It took just a few days for there to be a good reason for Newport
Coast residents to celebrate their incorporation into Newport Beach.
Maybe even 20 million.
Newport Beach officials are coming to their 7,000 new constituents'
aid by looking into how about $181 million in bond money sold to help
build the community was used. By some estimations, as much as $20 million
may be unaccounted for.
Much of the money under review, some $40 million, was used to build
Newport Coast Drive. But questions arose after the toll road agency took
over a two-mile stretch of the road, turning it into the start of the San
Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor. And while that third of the road
seemingly should have been worth $13.3 million, the agency only handed
the county $3.5 million. Worse still, community members say, that
reimbursement did not make its way back to the original pool of money it
was taken from.
At this point, Newport Beach officials say they have no reason to
think there was any impropriety or shenanigans. Finding all the
information about how the money was spent should answer any lingering
questions, the say.
We certainly hope so. Whether it be $3.5 million or $20 million,
answers need to be found.
One thing we are confident of, Newport Coast residents who say they
weren't pleased with the response of county officials, including
Supervisor Tom Wilson, to their requests for answers will likely have no
such complaints with Newport Beach City Hall.