Letters to the Editor

It’s still a small town

Fond memories of a small town. Al Forgit Hardware. Wil Wright’s Ice Cream. Vincent’s Drugstore near Richard’s Market. The Jolly Roger. Bumper cars and the carousel. Flight of the Snowbirds. 1953 Boy Scout National Jamboree. Water skiing in the Back Bay. The Stuft Shirt. Bal Week. The Rendezvous Ballroom. The Villages – small and vibrant then, small and vibrant now.

But some would have us believe that we may have outgrown the memories.

We are larger now, they say. We need to emulate bigger cities now, they say.

We need a strong mayor (who may serve on the dais for a total of sixteen [16] years) to lead us. The collective wisdom of seven Council folks which has served us pretty well for nearly seventy years can’t work because we are bigger now.

There are certainly pros and cons to the elect the mayor discussion, but many would argue that we were a small town then, we are a small town now, and, God willing, we will remain a small town into the distant future. 

Please vote “No” on the direct election of the mayor Charter Amendment on June 7.

Paul K. Watkins

Newport Beach

Keep politics out of Newport Beach

I encourage voters in Newport Beach to study the Elect Our Mayor measure arguments and rebuttals as well as the No to the Power Grab arguments and rebuttals. Both sides have websites with valuable information. 

The current city council form of government has been in place for over 6 decades and has worked very well. In large part what has made it work is the checks and balances that are built in and the separation of power. You only must look to the state of California to see what can happen if one party has too much power. KEEP THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL SYSTEM IN PLACE. It works!

Sadly, politics and voting blocks are already in the Newport Beach City Council. This is how the Elect Our Mayor initiative got on the ballot overriding the conventional required number of signatures on a petition to place it on the ballot. This is also how Councilmember Joy Brenner was denied her turn to serve as Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem. 

An elected mayor will reduce the representation of residents. Each district will grow and the district that the mayor represents will have two votes instead on one. An elected mayor will have greater control over the agenda of the city council.

Most politicians have powerful people behind the scenes. Many times, these people are also wealthy. One wealthy donor can easily fund the election of one person. It is much more difficult to control the election of seven people.

You may have strong positive feelings about the presumed mayoral candidate and are confident he (or she) will do a good job but what about the next election? What if two candidates from the party you support “split the vote” and the candidate from a party you don’t support wins the election?

Knowledge is power. Reach out to representatives of both sides to have open informational meetings and discussion. Don’t just look at the surface of the issue.

I am confident that informed voters will say NO TO THE POWER GRAB!

Gary Cruz

Newport Beach