As a board member of the Line in the Sand PAC, I feel compelled to respond to Therese Loutherback’s letter of September 7, “City Council Candidate Ethics.”
This is a crucially important election year for our city, and voters need to have their facts and priorities straight.
As in 2016, Line in the Sand is endorsing candidates who are longtime residents and have no agenda other than to serve.
Joy Brenner, Roy Englebrecht and Tim Stoaks are running independently of one another and us, individually challenging the members of the “team” that got elected as a slate in 2014 and that vote as a bloc on most major issues including the Museum House project, which Joy, Roy and Tim helped defeat.
In addition to dramatically changing the Newport skyline, the Museum House condo tower that Team Newport wanted to see in Newport Center would have set a terrible precedent for more high-rise, high-density development in that area. Have you ever seen a town with only one high-rise condo tower in it? Neither have I.
As one of the citizens who lugged around the 10-pound petition to force the council’s approval to go to a city-wide vote, I must note that Team Newport members Muldoon, Duffy and Peotter all voted to add the 3,800 unnecessary pages to the Museum House petition. That sent quite a clear message about their disdain for the public’s views on out-of-place development and citizens’ first amendment right to petition government without fear of punishment or reprisals.
Lastly, Line in the Sand is supporting candidates who support campaign finance reform. Joy, Roy and Tim have grassroots campaign teams and are raising money from residents who care about preserving the character of our town. They are not building up giant war chests with funds from developers, out-of-towners and special interests. One Team Newport backer bragged in 2014 that close to $1,000,000 had been spent to get them elected. One can only imagine the kind of strings that are attached to that kind of money. Team Newport has made it clear that campaign finance reform is not on their radar. Why would it be?
With Joy, Roy and Tim on the council, we can get back to being a citizen-run coastal town that is paradise for its residents and businesses, not for developers and the politicians they get elected.
It really is time to take our city back.
President, Line in the Sand