An Orange County Grand Jury recently decided that the Irvine City Council is trying to hijack the Great Park, and that the OC Board of Supervisors (who initially approved of Irvine's actions) might look into litigation in order to return control of this huge local resource to the county itself.
Irvine Mayor Beth Krom was, unsurprisingly, confused by all the uproar. She had the following to say in the OC Register:
“I'm befuddled. Nowhere does this seizing of power take place.”
“What we have done is something to be applauded, not attacked.”
“I don't quite know what to make of all this. The report doesn't make a case for mismanagement or lack of good faith.”
No, Beth, it's the Irvine City Council that makes its own case for mismanagement.
Recently, while establishing Sister-City relations with Xuhui Province in China, Irvine's community partnerships administrator (Valerie Larenne) signed a document essentially forbidding Irvine from recognizing the sovereignity of Taiwan. The exact language:
“We promise that there will be no occurrence of 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan' and that on any occasions and in any forms the names of 'Republic of China' and 'Taiwan' will not be used and its so-called 'national flag' and 'national anthem' will not be hung and played. The city officials of Irvine will not visit Taiwan Province in their official capacities and will not attend the so-called 'National Day' celebrations and other activities.”
So the People's Republic of Irvine has agreed to ignore Taiwan's sovereignty and consider it part of Communist China. Let's ignore for now that Irvine has been sister-city to Taoyuan, Taiwan since 2000. What makes the move extra-specially stupid, offensive and moronic is the fact that Irvine is host to Orange County's largest Taiwanese population by far.
According to the 2000 census, Irvine had 2,798 residents declaring their nationality as Taiwanese, making it the most Taiwanese city in Orange County. Second place Anaheim recorded only 718 Taiwanese, less than a quarter of Irvine's total.
This knowledge is not hard to come by. Check out the following excerpt from Wikipedia's “Taiwanese-American” entry:
“…for the past 10 years native Taiwanese have been immigrating to upscale neighborhoods in Orange County. The city of Irvine, California has a very large native Taiwanese population, though now more and more Mainlander Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese immigrants have flocked to the city.”
In short: Beth Krom is befuddled that the OC Grand Jury would find that her City Council is acting without thought or concern for the county as a whole. What's so befuddling? Clearly Irvine acts without thought or concern for its own citizens, so why should they care about anyone else in Orange County?