Irvine Group Vows to Recall 3 Over Bonds

A group of residents dismayed at the city's financial condition in the wake of the county bankruptcy vowed Friday night to recall three council members who voted to borrow $62 million for investment in the collapsed county pool.

At a meeting attended by about 40 people, members of the Coalition for Public Responsibility targeted Mayor Michael Ward and council members Paula Werner and Barry J. Hammond for recall. Ward, Werner and Hammond voted in July to invest borrowed money in the county pool. The city has $209 million frozen in the pool.

However, the group stipulated that it would drop the recall effort if the City Council fired City Manager Paul O. Brady Jr. and Finance Director Jeff Niven for their roles in the investment decisions.

City leaders and their supporters have dismissed members of the coalition as "political opportunists" who have long been at odds with the city. They also said the group has little support in the community.

Irvine officials noted that they are working to recoup 100% of the money invested in the pool. Despite the county bankruptcy, Irvine remains on a solid financial footing because of its diverse investment portfolio, they added.

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