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Letter to the Editor:

Peotter keeps changing his mind

Wow, the recall is only two weeks old and already Scott Peotter has had four positions. First, he said the recall was to inhibit his “free speech”. When one considers that Peotter’s own extraordinary efforts to prevent residents from circulating petitions on the Museum House project was the greatest denial of free speech in recent city history, that argument quickly went away.

Then he said it was about him “keeping his promises” to cut city spending.  But the record shows that under Peotter, pension liabilities are up $70 million, the operating budget is up $22 million and because of him, we now run the sewer system at a structural deficit. His debt reduction strategy actually cost $20 million more than doing nothing and he arranged for a man later convicted of embezzlement to be placed on the Finance Committee. Not a lot of credibility there Scott.  

Next, he hooked up with liberal Democrat Bob Rush as his chairman and claimed he was being recalled because he was “politically incorrect”. Well yes, supporting the racist Farsi campaign signs, opposing the city Sexual Harassment Prevention policy, and insulting residents who speak before the council is politically incorrect, but it is also unacceptable behavior as a member of the city council. Rush was perhaps surprised to find that Peotter opposes nearly all of the capital improvements needed for West Newport and the Peninsula where Rush is an activist.

Now he is wrapping himself in the Republican banner, hoping voters will not notice that the 14,000 residents who signed the Museum House petitions were overwhelmingly Republican and that Peotter alone among the council is using his position to collect compensation from four public agencies.  

The real issue is that Peotter trampled on our constitutional rights and he refuses to obey the laws he swore to uphold regarding leaking confidential information, campaign finance and the municipal code. He is controlled by Dave Ellis and serves the special interests who moved him into town to run.  

Who knows what Peotter’s slogan will be tomorrow? Here are some we know he won’t be using: “Scott Peotter: Working to reduce traffic and improve our quality of life,” “Peotter: Champion of parks and libraries,” “Scott Peotter: He respects the public.”  

It’s time for a change on the city council.  

Richard C. Ingold

Newport Beach

Guest Column

Dave Kiff

An insider’s look at what’s going on, in and around City Hall


Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff  

I hope you get to enjoy some spring weather outside as well as the Newport Beach Film Festival inside. By Friday, it’s NOSA time and boats will be lined up for the 2017 Newport-Ensenada race. Always a nice time of year in town before we get too crowded.

But on to what’s on the Council’s agenda for April 25, 2017. More detailed Council meeting information is at the end of the Guide. I don’t summarize every item on the agenda, so make sure you look at the City Clerk’s agenda page to read the whole agenda to if you’d like.  

Study Session starts at 4:00 p.m. and has two items:

A re-scheduling of an emergency preparedness update from Katie Eing, the City’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Learn about how the City will work with you and our loyal CERT members across town to help address virtually any natural or other disaster. We do ask that folks try to have the ability to survive without us as best they can for up to 72 hours, though.    

Members of the Orange County Water District will update us on the status of the huge groundwater basin from which we get about 70% of our drinking water. This is a big deal because as the drought officially ends (!), it’s important to factor in how replenished (or not) the basin is. Tune in please if you’re curious about the end of the drought (though it could choose to come visit us again soon!) or how we get our potable water. Fun and interesting stuff, actually. 

Regular Session is at 7:00 p.m. The items worth noting are:

Speaking of drought, it’s officially over. At least the Governor’s emergency decree has ended. That means that our water cutback restrictions can go away (resounding cheers for slightly longer showers!) but some permanent restrictions will remain in place. Such as: no watering before, after, or during rain. No wasteful watering such as hosing down of sidewalks and driveways. No watering of turf in medians (that’s for the City). But things that will go away include the 15% reduction goal as well as the limits on days/week you can water. An agenda item declares locally that the “Level 2” water use restrictions can go away.

Council members have asked that their colleagues consider renaming Ensign View Park (for John Wayne) and Balboa Island Park (for Ralph Rodheim).

Council may update its policy on invocations before meetings to more closely follow US law.

Pickleball! A contract to install the community’s first permanent pickleball courts (at the edge of Bonita Canyon Sports Park, near MacArthur) is up for consideration. If you don’t know what pickleball is, it’s like shorter-court tennis with a firmer ball (I’m sure I just wrote something blasphemous and will be corrected there). It has a growing support base in town.

Appointments to the Harbor Commission will be made. We always get such a good crop of dedicated volunteers to help out on our commissions. I know that the Council wishes that they could appoint every candidate just to honor their commitment and interest. But there are only a few slots open at any one time.  

The Council’s direct appointees – that’s the City Manager, the City Attorney, and the City Clerk – will have their contracts reviewed and possibly approved. These follow relatively detailed performance evaluations with our seven bosses. 

Today’s Random Notes:

As you know, there is a lot of work going on out there in town that can get in your way or invite questions. Here’s a brief summary of some of them.

Irvine Avenue seems almost done – the landscaping is in and the road’s repaved.

Give it a nice slow drive and hear how quiet the new pavement is – ooo, nice. 

We’ve redone landscaping at the “Mixmaster” area near the Newport Pier (where Balboa mixes with Newport Boulevard). It’s colorful and California-friendly. Looks a lot better than the dead grass of last year. 

Ocean and Poppy in CDM is still impacted by major road repairs there – the sidewalk and trees are being replaced, and next will be the new road surface. This has more weeks to go.

Since the rain ended, crews have made a lot more progress in Big Canyon Nature Park (off of Jamboree between Park Newport and Eastbluff). This is an environmental restoration project that also helps remediate naturally occurring selenium in that small watershed. The grading causes it to look fairly stark right now, but that’s because we haven’t started replanting things yet. 

The Park Avenue Bridge (between Balboa Island and Little Island) is coming along, and that long project is also nearing completion in a handful of weeks. 

We are in Week Seven or so of the FAA’s implementation of NextGen in our community. NextGen made more precise flight paths from JWA (and nearly 2 dozen other airports in Southern California). April 27th is another important day for NextGen locally, when the other 50 percent of JWA’s flights may be placed on the NextGen paths. Generally, these track the historic patterns of flights from JWA. Please know that we will follow this closely to ensure that the community’s overall goals are met. However, the FAA always has the final determination on where flights go. If you ever want to talk NextGen with me, I’m happy to do so – just call.    

We were notified that the Marina Park project will be honored with a national public works award for 2017. That’s a pretty big deal for us. An even bigger deal is the nice everyday use that the park gets from the Peninsula and other neighbors who have long deserved a great park there. Congratulations to our City Public Works team, the designer (Rabben/Herman), the contractor (KPRS), the construction manager (Griffin Holdings) and to every one of our community members (like the Protect our Parks members as well as former Harbor Commissioners) who spent years (yes, years) working on a compromise plan that the community could embrace.

As always, thanks for reading. Please forward this Guide to family, friends and members of your HOA if you represent one. I always like hearing from you, too, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question or offer a comment. 


Dave Kiff

City Manager

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