Watch My Town Hall Meeting!

I held a public Town Hall Meeting at the Irvine Championship Stadium in the Great Park on Saturday, October 21, where we discussed traffic, childcare, the Southern California Veterans Cemetery, affordable housing, and other issues of interest to Irvine residents.

I was joined by several of my city commissioners, as well as by members of the Irvine Police Department, who were also there to answer questions.

Several dozen Irvine residents spoke and asked questions, and I thank everyone who attended.

Here are some photos from the event:

I really enjoyed the open, public dialogue with Irvine residents, and I intend to make these Town Hall Meetings a regular part of my work as an Irvine City Councilmember.

You can watch the complete October 21 Town Hall Meeting on my YouTube channel (Melissa Fox, Irvine City Council) here:

 

 

 

 

 

Irvine’s Kids Need You! City of Irvine Seeks Applicants for Four Positions on Child Care Committee!

The Irvine Community Services Commission is accepting applications to fill two government, civic, or community agencies vacancies, and two child care provider vacancies on the Irvine Child Care Committee.

There is a serious child care crisis in Irvine.  At present, nearly 2,500 Irvine families do not have adequate child care. Irvine will need an additional 4,551 child care spaces by 2035, due to the increase in housing development and the concomitant increase in the number of families with young children moving to Irvine.

As a member of the Irvine City Council, I have made it a priority to increase childcare and early childhood education opportunities in Irvine. By volunteering to serve on the Irvine Child Care Committee, you can serve our community and help me and others work to alleviate our childcare crisis.

The Irvine Child Care Committee is a 15-member advisory body to the Irvine Community Services Commission, and works cooperatively with the Irvine Children, Youth, and Families Advisory Committee, Child Care Coordination staff, and Community Development to enhance the quality of childcare and school readiness in the City of Irvine.

Committee meetings  are held on the second Tuesday of January, March, May, September, October and November, from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at Heritage Park Community Center, or other designated Irvine location.

Staff and committee members will interview candidates in October 2017.  Following interviews, recommendations will be presented to the Community Services Commission for appointment effective January 2018.

Applications are available here, or at the Irvine Civic Center (on the 2nd floor in the Community Services Department), and at the Irvine Child Resource Center.

If you would like more information, please contact my Lead Council Executive Assistant, Allison Binder, at abinder@ci.irvine.ca.us.

Thanks!

Melissa Fox’s City Council Agency and Committee Appointments 2017

I am pleased to report that I have been appointed by Irvine Mayor Don Wagner and my City Council colleagues to serve as Irvine’s representative on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Fire Authority and other regional and local agencies and committees.

Below is a complete list of my appointments to regional and local agencies and committees.  I am particularly pleased with my energy, watershed, wildlife, environmental, childcare and infrastructure appointments, since I have a longstanding interest in moving forward in these areas of policy.  I am also particularly pleased to join the Library Advisory Board, since my mother was a librarian and taught me the importance of community access to literature and information.

Appointments to Outside Agencies

sj-preserve-1005Community Energy Partnership (Aspen Accord)

Established to forge effective strategies and programs to foster smart energy management, build positive relationships between cities, energy consumers and their serving utilities and to educate communities about sustainable energy efficiency in Southern California.

Irvine Child Care Project (NonProfit JPA between City and Irvine USD)

Non-profit joint powers agency that provides after school care at all elementary schools in the City. Note: Alternate for Lynn Schott.

Library Advisory Board (LAB) of Orange County Library System (Formerly County-Wide Library Task Force, name-change in 2006)

Participating cities appoint members to attend and represent the City’s interests.

Laguna Canyon Foundation

Reflects a unique partnership between community and environmental activists, civic and municipal leaders, and private property owners and developers. Note: Irvine is no longer a voting member and only participates on a semi-annual or quarterly basis in large stakeholders meetings only.

Newport Bay Watershed Executive Committee

An agreement with the County of Orange to monitor sediment discharge within the watershed, with the costs shared by all parties, except the Department of Fish and Game.

