Letter to the editor: Tom Miller is not a politician and that’s a good thing
It has been said that all politics is local, but city government is no place for politicians. It is designed to be non-partisan.
I looked closely at the Newport Beach City Council and Planning Commission when short-term rentals became a concern in my neighborhood. I began to see how an electoral bloc within the council existed and controlled how the city was governed. STR regulations were not on their radar and without the bloc’s four votes, residents had no voice despite most residents supporting the restrictions.
This and two other actions led me to take a closer look at how Newport Beach was ruled by Team Newport:
- Joy Brenner was the most experienced and qualified candidate to be Pro-Tem mayor, but Team Newport voted for the most inexperienced and least qualified candidate for the position. This was done despite countless letters from residents to the city and speeches to council. The bloc had made up its mind and had the votes.
- Measure B was put on the board’s agenda, and ultimately on the ballot, by the Newport team because it had the necessary four votes. Measure B would have brought more politics to the city and made it easier for the bloc to control how the city was governed. The block prevented any discussion or input from the council on the measure. Fortunately, the voters refused. It was a disgraceful waste of money, and it divided the town. The only way to prevent another such effort is to break the bloc through the electoral process.
The voice and will of residents are restricted when council members vote as a unit rather than working as a unit.
I don’t want to worry that not all voices are given equal consideration. I don’t want to attend every city council or planning commission meeting. I want board members to be independent and willing to work with the full board. No backstage deals and no special treatment. Council should encourage resident participation, not discourage it.
At the public candidate forums, a common theme is that the city’s issues are determined by state policy. I won’t disagree, but I will point out that our state is ruled by a super majority. I fear that our current electoral bloc, aka Team Newport, is a de facto super majority.
We need council members who vote and act independently and do what is best for the city as a whole and not the result of approvals and entitlements.
Our nation, state and city need more leaders and fewer politicians and that’s why my vote goes to Tom Miller.
Gary Cruz/Newport Beach