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Elections aside, there’s a lot to be grateful for in Newport Beach

Elections aside, there’s a lot to be grateful for in Newport Beach
The moon rises above Balboa Island. (Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images)

Tired of the election hit pieces? Try focusing on the positive and you’ll feel better. We live in a beautiful small city, population 80,000, versus Huntington Beach, 202,000, and Costa Mesa, 114,000. Some would even go so far to say “small town” because in many ways we are. Many of us don’t know our neighbors, but many do and we talk to each other.

The fact that we refer to geographic parts of our city as “villages” says a lot about how we think of our community. Newport Beach is made up of villages, which are made up of neighborhoods, such as the Flower Streets, where I live.

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We have beautiful beaches, a harbor and estuary, sun and surf. Local small businesses are close by, many within a short walk, but if you crave that mall experience, we have one of the nicest within a few minutes. We have a fair amount of money with an average net household worth of over $1 million and solid city finances, thanks to former city manager Dave Kiff and his staff. We have good schools, an excellent library system and our emergency responders are some of the best.

So what’s not to like? Not much, and this might explain why many move here. Many see opportunity. Just like people moving all over the world, they arrive and blend in. You may wonder what this has to do with the City Council election.

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We have three candidates challenging incumbents. Two of these incumbents have little history in Newport Beach, and the third can’t vote or support action on what he cares about most, the harbor. When you live here for as long as I and many others have, you develop not only a deep affection for the community, you also have a better understanding of how things function.

You know the alternate routes when the summer traffic hits. You know when the best time is to hit the beach and the surf or take that bike ride. You have a feel for the city that comes from years of being part of the community. Many newcomers will, with time, develop this deep understanding and affection and will surely contribute positively to the community fabric. Newport Beach is a beautiful place to call home. We are wealthy in many ways beyond that million-dollar net worth. Please don’t forget that.

When deciding who to vote for, please look at all candidates’ records; look at what they’ve done, or not; look at their connections to the community; look at their historic giving to Newport Beach. Then make your choice. I’m very pleased to see three council candidates with strong histories of local involvement and positive contribution to the community I know they hold dear. They focus on what is so good about Newport Beach. I hope you choose Tim Stoaks, Joy Brenner and Roy Englebrecht. That’s who I voted for. (Sent mine in already.) Thanks for being part of the wonderful community of Newport Beach, our town.

Dennis Baker is president of Newport Beach political action committee Line In The Sand.

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