* I had to respond to John Jaeger’s grossly misleading letter (“Budget Shortfall and Continuing Fiscal Problems Plaguing Irvine,” Jan. 23), which attempts to pin all of Irvine’s fiscal woes on former Mayor Larry Agran.
I was a budget analyst and a City Council aide for Irvine from 1985 through 1990. If one were to total the cost of programs proposed by Mayor Agran, I suspect it would be far less than 1% of Irvine’s operating budget.
Contrary to Mr. Jaeger’s assertions, Agran and his colleagues proposed programs that demanded fiscal responsibility and accountability from city staff. City Council member Cameron Cosgrove, an Agran ally, proposed an economic uncertainty reserve fund that set aside money for the more difficult times ahead.
It was this fund that allowed Irvine to keep afloat during the early recession years, which by the way began after Agran and Cosgrove were defeated for reelection in June, 1990.
Agran’s opponents have had 3 1/2 years to implement their vision of paradise. Their track record so far seems to have been one of fiscal irresponsibility.
I don’t see Mr. Jaeger offering any constructive solutions.
It’s time to stop painting Larry Agran as Evil Incarnate and start admitting that he was right.
STEPHEN C. SMITH