Letters to the Editor

Councilman greatly exaggerates Newport's financial health

In response to Councilman Jeff Herdman’s April 13 commentary, “Newport Beach is a picture of financial health,” I disagree.

Herdman uses a recent Fitch Ratings report to spout the party line about the city’s financial health.

We should all remember Orange County’s 1994 bankruptcy that the rating agencies missed, at great cost to taxpayers.

Robust overspending over the past decade has put Newport in a precarious financial position.

We have one of the highest per-capita debt ratios of any city in the state.

Herdman’s idea of fiscal health is gouging taxpayers for city government.

Imagine our financial health if we didn’t have to pay $22,000 per day for 30 years for the “Taj Mahal.”

Our unfunded pension liability is in excess of $350 million. We have employees making in excess of $400,000, including benefits.

I come from a different perspective than Herdman. I have never been a public employee with a guaranteed check every two weeks and a lifetime pension.

I built my business one brick at a time while avoiding debt at all costs.

Herdman’s parroting of a rating agency report gives me no comfort about our future.

I am relieved that we now have fiscal conservatives on the council that understand it’s the taxpayers’ money — not the city’s.

Bob McCaffrey

Balboa Island

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