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Wu: Vote on bridge helps in Newport, hurts in Assembly race

March 31, 2012|By Jack Wu

Well then, last week's column criticizing the Newport Beach council's decision to remove the Corona del Mar fire rings got quite a reception.

I think the only thing I wasn't attacked for was the Reagan quote. Even my attempt at sarcasm regarding the trashy harbor was skewered by my buddy Mike Whitehead, a columnist over at the Newport Beach Independent.

But I must address a couple of mistakes made by my, um, "fans":

No. 1: I'm an opinion columnist, not a reporter, so if you don't like my opinion, don't read it.

No. 2: If you take what I write as gospel, then you need to go back to school for reading comprehension lessons.

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Nevertheless, let's see if I can aggravate the people I didn't last week.

*

Can a Newporter move up?

In my crack research, I've found out that in the 106-year history of Newport Beach, not one sitting City Council member has been elected to a higher office.

And before you say it, "Saint" Marian Bergeson was on the school board when she was elected to the Assembly, while former mayor Judge Steve Bromberg was appointed, which doesn't count as "elected."

Other than that, a few tried, always with no success.

Will Councilwoman Leslie Daigle break that trend?

Will Daigle be able to appease the entire 74th Assembly District with Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Irvine as the major voting blocs, while doing a decent job on the Newport Beach City Council?

After her latest vote, her chances probably got much slimmer.

The headline from the March 28 Daily Pilot could hammer the nail in her coffin, "Newport to sue over 19th Street bridge."

The Orange County Transit Authority, under threat of total anarchy by Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa residents, wiped any trace of a 19th Street bridge from Orange County's Master Plan of Arterial Highways.

They didn't study it, they didn't do any environmental studies, and, as Mayor Nancy Gardner said in an email:

"They chose to eliminate the bridge without looking at the ramifications and without any mitigation. That's not fair to our [Newport Beach] residents."

So that's bad for Newport? Not fair, right?

But the vote to sue was 6 to 1, with Mayor Pro Tem Keith Curry dissenting, and his sound reasoning was right in line with mine:

"I generally oppose public agencies suing other public agencies at the expense of tax dollars on both sides."

But the crazy part of all of this?

Daigle voted in favor of suing OCTA for taking the 19th Street bridge out of the county's Master Plan.

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