After a long recess (and plenty of work, which is most of what drug me away for so long!): I’m back. I apologize for the lack of quality content recently, but I’m back now. Let’s get down to business.
Last night, at the City Council Meeting on 11/19/2019, Mayor Diane Dixon presided over a council meeting that was truly painful to watch. Here was the Agenda.
LIBRARY EXPANSION INTO AN AUDITORIUM ($8.7m):
First up on the docket was a library hall designed to fit hundreds of people in it for lectures. I’m not even joking. Instead of using the Council Chambers, the Community Room, or any of the other private establishments which have offered up their venues, Brad Avery, Diane Dixon, Joy Brenner, Jeff Herdman, Will O’Neill instead voted to spend $637,670.00 to design a $8,000,000.00 building at city hall. Yes, the same city hall that we still owe $200,000,000.00 on. The Friends of the Library said that they would raise half of that cost, but the problem here is that we all know that the city always runs over budget for everything. Additionally, the “half of that cost” has not yet been raised, and if the Balboa Theater is any source of perspective, the likelihood of community members dumping millions of dollars into building something that only about 200 people want to use is slim to none. Expect more financial disasters on this front. I’m prepared to eat my words on this, if needed!
Watch the video, here: https://youtu.be/6_wTTnfHrS8?t=7379
Voting NO were Duffy Duffield and Kevin Muldoon. Thanks to Duffy and Kevin for their good votes on this item.
BRIDGE TO NOWHERE ($8m):
Next, the council voted to place an $8,000,000.00 pedestrian-only bridge to cross a roadway to get to Sunset Ridge Park– a park used pretty much exclusively by the residents of the immediate area. Yes, that’s an eight-million-dollar airborne-crosswalk that they voted on. Who voted for it? All 6 of them– Brad Avery, Diane Dixon, Joy Brenner, Jeff Herdman, Will O’Neill, and Duffy Duffield voted yes. Kevin Muldoon was absent from this vote.
Watch the video, here: https://youtu.be/6_wTTnfHrS8?t=11745
DOUBLING OUR WATER RATES ($45m):
And perhaps the most disastrous vote of all, the city voted to extract $45,000,000.00 of wealth from citizens by doubling the water rates. For those of you unaware, the city’s water is the filthiest in the area, and we have a cheaper, more abundant, and cleaner water source right next door which we could partner with to get water at half the cost, rather than doubling the cost of our water. How? Imagine you and I are on farmland and I build a well. It costs me $1,000/mo to operate this well and clean the water. The water, however, is virtually free– it just comes from the ground. You could build your own well, or you could partner with me to split the cost so we both pay $500/mo for the well. This, in essence, is the same with municipalities. The biggest cost isn’t the water itself, but maintaining operations to pump that water. As we’ve written many times before, we could get cleaner, more sustainable water, at half the cost by partnering with Mesa-Water– their benefit? Their cost for their customers goes down, too! Instead, last night, All 6 of them– Brad Avery, Diane Dixon, Joy Brenner, Jeff Herdman, Will O’Neill, and Duffy Duffield voted to nearly double our water rates.
Watch the video, here: https://youtu.be/6_wTTnfHrS8?t=18182
Special thanks to Kevin Muldoon for being the sole sane vote against this item.
WHO VOTED TO SPEND WHAT*:
|Name, Title, District||Contact Info||How much did they vote to tax/spend this council session?|
|Diane Dixon – Mayor, District email@example.com||$61,700,000.00|
|Brad Avery – Councilmember, District firstname.lastname@example.org||$61,700,000.00|
|Duffy Duffield – Councilmember, District 3||DDuffield@newportbeachca.gov||$53,000,000.00|
|Kevin Muldoon – Councilmember, District email@example.com||$0|
|Jeff Herdman – Councilmember, District firstname.lastname@example.org||$61,700,000.00|
|Joy Brenner, Councilmember, District email@example.com||$61,700,000.00|
|Will O’Neill – Mayor Pro Tem, District firstname.lastname@example.org||$61,700,000.00|
* Note, this is the first time we have broken down who voted to spend what. This is just a look at the items we have reported upon. In the future, this tally will include all votes for all council members for each meeting.