For government to function properly, elected officials must be honest and not attempt to mislead their constituents. In recent years every level of government seems to be embracing dishonest behavior in order to win elections and hold power. While the Federal government gets most of our attention for its untrustworthiness, our local governments are not faultless.
A case in point is Newport Beach’s deceitful measure Y.
A vote of the people in Newport Beach is necessary for a new development only when an increase of traffic is proposed, not a decrease. Measure Y is on the ballot because the city needs to get the voters’ approval to increase the traffic, which the City’s Environmental Impact Report estimates would add an average of 9,120 vehicle trips a day.
While the city admits there will be a huge daily increase of traffic, the proponents of Measure Y were still able to have the ballot summary read that there will be a reduction in vehicle trips. This sham was accomplished by eliminating development rights elsewhere in the city where the development was not built to the allowable maximum square footage. This is disingenuous and a flat out attempt to influence voters by deception.
Nowhere in the ballot summary does it mention the 565,000 square feet of new office space to be built in Fashion Island; the 101,000 square feet of commercial development near the airport, or the 500 new dwelling units planned for Newport Center.
We are seeing this type of political trickery more frequently as we become increasingly corrupted by extreme political ideologies and by the influence of moneyed interest.
This kind of political chicanery is unacceptable at any level of government in a free society.
Newport Beach is in a battle between the developers, whose misleading summary could help them pass Measure Y, and residents of the community who do not want to see any further deterioration of their environment.
Hopefully the truth, rather than deception, will be the victor on election day.
Corona del Mar