Letter to the Editor: Lack of Council Commitment to Herdman

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Recently, a few pro-Herdman spectators suggested that the full endorsement of Jeff Herdman’s competitor Noah Blom, a “single” filing candidate/no slate, by Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill, Councilman Kevin Muldoon and Councilman Duffy Duffield was because of some nefarious goal to keep Herdman from ever becoming Mayor or that the incumbent of almost four years has some unfair disadvantage.

To that I say – campaign balderdash.

Is it just possible that the Council doesn’t find Herdman an effective leader and is tired of all the discord in his own district over the last three plus years? After all, this question was even addressed to Herdman by the event moderator during the Newport Beach Chamber Candidate Forum on August 20, 2020 so it has to have some validity to it.

This discord can be heard from his own constituents in the way he arrogantly presided over the JWA airport expansion as Chair of the Aviation Committee, naively sealing the fate of Newport Beach residents to one of the worst airport expansion deals in Newport Beach history, increasing the volume, jet pollution and noise for years to come.

Is it possible that this discord is over Herdman’s habit in telling his community one thing and then behind their backs doing the complete opposite, such as his Council initiative promoting the redevelopment of Marine Avenue, while supporting ex-council members turned developer consultants, Ed Selich, Don Webb and John Noyes for the overhaul of this historic main street on Balboa Island without ONE resident vote, or an open transparent committee and spending residents money to demolish the very place they love and cherish.

Could it be that Herdman spends too much time designing “poop fairy” signs, pointing his finger at people walking the opposite way on the boardwalk and spending tax payers money on having someone “man” the bridge on little Balboa Island while all the kids and some adults jump off the big island bridge all day long, rather than keeping his eye on the ball regarding more pressing issues such as our safety, quality of life, and getting the merchants back to work.

Maybe the discord is because the community is not happy to see tax funded grants which were intended for local merchants, get reallocated?

Maybe it is because of the splitting factions and his public distain for the alternate groups that were formed because many constituents did not feel heard. These alternate groups were formed to fight Jeff Herdman’s non-transparent redevelopment ideas.

Could it be that the Council endorsement of Noah Blom is because they believe Noah is the right man for the job, and because they have found Jeff to be an ineffective leader, one that has just worn out his welcome to both Council members and the residents of Newport Beach alike?

Anita Rovsek / Balboa Island

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