Advice for newly annexed neighbors
By JOSEPH N. BELL - DP 7/24/07
Sometimes we do learn from history. Like Tuesday night when the Newport Beach City Council finally put a stamp on the city hall vs. park dispute that has been cluttering the Pilot's "Forum" pages for almost as long as the El Toro airport flap — and was beginning to take on some of the same colorations. Anybody else notice that?
Think back a moment. Building a commercial airport in El Toro was voted on twice. And our side won twice. The airport was in, but the other side had an unbeatable strategy. Just keep calling for new elections until they finally win one. And pour whatever money and muscle is required to achieve that end, starting with hired guns to stand outside supermarkets with petitions to sign.
So until Tuesday, history seemed to be repeating itself — as it is prone to do if not taken on frontally. That didn't happen when the chips were down with El Toro. So we now have a balloon ride over a mythical Great Park and a zillion dollars' worth of upscale new homes instead of a sorely needed airport as a result.
In case the parallel isn't clear, prior to Tuesday the Newport Beach City Council three times voted that the park behind the library should remain a park and not the site of a new city hall. Now there is a fourth vote with a similar result — which didn't happen with El Toro. But the money and muscle are still out there to supersede through a public election — where they can be most effective — the decisions that are properly being made by the council. Last I saw, the petition solicitors were still in front of the supermarkets. So there is one more step to take.
This is an issue that has now been decided four times by the city council. That shouldn't be necessary again. The decisions that remain to be made should be made by the council — and certainly not by the 15% of the citizenry that would vote in a popularity contest for the site of a new city hall.
JOSEPH N. BELL lives in Santa Ana Heights. His column runs Thursdays.
http://www.dailypilot.com/articles/2007 ... ogcomments
dan wrote on Jul 31, 2007 10:38 AM:
" I'm with you! we need more noise and pollution from another airport. I can't seem to get my fix of it. Just thinking of all the burning jet fuel and roaring jet engines makes my blood tingle. Where did we go wrong? "
Flyer wrote on Aug 1, 2007 8:14 AM:
" "dan" we went wrong in not finding a location far from Newport-Mesa. But, it's not too late, if we elect the right people to start things moving. The alternative is an ever larger JWA. It's on its way to being a new LAX . Those fine folks such as Joe Bell ,who live below the flight path, with their wine and cheese parties, may have a tony Newport Beach address now, but that area will be a wasteland if a new airport location isn't found. "
Kevin wrote on Aug 1, 2007 11:45 AM:
" While I normally enjoy this column, I find it humerous that it seems to support the idea of a park in Newport as opposed to a public service facility, whereas the addition of a park at El Toro is frowned upon as it prevents the construction of the cherished public service facility. Of course, this "not in my backyard" mentality is disguised behind a criticism of the procedures, rather the concepts. "