Letter to the Editor: People Need to Stop Fearing Voters

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I am an active and engaged voter here in Newport Beach. I care deeply about our city and the future of our city for our future generations. I am involved and make the effort to meet candidates, I read their materials, I read their opponents’ materials, and I make a decision on what I have learned.  And when I like a candidate, I help by walking with materials around my neighborhood and encouraging others in my community to learn about them also.

Simply being an engaged voter is apparently a frightening concept for some people writing letters to the editor these days.

The Elect Our Mayor initiative is simple with a simple message. Yes, I want to choose who the Mayor is. So do a lot of voters in Newport Beach. As a prominent city we should be electing a strong chief executive officer and spokesperson. We should have a candidate that is elected by the people setting the council agendas.

Want to find out how many voters share the desire to elect our mayor? That’s easy! Let’s get it on the ballot.

But there are people who don’t want to find out. They are afraid of voters because, their thinking goes, voters can’t be trusted with choosing the Mayor. We could choose the wrong one (well, wrong under their value system at least). It still should be a choice by the voters.

For example, the new attack is on term limits. It’s easy to see that this initiative doesn’t change the city council term limits. The measure even makes sure that the term limits of the current city council members aren’t changed in its implementation language.

The main attack seems to worry that a person could run for city council, win, and then run for Mayor eventually. Which sounds like an election campaign attack ad rather than a swipe at the proposed system.

If voters want someone with council experience as Mayor, fine. If they don’t, fine. Either way, it’s a choice that should be given to voters. A choice we are denied right now because people have thought for too long that voters can’t be trusted to elect our Mayor.

Plus, the proposed Mayor system has what our current system doesn’t: lifetime term limits for the Mayor. Isn’t it strange that the attacks don’t mention that aspect?

I think that now is the time to assert our voice as voters. Let’s see how many of our neighbors in our community want to Elect Our Mayor. What is to be afraid of in that?

Anita Rovsek / Newport Beach

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