Commentary: Out-of-town partisans are trying to influence Newport

As a lifelong Republican and a resident of Newport Beach for 55 years, I am saddened to see the intrusion of some ultra-partisan party leaders advancing an agenda in Newport Beach that has nothing to do with the Republican values held by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.

Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh is pushing a Dave Ellis — a conservative political consultant — slate of candidates for Newport Beach City Council. In recent years, the party committee has set a very rigid doctrine to be imposed on local cities, irrespective of whether Republican voters actually share those views.

I have always believed that local control works best; it’s a belief that most Republicans espouse. We admire local creativity in solving problems and require accountability for the results, unbeholden to outside power brokers and their political interests.

I chaired the Local Government Committee in the state Senate for 10 years. While changes have occurred, the basic premises persist. Our citizens want good schools, responsive government, an effective city manager who knows how to manage.

It is my opinion that Newport Beach voters, Democrats and Republicans, want our city to be safe and proactive with police, fire, paramedic and lifeguard services. We want to preserve and grow our nationally recognized library and park systems. We want clean beaches and a working harbor. We also want infrastructure that will last for the next 108 years.

Are slate cards headed by a party leader who does not live in Newport Beach, and has little understanding of our city and its voters, the best source to influence your vote? It is my belief the best individuals to achieve these objectives are council candidates Mayor Rush Hill, Tim Brown, Michael Toerge and Diane Dixon.

MARIAN BERGESON is a retired state senator and former state education secretary. She lives in Newport Beach.