Letters to the Editor: Newport incumbents are getting pension obligations under control

Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter and Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield are running for reelection in November.
(File photos / CNG)

Seven Orange County cities have sales tax increases on their ballots this year.

Without question, these are all pension taxes. Pensions are crowding out basic services across the county. But not here in Newport Beach.

In 2014, a wave of new candidates ran on a platform of attacking the pension tsunami. Those four are now up for reelection: Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield and council members Diane Dixon, Kevin Muldoon and Scott Peotter.

Despite CalPERS’ abysmal investment returns of 2.4% and 0.6% in 2015 and 2016, respectively, the city’s unfunded pension liability actually shows decreases for 2017 and 2018. This council has implemented a discretionary pay-down that previous councils did not. This council has passed balanced budgets each year with continual surpluses, thanks to solid fiscal management.

This council is again running on a fiscally conservative platform that attacks the pension liability issue without increasing taxes. Contrast that with challenger Roy Englebrecht, who has run on a platform of increasing the Newport Beach sales tax, implementing a hiring freeze and slashing 10% for all city department budgets. Contrast that further with the other challengers in this race who have endorsed him.

I’m voting for fiscal conservatives. I’m voting for Duffield, Muldoon, Peotter and Dixon.

Bob McCaffrey

Newport Beach

Volunteer chairman, Residents for Reform

Honorees are right about Brenner and Stoaks

Re “As eight Newport Beach Citizens of the Year, we endorse Joy Brenner and Tim Stoaks,” (Sept. 14): The Pilot published a letter with an impressive endorsement for council candidates Joy Brenner and Tim Stoaks. Eight former Citizens of the Year spoke highly of the two candidates. This endorsement followed a similar one by seven former mayors that appeared in the StuNews on Sept. 14.

The main point is that several of the current council incumbents — Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield and council members Scott Peotter and Kevin Muldoon — do not represent the values of our community. As a longterm resident, I know the integrity and dedication of these 15 endorsers and value their judgment. I will be voting accordingly for Brenner and Stoaks.

Marie Kontos

Newport Beach

Why did Brenner give to Democrats?

I recently read Joy Brenner’s letter to the editor attempting to rationalize her multiple donations to Democratic candidates and liberal political action committees through ActBlue, a SuperPAC formed to promote progressive causes and Democratic candidates (“Despite what opponents say, I’m a lifelong Republican who spent a short time as an independent,” Oct. 1).

Federal Elections Commission records show Brenner donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign just a week before Donald Trump’s historic election. Some of her contributions were earmarked for liberal New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Sen. Booker’s antics to defeat Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were reprehensible.

Brenner also donated to Democrat Hans Keirstead, who was running in the primary against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa). When Brenner had a choice she supported Democrats.

I will be supporting Republican Councilman Scott Peotter because I know where he stands.

Mike Schroeder

Newport Beach

Past Chairman, California Republican Party 1997-99

A conservative on the public payroll

Incumbent Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter stated his No. 1 concern for the city’s future is the unfunded pension liabilities the previous council encumbered us with. I cannot disagree with him on that matter.

However, he currently draws stipends from the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, the Orange County Sanitation District, the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency, as well as the city of Newport Beach.

If reelected he too will qualify for a pension from the city of Newport Beach. How many public troughs does he want to eat from? Rather than seeking a solution he wants to add to the problem.

Clay Wells

Newport Beach

Team Newport helped with flood maps

Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula owe deep gratitude to this City Council for fighting the federal government the past two years.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency changed its flood maps to include all of Balboa Island and much more of the peninsula. This would have increased insurance premiums by millions of dollars every year.

But the City Council fought back. They hired attorneys. They hired engineers. They appealed. And they won. How often do you hear of a city fighting back against the federal government and winning?

This leadership under Councilman Kevin Muldoon and Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield has saved our residents an extraordinary amount of money.

This is the kind of leadership that should be sustained. I will be voting for the council that cares for its residents’ fiscal well-being. I’ll be voting for Duffield, Dixon, Muldoon and Peotter.

Peter C. Pallette

Newport Beach

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