Group telegraphs intent to recall Newport Beach Councilman Peotter

Group telegraphs intent to recall Newport Beach Councilman Peotter
Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter is the target of a recall effort. (File photo | Daily Pilot)

Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter is the target of an emerging recall effort, documents show.

A form filed this week with the city to establish the Committee to Recall Scott Peotter indicates that a group is gearing up to try to remove the vocally conservative councilman from office.


A statement of organization filed with the City Clerk's office names Marilyn Brewer as the "principal officer" and Jen Slater as the treasurer of the committee. Neither responded to requests for comment Friday afternoon, and the Pilot could not confirm whether the Brewer listed on the form is the former state assemblywoman by the same name.

This is a preliminary step in the recall process that allows a proponent group to raise at least $2,000 to support their efforts.


Recall proponents would also have to prepare and serve Peotter with a written notice of intent to recall – which, as of Friday morning, he said they hadn't done – then circulate petitions and gather enough signatures in favor of calling the special election.

Peotter said the potential recall proponents have a difference of opinion with him and don't want to wait until he is up for re-election next year to address those differences at the polls.

"That's what the election's for," he said.

In an email blast this week to supporters, Peotter asked for donations to fight the recall effort.

"Intolerant recallers?" the note read. "An element of Newport Beach politics evidently doesn't like the fact that I am keeping my campaign promises so they are starting a RECALL attempt."

He then listed several of his past stands, including his criticism of dock fees, the costs of Marina Park and the new City Hall, and the Civic Center Park bunny statues.

In a later interview, Peotter said he doesn't agree with the notion of recalls on the grounds of policy disagreements – he said he would even oppose a recall targeting former Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry, with whom he often disagreed.

Peotter said he thinks recalls should be for malfeasance, which he said is not the case here.

"I think they just don't like what I say and how I say it."

Peotter drew criticism from some quarters in 2015, after he used an image of the city seal in an email newsletter he sent to supporters criticizing the Supreme Court's affirmation of gay marriage. The City Council decided not to reprimand him, instead issuing a statement that Newport Beach supported diversity, equality and inclusiveness.

Peotter was elected in 2014. He represents District 6, which includes Corona del Mar and Newport Coast. He plans to run again in 2018.

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