Letter to the Editor: Let’s Give Democracy a Better Chance in Newport Beach

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We have an extremely important presidential election coming up soon, and its dramatic outcome will be felt in every city, county and state.

At the same time, we have several notable local elections in smaller arenas that also reflect what we are like as a community and what our aspirations for the future are.  They can affect our way of life almost as profoundly as a national election. For those reasons we must consider all our votes very carefully.

For several years now, our City Council in Newport Beach has not been very democratic because of the existence of voting blocs or teams whose many disadvantages I have described in a previous letter in other publications.

Whenever a single candidate has to fight against a slate of candidates, the slate obviously has an unfair advantage.

Two of our candidates in the upcoming City Council election have either had to run against an incumbent who is part of the team, or an incumbent who is running against a totally new candidate who, according to a colleague, had not even been involved in his first debate when he was endorsed by three members of the team or bloc.

Without even considering names, qualifications, or accomplishments, two of our candidates, Nancy Scarbrough and Jeff Herdman, start the race with obvious unfair disadvantages. And this does not even take into consideration that new candidates must run against incumbents who have been building up “war chests” since before their first election.

The high cost of running for office against slates or teams discourages many good potential candidates from running. And it is the reason that Newport has far fewer candidates trying to seek election when compared to neighboring cities.

Given those large disadvantages promoted by the “Team” culture, Newport Beach is very lucky to have the two stellar independent candidates mentioned above, Nancy Scarbrough and Jeff Herdman.

Both of these candidates have lived in their districts for a multitude of years and could not be more conscientious or more approachable, the two qualities that are needed on the Newport Council.

They know the people in their communities well and listen to their concerns. While they may not always agree with the neighbors in their district on every level, they listen and do their best to achieve compromise.

They both have been involved in a plethora of civic activities and meetings which have been listed in several local publications, including the Indy. They are very positive in their attitudes, energetic and sincere.

It would be difficult to find better qualified candidates.

Lynn Lorenz / Newport Beach

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