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May 29, 2005

Comments

Intransigent

Dick Sim, is apolitical, honest, and a great businessman. He does not make many mistakes, and his track record at the Irvine Company speaks for itself. He does things in a "selfless manner." This has been true at the Irvine Barclay Theater, UCI CEO Round Table, and alike.

He loves Irvine, and even though he had more than enough money to move to the Newport Coast, he choose to stay in Irvine, the city that he helped Donald Bren build. Early on Sim lead all develpoment on the Irvine Ranch, and later was in charge of all commercial development. He is very savy.

Whether you were for or against "The Great Park," it is going to become reality, and this is about who benefits; the public or a small group of Democrats in Irvine.

Dick Sim was not bluffing, and unless the process becomes fair and the leadership accountable, he won't be back. His departure is a huge loss for Orange County.

PFinIRV

>>Whether you were for or against "The Great Park," it is going to become reality, and this is about who benefits; the public or a small group of Democrats in Irvine.<<

Did I miss something? Only the democrats in Irvine favored a park over an airport?

In a city where republicans outnumber democrats by 1.5:1, how did that happen?

Hanna

Indeed, and this is the problem. People who have attacked Agran, and with good reasons, always resorted to political stand - like the comment, above. Thus, even former Agran supporters, who despised his current actions, will balk and will support and vote for him, again. At least, will not vote against him.

If the Mike Ward slate, if the ones who care about the Great Park and Irvine did not resort to make the campaign a political one, they may have had a chance. I don't recall Agran ever talking about him vs. the Republicans.

Where are they now? Is no one going to these meetings - of the Great Park Corporation, of Irvine - and speak up? Clicking and nodding is not going to accomplish anything. Where are all the thousands of volunteers who spent so many hours and money defeating the airport? No, they are not Agran's constituents, but they are stakeholders just the same. Where is the honest person who would come and address the board of the Great Park and will say: this is not what I fought for?

Unfortunately, too many just wanted to kill the airport and now really do not care what will happen. More, they were impressed by the way Agran took a sluggish, ineffective ETRPA and turned it into a fighting group, and the way he maneuvered ETRPA's Millennium Plan into Irvine's Great Park.

Where are Mike Ward, Greg Smith and Chris Mears? Do they go to any of these meetings to address the board? Are only people with political aspirations attend any of these meetings? If so, then they abdicate their right to have a say. They let Agran manipulate the voters - I don't know of any local politician who can measure against him with political savvy - and to do what he pleases.

Greenhut may have his facts right, but his distaste to Agran without even being familiar with his past - is enough for anyone who is not a rabid Republican to just tune him off.

When this debate will go down to ordinary citizens, when it will be about the issues and not about Agran's politics - then, perhaps, something will be accomplished.

Steve

This isn't about dem dems or republicans or who did or didn't vote for a "Great Park."

What this is about is good governance of something that should be run as a business...the build out of the former base.

The political job was, for the most part, finished with the rezoning and annexation. Ongoing work by the City of Irvine and City Council should be focused on permitting, dealing with the nightmare transportation issues the "Great Park" is going to cause, and other things a city does when dealing with development issues.

While the City of Irvine should have SOME representation on the development corporation overseeing the build out, five city council members (out of a total of only eight directors) is WAY too many. Add to that the way Agran is chairing the group and you have ingredients for a self-dealing politicized nightmare.

Think back to the way Agran sold this thing during the elections...A "Great Park" for ALL of OC.

Sure doesn't feel like that the way Agran’s leading it.

PFinIRV

>>While the City of Irvine should have SOME representation on the development corporation overseeing the build out, five city council members (out of a total of only eight directors) is WAY too many.<<

And if there were less than five, idiots like Greenhut would charge cronyism.

Can't have it both ways.

Steve

PF...Go have another cup of coffee and wake up.

The cronyism is that the Irvine City Council is monopolizing the Board with 5 of 8 members. A good example of lack of oversight by outsiders is that they're paying off Forde and Mollrich with a no-bid PR contract (must be a bonus for switching sides midstream on the airport/no-airport initiatives.) The voting is done and F&M is a political shop not a PR agency.

What the hell does the GPC need PR for anyway at this stage of its development? It's already auctioned off the parcels to Lenar and has everyone who can smell a buck knocking down its doors with bid proposals.

Oh, I know...they're going to have to explain why that "Great Park" is going to look not so much like a park but rather an extension of the rest of Irvine and a huge cash cow to the City's coffers.


