Six former Newport Beach mayors say it’s time for a change on the council

Former Mayor Keith Curry, above, and five other former mayors are taking formal positions against the Team Newport incumbents in districts 3 and 6. (Daily Pilot)

As former mayors, we are very concerned about the direction of our city during the past four years. We have seen the City Council majority make rash and partisan decisions that are not in the best interests of the residents.

The council refused $485,000 in traffic improvement funds to make a political point about the gas tax increase. They voted to approve a Mello Roos levy for new condominiums near the airport — the largest property tax increase in 40 years for a new development — without a vote of the people.

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The tone of discourse in our city has changed for the worse. Some council members seek to demonize our public employees and civic facilities.

There has been a disregard for our campaign laws, open meeting laws and conflict-of-interest restrictions. We are most concerned with the classless and outrageous way our outstanding city manager, Dave Kiff, was compelled to retire early, and we are disturbed that a politician, not a professional city manager, was a candidate to replace him. (Editor’s note: A city administrator from Irvine, not the politician, was hired.)

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The council majority simply does not represent the values of our city. You would expect the mayor to set a tone that avoids these abuses, but Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield has failed our community and must bear responsibility for his decisions.

In addition to Duffield, one other councilman, Scott Peotter, has been at the center of all of these problems. Peotter even voted against the city sexual harassment prevention policy and efforts to pay down our pension liability more quickly.

We believe it is time for a change if we are to protect the quality of life and restore our civic values in Newport Beach. We are supporting Tim Stoaks in District 3, who is running against Duffield, and Joy Brenner in District 6, who is running against Peotter.

Stoaks and Brenner are longtime community activists who have worked for decades on projects like the OASIS senior center, the Corona del Mar Library/Fire Station and Santa Ana Heights improvements like the fire station, trails and parks, and our new animal shelter.

They have been in the lead on reducing airport noise, and they will represent the interests and values of residents, not politically connected donors.

Join us in demanding a change for the better in Newport Beach and rejecting the machine politics of the past four years.

Evelyn Hart

Rush Hill

John Cox

Keith Curry

Mike Henn

Don Webb

Newport Beach

The writers are all former Newport Beach mayors.

Rohrabacher should debate Rouda

Shame on Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa).

In an ultimate display of contempt for the voters of his district, he refuses to engage in that fundamental process of democracy — a debate with his Democratic challenger, Harley Rouda. Why? Because he knows that Rouda, with his knowledge of issues, concrete ideas to address them, and belief that government can and should be used to benefit all rather than only those at the top, would expose the utter bankruptcy of his political vision. How absolutely craven.

James R. Percival

Newport Beach

Partisans approved desalination project

Garry Brown's commentary (“Doheny proposal proves it’s possible to do desalination right in Orange County,” Sept. 6) was correct in most respects, but he left out a very important element: the aspect of political decision-making. The proposed Poseidon desalination plant was originally approved by the Huntington Beach City Council by a partisan majority that refused to acknowledge the project’s many flaws and economic downsides.

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach

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