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Mayor Duffield should answer public questions about whether he employs Councilman Peotter

Mayor Duffield should answer public questions about whether he employs Councilman Peotter
Newport Beach Mayor Marshall "Duffy" Duffield (right) and Councilman Scott Peotter. (File photo)

It is widely believed that Councilman Scott Peotter has been retained by Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield to assist with Duffield’s boat manufacturing business (“Newport activist seeks state investigation of whether councilman works for mayor's business,” Sept. 4).

The refusal of Duffield and Peotter to answer the simple question: “Does Peotter work for Duffield?” is very troubling. Duffield refuses to voluntarily answer the question, and Peotter calls it a “rumor.”

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This is not some political gotcha issue. Residents have a right to know if Peotter’s vote can be influenced by compensation Duffield pays or doesn’t pay to Peotter or affect a vote over resource allocation between Duffield’s and Peotter’s districts.

Duffield is required to recuse himself on most harbor issues. However, Peotter votes on these issues, some of which may financially benefit Duffield. Is this allowable under conflict-of-interest laws? Should Peotter also be recusing himself because Duffield could be a source of income to Peotter? What about the City Council’s duty to police itself and the city attorney’s independent duty to assure that council is acting lawfully?

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Duffield and Peotter should be asked directly, under oath if necessary, so city business can be conducted in the open without fear of conflicts of interest. And then, depending on the answers, council members should conduct themselves in a lawful, transparent way without even the appearance of a conflict.

Mike Henn

Newport Beach

The letter writer is a former Newport Beach mayor.

Just answer the question

At the West Newport Beach Assn. forum, Mayor Marshall “Mayor” Duffield flat out refused to answer the question about whether Councilman Scott Peotter works for him. It’s time for Duffield and Peotter to answer the question.

On Aug. 14, the council approved contracts to provide maintenance services in the harbor. Duffield declared he had a “source of income” conflict of interest on this matter. If Peotter is indeed working for Duffield, shouldn’t he also have recused himself?

Tricia Nichols

Corona del Mar

Consult grandparents before redesigning Lions Park

My granddaughters and I appreciate the shade of larger trees, shade sails or the fortunate flow of winds to cool our parks. The need for shade is very important for our health and enjoyment of playing at the park.

In my opinion, Smallwood Park was ruined by the redesign. There is no shaded seating area close enough to supervise young children. The slides get so hot they can’t be used. When trees are removed, shade covers must be installed. I implore the city to do this at Smallwood Park.

Mayor Sandy Genis inquired a few months ago how Lions Park might be redesigned “like Smallwood?” I give that question a resounding no.

Lions Park must retain the airplane, the large trees and benches that ring the playground, and open the bathrooms. We must resist plans to make the park match the modern architecture of the library. Please consult parents and grandparents on any redesign of Lions Park. (As should have been done on the redesign of Smallwood Park.)

Margaret Mooney

Costa Mesa

It’s time to rescind gas tax increase

Gov. Jerry Brown and other legislators in Sacramento were furious when they found out the initiative will be on the ballot and plan on spending millions in propaganda ads to try to keep the gas tax increase in place.

What exactly is Sacramento’s reason to inflict this tax on its constituents? If they can keep the gas tax in place, then Sacramento could proceed with a major water tax, a major cell phone tax and, the biggest threat of all, reversing Proposition 13!

I have had enough of the liberal socialists running our state. We need honest new leadership and open, transparent accountability in Sacramento that is willing to work hard to rebuild California with good old Ronald Reagan-style common sense.

Russ Niewiarowski

Newport Beach

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