Letter to the Editor: The Future of Newport is at Stake

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Mr. Muldoon is not getting my vote, and here’s why.

Mr. Muldoon was elected to NB city council in 2014 as part of “Team Newport,” backed by big-money development interests.

The Shopoff Land Owners, who are planning to add three 13-story towers in the Koll Center and are also building Uptown Newport (the wall of apartments you see going up on Jamboree between MacArthur & Birch) in Newport Beach, are also contributors to Mr. Muldoon’s re-election campaign.

Other donors include the Building Industry Association of So California PAC, Apartments Association of OC, the CAAPAC Apartment Association, The Irvine Company, other real estate companies, developers and land planners, mortgage brokers, property managers, and attorneys.

For this year’s reelection campaign, he is backed by a political action committee which Howard Ahmanson, Jr. has contributed almost $50,000. Ahmanson, heir of Home Savings fortune, is part of the pro-development YIMBY (“Yes in My Backyard”) movement.

The Museum House, approved by Muldoon and the rest of Team Newport, a 25-story condo tower planned near Newport Center, was a project pushed by Muldoon’s campaign manager, Dave Ellis, also a consultant to the project. Muldoon and the council added 3,700 unnecessary pages to Line in The Sand’s referendum petition, making it very difficult to carry around. Muldoon and the council only rescinded their approvals after some 14,000 persons signed this petition.

As mayor, Muldoon also wrote a letter, at the behest of Irvine’s Mayor, Don Wagner, without the council’s consent or public discussion on the impact to NB, supporting Irvine’s bid to be home to Amazon’s second headquarters. Had we known, what would we have said?

Mr. Muldoon jumped at the opportunity to make Newport’s problem with noise and pollution from JWA a campaign issue. One of his friends with no relevant PR experience was brought in as a PR consultant.

Muldoon voted to delay the city’s long-overdue General Plan Update. But why? The General Plan is the blueprint for development in NB.

Our city needs election reform, and the only way to get it is to vote out the incumbents, put in by special interests. We cannot continue to petition every oversized and out-of-place development the council approves because of its political backers.

The future of Newport Beach is at stake.  If we keep the same team in city hall, the developments will stay, Mr. Muldoon will move on, and we will pay with increased urbanization to our primarily suburban city.

That is why I am voting for Roy Englebrecht along with Tim Stoaks, and Joy Brenner. Let’s take our coastal beach town back this November.

 

Dorothy Kraus

Newport Beach

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