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Of LAFCO, El Toro and the 'Great Whatever'

November 23, 2003

Re "Annexation OK Could Be Start of Great Park," Nov. 11:

The article predicted correctly that an OK was expected for the Irvine annexation of the former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. This prediction did not require too much prescience.

The Local Agency Formation Commission Board of Directors is stacked with South County residents. Only two of the seven members of the board are from North County cities, where 70% of Orange County residents live.

This cannot be a democratic decision. The LAFCO board is biased. How can the LAFCO board represent the preferences and the needs of Orange County with such a lopsided constituency?

LAFCO should not be allowed to have the power it has when it is dominated by a small minority of the population.

Shirley A. Conger

Corona del Mar

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After LAFCO gave Irvine the go-ahead to annex the former El Toro air base, Irvine City Manager Allison Hart said, "This is a historic moment for Irvine and the county of Orange." It certainly was a historic moment, but not quite the way Hart meant it.

The LAFCO decision to let Irvine go ahead with its Great Whatever scheme effectively killed the county's plans for a commercial airport at the former Marine base. It did not, however, kill the (South) County's growing demand for air transportation services.

Someday the people of Orange County will regret having turned their backs on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a convenient commercial airport suitable to their needs. I just hope the regret doesn't come after a catastrophic accident at that dinky airport over on MacArthur Boulevard they are now stuck with.

Norm Ewers

Irvine

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Newport Beach's Airport Working Group has utterly failed at its primary mission -- to close John Wayne Airport. It is struggling to justify its very existence now that the former El Toro Marine base is dead as an airfield. It will continue its ignominious and desperate attempts to prove its worth as long as it's funded. Someone, please pull the plug on this pathetic group so that Orange County can move forward.

Jeff Rose

Aliso Viejo

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