Larry Agran — after a tumultuous half-decade reign atop the Great Park Board of Directors — will not seek reappointment as chairman at Thursday’s board meeting, Voice of OC has learned.
The Irvine councilman has been the 1,478-acre park’s most tireless supporter since playing a key role in defeating plans to turn the El Toro Marine Air Base into an airport early last decade. He’s also been its biggest lighting rod, taking much of the flack for years of missed deadlines and wasted money as development of the park has stalled.
Agran has also been accused of pay-to-play politics, as no-bid contracts for different responsibilities at the park were handed out to companies that bankrolled slate-mailers that helped Agran win reelection. Agran was accused of being involved in the writing of the mailers, a charge he has consistently denied.
Agran did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday night.
The timing of Agran’s decision is interesting given that it comes as the Great Park board faces the loss of as much as $1.4 billion in redevelopment dollars with Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to do away with redevelopment agencies.
Agran’s departure also comes as FivePoint Communities has announced plans to move forward with housing development around the park, which would eventually provide it with much needed property tax increment revenue.
Voice of OC will be reporting more details as they emerge.
— ADAM ELMAHREK