Re. "Newport Beach looks at outsourcing," Nov. 29:
Your recent article on Newport Beach outsourcing services was nicely framed, specifically the most import facet, input from the citizens and taxpayers of Newport Beach. While I'm sure a majority of civic-minded individuals have little issue with our city government seeking less costly city service alternatives, I do hope our recently elected officials act in a like-minded civic manner and poll the users of the Newport Beach trash services. I'm just a regular citizen of N.B., but I marvel at the quality of our local services, from police to fire to trash pickup.
I do not know if these services cost more than in other cities, but our N.B. services sure seem worth every penny we taxpayers spend. I've had property in several cities where the trash pickup was outsourced, and for the first few years of the outsourcing contract everything remained almost the same … then things changed, and for the worst. As a simple user, my only remedy was to call the (800) number and wait on hold. Sure is a lot nicer to call City Hall and have a N.B. public service employee answer the phone. I chose N.B. for many reasons; I do hope the mayor and council members listen to us simple folks before they offer us a shotgun wedding, like increasing dock fees and outsourcing trash services.
Richard Herman complains ("I'm concerned about Eastside planters," Mailbag, Dec. 2) that the new medians and chokers on Broadway Avenue in Eastside Costa Mesa must have been designed by the city to "impede traffic flow instead of facilitating it." Amen to that! Facilitating high-speed, high-volume automobile traffic is not the only reason we have streets. Bicyclists and pedestrians have equal claim to Broadway and the rest of the Eastside street network and traffic-calming measures like narrower lanes (with medians and chokers), on-street parking and sidewalks, along with Eastside's traffic-diffusing grid layout, are the best ways to create a more pleasant streetscape for residents and all types of users. If Mr. Herman or any other driver is having difficulty turning onto Broadway safely or avoiding the medians while driving down the street, I advise him to just slow down.
Leave it to Costa Mesa to take a beautiful street like Broadway and totally screw it up. A street I might add that my grandfather help construct as a WPA project. This demonstrates Costa Mesa's inability to engineer and oversee the construction of such improvements. The installation of islands is sure to result in traffic mishaps that will certainly lead to lawsuits. Seems they have succeeded in making street-sweeping at the corners nearly impossible. And they call themselves engineers and project managers?
R. Michael "Mike" Healey