When I picked up the Daily Pilot and read Mayor Nancy Gardner's Oct. 7 commentary, "Commentary: Why I support Newport Measure EE," I was surprised and disturbed.

As someone who has long been involved in this community, I have always thought our city was great! I have never thought that anything impeded us.

But Mayor Gardner and others in city government believe that our charter impedes our greatness. I disagree, but I would support a yearlong effort to form a charter commission of residents, elected by the people, to review and revamp the charter without the direction of the staff or the council but instead with the assistance of staff.

I disagree with the goals of this charter revision embraced by Mayor Gardner, who maintains that the proposed changes to the charter will make the city more efficient without weakening "our protections." This push for "efficiency" is part of the effort to incorporate the slogan, "Good to Great," which came from a paid consultant. The city's proper goals should be "transparency and service." We need not give up one for the other!

This "efficiency" finds expression in Measure EE where they have bundled 38 changes to our charter into one ballot measure, with one yes-or-no vote. This is not what we should do in the interest of providing citizens with a voice.

Mayor Gardner says the one yes-or-no vote will save costs. If we can't afford to provide our voters the appropriate way to vote on our charter changes, something is wrong!

I can't support Measure EE and will vote no on it. I encourage others to also vote no. When we make changes to our charter we should do it the right way!

William P. Ficker

Newport Beach

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Bravo on the comprehensive series regarding Costa Mesa, pension issues, City Council, et cetera. I so appreciated how you presented the issues and examined the facts, attitudes, agendas, misunderstandings and miscommunication on both sides. I am both a former resident of Costa Mesa (26 years) and a retired city planner (worked for the cities of Huntington Beach and Irvine). Therefore, I have a better-than-average understanding of the dynamics that play into the issues you covered so well.

While I appreciate that some traditional pension structures are no longer sustainable, what appears to be hostile and reactive council members is such an unproductive position regarding long-term problem solving. Thank you for the excellent reporting and your editors who supported you in this effort.

Diana Blaisure

Newport Beach

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Biden and abortion

As I watched Joe Biden discuss abortion the other night, I reflected on what has become of the leadership in the Democratic Party. Biden is certainly aware that more than one in five babies conceived in the United States is aborted before they are born. This is the party whose appeal lies so much in its protection of the downtrodden and weak, to the otherwise voiceless members of our society. How could this compassion not extend to the lives of children in the womb?

David Franco

Costa Mesa