Irvine: Gaido Doth Protest Too Much – Her No-Growth Rhetoric Rings Hollow

In a Facebook post last week, Mary Ann Gaido’s campaign posted “Gaido said excessive home developments have caused traffic congestion and school crowding.”

Mind you, this complaint comes from a candidate who, as a long-serving Irvine Planning Commissioner, has voted to approve the development of more than 99,464 homes.

Traffic congestion in Irvine is a very real problem. And Gaido is correct that the cause is “excessive home development,” then shouldn’t she be pointing the finger at herself? Why is she presenting herself as the mayoral candidate who can fix the problem when she is largely to blame for what she points to as the cause? If she’s correct, then making her mayor is like hiring an arsonist to run the fire department.

OC Daily is supportive of development. It is a good thing. There is a pressing need for home-building in our region. Home building generates good jobs, boosts the economy and is creates neighborhoods where people can build lives and raise families. The trick is good government that is willing to make the investment in sufficient transportation infrastructure to keep pace.  That reality appears to escape Ms. Gaido, who wants to have it both ways by voting for the development that she now excoriates as “excessive.”

Now, Ms. Gaido is furiously spinning and back-pedaling. Her campaign trundles out liberal supporters like the Sierra Club and Councilwoman Beth Krom to assure anti-development voters that Ms. Gaido really, truly shares their anti-development views – notwithstanding those 100,000 residential units for which she voted.  They’re reduced to the It-Could-Have-Been-Worse excuse: that were it not for Gaido, there would have been even more development in Irvine. To extent the metaphor, that’s like praising an arsonist for only burning down half the block instead of all of it.

Gaido is even trying to escape any responsibility for the impending development of apartments on the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater site – despite the fact she was chair of the Planning Commission at the time and signed the resolution approving the change to apartments.

Gaido and her allies cry to Heaven about the mail being sent against her, but the reality is her toughest opponent is her own record. No one said running for Irvine City Council is easy – especially when you end up running against yourself.


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