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Krom is new chairwoman of Great Park board

Former chairman Larry Agran announced he was 'stepping aside' last week.

February 19, 2011|By Sarah Peters, sarah.peters@latimes.com

The Orange County Great Park Corp. Board elected a new chairwoman and vice chairman last week for the first time since the creation of the board six years ago.

Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Beth Krom was named board chairwoman and Board Director James "Walkie" Ray was named vice chairman, according to a city news release.

Former Board Chairman Larry Agran announced his decision to step down last week.

"I appreciate the leadership of Larry Agran and the support of my fellow directors," Krom said in a prepared statement. "I dedicate my term as chair to fulfilling our shared vision for creating a Great Park which serves people of every culture and interest."

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Director Steven Choi cast the lone dissenting vote against Krom, but in support of Ray. There were no other nominees.

Krom's term comes at a key time for the board, which just one month ago announced that Five Point Communities is set to move forward on development on the homes ringing the Great Park.

At the meeting, Director Jeffery Lalloway, who joined the board after taking a seat on the city council in December, acknowledged that he had been critical of board members and policies in the past and pledged to serve as the "eyes and ears for the public for an accountable great park board."

"I have confidence, however, that my trust in Mrs. Krom will be rewarded," Lalloway concluded.

After the vote, Agran said that he saw his position as "stepping aside," rather than stepping down, and would in the future shift his focus to the park's special projects, such as the farmer's market, multicultural center and botanical garden.

"My interest, as that of my colleagues here, knows almost no bounds, so I'm looking forward in a very excited fashion to moving forward," Agran said.

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