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Newport Beach

Letters to the Editor

Only one side of Island issue is being shared

The Balboa Island Improvement Association (BIIA) is an organization of volunteers, financed by “dues-paying” members – property owners, renters, local merchants and business owners on Balboa Island as well as non-resident well-wishers. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt, apolitical association. It is not a homeowner’s association. We can all agree that the dedicated volunteers of BIIA do an outstanding job of enhancing the quality of life on Balboa Island all through the year and are greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately, the Board of Directors of BIIA and President Terry Janssen have taken the unwise and possibly unlawful decision (under its charter) to spearhead and lend active support to the establishment of an Underground Utility District on the Island. Several past and present BIIA Board members are heading up the team that is pushing this highly divisive proposal that will impose tens of thousands of dollars in assessments on reluctant property owners.

BIIA has been providing material support to this initiative through fliers being enclosed with issues of The Island Bridge as well as periodic bulletins via electronic communication to its members, through Constant Contact. The information being fed to property owners is largely one-sided and, in some cases, highly misleading.

This is an issue that has a significant monetary impact on property owners of Balboa Island, not on renters, not on merchants, not on business owners or well-wishers. A large segment of property owners have organized and support the “Underground Opposition Group” (UOG). We are “dues paying” members of BIIA as well. We requested President Terry Janssen to allow UOG to use BIIA’s channels of communication to pass on the opposing view to all its members. This is what routinely happens in a voter’s guide on city and state propositions, where both sides of an issue are presented to the voters.

President Terry Janssen has summarily rejected this request from UOG to present both sides of this issue to all its members, without any explanation. This reckless and autocratic decision was made without input from its membership and without due consideration of its effect on the “non-profit, tax-exempt” status of BIIA. Nevertheless, UOG will continue to disseminate through its own resources, rebuttals to misleading statements by those doing a “sales job” on imposing a huge “TAX” on the property owners of Balboa Island. Our goal is to make sure that both sides of this highly divisive issue are presented to the property owners to facilitate an informed outcome.

If you have any questions or need more information on this issue, please contact me.

Bob McCaffrey

Balboa Island

Moorlach seems to be most qualified for Supervisor role

Interestingly, Katrina Foley is the mayor of perhaps the worst managed city in the county. Were it not for tax revenue from South Coast Plaza, it would be horrible. How could anyone consider her for a promotion to supervisor? 

We need management experience. (John) Moorlach had the position and did a fine job. Why would we not capitalize on his experience?

Jeff Morgan 

Corona del Mar

Residents should have taken the win and moved on

Some people just don’t know when to quit when they are winning. Two recent letters from residents living in Big Canyon chastised Councilmembers Will O’Neill and Noah Blom for voting to allow the owner of a Shell station to add an automated car wash to his underbuilt and underutilized property in order to stay competitive and profitable. Instead of winning graciously and counting their lucky stars that five other council members chose to disregard a 6-1 Planning Commission vote and a City Planning staff recommendation to approve the project, these residents decided to attack O’Neill and Blom for following our Zoning Code.

Does the Council really want to position itself as the decider of winners and losers in the free market? What happened to the ideas of free enterprise, capitalism and property rights? How quickly these American values go out the window when a group of vociferous residents complain about a business owner trying to compete in a changing business environment. Their solution is to disregard our Zoning Code because they made a choice to buy a home overlooking a service station at the intersection of Jamboree and San Joaquin Hills, two of the busiest streets in Newport Beach.

As Councilman O’Neill stated at the meeting, good governance demands that we follow the Zoning Code as it is written, not throw it out on a whim. Councilman Blom concluded, and I agree, doing anything else is “bad business.”

Joe Garrett

Corona del Mar


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