In November 2014, Scott Peotter was barely elected to the Newport Beach City Council with 11,920 votes.
On October 27, the signatures of 10,688 voters were submitted on a recall petition asking that he be removed from office.
As I walked the city with my recall petition, I was impressed that our neighbors gave so many varied reasons for supporting his removal, ranging from his jaw dropping incivility to his total disregard of campaign finance laws.
In August, his attempt to turn down $480,000 in gas tax funds due to our city brought him the scorn of residents as just one of the many poor financial decisions he has made in his tenure.
By far, the biggest objection voiced to Mr. Peotter was his attempt to deny the residents their right to stop the Museum House project by adding 3,700 pages to the referendum petition. This was an act of stunning legislative arrogance and it was the act of a bully. Democracy works best when democratic processes are respected and his attempt to undermine the constitutional rights of the residents failed when the project was stopped. His use of out of town “blockers” to harass recall petition signers, false and misleading mailers, and misrepresentation of the cost of the recall shows that he continues to hold the political rights of the public in contempt.
While I expected the public opposition to his strong support for high rise development, I was surprised by the number of residents who signed the petition because they resent the “boss style” government introduced by Team Newport and the men who got them elected: Dave Ellis and Bob McCaffery.
The belief that Ellis and McCaffery control their candidate’s actions is strong, reinforced by the fact that Dave Ellis was a lobbyist for the Museum House and that every councilmember who voted for it had been elected with his help.
Voters want an independent city council and a level playing field, not backroom machinations that disregard the best interests of residents.
They want civility and fairness.
The recall of Scott Peotter is the first step toward draining the swamp and restoring our faith in government.