“We’ve got to pass the bill to know what’s in it.”
This is the call from nearly all of the Newport Council candidates when you ask them about Measure Y.
I asked the question to candidates: “Have you read Measure Y?”
All but two said they have not. Yet every single one of them has formed an opinion on it. How? Certainly they are not flipping a coin to come to a decision, and if they haven’t read the bill themselves, then from where are they getting their positions? More importantly: from who?
To his credit, Kevin Muldoon told me that he did read the staff report on Measure Y. That’s better than nothing, I suppose. However, our current council already suffers badly from this same type of behavior: They read the staff report, not the details. This results in our council being a representative of the CITY to the PEOPLE, rather than a representative of the PEOPLE to the CITY. This is absolutely the wrong approach to government, and as someone who proclaims himself a “reform candidate,” Muldoon should know better. Englebrecht– his competitor–certainly does. Englebrecht has read Measure Y and has come to his own, independent conclusion of it.
Supporters of Measure Y claim that it preserves property rights and reduces traffic. None of this is true, and here are the reasons why:
1) The Irvine Company tends to build not-to-completion. They then use the remaining land grants, package them up, and tell people that they have X amount of land they’d like to trade, in exchange for the rights to build at location Z. This is both deceptive and effective.
2) The Irvine Company stated to the city that they have no intent to build on the land that was used to bargain. This was revealed in public documents from September of 2013. This is further supported by the fact that they have not begun to build on any of the land.
3) The irony is that Measure Y does not actually restrict them from building on the land that they are “trading.” They will retain rights to build on the land, and also gain new rights to build in Fashion Island. In fact, more than 350 housing units are completely unaccounted for in Measure Y’s limiting of existing building rights.
4) Measure Y will trigger “green” building guidelines. We already have a “green building” in Newport: The Newport City Hall cost us $250 million. Building “green” has a nice ring to it, but is prohibitively expensive in most instances, and it reduces the building rights of property owners to build on the land that they own. This increases the size of government.
5) Measure Y has no text. What’s that? Yes. There is no comprehensive text amendment to the general plan. There are several (5) sections that are being passed, but none of them are comprehensive, and none of them make sense. Two of the sections are filled with graphics and maps, many contain icons without legends, leaving the wildly ambiguous documents open to interpretation in the future. The remaining pages contain things like “Page 7 of Document X” but have no other pages associated with it. This is a hodgepodge body of work to put it nicely, and an embarrassment of a bill for those who seek good governance.
Measure Y is set to both grow government and also increase ambiguity. The measure is unreadable, indecipherable, and non-comprehensive. It will increase traffic in Newport Beach due to the capacity of Fashion Island already being worn thin.
If you support property rights, small government, readable bills, or reduced traffic, don’t be deceived by the ballot language put forth by the current establishment: Vote NO on Y.