Candidate for Fullerton City Council, 1st District, Andrew Cho has drawn the ire of the Friends of Coyote Hills for using an image of one of the group’s banners on a campaign mailer. The Friends of Coyote Hills is a non-profit organization that does not make political endorsements. The mailer in question sharply criticized Cho’s opponent in the race, Fred Jung, for signing the rebuttal to the ballot argument against Fullerton’s Measure W eight years ago. Measure W, which went down to defeat at the polls in 2012, would have authorized elements of Chevron’s plans to move forward with development of the West Coyote Hills—a 510-acre site The Friends of Coyote Hills has sought to save it as a park instead. A modified development plan was subsequently approved by the City Council, but nothing has yet been built on the site as the Friends pursue their ultimate goal of preservation.
Jung says his signature on the rebuttal to the No-on-W argument was a “mistake.” He says he added his signature in response to a “Chevron lobbyist assuring me that a sport field would be built in the proposed development. As a volunteer director of a youth sports non-profit that was desperately searching for a home field, I was supportive accordingly.” Jung is founder of the Fullerton Bears, a Fullerton-based youth football and cheer organization. Jung also served as a member of the City’s Parks and Recreation Commission. Jung reiterated, “I have since acknowledged publicly I was ill informed and wrong.”
Angela Chen Lindstrom, Board President of the Friends of Coyote Hills released the following statement about the use of the group’s banner image on Cho’s mailer:
“I along with friends and neighbors met with Fred months ago to share the importance of West Coyote Hills as a park and open space for our community. We also shared the Friends of Coyote Hills’ past efforts that have led to the site east of Gilbert being saved. Fred listened carefully to information that was new to his understanding of this issue. He explained that his past support of the development proposal was based on misinformation and promises of additional sports parks. He has since been crystal clear in his commitment to support saving Coyote Hills and even preserving the Bastanchury Tree Farm as a park. Fred recently joined the Friends in a trail clean-up service event.”
“I was disappointed to see campaign material from another candidate using our Save Coyote Hills banner and photo to attack Fred’s support of open space. This was done without our knowledge. This election is confusing enough for voters. It’s obvious that preserving Coyote Hills as open space is a priority for our community because it is always a banner issue for campaign material. I just hope that all candidates deliver on their promise to protect Fullerton’s open space and parks.”
Andrew’s Cho’s campaign did not respond to questions from The Observer about his position on saving or developing Coyote Hills.
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