BY NICOLE SHINE
NEWPORT BEACH – A new group is aiming to bring fiscal prudence and civility to City Hall.
Residents for Reform, a state-registered political action committee, will back City Council candidates in November’s general election who share its stance on spending, taxes, fire rings, trash outsourcing and other hot button issues, chairman Bob McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey, who previously opposed the city’s plans to raise dock fees, said Newport Beach needs more checks and balances over its spending. As an example, he cited the ballooning cost of the new City Hall, now estimated at $142 million, according to recent Register calculations.
At this early stage, McCaffrey said they haven’t raised money or identified whom they’ll support in the upcoming general election.
In November, four city council seats are open, including a seat held by Mayor Rush Hill, who is running unopposed. Six candidates are vying for the three other open seats, held by council members who are termed out.
As for the cost of City Hall, Hill said the figure went toward more than City Hall, and included a new park, emergency preparedness center, parking structure and Central Library expansion. He added that the $8 million annual debt service payment for the project amounts to less than 5 percent of the city’s gross annual revenue.
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