There are many good reasons to vote YES on Measure V.
The Newport Beach City Charter was written in 1955, updated in 1974, and is substantially the same now as it was 36 years ago. This year a distinguished group of Newport Beach citizens met over several months to carefully consider and recommend a comprehensive update to the City Charter. These important changes are incorporated into Measure V and would accomplish the following:
1. Measure V would block and eliminate loopholes to Proposition 13 that would otherwise allow the City Council to raise property taxes without citizen voter approval.
2. Measure V would eliminate the requirement that every word in every new city ordinance be published in a newspaper, while still requiring title and summary to be published. This change will save taxpayers at least $70,000 annually.
3. Measure V will still preserve the right of the residents to vote on the sale of waterfront property, but will eliminate the requirement that the sale be permanently be recorded in the Charter.
4. Measure V updates the Newport Beach civil service procedures to incorporate current state law requirements.
5. Measure V eliminates oil operations in a significant area of the city and restricts oil exploration to a designated 21-acre site where operations are currently occurring, to allow the city to manage its oil resources more efficiently.
6. Measure V improves the city’s ability to contract out for services by reducing administrative overhead and cost.
7. Measure V eliminates provisions that are now illegal under state law.
A YES vote on Measure V is truly in the best interest of all the citizens of Newport Beach.
Dennis D. O’Neil
Our city has committed contracts with the Civic Center construction manager and architect that when combined exceed $200 per square foot of building area. In other words, before a shovel is turned we pay fees to two firms in excess of $20 million.
We have land that was free yet we are paying for a park that is budgeted at $18 million. Do we really need a $2.5 million bridge across San Miguel? Do we really need contract amendments to the architect for audio-visual studies for the command center? Do we really need a retail study for 850 square feet when there are plenty of qualified local brokers who would do it for free? Do we really need to expand the basement command center by 650 square feet, causing structural and cost changes?
I ask who makes these decisions and who do we hold accountable? The unelected city manager? We definitely need council members and candidates who will ask the hard questions and take responsibility for getting satisfactory answers and oversight.