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Letters to the Editor

The community responds to the issue of Councilmember Noah Blom drinking during City Council meetings

(The following are letters, and/or excerpts of letters condensed for the sake of brevity.)

Last I heard drinking in ‘public’ is illegal - and the Council Chambers is considered to be public, at least in my mind. What happened to respect for your constituents and the room in which one resides? Drinking or even sipping wine on the dais is just plain inappropriate and, honestly, offensive.

–Marie Case

I am REALLY disappointed with Noah Blom’s drinking while on the job AND his flippant attitude. Absolutely don’t want this guy having any more power with our city. So, no Mayor pro term!!

–Suzy Briggs

I see zero problem with Councilman Blom enjoying a glass of wine at the dais.

–Tom Anderson

For one, if it isn’t legal to drink in public, how is it legal to drink at city council meetings? Two, I think people expect their leaders to be sober when conducting business. Without regard to the quantity, wine is still an intoxicant and, IMHO, it is inappropriate and disrespectful to consume it at city council meetings. And that is actually true whether one is on the dais or in the audience. And I can’t imagine that it would be tolerated if it were staff consuming it.

–Dorothy C. Larson, CPA

Just when I thought I’d heard it all…..for any council member to be deciding our city business in an altered state is unconscionable! Very disrespectful to his constituents and downright disrespectful to all concerned. 

–Nancy Clark

Seems to me that drinking wine at City Council meetings is not a good idea!

–Mary Miller

Any rational person would know that drinking alcohol during a city council meeting is totally unprofessional. The fact that he does not have any common sense re: such behavior, even disregarding the city attorney stating it was “frowned upon,” shows how unqualified he is for a seat on the council and certainly not a candidate for Mayor. He may be a candidate for AA instead. Whose votes does he have?

–Pat McClure

It is totally inappropriate for a council member to be drinking any alcohol beverage at the dais during council meetings and Blom should not even be considered for Mayor Pro Tem. Why not Joy Brenner for mayor instead of Muldoon??

–Liddy and Scott Paulsen

No drugs or alcohol at our city council meetings please! Who does Noah think he is? King Henry 8th?

–Liz  Kennedy

It is a business meeting, not a social gathering. Drinking of any sort is unquestionably bad form. 

–Rick Haskell

1–Council meetings affect lives, they are serious events not happy hours.
2–If someone can’t participate in a meeting for a few hours without alcohol they may have a more serious problem that could impact their council work 3– It does seem disrespectful to be sipping wine when people’s livelihoods, homes and communities are being discussed. 

–Nancy Mooslin

I support Noah Blom. Frankly, he is a breath of fresh air. Sipping wine and not wearing a tie are irrelevant in comparison to the bigger picture of actively and creatively supporting the needs of his constituents which, in my opinion, he is doing.

–Anita H. Brown

If a council member has to drink to do a meeting, he is the wrong person!

–Deb Johnson

Absurd…and open container on public lands. How many shots by the elected? Does he drive, vote, drink, adjourn, drive home? Where is the wine stash on public lands? White or Red? BAC levels taken during a meeting? Absurd. Resign. 

–Brian Theriot

I don’t care if he brings a glass of wine to a meeting. I doubt being in the restaurant business that he is drunk. It’s just part of his persona. It’s his ideas and his work ethic I care about. Noah is a do-er.

–Gwen Cruttenden

I am not surprised to learn that Councilman Blom drinks wine during the meetings. While wine is a delightful adult beverage, there is a time and place for indulging and City Council meetings is not one of them. I agree with Mayor Avery that they have an obligation to at all times to conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates respect for our community. They are the decision makers that affect us all and their thought process should not be impaired. Blom as Mayor Pro Tem is a scary thought.

–Jill Ayres

No wine belongs at Newport Beach city meetings. 

–Patti Phillips

Hell no it’s not ok! And if it’s necessary for him to do so, I suspect he has a bigger problem with alcohol. I know of a good rehab over at Hoag….

