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Letters to the Editor

Lisa Pearson is the candidate we need as District 4 Area Trustee for NMUSD

One question before voters shortly will be who will take Karen Yelsey’s place on the NMUSD School Board Area 4. Over her tenure on the board, Karen has been an engaged, dedicated and fearless leader for our schools and our community. We need to elect a person who, like Karen, will put the welfare and educational needs of the students above all else. 

I believe that the perfect person to fill this seat is Lisa Pearson. I became friends with Lisa when our kids were in school together at CdMHS. Lisa and I served on the PTA together and I saw first-hand how effective a leader Lisa is. 

Lisa has the credentials and the experience to step into the role as a trustee with a dual master’s degree in Education and School Administration, as well as many years of hands-on experience as a teacher and volunteer in our local schools. But more importantly, Lisa is the perfect candidate to fill this role because she is sincere, honest, trustworthy, thoughtful and fair. She will be a voice of reason and logic on the school board. Lisa will work well with teachers and administrators. She will use her background and education to improve upon our district’s educational excellence. Lisa will be an advocate of every student and work to ensure each child has access to the best possible resources and educational programs offered. 

The last few years have been challenging for students across the country with a pandemic that upended daily routines and school schedules for children of all ages. During this period, the NMUSD school board rose to the challenge of ensuring every resource was made available to keep students engaged. Once restrictions were lifted, the School Board quickly implemented a number of reengagement activities like additional summer school programs to help get the students back to socializing and learning. 

As our school community emerges from the COVID crisis, Lisa knows that her immediate focus as a trustee will be to address the mental health issues and educational setbacks students have had to endure during that difficult time. Lisa will excel at managing this aspect of her job and I am confident she has the correct temperament and grasp of the situation to ensure a robust recovery for our school district and children. 

I’m concerned about the candidates running against Lisa because their rhetoric is to paint the narrative that the school board was harming our children during the uncharted period of COVID. Our school board worked tirelessly to reopen our schools safely and earlier than most other districts in Orange County. We cannot continue accepting these false narratives when our children have already lost so much.   

Lisa knows her job will be to ensure each and every child in our district receives the opportunity to live and learn in an environment without fear or intimidation and in an environment that allows children to strive, succeed and be happy. I strongly recommend that you vote for my friend, Lisa Pearson Trustee Area 4. 

Sue Ellen O’Connor

Newport Beach

Scheduling conflicts apparently “excuse” others, while Lisa Pearson continues to show up

One of the most important things for an effective leader to do is to show up. Showing up means being there, caring and staying, even when it isn’t convenient. It doesn’t mean showing up for a few minutes and leaving. By showing up you earn my vote.

I’ve watched our school board candidates these past several weeks and the pattern of showing up or not showing up is glaring. At the community based “Next Up Newport” candidate forum last Sunday, Lisa Pearson attended and participated in the entire event. The next night, at the Harbor Council PTA candidate forum, Lisa Pearson attended and participated in the entire event. Her primary opponent cited scheduling conflicts and did not attend either forum. 

At this week’s State of the Schools Breakfast, Lisa Pearsonand the other guests stayed to enjoy encouraging reports from high school ASB presidents,school principals and Superintendent Wesley Smith. Lisa’s primary opponent took pictures and left before the program got going. Perhaps she had a scheduling conflict.

This pattern is meaningful. For a candidate who has shown up for a long list of out-of-town political figures, to decline invitations to impartial school board candidate forums or to drop in and out of the annual district-wide school celebration speaks volumes to one’s priorities.

By contrast, Lisa Pearson is showing up. As a member of our schools’ PTAs, she attends the PTA and School Foundation meetings, listening to what is important to parents. Whether it’s being welcomed by parents and students at a CdM football or volleyball game, or the recent fall musical performances, Lisa is showing up, staying through the events, and making sure the families and students feel cared for. 

I’m confident that she will do that and much more when she is elected to our school board. I watched her do it for years at the Lincoln and CdM PTA Executive Boards. Lisa doesn’t do part time. She’s a full-timer. 

To be an exceptional school board trustee, one must treat it like a full-time job. That’s what Lisa will do…because she doesn’t believe in scheduling conflicts. She believes in showing up…and she’s earned my vote.

Amber Snider

Newport Coast

Team Newport is lashing out against Tom Miller because they need a fourth vote

Team Newport is lashing out at Tom Miller in the exact same way it attacked those who opposed Measure B, the disastrous Will O’Neill initiative that voters defeated in a landslide earlier this year.

What exactly is Team Newport? 

It is, first and foremost, a voting block on our city council, a group of four councilmen who have played fast and loose with zoning laws, tried to undermine Greenlight and accepted large donations from special interests including developers with huge projects they want to build in Newport. These councilmen have made our city less transparent and less responsive to voters. Many of their decisions are self-serving. Others are simply embarrassingly wrong, like making Noah Blom mayor pro tem over Joy Brenner.

Will O’Neill has been working hard in recent months to secure a new four-vote block. For that, he needs Tom’s opponent to win. The fact is that Tom Miller’s election will leave Team Newport with a lot less power. Which is why the attacks against him are escalating.

