Irvine City Councilman Larry Agran is running for re-election in November to take care of what he calls “unfinished business.”
He has served in office as a councilman and mayor for over 20 years, first elected in 1978. He was last elected to the city council to serve a two-year term in 2020.
“I think I have demonstrated over the years the knowledge, experience, and the skills to actually get things done that are in the interests of the residents of the City of Irvine,” he told The Epoch Times.
The UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School graduate has served as legal counsel to the state Senate Committee on Health and Welfare. He also taught legislation and public policy at UCLA and UC Irvine.
While in office, Agran helped create Irvine’s Great Park and the community park system, preserve open space in the city, and defeat a county plan to build an airport in Irvine.
But there is “more work to be done now,” he said.
Build the Veterans Cemetery
According to Agran a “major source of motivation” for his run is to build a veterans memorial park and cemetery at the now decommissioned El Toro Marine base at Irvine’s Great Park.
Residents launched a ballot initiative in 2020 to build the cemetery at the park, and collected enough signatures to force a vote on the issue by Irvine voters. Rather than put it on the ballot, the city council soon after voted to adopt the proposal.
But the council later did not break ground on the site, and—with the exception of Agran—voted last year to support building the cemetery in Anaheim Hills.
Agran said this “betrayed the promise that was made” to residents.
He said, if reelected, he intends to fight for building the Great Park site.
About 100 acres would be designated as a veterans memorial park and roughly 20 acres for the cemetery, Agran said.
Disband the Orange County Power Authority
Agran said, if reelected, he also intends to pull the city out of what he calls a “catastrophic” situation with the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA).
The OCPA, launched in 2020, serves as an alternative to Southern California Edison, selling power for businesses and residents in Irvine, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, and Buena Park.
However, the newly formed agency has been embroiled in allegations of mismanagement, rising costs, and a lack of transparency.
The county Board of Supervisors voted to launch an investigation in June into legal and financial risks associated with the OCPA. And the state’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee agreed in September to audit the agency.
“It is a looming disaster,” Agran said. “We have to disengage from that. … Real damage is being done to the people of the city of Irvine right now.”
Shut Down the Asphalt Plant
If re-elected, Agran said he also intends to shut down an asphalt plant in north Irvine, claiming its toxic fumes are releasing “horrific odors” to the nearby residents and contain “cancer-causing” chemicals.
The air quality agency which oversees the plant, South Coast AQMD, claims it has received more than 1,400 complaints from local residents since 2019 alleging the plant is releasing burnt-rubber-type odors.
“It’s a clear and present danger to public health and safety in the northern part of our city that calls for, in my judgment, injunctive relief,” Agran said.
He said the facility should be rebuilt in a safe, remote location far from residences and commercial businesses.
Two spots on the city council are up for election in Irvine. Candidates are elected at large to represent the entire city, as opposed to by district.
Also in the running are current Irvine Councilman Anthony Kuo, as well as Scott Hansen, John Park, Kathleen Treseder, and Navid Sadigh.