–Janet Fraser

I think it is exceedingly inappropriate behavior to drink wine in a public format as a steward of the people and he should be censured for it.

–Dr. Donald W. Wise

As a mother of 3 young children, having Noah on the council has been such a breath of fresh air! He is approachable and truly is doing this thankless job to protect our special city and keep it the wonderful way it is. And, who goes through someone else’s trash can and smells their discarded cups? That is strange and borderline crazy behavior. 

–Requested anonymity

No, it is certainly not appropriate to be drinking at a city council. I am sure I can’t bring a bottle of beer into a meeting and neither should he.

I did hear Mr. Blom use profanity at the Elect the Mayor meeting and that too is inappropriate for a council member. 

–Gary Cruz

A city council person should never, ever be drinking wine during a city council meeting. He/she needs to listen, speak and vote with a clear head. Does Noah think it’s party time. Time to get Jeff Herdman back!!

–Barbara Peckenpaugh 

Jeff Herdman just wants revenge for losing the election. And for Mr. Herdman to issue a form letter stating a wrong date and spelling Mr. Blom’s name wrong throughout shows he doesn’t do his diligence in researching issues. I just see a sore loser using snaky politics trying to get his position back...

–Allison Danielson

I believe that Aaron is incorrect. It’s my understanding that California open container law applies to any city park or city owned public space….Civic Center included. In addition to that, it disrespectful to the public that he serves. Similar to driving vehicles sober, we need our elected officials to not be impaired in any way when deliberating on important community issues. 

–Steve Badum

It is not appropriate for our city council members to conduct business knowingly having alcohol, or drugs that impair behavior, in their bloodstream, much less to consume those during the course of business. The community should question Noah Blom’s judgement and fitness to serve representing the constituents of his district. I certainly do and find Noah Blom should immediately terminate that practice of drinking alcohol when serving on the council in official capacity or step down from his position. 

–Shelly Trainor

His behavior is disgraceful and he should not have the honor of being Mayor Pro Tem!

–Sally Herdman

Very sad that any elected official would even consider drinking from the dais during a public meeting. It is disrespectful and highly inappropriate. Further, if he’s really up front about it…then why hide it in a cup? Why not bring out the bottle and a wine glass? And who’s to judge when his reasoning is impaired? 

Given this and his other conduct, from calling in from a party in Mexico, to his swearing…again during council meetings…he is the last person anyone should consider for Mayor Pro Tem. Newport Beach deserves better! 

–Suzanne Gauntlett 

Mr. Blom’s unfiltered use of profanity, ease of alcohol consumption at meetings and disregard for a large demographic in our community is definitely an issue. The fact that he will be voted in over Joy Brenner is a clear indication that this Council does not respect the civility that a city council should be demonstrating. There is a clear leaning toward political needs over the respectability of our community. The profanity and alcohol are just obvious indicators that Mr. Blom thinks he’s bringing in a new, young dynamic to the council which has been made clear by his disparaging marks about the older population whose ideals are not relevant anymore. As a first-year council member, Mr. Blom should do less showboating and more listening to all sides.

 –Carol Tomlinson 

There is nothing we enjoy more than a nice glass of wine. However, drinking by a council member or anyone else of authority during an official meeting is disrespectful not only to the office they represent but to those who elected or appointed them. Additionally, drinking diminishes clear decision-making and has no place in governing our city. Elevating an offender is complete disrespect for the community they represent and should not even be considered.

–Gay and Jerry Morris

If Noah thinks it’s perfectly OK to “enjoy a glass of wine on the dais during a city council meeting,” why is he hiding it in a coffee cup?

–Susan Menning

Councilman Blom has absolutely NO business drinking during a Council meeting. It’s a meeting where important decisions that affect our City are being made and voted upon, not a cocktail party! 

–Lynn Swain

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