First, thanks for understanding on my extended absence. Things have been busy at work, and as you know I only do this in my spare time– but this one is a good one:
About 24 hours ago, I sent a letter regarding Dog Beach to Newport’s City Council and copied in reporters from the DailyPilot, OCRegister, Newport Indy, and the OC Weekly. It’s a bit of a read, but it’s worth it:
Please read this email in its entirety as I do not wish to embarrass our city or our city council.
I am copying media not because this email is a story itself, but because the council has the option of making it become one, and the public should know the full history from the start.
I think there has been some confusion here, as Mayor Dixon told the LA Times’s Daily Pilot she had received “dozens of emails from residents seeking relief”, but after a PRAR was completed on this:
it turned out that neither “dozens” nor “residents” was correct. There were only 4 email threads and they were all from one resident opposed to Dog Beach. One resident. Those emails are attached, here (text files #1, 2, 3, and 5)
The other two emails were from supporters of Dog Beach (text files #4 and 6). I am unsure how one can confuse 4 emails from one person with “dozens of emails from residents” (both plural), but I think we can all agree that the statement was entirely inaccurate, to put it mildly. Later, of course, the story changed from PRAR-subject emails into untraceable “phone calls and public meetings”. I have attended all the Town Hall meetings on the email invite list (except one) and this was never once brought up even remotely. Perhaps all the dozens of people seeking relief made that one meeting that I missed, though.
The survey was launched on 12/8.
On 12/28, the anti-dog tally had just 4 votes.
Inexplicably, when the poll closed on January 7th, the anti-dog vote had risen from 4 to 27– quite an impressive rise! Suspiciously impressive, in fact.
So I looked into it.
The site itself states that there were 210 total votes made by 187 people.
Yeah, you read that correctly.
I compared the 187 number to the number of people listed when you click on it. 187 people are all that are listed. Not 210.
Obviously, this problematic, as it means that there were 23 votes that materialized without being linked to an actual human being.
Incidentally, this is the exact same number that the anti-dog votes increased by—virtually overnight.
Naturally, citizens do not take kindly to these type of vote-counting errors which seem to occur with great frequency in Newport (in fact, even after asking for my vote to be counted on the parking pass debacle– well within the timeline set by the city– the city still denied me my right to vote. As you recall, I brought this up in public session… twice [even during that timeline]). Needless to say, these anonymous polls cause trust issues, especially when 187 people generate 210 votes. To solve these trust issues, I created an alternative way for our citizens to voice their opinion: I set up an online petition which make the names public for all to see. You know– transparency.
Right now, even with the overwhelming negative response to growing government in the government’s own poll, I have collected over 3,700 signatures asking to leave the Dog Beach situation as-is.
Judging by Mayor Dixons responses to citizens as shown in my PRAR request, she does not care about anyone whose name she doesn’t recognize (“I do not recognize the names of many of the residents […] so I am not certain the folks are […] even residents of Newport Beach.”). I find this statement disheartening, to say the least. There were also prior indications that people thought these names could be total fabrications, as Aaron Harp said in the last session where I presented signatures (at that time, it was when then-Mayor Pro Tem Dixon was proposing a discussion to strip property rights from business owners open past 11pm in an effort to thwart what she proclaimed to be hundreds of licensed alcohol-serving establishments on the peninsula open after 11pm… of which it turned out there were less than 20, most of those were restaurants, and some didn’t even serve alcohol, despite their license to do so).
To put everyone’s mind at ease about the authenticity of the citizens who signed this petition, to hopefully allow you all to take these citizen petitions more seriously in the future, and to be sure that all upstream government entities know that Newport saying they are doing a bad job, despite overwhelming public support for the job that OCParks and OC Supervisors are doing here, if this item makes the agenda, I will be ethically forced to do the following:
- Write all the County Supervisors, OC Parks commissioners, and the Coastal Commission, giving them a heads-up as to what Newport is proposing. I think it is only fair and right to allow them to be aware of what Newport is talking about which is in their purview, as I am sure you will agree.
