The Straight Scott: A Wish List for Santa

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It seems that all the people on the government dole that voted for Obama got their Christmas early this year. Many people are saying that what people voted for was “Santa Claus.” Romney and the Republicans did not differentiate themselves much from Obama, so instead of voting for Santa Claus Lite (Romney), they voted for the real Santa Claus (Obama).

Instead of dreaming of a white Christmas, I thought I would dream of “good government.” Why not–everyone needs a wish list for Santa.

I have a dream! I like asking people that have bought into the Obamacare idea if they can give me ANY example of “good government.” That way, I would have an idea of what to expect when the Doctor says “bend over.”

Would it be the post office? That would be the one that is going bankrupt. Or maybe the military? That would be the military with those $800 toilet seats. Maybe the DMV? I hear that with those appointments you can really get in and out quickly these days. I can visualize one of those DMV ladies saying, “This won’t hurt a bit.”

No, I ascribe to what Henry David Thoreau said: “That government is best which governs least.” Or as Reagan always advocated, government is NOT the solution, it is the problem!

What can we do about it?

I would like to present a bunch of those “if I were king for a day this is what I would do” items.

But more realistically, Newport is in the heart of Orange County, God’s Country, and we ought to set an example of “Good Government” for the county and the rest of the state. Face it, Newport is a pretty good place to live. Why shouldn’t Newport set the example of good government.

First on my list would be to privatize any Government services possible. Unlike our neighbor Costa Mesa, a General Law City and very restricted by Sacramento on what they can and cannot do, we are a Charter City. We have our own constitution, which we just amended, so we have a lot more flexibility.

Let’s start a “Blue Ribbon” Committee. We haven’t had one of those for a while. We can charge it with coming up with ways to privatize, make government more efficient or eliminate services. This could be a citizens committee, not one run by the city Manager. Maybe start with a sun-setting review of all existing ordinances and get rid of the old archaic and useless ordinances.  Then move on to things like privatization from there.

Privatize Government Services.

Here is a partial list on what existing city services we can privatize:

Trash Collection: Most cities have a vendor that does this.

Water and Sewer Services: Most cities have a water district that specializes in this, and there is less chance of taking the reserves meant for utility replacement and using them to cover city shortfalls elsewhere.

Planning, Building and Safety, and Public Work: These can be contracted out, even if the contractors sit in our new Taj-Ma-City-Hall.

Park maintenance, Lifeguards, and Payroll Services: These are other areas that can be examined.

Reforming Government Services: Pension reform should be at the top of the list, as this is where the $360 million of unfunded liabilities are. Starting at the top, get rid of pensions for the city council. Let them have Social Security like the rest of us. Eliminate all defined benefit pensions.  Switch to Social Security or a private defined contribution pension.

Transparency in Government: Another area that we can set an example.

Adopt an ordinance similar to Costa Mesa’s COIN ordinance requiring that the council make public all negotiations with employee unions during the negotiation, not at the end of the process when all has been agreed to. Other areas like this should be explored as well.

I don’t have too big of a wish list, do I? Privatize, reform, and transparency, these all seem to be common sense to me. Now if Santa would just come through….

Any questions, feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Nice wish list, which is exactly what it is. Unfortunately not enough people care enough or want to get involved to change things. But, there will come a time when the people will begin to revolt because of stupid decisions by our politicians. Thanks for writing, to expose some areas that could be changed to improve the cities situation. Good luck accomplishing it.

  2. Scott, thanks for the real and pointed suggestions to make Newport Beach a more financially sound city.

    How about taking a stab at how much could be saved in possible real budget costs with such savings.

    Take trash collection or tree trimmings. The public might be very surprised how much is wasted of their hard earned tax dollars. It would be a slow transition, but they need to look at it for 2013 !

  3. Scott;
    Great stuff, I like your thought process. So why aren’t you running for office? I like that you are in tune with local, state, and federal issues; however, would we be better served having you as a public servant to try and wrestle this huge dinosaur of government we are being squashed by? I know that’s a huge Santa wish list, but hey, our elected officials aren’t fighting for us, so who will?

    While having much faith in my creator, I have very little faith in our government at all levels, I fear our current and past freedoms are now in jeopardy and more draconian laws will make their way into our lives and our rights will be trampled under heavy government foot. I see no end on sight. It seems the elected officials have done an excellent job to get so many people reliant on the government and to vote for more of the same. How do you turn this around when the majority want a “free ride”?

    Santa, can you help?

    Our faith must be placed in a more solid place for our future, and it’s not the government.

  4. Considering that my political views are Liberal and Progressive, I’m surprised that I ever got on your mailing list. I do try to read what you write but the only time I agreed with you was in regard to having fires at the beach. We always did enjoy them.

    Please remove my name from your mailing list. I don’t want to just put you in the dreaded SPAM bucket.

    Have a happy 2013 with our solid Democratic California government, the remaining good Obama years, and the future President Hillary Clinton years.

    Cheers,
    Boris Sojka