In my 65 years in Newport Beach, I have always admired the kindness of our residents. My wife Terry and I have been blessed to raise our children and build a worldwide business in one of the most unique and beautiful harbors I have ever seen.
I was honored to be elected in 2014 to the City Council. As just a boat builder I was excited to give back to the community in the best way possible.
I was unfamiliar with the intricacies of local politics but was willing to put in the time and use my business background to help bring common-sense policies to our great city. Maybe I was naïve, I thought doing the right thing for taxpayers was enough.
The attempted recall of Councilman Scott Peotter has revealed an ugly side of our community.
A few people led by former Councilman Keith Curry are upset that they lost the 2014 election. They desperately want the controlling votes on the council. That’s what this is all about. To achieve this they continually write letters that are inaccurate and unfair.
For example, they claim Scott wants to gamble with tax dollars in the stock market. They don’t tell you that in 2007 Councilman Curry led the charge to create a section 115 Trust allowing the City to invest funds for employees receiving lifetime health insurance. It’s the vehicle we are reviewing to help pay down the City’s massive pension debt created by the Curry City Council.
They didn’t recall former Mayor Rush Hill for swearing at constituents from the dais saying “We’re here in large part because previous councils did not want to take the kind of shxx you’re giving out.”
They didn’t recall Keith Curry for saying, “This is designed to leave a big turd in the City after (Peotter) leaves. This is pathetic. This is bad public policy. Nobody else in America has this policy. It’s an absolute disgrace.” (Daily Pilot, June 15, 2016).
They criticize Scott for his support of private property rights and the Museum House project. They don’t tell you that recall leader Keith Curry voted for it.
Scott is hardworking and accessible. He’s on the ballot next year. That’s the time to hash out these issues, not in a recall election that will cost taxpayers $500,000.00, money that could be used to pay down our pension and Civic Center debt.
Mayor Pro Tem Duffy Duffield