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Councilman had duty to speak his mind Newport...

June 01, 2003

Councilman had duty

to speak his mind

Newport Beach Planning Commissioner Ed Selich should probably

rethink his position on whether City Council members should be

allowed to speak at Planning Commission meetings -- either that or

resign ("Commissioners have their say," Friday). The Planning

Commission is no different than any other committee or staff member

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within city government. All are ostensibly responsible to the people.

As we recall, Mayor Steve Bromberg served on the Civil Service Board

of the city for many years and we would find it not improper for the

mayor to give public testimony or ask questions of that body, should

the need arise -- or, for that matter, any member of our elected City

Council.

Selich's finding it an affront to be questioned by anyone seemed

overbearing at best. We might make reference to the city of Los

Angeles, where almost on a daily basis council members address

various committees and commissions (assigned or not) regarding their

actions or future policy considerations unfettered by the sensitivity

of the appointed members. Councilman Dick Nichols had every right and

perhaps duty to follow his own conscience and ask whether he needed

to ask to address the long-term needs of the residents of Newport

Beach.

Selich needs to put his ego aside and get with the program.

RON and ANNA WINSHIP

Newport Beach

Residents lose out in

Costa Mesa -- again

I read with amusement the article of May 24 ("Second-story deal

something of a success") describing how Costa Mesa Mayor Gary Monahan

came to the rescue to mediate a deal between two neighbors concern a

second-story addition.

It's just one more paradox in this city of paradoxical development

decisions. That is, how the city can shoot down one development,

Kohl's, and approve another, 1901 Newport Plaza condos (there's that

Newport cachet, by the way).

Yes, the Rices were definitely penalized for being the first on

their block with a second-story addition even though it ultimately

met all the guidelines set forth. On the other hand, if they had been

a developer wanting to build four-story condos across the street from

one-story houses and for all the rules had to be twisted, they would

have had the city lapping at their door.

We on Bernard street have had our pleas fall on deaf ears. We will

receive no mitigation, financial or otherwise (check out the deal

some of the residents behind Home Depot received). And Monahan, far

from stepping in to help, has pushed the condo project all along. We,

the residents of Bernard Street, have become a sacrificial lamb for

the ultimate good of downtown Costa Mesa. Finally, I want to thank

Councilman Allan Mansoor and those good citizens of Costa Mesa who

have spoken out against this irrational development.

TERRY SHAW

Costa Mesa

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