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Shea and Carroll served with Notices for “Intent to Recall” at Irvine Veteran’s Day Ceremony

Christina Shea

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:


  1. Dee Fox Dee Fox November 12, 2019

    Michael Carroll was appointed and not elected by the people. He is Christina Shea’s puppet! Whereas, Melissa Fox was elected by the people. Also, Melissa Fox is no longer under the influence of FivePoint. She is now supporting the people’s choice of the ARDA site. We need to get the councilmembers that have not been ELECTED by the people off of this council! It is clear to see that they not only represent FivePoint, but solicit for this developer using city funds and it has to stop!

    • Kip Kip November 13, 2019

      Do you really actually believe that that the one person who singlehandedly killed the Vets Cemetery at the ARDA site has now flip-flopped again and supports the original site. Fox is a political opportunist who realizes that the Irvine Democrats are supportive of the ARDA site and so she has changed her position. We would have a cemetery now if Fox had kept her word. DO NOT TRUST FOX!

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | November 13, 2019

      Thanks for admitting she WAS under the influence of FivePoint; she can return all those Patrick Strader donations whenever she’s ready. Can you acknowledge at least that it was her vote is the reason there is no veteran’s cemetery today? That she did solicit funds from the developer? I really encourage you to go back and read everything she wrote about Measure B.

  2. Kev Abazajian Kev Abazajian November 12, 2019

    They were served *after* the ceremony, and filing with the Irvine City Clerk was today.

    • Tony Zarkades Tony Zarkades November 13, 2019

      Hey Dan,

      What happened to my comment on your characterization of the Measure B vote being “overwhelming”?

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | November 13, 2019

        I was on a call for 2 hours; not very patient are you?

        • Tony Zarkades Tony Zarkades November 13, 2019

          On call? Are you a doctor?

  3. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski November 13, 2019

    Thanks for the detail.

  4. Tony Zarkades USMC Tony Zarkades USMC November 13, 2019

    To say “the people” voted for the ARDA site is a joke.
    To say “the voters overwhelmingly” voted for the ARDA is even more of a stretch. Only 28,000 voters out of 132,000 registered voters bothered to vote for the ARDA. And they were told they were “saving” the Veterans Cemetery, which was also inaccurate.
    Now people at town halls are seen demanding the Cemetery be put back on the Strawberry Field because they don’t want it so close to their homes.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | November 13, 2019

      and yet the No on B votes were, what, 65-35 over the Yes on B….that’s how elections work. Voters show up. Whoever gets the most votes wins. This election wasn’t close.

      If you watch the YouTube video of the lawyer involved in the recall effort, he’s on record in public comments suggesting Measure B was about putting the cemetery at ARDA….

      My daughter goes to UCLA and lives off campus near the Veteran’s cemetery between Wilshire and Sunset; the cemetery isn’t an issue. Parking, however, is.

      • Tony Zarkades USMC Tony Zarkades USMC November 13, 2019

        So you think there was a mandate from the people the same way Trump thinks he has a mandate. Except only 10% of the 280,000 residents of Irvine voted against the land swap. That was after the issue was thoroughly and purposefully confused for the voters.. SAVE THE VETERANS CEMETERY WAS DELIBERATELY MISLEADING.

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | November 13, 2019

          Your point is what? It lost. Big.

          • Anthony Zarkades Anthony Zarkades November 13, 2019

            If you can read and understand, my point should be self evident. If 5 people voted and they all voted against Measure B, would you say the ARDA site has a mandate? If you do then you’re delusional.

            • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | November 14, 2019

              If you can count without using your fingers and toes, and understand, then my point should be self-evident. The No on Measure B got more votes than Yes on Measure B. That issue is settled. Those who took the time to vote decided the issue.

  5. Eugene Fields Eugene Fields November 13, 2019

    My father served – with honors – in the United States Air Force.
    After he and my mother split up, he started a new family and died in 1993, with his final resting place a mystery until earlier this year.
    My father’s second family was unaware that he was eligible for military honors and in March of this year, my wife and I found his grave, in a rundown neighborhood cemetery in Compton. People are buried in graves with strangers, stacked six caskets deep, with one headstone identifying who is buried in that location.
    Like the families of so many other deceased veterans, I want my father to be honored for his service. My desire for my father to be respected posthumously goes deeper than that. When he was 4, he and his family were unjustly incarcerated with 10,000 other Japanese Americans and resident noncitizens at the Manzanar Relation Center for the duration of World War II.
    My family and I are contemplating either moving his remains or purchasing a marker in a veterans cemetery. It has shocked me to see the partisan politics and political gamesmanship by developers delay this project.
    Officials on committees and commissions to school boards to the White House are elected (and appointed) to represent the interests of populace, not their own selfish intents or the interests of the few who donate to their campaigns or cut side deals.
    As a former Irvine resident who lived adjacent to the Great Park and the son and grandson of veterans, I am saddened because I question whether or not we will ever see a veterans cemetery in Irvine or Orange County at all.
    The thousands of veterans – and their families – living in Orange County deserve better from decision-makers.
    We deserve an expedient decision on the location of a Veterans Cemetery, made without influence from developer/special interest consideration. Next, we deserve that location to be quickly turned into a respectful, appropriate final resting place for those who served our country.
    Finally, we deserve the respect that this issue not be turned into a political football or partisan issue. The dead cannot speak for themselves, but those left behind can.
    Shame on all of those who lack reverence and respect for those who have served our nation.

    • Michelle Thomas Michelle Thomas November 13, 2019

      You are correct it seems the politics here in IRVINE are the same as the swamp in DC everyone has their personal agenda.

      But remember it was that great democrat leader billionaire Franklin Delano Roosevelt who signed the executive order to round up and hold Japanese folks in a prison in the first place.
      Once elected politicians follow their agendas that’s why every vote is so important.

      6 to a grave sounds really odd I think state law is two but the law is not always followed true.
      Good luck

  6. Scott Hansen Scott Hansen November 15, 2019

    Agree with Eugene Fields. I’m a Navy kid. Went to 4 high schools in 4 year because Navy reassigned my Dad so often. He served in Vietnam and nearly died more than once. The Navy sent him to Iran (us with him) to advise the Shah’s navy. We were evacuated on the back of a US Air Force cargo plane. He had to stay behind. The Shah left; he was still there when Khomeini took over. One story; veterans have tens of thousands of stories like that. Veteran’s Day ceremony was wrong place to serve recall papers. From reading posts, it appears to me there is fierce opposition among Irvine Democrats to this recall fiasco. I feel it’s a death wish for Democrats in November 2020. Amateur hour.

  7. Kev Abazajian Kev Abazajian November 17, 2019

    The service of notice was done with decorum and respect. It was after the Irvine Veterans Day ceremony was completed, off stage, in the back area, when the elected officials were taking publicity photos. Nothing was interrupted. The server didn’t even interrupt the photo, waiting for its taking to be complete.

  8. Scott Hansen Scott Hansen November 23, 2019

    In 2014, a group of Democrats forced a special election for Irvine School Board. Democrats & Republicans on School Board had appointed Republican Ira Glasky to fill an open seat. The special election was held in June 2014, followed by the already-scheduled regular election in Nov. 2014. Most of us couldn’t figure out why they wanted a special election when the regular election was just around the corner? Teachers – with 35 kids per class, etc. – couldn’t figure out why the district was spending hundreds of thousands on a special election instead of on the schools. But former Mayor Agran and his associates, who led the effort, weren’t mindful of the cost. Glasky won the special election and, with that, his election in regular election was easy. I feel he has served with distinction ever since. This current effort with the City Council recall seems similar to me.

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