Newport Beach City Hall and Bunnies, photo by Mike Glenn
Newport Beach City Hall and Bunnies, photo by Mike Glenn

What in the Heck is Happening at City Hall?

Over the years, our small town has lost touch with not just its roots– but the people itself.  Today, the city operates as a ruling class over the citizens, rather a government run for the people, by the people.  Some examples, you might ask?

1) Back Bay Buoys.

For years, the buoys on the back bay have wound up ensnared in the propellers of boats.  Why?  Because the boats were running over the unlit buoys at night, and the darkness of the back bay didn’t help the situation at all.  So, about 3 years ago, people who love boating, their boats, the city, and solutions came up with an idea to fix it.  These intrepid problem-solvers found solar-powered lights that would last all night and were just the right size to tape to the top of the buoys– so they did!  And it worked perfectly.  You might be asking yourself what kind of honors the city bestowed upon these brilliant engineers?  Did they get issued the key to the city?  Lifetime passes for bilge dumping?  Did they get their names engraved on the newest monuments that city council builds for themselves?  Or at least their names in sharpie on a buoy?  No.  The city declared these helpful guidance beacons as an unlicensed nuisance and removed them all, pitching the buoys back into darkness.  Because that’s how the city operates now’days.

2) Bike theft
Since the State of California passed Prop 47 (the “catch and release” law), petty criminals have a lot less to worry about.  They can commit small crimes, get arrested, and be back out committing those very same crimes again on that very same day.  In Newport Beach– where a huge (and often unreported) portion of our crime is bike theft– this means that bike thieves now run wild, especially in the summertime.  They can steal bikes on a whim, and if they get caught, they’ll steal more that very same afternoon.  Why?  Because bike theft doesn’t amount to enough of a dollar amount to keep them locked up.  As a solution to this, about 2 years ago, the owner of the worlds most prominent electric bike company (name unmentioned here because I’m criticizing the very city he tried to help) asked me to offer the city about $10,000 in electric bikes to use as “Bait Bikes”.  These bikes were priced at about $2500 each, and any criminal stealing them would then be forced to do real time, removing them from our streets– hopefully– for good.  The police’s response?  They “don’t have time” for doing things like that.  It seems to me that locating a criminal by his GPS location doesn’t really take a lot of investigative time, and for a city that is over $2 billion in debt with a debt to income ratio of nearly 10:1 they should be taking all the help they can get!  But hey, I’m sure the politicians have this handled, right?

3) Tickets for Cellphones
As California continues to pass more and more laws regarding safe driving, we all need to keep aware.  This is why the NBPD launched its campaign for ticketing drivers with cellphones in their hand.  However, this wasn’t designed as a warning campaign– this was designed to ticket drivers in accordance with the new law.  Being someone who believes in fair warnings and also being someone who was sitting on a stock of about 1500 cellphone holders I use as part of my “Swag Bag” for business, I contacted the NBPD to offer them 500 air-vent cellphone holders for drivers.  This would not only give the NBPD the ability to give a friendly stop, but also to enable drivers to immediately and permanently fix the problem that they were stopped for– without any further action.  Everyone is safer, police are regarded as the good guys rather than the bad guys, and drivers have something that they can use in their car to hold their cellphone for directions or simply to take a call.  The response I got?  Same as the above: “This is not something that the NBPD wishes to do at this time”.  Apparently, they wanted to write tickets, instead.

Very disappointing.  Not surprising since 6 of the 7 people on council aren’t even from here– some of them moving here less than 6 months before running for office in our city– but still, very disappointing.

Have you had your Good Samaritan efforts shut down by the city?



About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at