Scott Peotter enters council race

Two former planning commissioners will face off in the race for the Newport Beach City Council seat for District 6.

Scott Peotter, who served on the commission from 2006 to 2010, announced his bid Tuesday for the seat, which is currently held by Nancy Gardner.

He will face Michael Toerge, who served on the Planning Commission for more than 10 years.

The way the city spends its funds should be changed, according to Peotter, who pointed to the new Civic Center as symbolic of an irresponsible council.

Even during the recession, the city budget grew when it should have tightened, asserted Peotter, an architect.

"We have some of the highest fees in Orange County and have amassed a budget surplus that indicates the city government charges far too much for the services it provides," he said in a prepared statement.

In addition to city spending, unfunded pension liability and long-term debt will remain a focus of Peotter's campaign, according to a news release.

Peotter came under scrutiny in June 2010 when unfinished construction on his house made some people question his abilities and prompted him not seek a second term on the Planning Commission.

The remodeling was scheduled to take place in two phases, but Peotter lost the financing for the second half.

He attributes the loss to the recession and ultimately sold the half-finished house to a new owner, who paid him to complete it, he said.

Peotter noted that the home, once completed, received an award from a magazine and was part of the Corona del Mar home tour.

"I was able to complete the project and do it in an award-winning way," he said. "Everybody has ups and downs. I figured out another way to get it done and moved on."

Peotter moved back to Newport Beach earlier this year from Irvine, where he owns Aslan Cos., which provides architecture, real estate and construction services.

While in Irvine, he served on that city's Planning Commission from 1990 to 1998.

He said the experience taught him to appreciate the many personalities of the various neighborhoods in Newport Beach and the unique mix of commercial and residential properties.

Peotter also writes a column for the Newport Beach Independent.

District 6 includes Corona del Mar and part of Newport Coast.

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