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    Dear Mayor Dixon and City Councilmembers,

    I am disappointed you approved the architectural contract for a dubious Library Lecture Hall. As stewards of our tax dollars I request you enter into a contract with the Library Trustees that limits the city’s (taxpayer) exposure to 50% of the Lecture Hall cost with a cap of $4 million.

      Dear Mayor Dixon and City Council Members,

      I am unable to attend Tuesday’s city council meeting and want my opinion added to the public record. Before stepping on the slippery slope of spending over $8 million on a new theater that will be used 7-8 times a year for 275 people. There’s more important uses of our tax dollars.

        Dear Mayor Dixon & Newport Beach Council Members,

        Each of you ran for office claiming to be fiscal conservatives concerned about protecting our tax dollars. You can have decades of high-profile Library Lecture Series speakers at the rented Lido Theater without burdening taxpayers. The revitalized Lido Marina Village and new Lido House Hotel will also benefit from the 6-7 annual speaking events.

          Dear Mayor Dixon & Newport Beach City Council Members,

          Before obligating Newport Beach taxpayers to pay for an $8 million Library Lecture Hall please find out how much it would cost to RENT the newly remodeled Lido Theater. Surely it will be less expensive than building and maintaining a new Library Lecture Hall for 6-7 speakers per year.

            Dear Mayor Dixon and City Council Members,

            Are Newport’s taxpayers on the hook for the Library Lecture Hall? Councilman Herdman seems confused. He says NO then YES. Please provide any documents between the City and Library Foundation clarify the financial arrangement between the City and Library Foundation regarding who is paying for the proposed $8 million Library Lecture Hall.

              Dear Mayor Dixon & City Council Members,

              Councilman Herdman’s report that the Library Board of Trustees has agreed to pay for their proposed Library Lecture Hall is great news for taxpayers! I know you will protect taxpayers from the estimated $8 million cost and re-allocate the funds to important matters like harbor dredging, public safety and paying down our long-term pension obligations.

                Dear Dr. Navarro, Mayor Dixon & Newport City Council Members,

                Newport Mesa taxpayers have spent nearly $400 million to improve our schools, including two state-of-the-art theaters that could be rented for the Newport Library Lecture Series. Renting the CdM or Newport Harbor High Loats Theater instead of building the unnecessary Library Lecture Hall will save Newport’s taxpayers $8 million.

                  Mayor Dixon & City Council Members,

                  We don’t need to spend $8 million on a new Library Lecture Hall when the city council chambers is next door. Our tax dollars are better spent on harbor dredging, fighting JWA expansion, or funding public safety. Private funds should be raised to pay for it, not our taxes!

                  http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-petition-subpoena-20180306-story.html

                  Newport Beach has served its first subpoena for records in its investigation of possible petition fraud in the unsuccessful recall effort against Councilman Scott Peotter.

                  The subpoena, which the city confirmed Monday, orders Angelo Paparella, president of Calabasas-based petition circulation firm PCI Consultants Inc., to produce documents related to the recall signature gathering as the city conducts a probe parallel with a criminal investigation by the Orange County district attorney’s office. The Committee to Recall Scott Peotter, the primary recall proponent group, contracted with PCI to circulate its petitions.

                  The district attorney’s office seized the recall petitions from the county registrar of voters in January over concerns about “potential irregularities.” Recall organizers have said they believe an outside petition circulator may have forged signatures, though the DA’s search warrant is sealed, so specific allegations are unavailable.

                  According to the subpoena, Paparella has until April 4 to hand over all communications that mention compliance with state election law on use of signatures and actual or alleged fraud by a signature gatherer. He also must hand over invoices for signature-gathering efforts, contact information for all signature gatherers, and forms signed by gatherers attesting that signatures would not be used for any purpose other than qualification of the recall measure for a ballot.

                  A split City Council agreed last month to have the city, a non-prosecutorial agency, issue subpoenas in its investigation. Newport’s charter allows the council to subpoena witnesses and question them under oath “in any investigation or proceeding pending before the City Council.”

                  The city also is authorized to subpoena the treasurer of the Committee to Recall Scott Peotter; campaign consultant Desnoo & Desnoo; and Campaign Compliance Group, which helps candidates, political committees and donors with campaign reporting requirements. As of Monday, only PCI had been served, a city spokeswoman said.

                  Council members Diane Dixon and Jeff Herdman, who voted against the investigation, wanted to avoid redundancy as the DA conducts its own inquiry. Recall organizers and their lawyers have said the city’s examination could impinge on constitutionally protected communications among activists and amounts to political retaliation.

                  A few weeks before the DA’s office seized the petitions, the registrar’s office announced that it had validated 8,339 of the 10,696 recall signatures submitted. That was 106 shy of the 8,445 — representing 15% of the city’s registered voters — needed to force a special recall election.

                  The recall committee racked up more than $130,000 in expenses, with about $108,000 for PCI’s services, according to campaign finance statements filed this year.

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                  http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-nb-council-preview-20180209-story.html

                  The Newport Beach City Council may vote Tuesday on whether to move ahead with a suggested probe of possibly fraudulent signature-gathering in the recent unsuccessful recall effort against Councilman Scott Peotter.

                  A city-led investigation is allowed under a section of the city charter that gives members of the council the power to subpoena witnesses and question them under oath “in any investigation or proceeding pending before the City Council.”

                  In this case, the investigation would be to follow up on the possibility, raised publicly by recall organizers, that paid petition circulators retained last year by the Committee to Recall Scott Peotter forged signatures.

                  In January, the Orange County district attorney’s office seized the recall petitions from the county registrar of voters office over concerns about “potential irregularities.”

                  A few weeks before, the registrar’s office announced that it had validated only 8,339 of the 10,696 recall signatures submitted. That was 106 short of the 8,445 — representing 15% of the city’s registered voters — needed to force a special recall election.

                  The search warrant affidavit is sealed, so specific allegations of irregularities are unavailable. However, recall organizers said they believed an outside petition circulator may have forged signatures.

                  Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill said the council is obligated to look into such a serious claim and called for the probe at the council’s Jan. 23 meeting. He asked that, as a second step, formal consideration of the matter be placed on a future agenda.

                  As a third step, the council would vote on whether to hold a hearing.

                  Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield quickened the process by placing the vote on whether to have the hearing on Tuesday’s agenda, eliminating the second step, as allowed under council policy.

                  The item is on the meeting’s consent calendar, where items are usually voted on en masse with no discussion, although council members can pull items for discussion and separate votes.

                  Police headquarters and airport issues

                  In other matters Tuesday, the council may vote on a proposed $554,000 remodel of the Newport Beach police station.

                  City staff recommends awarding a $496,000 contract to Santa Clarita-based TL Veterans Construction Inc., plus setting aside about $50,000 for contingencies and $8,000 for incidentals.

                  The police building was built in 1973, and its last major interior remodel was in 1985.

                  The council also will hold a study session covering John Wayne Airport issues, including a settlement with the Federal Aviation Administration in January, departure paths and procedures and additional noise monitoring. The council had planned to discuss the matter at its annual planning session Jan. 29 but ran short of time.

                  Tuesday’s meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. with the study session, followed by the regular session at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive.

                  Twitter: @Daily_PilotHD