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Letter to the Editor

Disagreements over direction of our residents

Our privileged population in Newport Beach seems to have spawned a group of confident individuals who think that they not only have their own answers about science, government, health, business and city development issues, but they have the answers for all the rest of us, too.

A depressing number of our residents who do not really represent the silent majority, feel no need for protecting the overall health of society. Thus they flock to the beaches at their first opportunity to enjoy the sun, sand and surf. And, most refuse to wear facial masks that would protect their neighbors. 

These residents wrote in when the Council had their three-pronged meeting this last Tuesday. Several wrote about individual rights to enjoy the natural environment. Another large group of articulate locals also wrote lengthy letters, pleading with the Council to not open the beaches because of health concerns. Some chastised them for going against the guidelines of the state. 

Unfortunately, as concerned residents, we fall for that trick every time, don’t we? The Council provides the opportunity for residents to give them input on a key issue; they then conclude their supposedly open discussion with a predictable outcome – the ubiquitous 5 to 2 vote.

But beachgoers are not the only would be experts on running the city in this time of crisis; there were several business people who, shunning any authority of the state, wanted to advise local government on how to reopen the economy. They were offering their leadership and services. Even one of our Council people got involved, waxing on about individual rights. Neither group offered any specific guidelines themselves.

This rebellious spirit in Newport Beach is further evidenced by the Planning Commission and again the City Council, who repeatedly allow exceptions to zoning and development guidelines. Our Council seems to think that it has all the answers to so many questions. They continuously start work on various issues – but it is rare that we see “the fruits of their labor.” Maybe they should just stick to enforcement of the guidelines that have been established for them by past councils and keep their nose out of state and federal business.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach