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Letters to the Editor

Measure B is about more than being friends with Will O’Neill

I was speaking to a group of people last week about how important it is to vote NO on B when all of a sudden, a person in the audience spoke up and said the following:

“I personally know and love Will O’Neill. I have donated to his campaign, I’m a dedicated follower of his posts, our kids are friends, etc. He does what he says, listens with an open mind, I think he’s great. But when he asked me to help with Measure B, I had to decline and he was very respectful of my choice. I think he would be great for the position that Measure B is creating, but just as I told him, the problem is who comes after him. 

“Will O’Neill would be a great leader for 4 or 8 years, but then who will be next? Someone power hungry, someone with higher ambition, someone without Newport in mind, someone funded by lobbyists. No doubt it will ruin the City.

“Keep the power divided among the council as it has been. Why do I care which councilman runs the meeting and calls himself mayor that year? I’m just happy the power is split and they hold each other accountable (...somewhat). This would change all that and turn the Council to yes men. How truly sad for our beautiful City.”

Very well stated.

As you all know the City of Westminster, population of 93,000, will be voting in the June primary to dissolve their directly elected Mayor position. The residents are fed up with the politics that have resulted from someone having too much control.

Let’s stop this now! I urge everyone to vote NO on B.

Please visit our website at https://nopowergrab.com/.

Lynn Swain

Big Canyon

Newport Beach, it’s time to say “no” again

NO! That’s the only answer to Measure B. Don’t vote before reading the fine print. We residents are in the same situation as in 2014, when we were told Measure Y would “reduce traffic” even though we knew it would have the opposite effect: the data was skewed and the measure would in fact have brought large scale development and traffic to Newport Center. 

This was the catalyst for our formation of Line in the Sand, to educate and protect the public interest.

In the case of Measure B, the only answer, again, is to just say NO. Again, we feel betrayed – not because the idea of an elected mayor is bad in itself – but because when you read and understand the fine print, you see that, as written, the measure would seriously erode democratic representation for the voters and load the power into the hands of one person, the Mayor. 

Some things to think about:

Who’s behind it? The mega dollars behind Measure B are mostly out-of-town dollars except for a $5,000 loan from Will O’Neill. What’s that all about?

Why is it? If Measure B passes, the Mayor would have an incredible amount of power, more than any one representative has ever had in our City. Agenda decisions would be made by the Mayor, and voter representation would be decreased by having one less district. The ability of the City Manager and other Councilmembers to drive Council discussions would be drastically reduced. How could that possibly be a good thing for our city?

What is it? The charter change we are voting on was initiated by one person – Will O’Neill – without review or discussion or community input at the Council meetings. It allows an elected Mayor to buy a seat with mega dollars and capture the bulk of the power in decision-making discussions among the Council. It allows a Mayor to stay in place for eight years even immediately after two four- year terms on the City Council. The big bucks could more easily prevail and the number of districts would be reduced to six. Why would decreasing our representation and lumping it more into one hand be a good thing for our city?

Where is this happening? This is Newport Beach. Our system of leadership through seven equally represented Districts has worked well for many decades even though big money and the cost of elections can have an undue and unfair influence. But – Measure B not only erodes the fairness and representation but allows big money to more likely drive the Mayoral election. Who thinks making matters worse is a good thing for our City?

NO! The only answer to Measure B is just plain no.  If you’re someone who’s frustrated by one-party rule in Sacramento, just wait until you see one-person rule in Newport Beach. That’s what Measure B would result in. 

Dennis Baker, Board President

Line in the Sand

Newport Beach

 

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