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Volume 5, Issue 95  |  November 27, 2020


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Seems like this school board won’t ever get it

Tom Johnson Fair Game 2Last Tuesday was the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s scheduled board meeting. Of course the biggest issue on everyone’s mind was the discussion concerning the plan for this year’s return to school.

So many parents logged into the meeting via Zoom that it overwhelmed the system.

But as usual, the school board members didn’t seem concerned about the parents or their thoughts. Nope, the meeting marked the last one of Superintendent Dr. Fred Navarro’s tenure, so the Board kept everyone waiting for nearly an hour to laud praises on him. 

School Board candidate Leah Ersoylu, who will challenge incumbent Vicki Snell for the Area 1 seat this November, had this to say: “As a parent, I found it exceptionally tone-deaf to have a 51-minute-long tribute to the outgoing superintendent with 500 anxious parents eagerly awaiting the discussion about the fall plan. We were not there for that (Navarro’s bon voyage), and I found it frankly offensive and further evidence that the board is out of touch with our community.

“Those tributes should be done at the end of the meeting or in another format, not on an agenda with one of the most crucial discussions of the year.”

She gets it, what a breath of fresh air. 

While we’re on that subject, last week we told you about Carol Crane who is running for Martha Fluor’s seat in Area 3 on the NMUSD board. It was good news because change is what we need.

Well, now two more candidates are in for what looks like a potentially vacated Dana Black seat in Area 6. The two who have filed paperwork are Krista Elliott Weigand and Amy Peters.

More on them to come.

• • •

Speaking of new candidates, incumbent Jeff Herdman is no longer running unopposed for his Newport Beach City Council District 5 seat. Last week Marshall Silberberg announced his intentions. 

Silberberg is a partner in the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg, a personal injury and medical malpractice firm based in Irvine. He’s a Trojan (Class of 1970), who received his J.D. from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific (1973).

Interestingly enough, Herdman and Silberberg live within just a couple of blocks of each other on Balboa Island.

I’m taking it that they don’t attend each other’s barbecues.

• • •

Somehow it escaped me, but several weeks ago our City Council adopted a resolution supporting Hoag Hospital “for all of the work that they have done during this COVID-19 crisis and supporting their bid for independence.”

The “whereas” entries are many as resolutions such as these tend to have, beginning appropriately enough with Hoag’s founding in 1952. They then mention the many accolades Hoag’s received over the years as our “community hospital” that has turned into a world-class facility.

The resolution highlights Hoag’s growth first through affiliation with St. Joseph’s Health System in 2013 and then, subsequently, with Providence Health in 2016 to create one of the largest healthcare systems in the country.

Here’s the caveat of the resolution though, “WHEREAS, Hoag’s goals of transforming care in the County through an affiliation with Providence Health have, in the opinion of the Hoag Board, not been achieved, and the Hoag Board, medical staff and the members of the Foundation believe it is in the best interests of the community for Hoag to regain its independence and keep resources and decision making local.”

The City then adds, “The City of Newport Beach supports Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in their effort to become independent and return to a community-based hospital serving Orange County’s residents because it is important for the protection of the Newport Beach community that health care decisions are made locally.”

There are millions and millions of dollars from local donors who would agree with this decision.

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