Facing at minimum a $10-million budget shortfall combined with weekly announcements of service cutbacks, the city of Newport Beach and its elected officials continue at breakneck pace to deliver a City Hall/Community Center without regard to proper budgeting or controls.
In a city filled with world-class developers, architects and contractors, there has been a complete lack of transparency by city officials to allow the community to see the detail — or lack thereof — of contracts and pertinent minutes that affect the community and its taxpayers directly. The city is pushing for funding commitments this year without having completed plans or bids under the guise that possible bond funding could miraculously dry up. This preposterous argument is unfounded and erroneous.
It is time to take a few steps back and work on behalf of the community to deliver the project the correct way with proper design times, scheduling, budgeting and bidding. The city should fully complete the plans and specifications, bid the plans to eliminate as many contingencies as possible, which in turn will result in taxpayer savings.