I can see that we have reached a new set point in our tolerance of scandal. Buried within the unfolding story about new charges being brought against the superintendent of schools is a disclosure that another of Jeffrey Hubbard's appointees from his previous employer is earning $142,000 a year, having received salary increases of $35,000 since being hired in 2008.
This amount apparently includes bonuses, cost-of-living increases and other salary bumps on top of a car and cell phone allowance. This employee's income increased more than 14% in about 2 years.
I haven't had an earnings increase in four years. In fact, I have experienced a 10% furlough, which is a polite modern term used to describe subtracting money from your paycheck while adding work to your desk. I am now behind where I started and slipping fast.
While our school system continues to cut programs and faces a reduction in classroom days this year, administrators are receiving bonuses, car allowances, cell phone allowances and cost-of-living increases. Starting salaries for teachers continue to be scandalously low while bloated administrators feast at the banquet of bonuses, generous raises and miscellaneous allowances.
The scandal fatigue at the school district has caused us to lose sight of the forest and the trees. A new broom sweeps clean. It's time to clean house, start over and focus our schools on our children and not on featherbedding the administration.
Change starts at the top. The school board that enables this to continue is the starting point. Out they go, followed by the administrators and their six-figure salaries and bonuses.
This scandalous conduct continues to exist by having of our continuing, explicit consent.
Thomas J. Peterson
Reagan statue doesn't belong to 'the people'
As a longtime resident of Newport Beach, I am offended that Councilman Keith Curry claims that "the people of Newport Beach" were somehow involved in conceiving of the newly unveiled statue of Ronald Reagan, or in honoring a particular conception of his legacy.
Let's be honest, whether you like the statue or not, this was Curry's fantasy. He wanted to honor his hero, he raised private funding for the statue, and he got it erected in a public place because of his status as a City Council member. No public vote or process was involved. All of which makes me wonder, is it only City Council members who can do this or can any of the "people of Newport Beach" similarly raise private money for a permanent public memorial to anybody they believe deserves such an honor?
If the process by which the council allowed this private use of public resources is any indication of how they understand their role as representatives of the public interest, what difference is there between the Newport Beach City Council and the infamous Bell City Council?
TeWinkle Park plan is a good idea
At its meeting last week, the Costa Mesa City Council voted to investigate having a private company run some things at TeWinkle Park like a business so that instead of all taxpayers supporting the activities of a few, the venue might actually make money for the taxpayers, or at least may break even.
As expected, the usual status quo folks who reflexively oppose just about any changes that the council makes have started complaining about this.
My view is that, on principle, this is a good move on the part of the City Council. And, it's not really that big a deal. This sort of thing is done all the time. Go to a local beach and you'll usually find the concession stands — owned by the beach city — run by private companies who pay the city for the privilege of running the stands.
Of course, the council should now have citizens step in and hash out the details and make sure the right company, with the right ideas, the right capabilities and the right track record is the one being considered.
What I see happening in Costa Mesa, and which I think should be praised, not condemned, is that the board of directors of Costa Mesa Inc. (you know the board as the City council) is simply making the firm profitable for the share holders (the taxpaying citizens of Costa Mesa).
M. H. Millard
Councilman didn't listen about TeWinkle Park
The Costa Mesa City Council awarded Big League Dreams USA a contract without citizen input. The council ignored the fact that decisions about a neighborhood park affect property values and quality of life for those living nearby. Councilman Jim Righeimer neither respects the intelligence of his constituents nor the consensus-taking function of our democracy. Cost Mesa voters should solve the problem of a councilman who says their opinions are worthless by voting him out.