As the election draws to a close, Newport Beach residents face some stark choices. After a month of dodging the question, our mayor was forced to disclose that he is a licensed marijuana grower and had secretly employed Councilman Scott Peotter as his lobbyist.
Duffield skipped most of the candidate forums, saying “same questions, same people, I got a sense of what these people were thinking.” That is simply a breathtaking expression of contempt for Newport voters. His platform is clear: cut spending throughout the city and redirect it to the harbor where his business is located. While legally recused from participating in most discussions on the harbor, Mariners Mile and the General Plan, he is directing policy behind the scenes despite his conflicts of interest.
Scott Peotter has sought to campaign on national issues like Sanctuary Cities and the Supreme Court, which only goes to demonstrate how out of touch he is from neighborhood issues like traffic, high density, homelessness, and rising crime.
His reckless policies will lead to a budget deficit. Deficit notwithstanding, he wants to join his employer Duffield in redirecting funding from other city services to the harbor.
Residents should be most concerned about the $50,000 to support Duffield and Peotter that has come from Howard Ahmanson Jr., an advocate for high density housing. Consider Ahmansons’s views from his 2013 blog: “I believe that social justice requires that a region be overbuilt, or at least over-entitled in both high density and single-family housing.”
Think about how Peotter and Duffield will go about implementing Ahmanson’s philosophy in the next General Plan Update.
I don’t agree with everything Joy Brenner and Tim Stoaks say (and they certainly did not agree with me all the time when I was on the council), but I have no doubt that they will approach the issues from the perspective of what is right for Newport Beach, not what will comport with an extreme partisan philosophy.
We simply must end the failed experiment in machine politics and get back to a city council focused on traffic, public safety, density and improving our quality of life. Tim Stoaks and Joy Brenner will do that.
Finally, don’t be fooled by the cynical Measure T. No other city in America has these limits on lease obligation debt and it has nothing to do with taxes. It’s just another con by the political machine. Vote NO on T.
Former Newport Beach Mayor