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QUITE the amazing exchange took place last Thursday night on Facebook between two of the three members of Irvine’s new Republican City Council majority, Jeff Lalloway and Christina Shea. The exchange was fascinating for a several reasons. For one thing, Shea was compelled to take to social media to air her frustration over Lalloway’s actions. For another thing, Lalloway actually responded, and the testy back-and-forth continued. Shea’s comments clearly demonstrate the tension in the ranks among the Republican majority, and also that it’s Lalloway who’s wielding the real power within city government.
Well it is a sad day when my fellow Republican, Jeff Lalloway, decided to reduce the funding to the Barclay with no notice to me or the Council or to the executive board of the theater. I have lived in Irvine for 36 years and was one of the individuals who supported the theater concept.
My grandchildren dance at the theater. Many wonderful local Republicans supported, do support today, and have donated to the success of this community theater.
To reduce the funding to the amount Jeff suggested, would have caused them to possibly close their doors, within months, if his idea had passed. They contract a year ahead of time for their programming. Closing our local theater would have been a very sad day for Irvine’s families and businesses. Voting with the democrats to support a community theater the City owns, and one that local Republicans and Democrats support, was a good decision and the right decision.
We don’t always have to agree on all issues. The entire Council voted to adopt a balanced budget with 11 million dollars carryover coming in, leaving us financially healthy and strong. I am a fiscal conservative, and I am proud of my fiscal record.
It’s very interesting to see Christina Shea break from Lalloway and make a decision to side with the Democrats based on … a personal conviction, I’m not sure? Does Shea believe that the Barclay funding should not be reduced? I do applaud her decision. The fact that she went to social media to defend her position is also instructive, and once again demonstrates the power and instant contact we can have with our elected officials.
But of course Lalloway couldn’t resist and had to fire back… over and over, again and again.
1. I guess you were not listening to the city manager when he indicated it was his idea to reduce the funding.
2. The budget was printed 2 months ago and so you and everyone else had the same notice that I did.
3. Your reason for keeping the funding, as you stated at council, was because your granddaughters dance at the facility. One of the most self serving giveaways of taxpayer dollars I have ever seen.
4. If you like the facility so much, why don’t you and Agran and Krom go raise the money privately to keep the doors open and let the taxpayer funds be used for essential services in the city.
5. The Barclay has an endowment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and could easily have kept the doors open by using some of the money they are keeping in reserve.
6. Fiscal conservative–you are not.
Lalloway’s comments not only demonstrate a clearly vindictive personality,they also show a lack of understanding of what being a fiscal conservative really is. The City of Irvine has budget challenges and there are areas where spending should be reined in. A true fiscal conservative understands the value of important cultural institutions and is a capable of managing the needed budget cuts while not impacting the quality of life in the community.
Defining a fiscal conservative as someone who feels all such programs should be privately funded and that only “essential” services should be provided is an unrealistic position. As the clear leader of the Republicans in Irvine, Jeffrey clearly failed to convince is fellow party-member that the funding for the theater should be cut.
Quoted from “Irvine Matters”:
The Irvine Barclay Theater is owned by the City of Irvine, and as former Irvine Mayor Sally Ann Sheridan rightly pointed out in her remarks to the Council, it is a big part of the “cultural soul” of our community. The Legal Aid Society has helped thousands of Irvine residents with everything from tax preparation to fighting foreclosure. The Orange County Human Relations Commission, on whose board our Chief of Police sits, is an active partner in preserving the peace and harmony of our community. And the grant we provide to the Discovery Science Center offsets the cost of educational field trips for Irvine students.
Mayor Steven Choi and Mayor Lalloway (Pro Tem) and their misguided rhetoric and philosophic platitudes offered very little to the supporters of the programs as the two argued against supporting these outstanding institutions that serve all Irvine residents…
Now that Lalloway has to take into consideration that he will be working with Shea for the next year and a half his best move would be to handle such issues internally and not take to social media and launch personal attacks. The rest of the exchange can be read on Facebook.
Naturally, when I decided to comment as a member of the community, Mr. Lalloway once again resorted to petty name-calling, beating the old drum that I’m an “Agran Crony”. Keep believing that, Jeff Lalloway, you’re losing your composure and more importantly your control, to a real conservative with real conservative views. WE believe in listening to our constituents and doing what is best with their money. Keep believing that there is some grand conspiracy against you and your fellow “leaders.”
The next time you decide to aggressively defend your positions publicly, at least do it with some class and restraint, and don’t resort to petty personal attacks. That’s beneath the position you hold.