There’s a lot to unpack here, but Irvine Mayor Christina Shea and appointed Council member Mike Carroll were served with documents informing them of an intent to recall at Irvine’s Veteran’s Day service on Monday.
Here’s the press release:
Press Release – Notice of Intent to Circulate a Petition for Recall
Irvine, California – Today, a coalition of veterans, longtime Irvine residents and university community members have filed notices of intent to circulate petitions to recall Mayor Christina Shea and Councilmember Michael Carroll. Unelected Mayor Christina Shea and her hand-picked, unelected colleague, Councilmember Michael Carroll, serve their own interests and big developers, not residents of Irvine.
The recall petitions include statements of reasons for the recall: “In 2018, Irvine voters overwhelmingly defeated Shea’s Measure B, 63% to 37%. Yet, Shea and Carroll have stubbornly refused to accept the will of the people. As Irvine’s unelected Mayor, Shea remains determined to defeat the Veterans Cemetery at the ARDA site in favor of more unwanted development. To honor the will of the people, build the beautiful Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the ARDA site, and restore integrity to the Mayor’s office, Christina Shea must be recalled, removed from office, and replaced by an elected Mayor who puts the interests of Irvine residents first,” states Mayor Shea’s recall petition.
Steve Berger, an attorney and 40 year resident of Irvine, stated: “Our current Irvine City Council is beset with very troubling issues, one of the most prominent being the overriding influence and control of FivePoint Communities and its main principal, Emile Haddad, over a majority of our City Council, including Mayor Christina Shea and Councilmember Mike Carroll, both of whom are unelected.”
“Recall is a dire move, but the situation on our City Council is dire,” said Dr. Kev Abazajian, a Professor of Physics & Astronomy at UC Irvine. “A single developer, FivePoint, has spent almost three times as much to get Christina Shea elected to her original City Council seat as she managed to raise herself from the community. We have seen that this favor is being returned with the continued ‘diversion tactics’ to stop the building of the Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Irvine, and allow instead for development by FivePoint on that sacred land.”
Community leaders have also stepped up in support of the petition. “We have seen corporate PACs take over our City government, now with 40% of our City Council being unelected to their positions. This does not represent the values of our City and positive change is deeply needed to bring back elected representation that reflects our community,” according to 34-year resident of Irvine and community leader Jutta Gamboa.
This Veterans Day, November 11, 2019, was to be the opening day of the Southern California Veterans Cemetery at the Great Park if it was not continually diverted by Shea and her predecessors, and now by Carroll and others obviously beholden to FivePoint rather than to the veterans and their families, and to the voting residents.
I’ve spoken to several sources on this effort and will offer greater analysis later this week. Nothing would make me happier than to see Shea gone from the dais.
But if we’re going with Mr. Berger’s rationale, I have to wonder why Council member Melissa Fox wasn’t served with a recall notice as well. It was her vote to move toward a land swap with FivePoint in 2017 that’s the principal reason there is no Veteran’s cemetery in Irvine today. Carroll wasn’t a part of that vote then and only Fox and Shea were on the council at that time.
So if we’re using Measure B, which Fox promoted and took $10,000 from a dormant PAC that received significant developer consultant money, as a reason why the council isn’t listening to voters, we’re picking and choosing. Fox is a candidate for AD-68 and will be gone from the city council in December 2020 anyway. There’s no explanation from those driving the recall why she’s not included in this effort.
Meanwhile, former Irvine Mayor Larry Agran and No on Measure B leader Ed Pope are moving forward with an initiative to place the Veteran’s Cemetery at the ARDA site. Read about it here: https://irvinecommunitynewsandviews.org/irvine-citizens-launch-initiative-to-build-veterans-memorial-park-and-cemetery/