Mailbag: After the election, the real work begins

Students leave Corona Del Mar High and Middle schools campus Nov. 9.
Students leave Corona del Mar High and Middle schools campus following the first day back of in-person learning on Monday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

As the final votes are tabulated, I would like to take the opportunity to address the Newport-Mesa Unified School District community. First off, to those who voted for me, thank you.

The trust you placed in me means a great deal, and I will work very hard serving our students, parents and the community on your behalf. To those who did not vote for me, I look forward to earning your trust and support in the future. I promise to serve every resident, with a focus on listening, communicating and ensuring transparency.

For all those who personally supported me in this endeavor, I am eternally grateful. It is not easy putting yourself out in the open, running for office. Your backing helped get me through many tough days. You gave financial contributions, hours of time distributing literature and lent frontyard real estate by placing a campaign sign in your lawn. I will never forget your friendship.

To my former opponents Amy Peters, Xeno Muller and Alexis Zavouris; I am appreciative of your dedication to Newport-Mesa. A clean race was run by everyone, and I am committed to working with you as we work to improve our schools. Each of you has insight into our district and it would be foolish to overlook the talents you possess. I hope to engage with each of you moving forward.

Lastly, to my husband, Erik Weigand. I love you. Your insight into campaign management 101 made the difference in this race. You stood by my side as we walked to over 6,000 houses, provided advice when I needed guidance and picked me up when I was having a bad day. I couldn’t have done this without you.

It’s been an honor running for school board, but now the real work begins. I look forward to serving Newport-Mesa in this important role and will strive to deliver results that benefit our wonderful community.

Krista Weigand
Trustee-Elect, NMUSD Area 6

Mixed feelings about election

Although I am ecstatic about the national election results (and a bit weary after sitting in front of the television for four days), I can’t help but feel saddened by some local results. The 48th District, and Orange County as a whole, lost the best public servant I have seen in my 50 years of living here, namely Rep. Harley Rouda. To many of us, he represented what an office holder of any kind can accomplish when one is energetic, dynamic, intelligent and caring.

Instead we have turned back to the past to promote some candidates with predominantly negative agendas about reducing government’s role in society, at an especially crucial time when lack of government involvement has contributed to the more than 230,000 Americans who have lost their lives to the pandemic, 1,500 in Orange County. Ironically, Michelle Steel and one winning candidate for Newport Beach City Council actually campaigned on platforms of public safety, and joining them was the highest vote getter from Huntington Beach, who all three flaunted their resistance and disdain for coronavirus safety guidelines.

For Rouda, it will probably end up being a positive turn in the long run, as his success as a congressperson has been widely acknowledged, and he may well move on to bigger and better things. As for Michelle Steel, her small margin of victory and her unproductive legislative career will culminate no doubt in a very minor role in Congress, and her absence from the Board of Supervisors may be a plus for Orange County.

The other bright note on the horizon for those weary of local politics as usual is the involvement of Irvine in the local political scene, offering superior victorious candidates, Katie Porter and Dave Min. And equally noteworthy is the return victory of Cottie Petrie-Norris to the 74th California Assembly District.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

H.B.'s reputation takes a hit

As a Huntington Beach resident, this election season has been a bittersweet one. I have been mocked unmercifully by friends and relatives outside the city who point to the election to the City Council of a Trump-like (brash, rich, celebrity “businessman” without qualifications) candidate who not only won but came in first by a lot.

They also point to Huntington Beach as a point of congregation for right-wing white nationalists and other rabble-rousers who, like newly elected Tito Ortiz, were unabashed and belligerent supporters of Donald Trump. This is not the image of our city I would like to project either locally or more broadly.

They also point to the attempted take-down of capable, caring, responsible officials elected in 2018 (who replaced do-nothing incumbents) just for being Democrats. They have succeeded with ousting Rep. Harley Rouda (CA-48) and came close with state Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (AD 74). Fortunately, a Democrat (Dave Min) defeated another do-nothing Republican for state Senate (37th District) and will serve us more effectively in Sacramento.

This is no doubt the image of Surf City has taken a beating this election year. Hopefully, responsible actions by local government and response from the community will help restore our reputation. It’s not fun being a laughingstock. We deserve better in a city I’ve called home for over 35 years.

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

Are readers to believe that Democrat Harley Rouda’s election loss to Republican Michelle Steel as representative of the 48th District had nothing at all to do with his alleged legal missteps, including a lawsuit that claimed discrimination against and unlawful termination of a former female employee?

Kent Moore
Corona del Mar

Rattlesnakes and other menaces

Three weeks ago I asked the question, would Donald Trump do anything different if 9 million Americans had been bitten by rattlesnakes this year, and as a result 230,000 men, women and children had died since February? I picked rattlesnakes because 7,000 to 8,000 people typically are on the receiving end of a venomous snake bite annually and only a handful of people (five) pass away.

Unlike the invisible coronavirus, you can see and touch a poisonous snake. Just ask people who hike the trails above Laguna Beach for example.

Despite numerous friends liking my comparison, several did not. Interestingly, they run the companies they founded or are key corporate executives. So, with their objections ringing in my ears, let me ask them this question:

If you were a director of a major pharmaceutical or food company and learned that the CEO was told, in no uncertain terms, one of the company’s products was responsible for thousands of people getting sick, hundreds being hospitalized or scores of young and old dying — and the chief operating officer sold it anyway — how long would my friends allow this person to remain in that position? My guess is about seven seconds.

So why is it any different with Donald Trump and COVID-19? If the message coming from of the White House this year had been clearer and more direct, then I imagine Orange County would have experienced far fewer than the 63,460 coronavirus infections and 1,520 deaths.

Rattlesnakes or not, I’m glad America’s CEO (Trump) will soon find himself out of a job.

Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach

Re: “First ‘Jeopardy!’ episodes since host Alex Trebek’s death to feature Orange County contestants,” Daily Pilot, Nov. 11, and the final Jeopardy clue is:

He hosted more than 8,200 episodes of “Jeopardy!” in 36 seasons, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmy Awards, has been host of the best game show around for many years, has been instrumental in creating a few millionaires while hosting the show, has made multiple guest appearances on other televisions shows as well as TV commercials, has displayed enormous strength in combating stage IV pancreatic cancer that eventually took his life, and has been looked upon as one with great dignity, courage and class ... the question is: Who is Alex Trebek?

Bill Spitalnick
Newport Beach

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