Dear Fellow Irvine Citizen,
The excitement of my election victory feels like just a few days ago, but the time for my re-election campaign has already arrived since the term for Irvine Mayor is just two years. Election Day 2014 is on November 4.
If you have followed Irvine City Council meetings or read the news articles in the press, you will know that so many reforms and accomplishments have been achieved in the short time since the 2012 election.
I am proud to report to you a few highlights that I've accomplished along with my majority colleagues (shown in the picture):
- Downsized the Orange County Great Park Board from 9 members to 5 members for efficiency and time and cost savings.
- Successfully completed negotiations for public benefits at the Great Park with a private partner within six months after five years of delays.
- Led the City Council to approve the Great Park public benefits package in five months.
- As a result, almost 60% of the Great Park (688 acres) will be developed within five years (not in 50 years, as some had anticipated).
- Initiated a forensic financial audit of the OC Great Park's expenditures to investigate the wasteful and suspicious spending of over $200,000,000.
- Successfully negotiated with the Orange County Fire Authority to refund tax overpayments to the City in the amount of nearly $200,000,000, although the City must defend against the recent legal challenge of this deal by the County of Orange.
- Developed a plan to pay off the City's unfunded public pension liability of $100,000,000 in ten years without incurring any additional costs to taxpayers. This plan has resulted in savings of $22,000,000 in interest payments alone. No other city in California, as of this writing, has advanced such a solution to the unfunded public pension liability.
- 24/7 Wall Street named the City of Irvine as the Best-Run City in America in 2014.
- The City of Irvine has maintained its status as the Safest City in America (among large cities with population over 100,000) for nine consecutive years.
- Irvine City Hall is now open for public service every Friday, not just on alternate Fridays, for the first time in 19 years.
- Irvine City Council meetings now begin with a clergy's invocation for the first time in 19 years.
- Stopped the practice of giving away the City's year-end surpluses as employee bonuses.
- Formed the Mayor's Business Advisory Council with key Irvine business leaders for ideas on how to further develop and attract businesses and create jobs.
- Lowered the unemployment rate from 5.6% to 4.4% in one year.
- Led a 14-member business delegation trade mission team to Korea and Taiwan.
- Established a Sister City relationship with Seocho Gu of Seoul City of Korea.
- Instituted the ongoing Mayor's Educational Forum to address children's issues that would be of public interest.
If Irvine voters allow me to serve a second term as Mayor, I will be able to continue or complete the projects that began in my first year as described above and will be able to initiate other new innovative projects, such as:
- Developing the City's financial plan for constructing a major Irvine Metropolitan Library at the Orange County Great Park.
- Jump starting the formation of the Irvine Library Foundation to raise funds for the Metropolitan Library for the remaining portion of the library capital fund.
- Completing the design of the Metropolitan Library in two years and making it shovel-ready for construction in five years.
- Launching a campaign for the City of Irvine as a new tech center for Southern California. Make Irvine "TechVine."
- Leading the City to provide our citizens with the most advanced services possible, utilizing the most advanced technology, for which a special City Tech Team has already been formed. The new app, "MyIrvine," is coming soon!
- Providing WiFi to all community centers and shopping centers in Irvine.
- Ensuring Irvine has 100% cell phone signal coverage, regardless of service provider.
- Making Irvine the destination city for businesses, professionals, tech companies, educationally-minded parents nationally and internationally.
- Making Irvine more diverse, harmonious, and peaceful with an even higher quality of life.
I'm always open to your suggestions for additional ideas to improve Irvine.
With your vote for me once again on November 4, I will be able to fulfill my vision for Irvine. God bless you.
It is always my privilege and honor to serve you.
Mayor of Irvine