Local officials are constantly making decisions that affect our lives, and this week is no exception.

Here are the hot-button issues in local government that we’re tracking this week:

1. Showdown Over the Great Park

The future of Orange County’s long-awaited “central park” hangs in the balance this week, with Irvine council members set for another round of debate on a plan to get most of it built.

As the swing vote, all eyes are on Councilman Jeff Lalloway and whether he’ll be satisfied with an updated version.

When: Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Where: Irvine City Hall. (Map)

2. Reservist Wants Back on Planning Commission

The drama continues over Councilman Denis Bilodeau’s efforts to return Navy reservist Mike Merino to the Planning Commission in Orange.

The issue hit conservative news websites earlier this month, when the rest of the council declined to reappoint Merino.

Bilodeau says Merino has a right to return, while others claim it’s a political move.

This week’s meeting is expected to draw a passionate crowd.

When: Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Orange City Hall. (Map)

3. Tackling Traffic

Flickr user Moejoey

Transportation officials approve plans to reduce traffic congestion on our roads and freeways.

When: Monday at 9 a.m.

Where: Orange County Transportation Authority headquarters. (Map)

4. Pot Shop Ban

Laguna Hills officials hold a public hearing on banning medical marijuana dispensaries.

When: Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Where: Laguna Hills City Hall. (Map)

5. Lunar New Year Celebrations

Garden Grove’s Tet Festival will be the weekend of Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, if a contract is approved this week by City Council members.

The event would be run by the Vietnamese Community of Southern California, which would pay the city $145,000.

When: Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Garden Grove City Hall. (Map)

Other Issues

Monday, Nov. 25

Orange County Transportation Authority Board – 9 a.m.

Southern California Rail Travel Meetup Group – 5:30 p.m.

  • Discussing rail travel at Knowlwood Restaurant in downtown Fullerton.

Tuesday, Nov. 26

Irvine City Council – 4 p.m.

  • Approving plans for a private home developer to build more than half of the Great Park in exchange for being allowed to build thousands more homes around the park.
  • Prohibiting batting cages in residential neighborhoods.

Orange City Council – 4:30 p.m.

  • Discussing the Planning Commission vacancy that Councilman Denis Bilodeau wants filled by former commissioner Mike Merino.
  • Approving the closure of city facilities for the holidays.
  • Approving a $5,760 per month lease with Chapman CBC, LLC.

Costa Mesa City Council (Special Meeting) – 6 p.m.

  • Closed session discussion of labor negotiations with the main rank-and-file employees union, the Costa Mesa City Employee Association.

Garden Grove City Council – 6:30 p.m.

  • Approving a contract with the Vietnamese Community of Southern California to host the 2014 Tet Festival at Garden Grove Park.
  • Approving contracts with Shakespeare Orange County and Great Reunions Inc. to operate the Festival Amphitheater located at the Village Green.
  • Accepting the resignation of Ric Lerma from the Main Street Commission.

Laguna Hills City Council – 7 p.m.

Adam Elmahrek and Brendan Wiles contributed to this report.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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