By Evan Chemers
I’m running for Irvine Council because I love Irvine! And our current leadership has failed us.
Its important to have candidates who can do what they say. I’m the only candidate with a plan. The other candidates are wishing and hoping.
There is an $18 million deficit for next year and reserve funds are just about depleted. These are facts.
First, the current council spends money they don’t have without going out for competitive bids. We all get bids when it comes to our daily lives on everything. I am going to introduce legislation that will make it law that City Hall has to get at least three bids before spending on anything.
Secondly, we have programs such as the iShuttle that have no value for the City. Most people I talk to don’t know what it is. That’s part of the problem. It mainly takes people who don’t live in Irvine from the train station to their jobs at Irvine Spectrum and Irvine Business Complex. The OCTA already services these routes. This is a $3 million drain on taxpayer dollars. For every $1 Irvine spends on the iShuttle, the OCTA matches! Irvine has extended its reach to all county residents. I am going to vote to remove these programs that are just a waste of our money.
Third, all City employees are unionized in Irvine. As a charter city, Irvine has the flexibility to control its workforce. I am going to align public sector pay with the private sector. We can’t have secretaries making $106,000 annually (City Salaries) . We just can’t afford it. It’s critical union contracts are restructured now. Public Safety spending increased $5 million from 2010 (Public Safety Budget). This is due to the increase in union benefits, not hiring more police, fire or anyone else or improving services. This is not a sustainable course. Irvine has large pension payments it’s legally required to make and if this continually increases with the next three years our city could go broke. There is no money for it! If we continue on this path Irvine will have two choices; dramatically cut services like close fire houses and layoff police officers or claim bankruptcy. This may sound alarmist now, but we have all seen other large cities in this country go bankrupt and this can be a reality. We’ve also seen what has happened in Europe with all these entitlements.
Fourth, the Great Park is overspent, mismanaged and has no direction. In addition, the current Council, including Beth Krom have wasted $230 million over the last 10 years. There is not one swing set or horse shoe there. This should be a red flag…but people seem content with the direction of our City. I’m going to lead it to completion by actively engaging the developer and the rest of the Council to accept a plan that will set aside over 20% of the Park to permanent open space, creating a world class sports village, restaurants, to have a new home for the Irvine Amphitheater. This will make Irvine a travel destination that will create jobs and drive revenue to the City. All built with private developer funds.
I’m going to introduce legislation to have firmer term limits. The council has consistently been jumping from Council to Mayor back to Council over the last several years. We need citizen leadership and not people who want to stay in office for life.
This election presents an important choice of two very different futures: Will Irvine be financially sound and healthy Or will it continue down the path our current city council has of out of control spending with no checks and balances?
My plan is real and viable. This is what I know how to do. I have the experience, dedication and focus to bring this to life and I will! With your help!
Call me with any suggestions. That’s why I am here! (949) 233-3866