Scott Peotter’s fiscal conservatism is a welcome change at City Hall

http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/opinion/tn-dpt-me-mailbag-thursday-20170511-story.html

Former state Assemblywoman Marilyn Brewer’s recent letter supporting the recall of Scott Peotter based upon his conservative fiscal philosophy is off-base (“Peotter should be recalled before he can vote on another city budget,” May 8).

Brewer should remember that Newport Beach’s taxpayers have been gouged and abused for more than a decade. In 2006, when most of the prior council was elected, Newport Beach had $9 million in long-term debt for a bond to build the Central Library.

When the prior council left in 2016, Newport’s long-term debt is more than $550 million for pensions and the Taj Mahal project –– an embarrassing monument to political ego.

They spent $10,000 on conference tables, $225,000 on statues of bunnies, and $1,000 on office chairs. And they financed these items at great cost to taxpayers.

Team Newport was elected to get our fiscal house in order. It has faced significant challenges until big-spending former Councilman Keith Curry retired in 2016. Curry blocked any reforms they attempted.

I don’t always agree with some of Team Newport’s spending. Some $625,000 for pickleball courts and $250,000 for a sign directing people to Balboa Village is a waste of precious taxpayer money. But, on balance, it’s doing a good job re-prioritizing the budget.

Councilman Scott Peotter represents the fiscal restraint our city needs. He campaigned on it, and no one should be surprised that he is implementing his campaign promises.

Do we really need a $25-million West Newport community center on Costa Mesa’s border or a $5-million Corona del Mar library remodel with the Central Library just a mile away?

We should pay down the debt instead of spending on these unnecessary projects.

Peotter’s fiscal conservatism is refreshing. We have needed adults on the council who can say no to unnecessary spending in the face of our massive debt.

Brewer thinks Councilman Peotter should be recalled to stop him from voting on the city’s upcoming budget.

She’s wrong. I want Peotter on the council to keep the bureaucrats from spending us into the ground.

Bob McCaffrey

Balboa Island

The writer is volunteer chairman of Residents for Reform.

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