Op/Ed: Direct Accountability Matters

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Noah Blom

Op/Ed by Noah Blom, Newport Beach City Council Member

As a small business owner, I hold myself accountable for the service and quality in my restaurants.

As your City Council Member, you hold me directly accountable for decisions we make and the outcomes of those decisions too.

How do we make those decisions? We set public policy based on agendas set well in advance of a City Council meeting. As it currently stands, we delegate most of the agenda-setting functions to our City Manager. No matter how good a City Manager is (and ours is great), the City Manager is accountable only to the City Council and not directly to the people of the City of Newport Beach.

As City Council Members, we can also place items on the agenda if three of us agree that it deserves discussion. That, in fact, is how the Elect Our Mayor initiative will be on your ballots.

I asked our City Council to consider the item, all seven City Council Members agreed, and then a majority of us voted to put Measure B on the ballot so that you get to choose whether you want to elect the Mayor (or whether you want us to keep choosing amongst ourselves every year).

Once you understand that, you’ll join me in expressing surprise that opponents of Measure B claim that the Mayor would be “too powerful.” No power would shift from City Council Members to the Mayor, we would still be able to place items on the agenda.  The change would be moving the primary agenda setting option from the unelected City Manager to the directly-accountable Mayor.

Direct accountability to voters matters. Learn more at www.electourmayor.com and encourage your friends and neighbors to vote Yes on B.

Noah Blom is Mayor Pro Tem for Newport Beach and the City Council Member for District 5

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