When I heard about Will O’Neill’s campaign to create an elected mayor position, I did some research to figure out what it would really mean for the citizens of Newport Beach. Of immediate concern was the fact that this idea was never brought before O’Neill’s city council colleagues or the public.
What my research showed is that councilman O’Neill has written a proposal that serves no one other than himself and is purely intended to create a future elected position for himself. And it would leave us residents with an all-powerful mayor who has the ability to overshadow the future of my district council representation and yours.
Equally important is that the proposed initiative overrides the 1992 voter-approved term limits (currently two 4-year terms).
It allows a councilperson to run for mayor but prevents a mayor from subsequently running for council. This would position councilman O’Neill to spend 16 years in Newport Beach city government, eight on the council and eight as mayor.
Term limits were instituted for a good reason: to prevent any one person from dominating city government for too long. And 16 years is way too long.
Government should be by the people and for the people. Our current system will serve our city much better than his proposed change.
Dorothy Kraus / Newport Beach, District 2