Dear Democratic Friends:
We write to encourage you to join us in voting for Mike Ward for Mayor and Greg Smith for City Council on November 2nd.
As you probably know, Mike and Greg have decades of service and experience to recommend their election. Mike has previously served two terms as Mayor and two terms as a city councilmember. Greg served on the Council for nine years after serving on the Irvine Unified School Board for eight years. They are both small business owners who bring real world values to decision making and who reject the idea that the public's business should be conducted to benefit political allies and friends.
Make no mistake, we haven't always agreed with the decisions made by Mike and Greg; and don't expect to in the future. But, we firmly believe that their votes have and will continue to be motivated by a sincere effort to serve the public interest.
Our endorsement should come as something of a surprise. Unlike us, both Mike and Greg are Republicans. Of course, Irvine City Council elections are, at least officially, non-partisan. However, in reality, by election day most of us are aware of the candidates' party affiliation and often vote along party lines. Candidates understand this; that's one reason party slate mailers have become big business in California, and in Irvine.
Our decision to break party ranks and depart from two decades of support for Larry Agran is an extremely difficult and wrenching one. However, we believe that Mike and Greg are individuals who will provide clear and proper leadership for our city.
Sadly, we have come to question whether our city's business decisions, such as the proposed city utility and the enormous business to be done in developing the Great Park, are being driven by the extent to which friends and supporters of Larry Agran and Beth Krom are financially interested in the outcome. We are deeply troubled by this possibility, especially so since over years of involvement in Irvine politics we have regularly held others to a very high standard of public decision making.
While not illegal, we believe such financial interests are improper; at the very least, such ties leave the impression that City Council decisions are motivated more by who benefits from them than by the merits of the proposal. This situation has undermined our confidence in Larry and Beth and is part of our decision to endorse the election of Mike and Greg.
Please join us in voting for Mike Ward for Mayor and Greg Smith for Irvine City Council on November 2nd.
Irvine City Councilmember and Chair of the Orange County Great Park Corporation
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Chair, Irvine Planning Commission
Chair, Irvine Community Services Commission