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Mailbag:

Start by cutting the fat inside City Hall

October 16, 2009

After reading the decision by Newport Beach council members to move forward with cutting city employee jobs (“Early retirements could save $1.2M,” Oct. 14) it is apparent that former City Manager Homer Bludau left at the right time.

Everyone is facing cutbacks and financial setbacks, even the wealthy.

Not even Newport Beach is immune, as echoed in the sentiments of the council members who are in agreement that they must make efforts to cut city costs.

If Newport Beach wants to recover from the economic downturn and budget shortfalls then it needs to do so fairly and justly without special interest and hypocrisy.

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Meaning, the city cannot start at the bottom with their cuts, they need to start at the top and work their way down across the entire board. All city employees should get a 5% to 10% cut in their salary, including the city manager, fire and police employees. The city manager’s priority should be to identify and eliminate the genuine sources of waste and the do-nothing employees and supervisors who are only there to milk the system to collect their easy money. Those who still have a job should be grateful, despite taking a cut in pay.

Honest hard work is good for the soul. Just ask [City Manager] Dave Kiff. Kiff is a genuine hands-on, do-it-all kind of guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and he is so efficient and productive that he would have no problem doing the tasks of both assistant city manager and city manager.

In just the city manager’s position alone the city can save a substantial amount of money. Why does the city need to loan the city manager money to buy a house in Newport and pay a car allowance when he is perfectly happy riding his bike from his home in Laguna Beach? Former Councilman Gary Proctor didn’t live in Newport Beach yet that didn’t prevent him from serving on the council.

And the most mind numbing question is why would the city move forward with a brand new $8-million to $12-million city hall in the midst of budget cuts and city employees losing their jobs and or being coerced into early retirement? It’s about as intelligent as Larry Agran insisting that U.S. taxpayers shell out billions of tax dollars for a Great Park when the Irvine already has 50,000 acres of wild lands parks and countless community parks.

Russ Niewiarowski

Newport Beach

Where do we draw the line on hostility?

I was reading with amusement Chuck Cassity’s farcical piece (“Great job, Mr. President. Really.,” Oct. 15) until I came to his seventh draft. His coming out as a delusional “birther” destroyed any semblance of credibility he may have had. These are the people who unabashedly rejoice in the president’s and, consequently, America’s failure. These are the people who go into fits of uncontrolled rage at any sign of the president’s and, consequently, America’s success. What line does this crowd have to cross before they are considered enemy combatants under the Patriot Act? Or are they exempt as long as they are not Muslims?

Jamshed Dastur

Newport Beach


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