A vision for Irvine's future

City's mayor keys in on safety, education, business, quality of life in State of the City message.

March 02, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani

Safety, education, a city library and local business were the linchpins of Irvine Mayor Steven S. Choi's first State of the City address Tuesday.

Choi, flanked by the rest of the council, started by offering his condolences to the victims of former Los Angeles Police Department Officer Christopher Dorner's "cowardly planned killing," and thanked the Irvine Police Department for its vigilance.

Authorities say Dorner killed Monica Quan, 28, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, 27, in their car on the top level of their Irvine condominium complex's parking garage Feb. 3 as part of a revenge rampage. Quan's father, Randal Quan, represented Dorner in a hearing that resulted in Dorner's being fired from the LAPD.


Dorner's other victims were Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain, 34, and San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy Jeremiah MacKay, 35.

"My heart goes out to the families of those who died and to their memory," Choi said, adding that he attended the memorial for Monica Quan and Lawrence at Concordia University last weekend.

"When I say our work is never done, that is exactly what I mean," he said. "Public safety is our No. 1 priority."


Education, city library

Choi also touched upon Measure BB, the "Irvine Support Our Schools Initiative," which was approved by voters in November.

Thanks to the measure and the Education Partnership Fund and Challenge Match Grant, local schools will receive $8 million annually for college scholarships, classroom supplies and instruction time, starting the next fiscal year and running until 2016.

The move is "unprecedented anywhere in the country," Choi said. "That's my biased opinion, but I say it anyway. That's the Irvine spirit."

Placing a high value on top-quality education that has attracted families and businesses to the area, he revealed plans for a Mayor's Forum for Education, where parents and teachers could suggest and discuss ideas.

"Our educational support is not talk, it is action," he said.

To that end, he said the city needs to do better for the next generation of students so that they won't have to study in coffeehouses and bookstores like his kids did.

As the audience laughed over his declaration of love for libraries, he outlined his dream for a Metropolitan Central Library in the Orange County Great Park on a site already part of the area's Master Plan.

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