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New Irvine Mayor Sheridan’s Sensitivity to Public Criticism

You know what? Sally Anne Sheridan has it all wrong. As Irvine’s new mayor, she is often the subject of criticism, which she interprets as so many “personal attacks.” She seems convinced that the only conceivable reason for this criticism of her is that she is not Larry Agran.

She regularly remarks in interviews that those members of the community who often voice concerns at City Council meetings during public comments are simply experiencing a bad case of sour grapes, whining because their political messiah has been succeeded.

There could not be legitimate reason for criticism of the new council, after all; it is simply Larry’s personality cult, his “Agranistas,” licking their wounds and healing their bruises.

Most recently, Mrs. Sheridan has accused Irvine Tomorrow of being just such a fan club, whose bimonthly field trips to City Hall are mere crusades to make her life miserable, thereby assuaging their feelings.

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As a member of Irvine Tomorrow, I must say that the mayor’s assessment of my motives and goals is somewhat less than right on the money. I think I understand fairly well my reasons for participating in the group, and they are utterly unrelated to my personal feelings for either her or Larry Agran.

Personally, I am concerned about too-rapid development (with too little affordable housing to satisfy the housing element of the General Plan), and I fear the aggravated traffic conditions that will follow such development. I am concerned that political participation by Irvine’s citizens may be disdained and/or curbed by the City Council. I am uncomfortable that my elected officials’ judgment in matters of importance to the city and people of Irvine may be tainted by potential or real conflicts of interest.

My motivation for participation is really quite simple. I have a sincere interest in, and legitimate concern for, the problems facing Irvine today, and I want to see everyone live in a better Irvine tomorrow. Any questions?

CONNIE GUNDERSON, Irvine

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