What a great feeling it is when we can do something that truly impacts our community. An opportunity to just that is before us right now. We can join the growing number of cities that permit their citizens to elect their mayors directly.
Yours truly is one of a large number of community members who have volunteered to gather signatures for a petition to put a charter amendment on the ballot next year so that registered voters in Newport Beach can elect our mayor.
Currently, our city council picks a mayor among themselves every year. While there may be some positive aspects to this rotating process, here’s why I think we can do better. Much better:
- A directly elected mayor brings a stronger and more visible position for our City, which is important in dealing with other agencies or tackling challenging issues.
- A directly elected mayor is held to account directly by the voters, and to what is in the best interest of the entire City as a whole.
- A directly elected mayor with a four year term has the time to cast a vision for the City, and provides stable leadership, in comparison to the current rotating one year term.
- A directly elected mayor will be responsible and held accountable for setting the city council agendas, which is superior to the current practice of an unelected city manager doing so, no matter how good that city manager may be.
Regardless of who any future elected mayor might be, I see the upside of this change to be crystal clear: agency, legitimacy, democracy.
As a registered voter in the City of Newport Beach, I should be able to elect our Mayor, and so should you.
Ruth Sanchez Kobayashi / Newport Beach