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Mailbag: Newport mayor overlooks unfunded pension liability

February 14, 2013

Re. "Outlook is sunny for Newport" (Feb. 10):

If Newport Beach is so "financially strong and economically vibrant," why does Stanford University think tank research show Newport Beach's current unfunded pension liability at $256 million or $2,983 per resident?

Mayor Keith Curry's answer is that "more needs to be done" to cut costs. Really? And, if I'm not mistaken, Newport Beach contracted with Stanford for this particular independent analysis.

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What, with other city waste and mismanagement, is it any wonder why many Newport Beach residents succumb to the "temptation to be part of the cynical and disengaged" as Curry would put it? Why don't you set the record straight about Newport Beach's so-called "golden future."

Kent Moore

Corona del Mar

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Untimely headline

The girls soccer headline Feb. 13 ("Sage Hill survives in shootout") was in rather poor taste considering the front-page headlines in The Times about the horrific manhunt and four dead. What was the page editor thinking? And another thing, "girls soccer" should not have an apostrophe. "Girls' soccer" assumes that the girls own the team or possibly the ball. "Girls soccer" would be correct for a team consisting of several girls. Invest in a set of proper style books for your editing staff and a refresher course on good taste.

Lenard Davis

Newport Beach

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Commission appointments

Former Mayor Sandra Genis — now a council member again — is not to be trifled with. Her tenacious thoroughness in fleshing out details, and her strong institutional knowledge of policies and procedures, is going to make life much more complicated for Mayor Jim Righeimer and his pals on the dais. She's actually going to make them follow the rules.

That tenacity and thoroughness resulted in the council agreeing to do the right thing and re-hear Feb. 19 the appointments of former Costa Mesa Sanitary District Director Jim Fitzpatrick and Auto Club lawyer Timothy Sesler, who were appointed to the Planning Commission at the previous meeting. And they will also deal with the appointment of a replacement for Commissioner Ed Salcedo, who resigned one day before the previous meeting. Current Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy had been selected for that two-year term.

And, if the selection process for the four Parks and Recreation commissioners is any indication, the presumed coalitions on the dais — the boys and the girls — may not be quite as tight as some may have assumed. That's a good thing, in my opinion. It's a good thing if there are fractures in the factions; it may make for more healthy debates on issues and better votes as a result. It certainly did make for interesting watching.

Geoff West

Costa Mesa

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