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Letters to the Editor

Why we support the re-election of Joy Brenner

Four years ago, the citizens of Newport Beach elected Joy Brenner to the City Council. In response to the faith the voters showed in Joy’s leadership and ability, the community has been rewarded with her steady and thoughtful representation. The four years of her tenure have shown her honest, practical and transparent approach to the management of our great city. 

As a longtime resident and extensive volunteer in the community, Joy has continuously demonstrated a concern for all citizens and their points of view as she has listened and been respectful of all opinions before making her decision. At the same time, because Joy has worked extensively in the community before becoming a council person, she has the necessary institutional knowledge which allows her to weigh the long-time interests of the city as she makes her decision and makes her presence on the city council even more valuable.   

Joy is seeking re-election to the council. In addition to the qualities that led to her election, she has the additional benefit of four years’ council experience. It is accordingly sad to see, as noted in editor Tom Johnson’s most recent column, that Joy has been the subject of vicious and personal attacks in her re-election bid. Four years ago, Joy was similarly attacked but rose above those negative campaign tactics with a characteristic demonstration of grace and integrity. 

Joy is a person whose concern is always what is best for the city and its residents and she never places her own interests above that. Elected to a second term, she will do her utmost to steadfastly improve and preserve the city we call Newport Beach. That is why we are supporting Joy Brenner for City Council.    

Clarence Turner

Former Mayor, Newport Beach

Thomas C. Edwards

Former Mayor, Newport Beach

Nancy Gardner

Former Mayor, Newport Beach

Time to elect individuals and not more teams

The saying goes, “Those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it.” Let’s consider that adage from a local perspective to see how it pertains to upcoming council elections in Newport Beach.   

As I remarked in a previous letter, Jim Mosher is one of the only, if not the only, candidate who attends council sessions. You will not learn any gossip or misinformation from him. As a scientist, he will only give you the cold hard facts. And since I became a council watcher when I retired 10+ years ago, I can attest to some of those facts being pretty hard and cold.

I am not only referring to candidates for council, but also to residents of Newport Beach about not repeating mistakes from the past. If you don’t know anything about our council past and present, I would greatly urge you to learn what you can before you vote. 

For instance, if you know anyone who was an active citizen eight to 10 years ago, you would learn that the campaign literature could be filled with false claims and innuendo. Fortunately, in the last election, the campaign literature had improved. So, let’s hope that the days of smears and falsehoods have left us. 

Unfortunately, the most aggravating tradition of trying to establish a “‘team” of councilmembers who vote as a block has not. It has continued and seems to be an issue in this election as well. 

The “Newport Team” over the last several years does not really have many successes to brag about, particularly this last season. Their handling of the pandemic, particularly in the beginning, left much to be desired. They acted as if it never existed as a health hazard. Fortunately, people in higher places made decisions that prevailed and protected citizens. 

Only those who “supported the team” were able to get volunteer positions in city government. It all came down to who you knew. Finally, the team’s unsuccessful attempt to change the governmental structure in Newport to an elected mayorship cost the city thousands upon thousands of dollars.

It is time to elect individuals, not teams, who care more about Newport Beach than they do about personal power. And it is time to do away with block voting. 

We are very lucky to have some strong new candidates who are NOT supported by Team Newport. And we have a return Councilmember Joy Brenner, who represents the epitome of what a Newport Beach representative should be. 

Don’t just listen to others. Do your own research. Check out the archives on local news sites. Avail yourselves of objective information about Newport’s history. And weigh all the facts before you make your own decisions.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach

Presentation of Stapleton “lie” by Tom Johnson, former mayors’ letter and origination of donors causing concern

As my friends and neighbors know, I take the job of “citizen” very seriously. I do not merely complain about challenges facing my community and neighborhood; I actively seek solutions, and I am never hesitant to write letters, make calls, or circulate petitions. So, I wrote a letter to the editor of Stu News disagreeing with the way Joe Stapleton’s lie was presented. My letter clearly said that what Joe did as a 20-year-old is not the issue. He lied on an application directly related to the campaign of today. That is my issue.

I resent the letter signed by four ex-mayors which appeared in Stu News, the Newport Independent and the Daily Pilot which characterized the letters written about Joe Stapleton’s lie, which would include mine, as “shrill” and the writers, which would include me, as mudslingers who are surrogates of the Miller campaign. My letter was straightforward, reflecting my opinion about Tom Johnson’s presentation, without being shrill. I am not a surrogate! Just as Tom Johnson focused solely on the actions of a 20-year-old Joe, totally ignoring the lie he told, so did the ex-mayors. 

Which brings me to the point of my letter today. In the last Stu News, Tom Johnson reported on the neighborhood canvassing being done by Tom Miller. Having candidates and ultimately councilmembers who are devoted to their constituents they represent is paramount to me. I went through the most recent campaign disclosures of Form 460 for the period ending June 30, 2022, posted on the City of Newport Beach website for anyone to see. Of Joe Stapleton’s donations of $100 or more listed for that period, $50,120 is from OUTSIDE of Newport Beach or outside of California, as compared to Tom Miller’s report showing only $14,750 from outside the city and state. Nearly 1/4 of Stapleton’s donors are from the District #4 ZIP code 92660...twice as many as his donors in District #1 that he says he wants to represent. I am a resident of District #1 and a retired teacher and high school guidance counselor. I want someone who will represent me, not district #4, and someone who will represent “regular” hardworking folks here on the peninsula, not just the wealthy. One-third of Joe Stapleton’s reported donors are wealth managers, consultants, and real estate developers and investors. I can see teachers, firefighters, nurses and physicians listed in the Miller campaign. 

We will disagree on policies and decisions, but we must never disagree on how a councilmember represents his/her district and people. I spend these hours researching candidates so I know what they value, who they are associated with; all reflected in the donations to their campaigns. In this way, I gain insight into how they will represent me and people like me in the District. In any campaign, it is unacceptable that the majority of donors and monies comes from outside the very place a candidate wants to represent. Candidates should fundraise from their constituents to show the actual support they have from their constituents, not from special interests who will garner favors and special treatment if elected. 

Kathy Frazer

Newport Beach

Asking our Assembly candidates two questions

Because two talented women are running for the Assembly from the 72nd District, I’d like to know where Diane Dixon and Judie Mancuso stand on the following two issues. First, what were their reactions to the Supreme Court’s ruling to reverse Roe v. Wade; and second, how will each of them vote on Prop. 1, the women’s equality amendment this fall? 

As a mother and grandmother, I’d like to hear from both candidates. I have a feeling a lot of other women in Laguna would like to know the answers to my questions as well.

Diane Kloke

Laguna Beach


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