Letter to the Editor: I Want to Elect My Mayor

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No Elected Mayor…Why does that sound like a campaign to limit my ability to decide who leads my City? Because it does.

Sadly, it’s the No On Measure B campaign’s intent. It should give everyone pause, to just think about those words.

The Elect Our Mayor (Yes On B) campaign has prompted many of us to consider how we think about the significance of the Mayor of Newport Beach. Regardless of who any future elected mayor might be, I’ve come to the following conclusions:

  • The directly-elected mayoral model delivers far more visible leadership of the city, which can be important in dealing with other federal, state, or regional agencies, or other cities.
  • A direct election gives substantial democratic legitimacy and makes a mayor directly accountable…answering to the voters has a direct correlation to looking out for the good of the entire city as a whole.
  • A strong leader is more likely to be effective in developing a forward-looking vision for the city…how can a vision be cast and implemented in a one-year term? No effective organization is set up this way.
  • Four-year terms provide stable leadership. There is value in continuity and stability in good times and in tough times.
  • Elected officials who can be held to account are the ones who should set the city council agenda, not unelected city managers, no matter how good any city manager might be.

Change can be uncomfortable and not entirely devoid of risk; however, the benefits far outweigh the risks for the Elect Our Mayor Measure B.

I want to elect my mayor and will vote yes on B. I reject any movement that seeks to limit my ability to elect my civic leaders.

Ruth Kobayashi / Newport Beach

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