OC Register Calls Out “Conservative” Newport Beach City Council

Dear Newport Beach Republican,

 

I have been a soldier in the Republican Party since my days of working for Barry Goldwater for President.  It saddens me to see our city council morph into the overspending, overtaxing, and big-government beast that Sen. Goldwater and President Reagan warned against.

 

There is a ray of hope with this election cycle.  There are four city council seats on the November ballot.  I believe it’s time for a change.  Out with the big spenders.

 

Below is a wonderful article by Register columnist Jack Wu that is a great starting point for the November elections.  Jack lays out the big-spending ways of the current city council and the need for change. 

 

Sincerely,

 

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Bob McCaffrey 
Volunteer Chairman, Residents for Reform

 

 

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Jack Wu: Newport home to conservative bait and switch

By JACK WU

2014-08-27 16:07:37

wuI’ve had the great pleasure of writing about Newport Beach politics for the past seven years. And during this entire time, I’ve had to repeatedly dispel the notion that Newport Beach is the most conservative city in California.

But according to the Sacramento Bee, and a subsequent column by Martin Wisckol at the O.C. Register, 60 percent of Newport’s voters have described themselves as conservative.

That makes Newport the most conservative out of the state’s 150 biggest cities.

Hear that? That’s me falling out of my chair in laughter. So three out of every five Newport Beach voters are calling themselves conservatives. Apparently, they’ve forgotten that when they get to the ballot box.

Unless, of course, it’s a conservative notion to elect every union-backed candidate, who then gives wondrous compensations and benefits to their public employees. That includes the full-time lifeguards who peak upward of $200,000 a year, with 51-year-olds retiring at $108,000 a year for the rest of their lives.

In what world would a council candidate be considered conservative for actively pursuing the endorsement of the Newport Beach labor unions (associations), which then unabashedly donate to and support liberal candidates in other races? Yet, every single republican (small “r”) on the Newport Beach City Council has sought and received contributions from both the city’s police and fire associations.

In addition, these so-called conservatives voted to transform a $40 million City Hall into a $144 million Taj Mahal, complete with $250,000 concrete bunnies, a $2 million zinc-covered bridge to the dog park and $1,000-plus office chairs; adding tens of thousands of dollars to the budget just for good measure to give the architects opportunities to win design awards.

Oh yes, and borrowing every red cent to do it, creating a long-term debt obligation for future generations to enjoy, alongside the modern sculptures.

Tax and spend to build a larger house for government – that’s a conservative notion, right? I thought conservatives were for low debt and smaller government?

Later, the tax-(called fees in Newport Beach)-and-spend City Council raised the city’s mooring fees exponentially, charging commercial dock owners a percentage of the gross income, as well as increasing four-fold the fees paid by residential dock owners to use their own docks.

Mayor Rush Hill cursed at his constituents when they dared to challenge his excellence.

Since 2003, with only a 7 percent increase in population, Newport Beach’s budget has ballooned 172 percent, from $110 million to $280 million in 2014. Its unfunded pension liability is the highest per resident in Orange County, and Newport Beach still has an extremely high ratio of full-time-equivalent employees per resident.

As a full-service city, having lots of city employees is expected, but when comparing Newport Beach, with 87,000 residents, to neighboring Huntington Beach, it’s downright embarrassing.

Newport needs almost twice as many city employees per resident than does Huntington Beach.

Even Newport Beach’s City Council has more members (seven) than neighboring Irvine, Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach, each with five. Huntington Beach, with its larger population of 197,000, also has seven members.

But perhaps that’s why, in its 108 years of existence, the Newport Beach City Council has never had one of its own elected to higher office. In a typically conservative voting district, Newport Beach council members were never conservative enough.

Although Newport Beach’s voters may consider themselves conservative, their City Council is anything but. I could go on forever.

Jack Wu is an accountant who lives in Newport Beach and has been a longtime Republican Party activist. Contact him at [email protected].

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