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Newport Beach

Letters to the Editor:

Time for a change on council

This is a crucially important election year for our city, and voters need to have their facts and priorities straight.  

As in 2016, Line in the Sand is endorsing candidates who are longtime residents and have no agenda other than to serve. Joy Brenner, Roy Englebrecht and Tim Stoaks are running independently of one another and us, individually challenging the members of the “team” that got elected as a slate in 2014 and that vote as a bloc on most major issues including the Museum House project, which Joy, Roy and Tim helped defeat. In addition to dramatically changing the Newport skyline, the Museum House condo tower “Team Newport” wanted to see in Newport Center would have set a terrible precedent for more high-rise, high-density development in that area. Have you ever seen a town with only one high-rise condo tower in it? Neither have I. 

As one of the citizens who lugged around the 10-pound petition to force the council’s approval to go to a citywide vote, I must note that team members Muldoon, Duffy and Peotter all voted to add the 3,800 unnecessary pages to the Museum House petition. That sent quite a clear message about their disdain for the public’s views on out-of-place development and citizens’ first amendment right to petition government without fear of punishment or reprisals.

Line in the Sand is also supporting candidates who support campaign finance reform. Joy, Roy and Tim have grassroots campaign teams and are raising money from residents who care about preserving the character of our town. They are not building up giant war chests with funds from developers, out-of-towners and special interests. One “Team Newport” backer bragged in 2014 that close to $1,000,000 had been spent to get them elected. One can only imagine the kind of strings that are attached to that kind of money. Team Newport has made it clear that campaign finance reform is not on their radar. Why would it be? 

With Joy, Roy and Tim on the council, we can get back to being a citizen-run coastal town that is paradise for its residents and businesses, not for developers and the politicians they get elected. It really is time to take our city back.

Dennis Baker, President

Line in the Sand

Partisanship is inappropriate

Once again we have seen partisanship rear its ugly head both in D.C. and in Newport. And who has suffered? Both the citizens and our system of government. Nothing gets accomplished and no problems get solved when we are arguing like politicians. And that’s what they want, especially those who are trying to inject partisanship into our local nonpartisan council race. 

This week, Scott Peotter and his surrogates are claiming that he is “more Republican than me”. There is not a Republican or Democratic way to solve the main problems about which people in Newport Beach are concerned, like traffic and over development. 

For the record, I’ve been a Republican my entire life, except for a few years when I registered as an Independent. That was decades ago. Like Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan and many of us, I have at times made donations to members of the other party. Like most Americans, I vote for the candidate I feel will do the best job. Sometimes we vote in ways that make us uncomfortable, while holding our noses.

So, is Scott Peotter a “better Republican” or, more importantly, a better representative of our community? Before deciding, I encourage you to look at his irresponsible spending proposals. He claims to be a tax fighter but his recent vote on Uptown Newport says otherwise. I am fiscally conservative both personally and civically. The same cannot be said of Scott.  

As a council member, I know that my job will be to represent the entire community and stay focused on local issues. We have a unique city and a lifestyle that you can’t find anywhere else. It takes constant vigilance and real love for our community to maintain this. It takes character and humility to know that your sole job is to represent your constituents. That’s who I am and who I plan to be as your councilwoman.   

Joy Brenner

Newport Beach City Council Candidate District 6 

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