9:53 AM PST, November 13, 2012
While Newport Beach residents can now celebrate the passage of Measure EE on election night, another element of this ought to be given due consideration by the citizens of our beautiful city. Is there an unfair, misleading and destructive minority that is being given too much of a microphone in the civil square, despite the fact that they are totally out of sync with the needs, desires and preferences of the city?
Never in all of my years in this city have I seen such a small group of people so clearly not representing the best interests (or majority interests) of those in the city, perform with such audacity and toxicity.
Sure, the Greenlight and rehab home controversies created equal or more noise, but there was legitimate debate and disagreement in the city on those issues. This charter amendment was a purely administrative fix, and the voters overwhelmingly voted for it, despite months of a brutal assault from three or four gadflies against the City Council, the work of the Citizens Charter Update Committee and the advice of city management. Dissent is a necessity in any democracy, as is their right to express dissent. But is a little proportion perhaps the need of the hour?
David L. Bahnsen
GOP blame game
Republicans need to get over the blame game of who is responsible for losing to Barack Obama — again. The simple fact is that the GOP snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by dumping Party Chairman Michael Steele in 2011, right after he managed the spectacularly successful 2010 mid-term elections. Steele's funding of a community organizing strategy to strengthen local party offices in every county in the nation resulted in a ground swell of disdain against Obama as an elitist socialist. The abandonment of community organizing by Steele's successors cost Mitt Romney the presidency by failing to turn out Republican leaning voters.
It should be quite obvious this new charter preparation will no longer be the vacuum-approach. Proper preparation must solicit hands-on community involvement. This task force (or committee) approach could also benefit with the inclusion of all interested council members and be chaired by select representation (non-council) of all city interests. This new, unofficial preparation is already in process, and includes a great deal of public-private data gathered. It appears Costa Mesa could have a couple of years to properly prepare such an important document, which should include provisions for interpretations, as well as amendments, referendum, etc.
Furthermore, it is my belief, Costa Mesa might benefit with the participation of Measure Vs' original author. His input and suggestions could be invaluable and should be considered for inclusion during group selection and throughout the overall effort. I formally request of our new City Council, a serious city charter proposal preparation group effort be officially kicked off and moved forward, as a first order of business.
James H. Bridges