If I could teach the Newport Beach City Council one thing, it would be that we expect transparency from City government.
Transparency in government means that what you see is what you get, and it is the opposite of what the Newport Beach City Council has done with Measure Y.
Measure Y exists only to obtain voter approval for the extensive new development in the Fashion Island and airport area.
However, if you read the ballot summary, the City Attorney’s “impartial analysis” or any of the city’s elections materials on Measure Y, you won’t find one word about the new development. Not one word.
Instead, the ballot summary asks voters if they would like to remove 375,000 square feet of development and 2,922 daily traffic trips.
I respect that different people have different priorities in this world, and that a City Council may well value the expansion of business and development as a top priority. My priority is clearly different from that, but in a democracy we each are allowed to hold and promote our individual views. So, the fact that the Council has chosen to seek new developments in Fashion Island and the airport is well within my ethical paradigm.
However, in doing so, my expectation is that there would be a truly open and impartial description of facts impacting this election. I would define impartial as the presentation of all the facts, provided to the public without spin, so that each voter can draw their own conclusions.
Using this definition, the city’s information about Measure Y is clearly not impartial as the facts that are presented are not complete. When the facts are complete and involve the massive additional developments included in Measure Y, the majority of people hearing them develop a different opinion.
In my ethical paradigm, words like impartial, fair and transparent are words to live by, not some antiquated notion to be evaded with a legal loophole.
In my ethical paradigm, elected representatives are responsive to their constituents and not just The Irvine Company.
This election benefits no one but The Irvine Company. The rest of us just get traffic. It would be nice if the City Council had the ethics and transparency to not hide the true intent of this election because what we see is not what we get with Measure Y.