As to Greenhut...his points are all valid.

Also...

Hanna...you're right. Everyone was so focused on stopping an airport at any and all costs that they've ignored the build out.

Bad move.

PFinIRV

>>PF...Go have another cup of coffee and wake up.

The cronyism is that the Irvine City Council is monopolizing the Board with 5 of 8 members.<<

This would be a valid point if the city council were in agreement with one another. Anyone who knows anything about that particular city council would know that it's a split council. The dissenting members could easily form the necessary alliance to overturn the Agran allies. But it would take research into knowing the dynamics of the group. Something you (or Greenhut) apparently haven't done.

>>As to Greenhut...his points are all valid.<<

It would be the first time. What he doesn't know, he makes up. And when confronted, he runs like a scalded dog.

Friends of mine who have met him all say the same thing.

They wouldn't follow him into the men's room.

If the GPC ends up being a cash cow for Irvine, so what? By virtue of a directly elected city council, are they not an extension of the people's desires? Or is that only the case when the council majority are republicans?

PFinIRV

>>They wouldn't follow him into the men's room.<<

Just to be sure. That is what my GOP friends say. The DEM friends are even more descriptive.

Hanna

Greemhut missed at least one point - so far. He does not like the fact that "city of Irvine pursued annexing the base." Had he bothered to learn the history of the county, he would have found out that the county was divided into spheres of influence, when the incorporated cities were few and most of the area was county. And El Toro was always in Irvine's sphere of influence, just as other cities had theirs. As a matter of fact, in the mid 80's there were talk in Irvine about annexing the base then. But I think that the then congressman - Bedham - promised the city that the military would never leave..

Lurk

The best quote from Steve's column is "El Toro was a national defense asset. After its closure, it was long viewed at a COUNTYWIDE PUBLIC ASSET." Emphasis is mine.

OUR asset's been stolen, and what's left is a collection of thieves fighting over the spoils as thieves generally do.

PFinIRV

>>OUR asset's been stolen, and what's left is a collection of thieves fighting over the spoils as thieves generally do.<<

What Greenhut is really saying (for the 'R' party) is that not enough of the spoils are going to their buddy's coffers.

After personnel, public spending is spent on procurement from the private sector. And there are more than a few conservative folks who have their hands out.

Len

The GPC budget approved this week is available online at the El Toro Info Site. Examine it yourself and make your own conclusions about whether park money is being spent wisely or wasted as Dick Sim charges.
http://eltoroairport.org/news/current_news.html#0527-GPCbudget

It's good to see that the folks on the El Toro Airport Info Site's message boards (http://64.226.131.145/discus/messages/1/2433.html?1116518196)were are also concerned about Sim leaving the Board of the GPC:

Richard Sim Resigns from Great Park Board

El Toro Airport Message Board:

By NoJets (24.248.100.161 - 24.248.100.161) on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 02:11 pm:

As someone that spent a lot of personal time, contributed so that this airport wasn’t built and that the Great Park would be bought to life, I am a bit concerned about the alleged reasons why Richard Sim resigned. Sim knows how to plan projects of this scale. Say what you like about the Irvine Company, Sim was instrumental in making Irvine work. It should come as a serious wake-up call to us spectator peons when someone with his respect and standing pulls the plug. The last thing we need is to hand LA politicians more ammunition in the form of allegations that Great Park money is being mismanaged. I suggest the remainder of the Board go back cap-in-hand to Mr. Sim and pledge to listen more closely to his counsel in the future.

By Reader (209.133.53.110 - 209.133.53.110) on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 02:18 pm:

Dick Sim was the only person on the board with the experience necessary to do this job. The city council is not equipped for this kind of work and the other appointees are no different. Sim was the only guy that developers could relate to and trust. Lennar has definitely lost a partner here. I think all of Sim's reasons are legitimate.

By Media Watcher (24.118.166.101 - 24.118.166.101) on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 04:20 pm:

This is going to be a long process, even without the intervention of LAWA. Eventually even Agran will lose his stronghold and things will resolve. You have to realize that this whole process is new, nothing like that has ever taken place anywhere in the world. So the people involved are learning as they go, creating and breaking their own rules, stumble - all for the whole world to see. It will settle, eventually.

By NoJets (24.248.100.161 - 24.248.100.161) on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 05:13 pm:

MW: And that is precisely why someone with Sim's provenance should be on board. He is one of the few people with the local knowledge and project experience that can understand and manage something of this complexity and scale. This is a great loss to the Great Park.

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