Election time in Irvine, and the real estate interests and pals of big developers are at it again.
Just two years ago, in the city's last council race, Orange County's landed gentry propped up a fly-by-night political action committee, Irvine Citizens for Responsible Government, to front their viewpoint. Based in Newport Beach, this PAC proclaimed that communists, weirdos and perverts were about to take over the city government! Irvine would soon be a socialist state! A vote for the Irvine Co. is a vote for America!
They lost by a 2-to-1 margin.
Now the playing field has somehow grown smaller. The political model shaped by the development community for the benefit of Irvine voters is "liberal vs. conservative." Anyone who thinks that Orange County needs to revise its policy in regard to massive development is a liberal.
Irvine voters are expected to believe that the Irvine City Council is "misusing taxpayer money" in its suit against the Orange County Board of Supervisors. That suit was filed because of recent developer agreements the board made regarding the south county. The developers and their profiteers are saying that the "liberal city council majority" is acting "far beyond the scope and responsibility of city government."
Chances are great that if these south county developments go through, so does the San Joaquin Transportation Corridor. Where? In Irvine.
Freeway construction through the last remaining coastal foothills in the county. Where? In Irvine.
And will the corridor bring relief to our overburdened freeway system? Not according to county staff research. The corridor will make possible more development. And where do you think this development will go? You got it. In and around Irvine, of course.
Is the Irvine City Council really acting "far beyond the scope and responsibility of city government?" Or is it simply taking a stand against developers who would like to see all of Irvine, indeed, all of the south county, become wall-to-wall shopping malls and tract homes?
The election war being waged in our city is not conservative vs. liberal. It is big business vs. the little guy. It is the fast buck vs. conservation. It is calamity vs. community.
In the end, it is the Irvine Co. vs. those in the city and city government who have a long-term commitment to a balanced, healthy environment.