One Water One Watershed (OWOW) Steering Committee

(Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority “SAWPA”)

Next generation of integrated regional watershed planning is under development to solve water issues on a regional scale and give all water interests a voice in the planning process. Note: Appointee will be considered for vacancy subject to final approval by OCCOG

San Joaquin Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary

Committee coordinated by the Irvine Ranch Water District to manage the Sea and Sage contract for the marsh program.

Santa Ana River Flood Protection Agency Commission

The purpose of this commission is the dissemination of flood hazard information; unanimity among the citizens of Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties on flood protection alternatives; and promotion of federal project authorization.

 Orange County Fire Authority

Serves 22 cities in Orange County and all unincorporated areas. The OCFA protects over 1,300,000 residents from its 60 fire stations located throughout Orange County. Stipend: $100 per meeting per day; maximum of $300 per month for voting member in attendance (No mileage).

Appointments to Irvine Commissions and Committees

Irvine Green Ribbon Environmental Committee

Seeks to increase public participation in energy conservation and sustainable practices, helping the City serve the community through advancing environmental policy initiatives and programs. I am glad to work on this Commission with my appointee, Krishna Hammond, and others.

Industrial Development Authority (IDA)

Functions in accomplishment of the purpose provided in the California Industrial Development Financing Act (Title 10, commencing with Section 91500 of the Government Code of the State of California) and to carry out and complete projects and perform and exercise derivative obligations and powers as set forth in the Act.

Irvine Community Land Trust (ICLT)

Created by the City of Irvine to provide secure, high-quality affordable housing through the operation of a non-profit community land trust, securing and retaining title to land on which permanently affordable rental, ownership and special needs housing will be constructed and maintained for the benefit of income-eligible families.

Irvine Child Care Project (NonProfit JPA between City and Irvine USD)

Non-profit joint powers agency that provides after school care at all elementary schools in the City. Note: Alternate for Lynn Schott.

Irvine Public Facilities and Infrastructure Authority (IPFIA)

Provides for the financing and refinancing of public capital improvements of the City, through the Purchase by the Authority of obligations of the City pursuant to a bond purchase.

Note: There is no additional pay or stipend for service on any of these agencies and committees except as specifically indicated.

If you have questions or concerns regarding any of these agencies and committees, or on any matter regarding the City of Irvine, please do not hesitate to contact me at my official Irvine City Council email at mefox@cityofirvine.org. All correspondence is public record.

Irvine’s Growing Child Care Crisis

talking-to-kids There is a serious child care crisis in Irvine.

At present, nearly 2,500 Irvine families do not have adequate child care.

Recently, the City of Irvine received a Child Care Needs Assessment that it had commissioned — at my urging — from an expert private consultant. school

The Assessment revealed a current city-wide shortfall of 2,433 child care spaces across all age groups, with the most acute shortage for children under 2 years-old and children 6 to 12 years-old.

The majority of the shortfall was found to be in the northern and most recently developed part of the city.

The Assessment further projected that Irvine will need an additional 4,551 child care spaces by 2035, due to the increase in housing development and the concomitant increase in the number of families with young children moving to Irvine.

What this means in plain language is that the current City Council and Planning Commission have not zoned sufficient areas of the city — in particular in the northern and most recently developed part of the city — for churches and houses of worship, instead zoning nearly everything for more profitable residential development.

Churches and other houses of worship traditionally provide a third of all child care. The Irvine City Council and the Planning Commission have approved thousands of new homes, but have not zoned sufficient areas for churches and houses of worship to meet our growing child care needs.

As a direct result of these shortsighted decisions of the City Council and Planning Commission, there are far more people and families in Irvine — and therefore more need for child care — but far less child care available.

This child care crisis is an easily foreseeable and direct consequence of the zoning and land use decisions of the current City Council and Planning Commission, which have put the short term profits of developers ahead of the longer term needs of Irvine’s families.

The problem is not that simply that we are building homes and developing Irvine, which was always intended to grow, but that we are building and developing homes out of balance with any other concerns, and with thousands more homes approved by the current City Council and Planning Commission without adequate child care, as well as without adequate school spaces, adequate local shopping, or adequate transportation choices.

And, as the Child Care Needs Assessment shows, this crisis will only get worse until we elect a City Council that puts families first and insists on a balanced approached to development .