The Great Park

Sunday, December 9th, 2012 @ 10:52PM

The Great Park has struggled with delays in construction and constant financial issues causing it to run years behind schedule. Here are my plans for the Great Park.

● Community Involvement: I’d like to support Irvine residents by asking for their input. In a public forum, lets discuss this issue with the people of Irvine and put it to a vote. I’d like to listen to their ideas on how to best use this valuable resource until funds are available to complete this project.

● No Tax Increases: More taxes are not the answer. In this economy, the residents of Irvine should know that their taxes are being efficiently and effectively put to work for them.

● Re-evaluate Park Budget & Contracts: We must re-evaluate the budget and contracts for this project. It has been 10 years since this project started and there has been little to show for our time and money. A tax hike or a 30 year completion date is completely unacceptable.

● My Proposal: I suggest we approach local businesses and corporations to sponsor and develop the “park” (grass, trees, playground, pool, picnic tables, baseball field, nature preserve, etc.) with the cities approval. Let’s work toward independence, we have the skills to succeed as a great city to create a Great Park, pick up the shortfall, and champion small business and corporate America. 

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In 2001, Orange County voters passed “Measure W” authorizing the former air base’s use as a central park, nature preserve and multi-use development.  The people of Irvine passed these measures leading to the designation of the land as the OC Great Park.  It was to include a canyon, lake, botanical gardens, performing arts, extensive wildlife preserve, sports park and veterans memorial. However, the “Great Park” has struggled with delays in construction of planned housing, which is running years behind schedule.

Recently, California Governor Brown decided to eliminate the $1.4 billion in tax revenue for the park, which the City of Irvine is currently in litigation over. Our families that attend the “Great Park” expect so much more. It has been 10 years since this project started and there has been little to show for our time and money. Not only are we facing inefficient development practices but also a staggering deficit. We must re-evaluate the budget for this project and the contracts; the fact that we haven’t done this sooner proves the urgent need for new leadership in Irvine.

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