Letters to the Editor

Potential ordinance is bad for business

There appears to be an underlying current at this Tuesday’s City Council meeting, as there is an emergency ordinance being considered for restaurants and bars to mandate wearing masks and implement a “one person, one seat” policy.

The restaurants and bars have been closed for months and are barely surviving serving people outside, as indoor dining is prohibited; yet, the City Council is now considering pounding yet another “nail in the coffin,” further punishing our local restaurants and bars.

Offenders of this emergency ordinance, if adopted, will be fined $100 and the fine for the second violation will be $200 and a third violation within a six-month period $500. Who is going to police this edict or should Newport Beach create another bureaucracy, perhaps, the “Bar and Bounty Stalkers?”

As of August 31, 2020, San Diego County has implemented a “safe re-opening” plan that includes restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters, museums, gyms and fitness centers, zoos and aquariums, hair salons and barbershops, nail salons and tattoo parlors. In some cases the guidance includes maximum capacity and they can still continue their outdoor operations. It is time for Orange County to follow suit. 

The government needs to stop regulating our freedoms by trusting and allowing the people to make their own best, informed, educated decisions. Trying to command and control us will only continue to crush the economy and the human spirit.

Interestingly enough, this proposed ordinance is just for restaurants and bars and ironically, one of the candidates running for City Council owns a restaurant and bar in Newport Beach. 

Ask yourself, if this is a true emergency or is it simply political power prevailing over common sense? 

Peggy V. Palmer 

Newport Beach 

Herdman gets the job done

Election season in Newport Beach has arrived, and with it comes the mud-slinging, discrediting and judgment passed on newly arrived candidates, as well as the incumbents. Nowhere is this truer than in a recent Letter to the Editor that appeared in two local newspapers about Councilman Jeff Herdman. As recent past president of the Balboa Island Improvement Association, I have had the direct experience of working with Jeff on a number of projects and all I know about Jeff are the facts, and here they are: 

He gets the job done. No grass grows under his feet. You can expect an immediate response from him if asked to follow up or get something done. He absolutely does not say one thing and then do another. 

He is highly organized, professional, and always has the good of the organization and those it represents as his top priority. What is best for the organization (or in his case, the City) is the basis for every decision he makes. 

On matters that come before the Council and require a vote, he is really good at checking in with his constituents for opinions which form the basis of his votes. Public comments are a very important part of his job. 

Communication is perhaps his strongest leadership skill. He has published 59 blogs/newsletters since taking office that serve to keep the over 1,000 subscribers well-informed on JWA Airport issues and mediation, council action, and happenings in his district and throughout the City. He holds regular Town Hall meetings and is a speaker at a variety of HOA meetings within his district. 

His reorganization and repurposing of the City’s Aviation Committee has added meaning to its work and has drawn in experts in the field of aviation from throughout the community. Jeff, along with community groups and City staff, are leading efforts to address quality of life issues resulting from JWA. I am sure the work currently going on with the FAA, the airport, airlines, and the Orange County Board of Supervisors will result in the best possible outcomes. 

There is no discord between the community and Councilman Herdman. What you have in Jeff is probably best said by his Council colleague, Joy Brenner, in a recent Facebook post where she says, “Both Diane Dixon and I support Jeff because he works full-time and more on City business, as do we.” I can certainly attest to that work ethic that Jeff continually displays. 

His level of commitment and dedication to his responsibilities as a city councilman has earned him the privilege of being re-elected for another four year term. 

Jack Callahan

Newport Beach