- On that email, I will blind-copy the thousands residents who have signed the petition, and I will encourage them to not just “Reply All” to the email—ensuring the delivery of thousands of emails to those officials—but also to continue to write until their concerns are responded to. I believe this is only fair and right to allow people to be engaged with their politicians, as I am sure you will agree.
- I will also, naturally, inform them of when the Study Session meeting is, so that they can attend and voice their concerns. Even if 5% of petitioners are able to make the during-work-hours study session, that will be a considerable crowd, even for our quarter-billion-dollar city hall—as I’m sure you will agree.
Naturally, if the city goes forward with this and forces me to alert these thousands of people who have indicated their displeasure with the city getting involved with spending taxpayer money to dismantle a zero-dollar amenity to Newport, the email inundation will not be pleasant for anyone involved– including myself, as my email will also be a recipient. I expect that our Board of Supervisors, the Coastal Commission, and our OC Parks reps will not be pleased with Newport Beach politicians batting around such a wildly unpopular idea.
I hope none of you will consider bringing this clearly heated issue with overwhelming opposition (and only one vocal supporter) up to a Study Session, as this entire circus can be easily avoided by simply not wasting tax dollars and practicing the small government principals which you all loudly proclaim to have.
Thanks for fighting to keep government out of our lives,
If you wish to sign the petition to save Newport’s last Dog Beach, you can do so here:
SAVE DOG BEACH!Read the petition
|5,978||Olivia Hodges||May 25, 2017|
|5,977||Dennis ferncez||May 24, 2017|
|5,976||Kevin Grams||May 24, 2017|
|5,975||Sean Grams||May 23, 2017|
|5,974||Diana Kuykendall||May 23, 2017|
|5,973||Troy Knott||May 23, 2017|
|5,972||Pamela Johnson||May 23, 2017|
|5,971||Britten Burdick||May 23, 2017|
|5,970||reyn stokard||May 23, 2017|
|5,969||Ian Campbell||May 23, 2017|
|5,968||Christine Jade||May 23, 2017|
|5,967||madeline miller||May 23, 2017|
|5,966||Carmen Pedreira||May 23, 2017|
|5,965||MARJORIE Manning||May 23, 2017|
|5,964||M Castella||May 22, 2017|
|5,963||Christine Puente||May 22, 2017|
|5,962||Karen Nelson||May 22, 2017|
|5,961||Marjorie Wood||May 22, 2017|
|5,960||Michael Voorhees||May 22, 2017|
|5,959||kristin gustin||May 22, 2017|
|5,958||Tamerra Jarvis||May 22, 2017|
|5,957||Sandra Jacobs||May 22, 2017|
|5,956||Evan Hunt||May 22, 2017|
|5,955||Alicia Gravlin||May 22, 2017|
|5,954||Jill Macfarland||May 22, 2017|
|5,953||Diane Anderson||May 22, 2017|
|5,952||Robert Smith||May 21, 2017|
|5,951||Forest King||May 21, 2017|
|5,950||Robert Blackman||May 21, 2017|
|5,949||Laureen Netherton||May 21, 2017|
|5,948||Cathy Muncey||May 21, 2017|
|5,947||Gerry Beegan||May 21, 2017|
|5,946||Gwen Staats||May 21, 2017|
|5,945||Carrie Bergen||May 21, 2017|
|5,944||Joe Gragg||May 21, 2017|
|5,943||Amanda Garner||May 21, 2017|
|5,942||Taury Person||May 21, 2017|
|5,941||Kelli Henrie||May 21, 2017|
|5,940||Darryl Longabardi||May 21, 2017|
|5,939||Chantel Shearer||May 21, 2017|
|5,938||Barbara Davis||May 21, 2017|
|5,937||Jen Swift||May 21, 2017|
|5,936||Christine Donovan||May 21, 2017|
|5,935||Travis Davidson||May 21, 2017|
|5,934||Shannon Kane||May 21, 2017|
|5,933||sharon elder||May 21, 2017|
|5,932||Heather Ryan||May 21, 2017|
|5,931||Marty Jacobson||May 21, 2017|
|5,930||Alfredo Molina||May 21, 2017|
|5,929||Lesley Vaquerano||May 21, 2017|