Letters to the Editor: Peotter should be recalled before he can vote on another city budget

Councilman Scott Peotter responds after being served an intent to recall notice during a public comments session at City Hall in Newport Beach.
Councilman Scott Peotter responds after being served an intent to recall notice during a public comments session at City Hall in Newport Beach.
(File photo / Daily Pilot)

Recall of an elected official is a serious issue, a decision that should not be made lightly or without serious forethought. The attempt to recall Newport Beach Councilman Scott Peotter is a serious matter and is a worthy effort.

Those of us who have had the privilege of holding public office understand that it brings the responsibility of adhering to a higher standard — a standard that Peotter is unwilling or unable to meet. He has clearly demonstrated this a number of times, embarrassing himself and putting the city at risk with his decisions.

He was forced to read an apology at the City Council meeting for violating the Brown Act, the state’s open-meetings law, that city councils are required to follow.

He has violated the municipal code related to the correct use of the city seal; and continued to do so even after being reprimanded twice by his fellow council members. The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission is looking into a complaint that Peotter possibly violated campaign contribution limits.

During the last election, he did not condemn the use of racist, Farsi-language campaign signs that were not properly identified, as required by law. Other candidates in the race condemned the racist signs.

He supported the appointment to the city’s Finance Committee a man who was later convicted of embezzlement for his work as a congressman’s treasurer.

Peotter’s actions speak to his lack of respect and common sense in adhering to standards that we all live within. His actions demonstrate that he is untrustworthy and self-serving.

Why now? Peotter has demonstrated time and again that he has failed to understand city issues. He made a motion to refinance the city bonds at a so-called savings. His proposal would have cost the city hundreds of thousands dollars.

This recall must occur now. If we delay until 2018, Peotter would be involved in two budget cycles and will have the opportunity to do our city great harm with his thoughtless decisions.

The decisions he has made clearly show that he is defiant and does not uphold the city goals and directions. He is not guided by what is in the best interest of this community.

He moved to Newport Beach after he couldn’t get elected in Irvine. Newport Beach deserves an upstanding councilman with integrity, who respects the constituency and cares about the good of the community.

Peotter, by his actions has proven, is not fit for public office in Newport Beach.

Marilyn C. Brewer

Newport Beach

The writer is a retired state assemblywoman.

Recall proponents are chilling free speech in Newport

I caught a recent story in the Wall Street Journal reporting on a survey conducted of Yale University students, testing their opinion on the value of free speech. Yale is hardly a bastion of right-wing thought. It’s one of America’s most prestigious and liberal institutions.

I was mildly surprised to learn that 72% of the students “opposed speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty” while 16% favored the idea.

Juxtapose this on the intolerant few that want to recall Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter. Peotter is an outspoken fiscal and social conservative who has riled up those opposed to his views. They’re willing to waste your taxpayer money on a special recall election when Peotter is already on the ballot next year.

I firmly believe that in these times of political correctness that Peotter has the right to express his views – that’s free speech. Even the intellectual elite and Yale seem to agree.

Bob Rush

Newport Beach

The importance of Laguna Beach’s historic rating system

It is important to keep the Contributing rating (C) system as the city revises the Historic Preservation Ordinance because taking away their historic status would probably lead to the loss of a number of them, and the neighborhoods and the city would be the poorer for it. These historic beach cottages contribute their charm and character to the town and what makes Laguna, Laguna.

If Laguna wants to preserve the distinctive character of its neighborhoods, the Cs must be preserved and our General Plan policy requires it. Most of our historic structures are beach cottages, not unlike the cottages at Crystal Cove, and are often not as substantial as the structures that are considered historic in other parts of the country. This means that they may be underappreciated by professionals trained elsewhere.

However, in their modest scale, their homegrown character, and their simplicity they accurately reflect our past, and we value them. It is important that our Historic Preservation Ordinance recognizes C structures as historic resources.

Johanna Felder

Laguna Beach

The writer is president of Village Laguna

Santa Ana Avenue is cracked between 22nd and 23rd streets

Thank you for publishing Costa Mesa’s attempt at providing citizens information about the quality of their roads (“How pitted is that pavement? Check out Costa Mesa’s interactive road condition map, May 5”). I disagree with the Costa Mesa analysis of Santa Ana Avenue, between 22nd and 23rd streets. It is in extremely poor condition, with continuous potholes, crumbling surface, cracked and uneven. With the new development of 13 additional homes off Santa Ana, this section needs to be rebuilt, now.

Niki Parker

Costa Mesa

Op-ed writer contributes nice pieces about family life

I’m so glad you have decided to again feature Liz Swiertz Newman in the Daily Pilot (“Commentary: Utility bills come with too much ephemera,” May 1). I love reading her columns on life and family. I can really relate to them and just enjoy the way she writes. I’m a local in Newport Beach, and I sure hope my vote counts and you continue to feature her.

Bonnie Flamm

Newport Beach

Telephonic town halls are not enough

I’m one of the many in his district who has wanted Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) to hold an open and in-person town hall. He appears to have no plans to do this. If Rohrabacher is going to insist that town halls can only happen by phone, then they should be pre-announced, with the opportunity for anyone in the district to listen in. That’s the bare minimum we, his constituents, deserve from our representative. Anything less is unacceptable. And certainly a lot more is what he should be doing.

Danny Sullivan

Newport Beach

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