During the last election cycle, we voted in four new people, ousting the current mayor. The theme behind it all? That the current city council was overspending. The sitting mayor was ousted by a resounding two-thirds of the population who all demanded fiscal responsibility.
Now, it has come time to put the money where their mouth is. The annual budget is set to be voted on today. The tension and drumrolls have been mounting to see whether or not our newly elected officials will spend more or spend less than the $278.6 million spending from last year. They currently have a $282.4 million spending plan in front of them, an increase in spending of $3.8 million.
They are also set to vote– as part of that plan– to grow the public employee unions by adding four new police officers at a cost of $800,000 annually– making the $250k bunnies look like pennies by comparison. This is especially odd considering we had the lowest crime rate in the history of Newport Beach last year– and the area that these police officers will be assigned will be Balboa Peninsula– which dropped over 50% faster in crime than the average of all other areas last year.
Tonight’s vote will be the definitive answer on our council, and really put them to the test. Will they vote to cut some of the items? Or will they merely rubberstamp the budget?
We will know tonight. The city council meeting begins at 7pm tonight, in the new Newport Council chambers, at 100 Civic Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660.