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Newport Beach


Letters to the Editor

After months of denials, Lowrey enters city council race 

Well, after months of denial that he would not be a candidate, Lee Lowrey has decided to run for Newport Beach city council, or maybe not, today is another day. 

Having failed to be elected in District Five, Lowrey has moved into District Four. Perhaps next time District Three. 

In recent weeks, Lowrey has been negotiating with his controlled Atlas PAC to oppose the “Elect the Mayor” initiative, a blatant effort to evade term limits and concentrate political power in one politician. Apparently, Lee is “flexible” in his political philosophy because now he is suddenly in support of the measure. 

Could it be that he is falling into line as part of the Dave Ellis political machine? Indeed, it was Ellis who gleefully announced Lowrey’s candidacy while at the same time, setting himself up to funnel thousands of dollars outside of the city spending limits in direct mail hit pieces on behalf of Lowrey. 

You remember Ellis and four of his candidates were fined by the Fair Political Practices Commission for violating state campaign finance laws in the 2014 Newport election.

Exactly who is Lee Lowrey? A strong supporter of more private jets at John Wayne Airport and a tract housing developer who spends most of his time in Colorado and Texas. 

He is a business partner of former Costa Mesa mayor Jim Righeimer, who conducted a “reign of terror” in that city, fighting constantly with Costa Mesa police officers and firefighters. In his short tenure, Righeimer turned Costa Mesa from a Republican to Democratic city and damaged public safety services.

Perhaps that is the Lowrey playbook.

Lowrey’s Atlas PAC is a political action committee that funnels dark money to various anti-police candidates, most notably Righeimer, and other political extremists.

Lowrey is nothing more than a tool providing a fourth vote for the political gang that has been running and ruining Newport for the past few years. Just another Dave Ellis minion.

Please vote for Robyn Grant and a Big NO on Measure B. 

Gerald A. Giannini

Newport Beach

As issues gain footholds worldwide, we can’t forget what we’re facing right here at home

I am sure that we have all had a lot on our minds lately with the now monthlong war in Ukraine and the possibility of the resurgence of a sub variant of the Omicron strain making its appearance in LA County. But with all the international and national problems, let’s not lose sight of one very important one here at home – yes, here in Newport Beach. 

My focus was brought back to this local dilemma yesterday as I hammered my new “No on B – Stop the Power Grab” sign in my front yard.

Reflecting again on one person’s attempt to establish a mayoral government structure in Newport Beach, I am reminded of how preposterous a proposal it is. Because the reason for doing so – to establish a more democratic government in Newport Beach – will do just the opposite.

We are not a large cosmopolitan city like San Francisco or Los Angeles. And our population is considerably less than the eight other cities in Orange County which have adopted an “elected mayor” form of government (with the exception of Stanton).

At the council meeting where “Proposal B” was adopted by a vote of 4-3, there were speakers who lined up to speak on both sides of the issue. It seemed like there was an equal number of speakers and letters posted on the City website regarding the issue.

However, unbeknownst to me and most likely many others in the city, people who do not live in Newport Beach can both speak to issues at council meetings and post letters on the website. The city from which they come is not necessarily noted in either case.

That might explain some of the repetitive and very short verbal as well as written responses given by supporters of electing a mayor.

The first person to step forward with this surprising proposal has lived in Newport Beach less than 10 years. And the three other councilmembers who voted with that person rarely vote against him. (In my opinion) Most other long-term residents who have been involved in Newport City government are opposed to this major change in structure.

Why? Because the person who proposed it also wrote it and in doing so made provisions which will actually make the government less democratic. The Mayor would have increased power, the City Manager would have much less as would the city councilmembers who would be reduced by one in number and would not be elected directly by their constituents to balance the increased power of the mayor.

Instead of making this change that would render our city government less democratic by the obvious “power grab” of one person, let’s make Newport Beach more democratic by electing new councilmembers who are independent, not indebted to developers, do not vote as blocks and really do represent the wishes of their constituents.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach

 

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