I love Newport! City officials, not so much
There is no way around it: I love Newport Beach.
I love surfing in Newport Beach. I love meeting with my friends and smoking cigars in Newport Beach. And I love living in Newport Beach.
Blessed with options, in my adult life I’ve lived in Huntington Beach, Corona del Mar, Santa Ana Heights, Haleiwa and Manoa, Hawaii, Costa Mesa, Irvine, and then finally back in Newport Beach in 2003, where I’ve chosen to make my home, hopefully permanently.
So when I hear it said that I’m someone who hates Newport Beach and keeps criticizing Newport Beach, I cannot help but shake my head.
Mayor Curry, in his July 12 commentary in The Current, for instance, made note of “writers” (the dismissive quotation marks are his) who “regularly attack our city.”
So, I “write” this column to clear something up: I do not attack our city. I love Newport Beach.
But I will, now and then (like three out of every four Mondays), attack the City Council or its members, sometimes individually, for making boneheaded decisions that I feel, as an opinion “writer,” are bad for the city, its residents, and the millions of visitors who choose to spend their hard-earned extra income in our lovely city.
I “write” this column to point out the hypocrisy of their political rhetoric versus their actions. For instance, Mayor Curry – as a random example – calls himself a conservative Republican, yet has no problem collecting campaign contributions from unions, and then three months later voting to give them retroactive pension increases to 3-percent-at-50, the most lucrative pension ever, which creates millionaires out of fulltime lifeguards at the taxpayer’s expense.
So, am I attacking the city of Newport Beach, or am I attacking Keith Curry? Hmmm?
The Newport Beach City Council, elected to represent the entire city, gladly permits a half-dozen wealthy homeowners to dictate to the other 99.99 percent of Newport Beach residents – and every resident of Costa Mesa and any other inland city up the 55 freeway – how they can have fun at the beach, in an effort to keep “gangbangers” from enjoying public lands.
And it wasn’t until the city had become the laughingstock of the entire beachgoing community in Southern California that one council member (Leslie Daigle) changed her mind. The other council members, however, continue to allow six wealthy homeowners to give Newport Beach a reputation as racist, elitist, and easily bought.
And this makes me angry. So I “write” about it. Am I attacking the city? Or am I defending it?
Now, you can like my opinion or you can hate my opinion, but don’t ever say that I hate Newport Beach. If I did, I wouldn’t put myself out there week after week, hoping and wishing that our Magnificent Seven could start acting on behalf of the people as public servants instead of being self-serving politicians looking for ways to pad their egos and to have glittering election night parties at sports museums.
These elected (though originally appointed) representatives need to start owning their bad votes and start taking responsibility, instead of trying to deflect attention to a hack “writer.”
– Jack Wu resides in Newport Beach, he is happy to say.