Letter to the Editor:

Why to recall now

Tom Johnson’s questioning of the need for a special election is a fair inquiry. The question has also been posed by Mr. Peotter. Mr. Johnson’s goal in asking the question is, I believe, civic discourse. Mr. Peotter’s goal appears to be political manipulation.

Fourteen thousand Newport Beach residents signed the Museum House referendum, despite the aggressive efforts of Mr. Peotter and Team Newport to derail citizen participation. Public outrage, again directed at Mr. Peotter and his politically partisan crew, caused the City Council to reverse itself with regard to accepting gas tax revenues. The threat of a recall has tempered Mr. Peotter in both his votes on the council and his rhetoric in the community. Unfortunately, his interactions with recall supporters, and their mothers, and YouTube postings clearly show that underneath this apparent modification lies the same insensitive, uncaring fanatically ideological politician who the public wants to replace.

In theory, the public could wait until the end of 2018 to replace Mr. Peotter. Unfortunately, that wait has serious implications and consequences.

The city will pass another budget during Mr. Peotter’s remaining tenure, the general plan will be revisited, capital improvements will be made and economic decisions will be made with long-term ramifications. To allow Mr. Peotter to continue to have influence over these decisions will continue to take the city in a direction it has overwhelmingly said it does not want to go.

And finally, there is the political reality of what waiting till November 2018 allows Team Newport to do. In a general election, Mr. Peotter is on the ballot with any number of challengers. I would not put it past Team Newport to place one or more additional candidates on the ballot to split the vote and return Mr. Peotter to City Hall for another four years. On the other hand, a recall vote is a clean up or down vote with regard to the performance of Mr. Peotter. If Councilman Peotter truly believes that he represents the people of Newport Beach, he should have no hesitation in subjecting his reputation and performance to a single, direct vote of the people. The people do not want another four years of Scott Peotter, or four years of a clone who is still manipulated by Dave Ellis and his friends. The people want a change.

The recall effort, like the revolt against Museum House and the uprising for a reversal of the gas tax vote, is an organic citizen led movement that has emerged as a direct response to the insensitivity and disdain Scott Peotter and his ideological fellow travelers have shown for the public. Had Scott Peotter listened during the Museum House debate, had Mr. Peotter listened prior to rejecting the gas tax revenues, had Mr. Peotter listened at any time during his almost three years on the city council, the people could most likely be persuaded to wait. Unfortunately, Mr. Peotter does not listen and, therefore, the people cannot wait.

Phil Greer

Newport Beach