Are we better off? As the recall of Councilman Scott Peotter campaign nears the successful completion of the signature gathering, I think it is important to reflect on one question: "Is our community better off after the election of Scott Peotter?"
Is traffic better now than in 2014? What ever happened to the Corona del Mar bypass? Is the noise and disruption from John Wayne Airport better or worse? Has development been appropriate for our community or has densification intensity harmed our neighborhoods?
Have we addressed the infrastructure needs of our streets, sewers, libraries and public buildings, or have we siphoned off revenues while cutting fees for specific major campaign donors?
Is our unfunded pension liability higher or lower? Has the power of special interest groups and political manipulators been reduced or enhanced?
Does our civic interaction reflect a culture of respect for the residents and a sense of civility, or have we devolved into name-calling, childish YouTube videos and efforts to undermine Constitutional rights to petition our government by our elected representatives?
Do we have leaders who are focused on pragmatically solving problems and working to improve our quality of life, or do we have a Team Newport-led council majority predisposed to vote as a bloc? Are citizens or independent council members even willing to bring forth new ideas if the team is not in support?
Each resident should answer these questions for themselves. But when I answer them, I come away profoundly concerned about the future of our city.
Corona del Mar
Fight air traffic pollution now or pay later
The increase in air traffic and corresponding noise pollution should be treated in the way air pollution was in the 1960s-70s.
If we had not instituted pollution regulations forcing automakers to clean up their emissions, we would still be choking on the brown air that you can see in China and Mexico City.
We need to take control of our environment and not accept an ever-increasing number of flights and noise, force the aircraft manufacturers to come up with some significant increases in noise suppression and not just worry about how many cattle (passengers) they can squeeze onto a plane.