In this election, you have a stark choice. You can vote for the same old politics and politicians.

Or, you can elect someone like Tom Miller, who will listen to you and represent your needs rather than those of deep-pocketed developers and special interests. 

Tom is a successful self-made businessman who is funding his own campaign. He is running for the sole purpose of bringing real representation and service to our community.

Let’s usher in a new era on November 8th by electing independent voices whose actions only reflect the concerns and aspirations of our residents and businesses and the wisdom of our city charter.

I encourage you all to choose Tom Miller for a new, refreshing change!

Lynn Swain

Newport Beach

Joe Stapleton is the one for Newport

I have known Joe Stapleton for almost a decade now and am supporting him for Newport Beach City Council. I have served on the Newport Beach Foundation Board with him for the last several years and have seen his work ethic firsthand. He is committed to service and most importantly serving his community. 

All politics is local and elections matter. Some of the reasons I am supporting Joe Stapleton:

–He is accessible, always answers his phone and gets back to people in a timely manner.

–He is uniquely familiar with the City of Newport Beach, as he has already volunteered his time, energy and resources serving the community.

–He is young, energetic, passionate about serving and supportive of the Arts. 

–His profession, financial planning and wealth management give him the knowledge base to understand intergenerational planning as well as understand concepts to help build financial security for our community.

Most importantly, our police, firefighters and lifeguards all support Joe. Currently, crime and homelessness are on the rise in all California cities. I trust Joe to do what is right when it comes to public safety and find compassionate and effective solutions to the homelessness crisis we are facing as a community.

Meghan E. McNulty, Esq.

Newport Beach Foundation Board Member

Newport Beach City Arts Commissioner 

Don’t buy into dirty campaign messages against Katie Porter

Katie Porter – I wonder how many people have noticed the appalling video ads that Scott Baugh and some Republicans are running against Katie Porter. The ads aren’t just misleading, like showing Katie talking while some other woman’s voice is telling the lies as if coming out of Katie’s mouth. Or if Katie wanted to defund the police as some ads say, why did she and Michelle Steel collaborate on legislation to fund police and police training? 

I wish I could say it is just the nonsense of the “silly season” as George W. Bush would call it but it is too dangerous and ugly to be nonsense. 

I hope residents of this congressional district want someone intelligent who has positive ideas and solutions instead of vicious attack ads.

Linda Watkins

Newport Beach

Important City Council election…do your homework…and make an informed vote

The upcoming Newport Beach City Council election is probably the most important City Council election ever!

It is a pivotal election with a guaranteed change to the City Council majority. Four of the seven Council seats are up for election and you have the power to choose who will fill them. In two more years, several more councilmembers are termed out giving us all new faces to trust running our city. 

No matter what people/candidates tell you, there will be a new City Council majority. These newly elected individuals will set policy for the city and direct the City Manager in her operation of the departments. Policy is what determines how often streets are paved, trees are trimmed, what programs are offered to residents and your kids, how the money is spent and how much to save for a rainy day. 

Policy is how hard they are going to fight for us to maintain the airport curfew and fight expansion of the runway. We already lost the first battle with the airport and soon the private jet expansion will be flying over our homes potentially throughout the night. 

I was a proponent of fighting the general aviation expansion until a separate curfew was enacted for the private jets. The current council did not take that path. The wrong City Councilmembers will not have the leadership skills to direct the city through this future airport negotiation and potentially a litigation process, or passing legislation through the Federal Government. I can’t imagine living here with jets overhead throughout the night. This is the council that will be facing this battle.

I recently had the honor of moderating a Newport Beach City Council candidate forum on Balboa Island. My takeaway from the forum was that we have some very good candidates interested in serving on the council. All of the candidates have strengths and weaknesses and we have the responsibility of deciding which candidates best represent future policy direction of the City of Newport Beach. Most candidates are conservative and all possess different skills and philosophies.

Before you vote, please do some of the following to make an informed decision. If you have not met the candidates, watch one of the public forums posted on the internet. 

This one is the easiest to find, so watch this one of the City Council Forum on August 18 at Wake Up Newport.

All of the candidates have web sites. Go to their sites and email questions. Most will answer your emails. Talk to your informed neighbors and people that know about our local government activities. Look at endorsements. This is actually more important than you think. Look for respected individuals or groups such as past city elected officials that you feel did a good job on the City Council and support a candidate. These people want only what is best for the city. 

This election will set Newport Beach public policy direction for many years. Don’t base you decision on who voted for the elected mayor (old news) or who is a friend with whom. This has nothing to do with the best candidate to serve our community and this can easily change as soon as these four new elected individuals get up to speed related to their job on the City Council. 

If the wrong candidates are elected, we will all be stuck because of our ignorance. Pick correctly and the city will continue to move in a positive direction. For the 30,000 of us impacted by airport noise and pollution I hope we pick the right people. The last date to register to vote is October 24. Please make an informed vote.

Lee Pearl

Balboa Island


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