Great Park, growth highlight state of the city address
Mayor Beth Krom presents the annual report card.
By SONYA SMITH IRVINE WORLD NEWS
Mayor Beth Krom rang in the new year with her State of the City address Tuesday night.
The speech included the regular topics, such as the Great Park, Irvine Business Complex and planned growth.
But, the address also showed the mayor’s specific interest of sustainability – living in ways to preserve the environment.
The title of her speech included “sustainable,” and she said that key word 12 times during the speech. Environment was mentioned eight times.
Krom has been a lead advocate of green design and practices on the council and the Great Park board. Green design, for example, includes using native plants to conserve water, mass transit systems to reduce car trips and increasing knowledge of various cultures.
“With our continued commitment to advance green building throughout our city and at the Great Park, we are helping to move our community forward, and advancing our city planning in a sustainable way,” Krom said.
Other topics of the mayor’s address included:
Great Park: She revisited the progress made in 2006 that included hiring Ken Smith’s team to design the park, beginning demolition on the old base and presenting the master plan in October. She said that by “working together, we will create a heart and soul for Orange County.”
Irvine Business Complex: She referred to the city’s 3-1 ratio of jobs to homes, saying that building more housing will help the city’s businesses by providing residences for employees. The Irvine Business Complex is a place of opportunity for businesses and residents to coexist, she said. Krom also said the city’s creation last year of the Community Land Trust will help provide more affordable housing.
Thirty-fifth anniversary: Krom recalled all the events that were used in 2006 to celebrate the city’s 35th anniversary. She said it was a “wonderful year of public recognition for 35 years of innovation, education and civic participation.”
Transit: The mayor mentioned how the city continues to upgrade traffic signals throughout the city and how planning continues on a mass transit system for the Great Park area. She said she was excited about county voters’ approval of Measure M which likely will provide funding for city transportation projects.
Global warming: Krom honored UC Irvine’s Sherwood Rowland for his work in researching and attracting attention to global warming.
Sister cities: The fiasco over the city’s attempt to add the Xuhui District of Shanghai, China, as a sister city was a large part of the mayor’s speech. She said the incident has helped her to grow “stronger and wiser” from the experience and she looks forward to bridging cultures with the city’s existing sister city – Taoyuan, Taiwan.
Safe driving: Krom also repeated a request she made in her 2006 city address: asking drivers to not run red lights. “Respect our traffic signals,” the mayor said.