception in this case (and may do so again in the future).

Here’s the column:

Is anyone keeping track of the lies and contradictions by Melissa Fox? One has to wonder what she has at stake. 5 Point now has their three vote majority on council – Wagner, Kuo and Shea. Why does she continue to protect the interests of this developer when they no longer really need her? Is she afraid that she will be losing her funding for her next campaign? Let’s take a look at the two most recent and egregious contradictions within WEEKS of each other.

In May, the ICLT – where Fox is the chair – voted to amend their bylaws in May of 2018 to remove public access (see attached minutes) and yet now she proclaims the need for sunshine in her most recent blog? Which one is it Ms. Fox? Only let the sun shine in when it’s convenient for you?

June 12th : At the City Council meeting, there was an agenda item for the budget. Melissa Fox initially requested $6.5m to be allocated to the ICLT for 148 new affordable housing units. Just minutes later, this amount was reduced to cover “an elevator issue and some delays in the design” for current projects. Which one is it Melissa?? Why does the ICLT need this money anyway when, as of 30 June 2018, it was is estimated the Land Trust will have a beginning fund balance of $12,521,133 (see attached) ?? See the video snippets here:

Need the $$ for new housing?

Or Need the $$ for an elevator on an existing project?

Which one is it Melissa?? Again, the contradictions are blatant and self-serving. Surprisingly, just last Council meeting, the ICLT will now be open to the public. It seems that a couple of months in the darkness might have been enough to cover what ever it is the ICLT is laundering. And where are the appropriate Form 700’s declaring conflict of interest. Mr. Strader is on the ICLT board and works as a lobbyist for 5 Point holdings and some of those that receive benefit from ICLT are related to 5 Point – Lennar Homes just to name one. Where is the sunshine here? If Ms. Fox is so keen on sunshine, why isn’t she shining the light on her own board??

Melissa Fox has several lawsuits both personally and professionally regarding her law firm, The Fox Law Firm. They include charges of Professional Negligence, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Violation of Business and Professional Codes, Misuse of Client Funds, Commingling of Trust Account Funds, Improper Money Transfers, Failing to Maintain Investor Records, Representing the Interests of other Entities that are in Direct Opposition of its Client, and the list goes on. Orange County case numbers 30-2012-00580623 and 30-2009-00295919.

Melissa Fox should not be seated on our City Council and in charge of our funds. The people in the community should not have to wonder where their tax dollars are going and if affordable housing is really being affordable to those that need it. Melissa has blocked people and their comments on Facebook and other social media sites that call them out on their lack of transparency and accountability. The residents deserve a council that is looking out for their interests and not the interests of a developer.

Mr. Russo – Shine some sunlight on your council and in particular Ms. Fox. Residents deserve to know why someone with such a sordid financial past is allowed anywhere near our tax dollars.



  1. Soc Soc November 30, 2018

    What a farce. “Fear of reprisal by supporters of City of Irvine’s pro-developer majority.”

    Second farce: “Typically, I ask that those seeking publication of posts put their names to what they write. I am making an exception in this case (and may do so again in the future).” Of course you will. And of course you don’t “typically.”

    • George P George P November 30, 2018

      You don’t find Ms Fox’s statements a farce? Or the many lawsuits she has levied against her?

    • Michael Vickerman Michael Vickerman November 30, 2018

      Thanks for commenting Michael Fox; hope you’re happy not to be a part of the Central Committee any longer after several charges of bullying.

    • MVickerman MVickerman November 30, 2018

      Thanks for commenting Michael Fox.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | December 1, 2018

      On point one, yes. On point two, this is a rare exception to not post with a byline.

Comments are closed.