I’M A PROUD MEMBER OF MAYOR CURRY’S “SMALL CADRE OF MEDIOCRE CRITICS”
For almost a year we have been fighting the big-spending bureaucrats and politicians in Newport Beach. Earlier this month Mayor Curry penned an editorial labeling anyone that dared to question the cost of the new Taj Mahal a “mediocre critic” of the project.
In response to the Mayor’s invective, the Register has published my editorial reply that appears in today’s paper (below).
Periodically people ask me about the relationship of the Dock Tax to the Taj Mahal. To be clear, we believe the city has historically used the Tidelands Fund as a piggy bank for non-tidelands overhead and projects in violation of state law. We believe funds from the Dock Tax will end up paying the city’s $8 million per year mortgage on the Taj Mahal.
I wrote the Register piece out of frustration with a city government that has become so bloated and arrogant that they think they need a $140 million monument to themselves. It’s time for a change.
Stop The Dock Tax
www.stopthedocktax.com Please check with our web site for the lastest information
P.S. We have a hearing this Friday on our Temporary Restraining Order for an injunction to stop the city from collecting the Dock Tax on the utility bill. You can safely donate on line by clicking here to help continue our campaign to Stop the Dock Tax.
Newport’s ‘Taj Mahal’ spending outrageous
By BOB MCCAFFREY
I am one of the taxpayers that Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry labeled cynical and mediocre in his April 5 guest column where he tries to defend spending $140 million on the new Taj Mahal [“Newport Civic Center has lots of bangs for bucks,” News].
As a charter member of the Curry’s self-identified “small cadre” of Taj Mahal critics, I take pride in him also labeling me “mediocre.”
I was an early financial donor to the campaign that changed the zoning to relocate City Hall to Newport Center, the same initiative that Curry opposed for cost reasons. He should have stuck with his original position.
When I first heard the pitch to move City Hall, it made sense. It was a simple plan.
We had a free parcel from the generous Irvine Co. in Fashion Island. We would sell the old City Hall site, take the money and build a new City Hall with the funds from the sale. Simple. Sensible. Even Steven.
What happened? The politicians got hold of the process. There was no self-control, and no adults in the room to say “no” to anyone with a pet project. Spending other people’s money is infectious.
We did not ask for a new community room. There are several already in the city that citizens can use, such as Mariners Library, Central Library, Balboa Island, and the Oasis Center Newport Coast and several private ones that have been very generous in lending a hand.
Curry talks about the library/Taj Mahal interface as though we voted on it. We did not ask for a $12 million short-cut so people didn’t have to walk on stairs connecting the two buildings. Nor did we vote to expand the library.
Mayor Curry fails to realize that so many of the citizens of this city are disgusted with the spending of this City Council. They have created a bloated bureaucracy laden with unfunded pension costs that are the highest in Orange County. This includes huge salaries. For example, the city manager makes $300,000 a year, lifeguards retire at $200,000 a year and the cost of a street sweeping ticket is $63.
Curry waxes on about the park that cost $15 million. And who asked for a new park? This was to be a city hall. And why compare this to the Marina Park? At least you’ll be able to throw a Frisbee at Marina Park without getting hit by a passing car. It means nothing to compare these two.
Dog Park? The business of a city hall is to do the business of the city, not the business the dogs do. This stinks.
Now we have a 30-year, $230 million debt, which our children and grandchildren will have to pay. We were not given the opportunity to vote on the $140 million cost. All we did was to vote to choose a new location. This was to be a city hall, not a Taj Mahal.
When it involves my taxes I will continue to be part of Curry’s “small cadre of mediocre cynics” that will proudly question elected officials who arrogantly waste money. That’s my civic duty.
Bob McCaffrey is chairman of Stop the Dock Tax.