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Mailbag: Board member is not using stipend for agency legal tab [updated]

April 12, 2013

Re. "Commentary: Sanitary Board's Ooten pays down legal tab," March 30: I have supported Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) for more than 20 years. I consider Dana and his wife, Rhonda, friends.

After reading Costa Mesa Sanitary District Director Bob Ooten's painfully twisted explanation of his non-payment of legal fees to overturn an election, I have found a new horse to back for Congress. Sorry, Congressman Rohrabacher.

Ooten has figured out how to work the system better than anyone I have ever witnessed. He and his misguided colleagues on the sewer board used taxpayer dollars to hire a law firm to sue a fellow elected board member (Jim Fitzpatrick) because they didn't like him.

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Though Fitzpatrick resigned, they basically tossed him out of office and overturned the will of the people. And they used your money to do it. That's the kind of guy we want working for us for us in Congress.

The crime, according to Ooten, was that his colleague, Fitzpatrick, provided too much public service. In Ootenville, public service is rationed only to the things he advocates.

Back to why I support Ooten for Congress. Ooten said he would pay for one-fifth of the legal fees to rid the sewer district of the evil colleague who over-served the public. What a stand-up guy, I thought. Crafty and cunning, with a conscience — the perfect congressman.

According to his commentary, Ooten is paying the legal tab by not taking his $221 stipend for meetings he doesn't attend.

He's not personally paying a nickel of the legal fees. The sewer district's ratepayers have been duped again.

Only in Washington do you pay your bills with money that doesn't exist. It seems that Ooten has already mastered the federal budget process.

David Ellis

Newport Beach

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Missing hikers

I was happy to note that the Orange County Sheriff's Department concluded that the hikers got a free pass on the costs associated with their rescue! Your article went a lot further, with details not included in the letter in the April 10 edition (April 8 online) referencing the expenses involved.

Our schools are begging for funds, and we need to train the up-and-coming young adults in common sense apart from the three "Rs." If we don't, it will only lead to more costly rescues down the line. Did our sheriff get clearance from other organizations whose people lost Easter with their families to rescue these selfish adolescents? Just wondering.

David Young

Newport Beach

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Political fire pit

The beaches are forever public and not the front yards of those privileged beachfront dwellers. If they really care about air quality, then let's start with the big factories that belch tons of coal and petroleum carbon emissions into our atmosphere. On a list of the world's 50 most serious offenders, bonfires would be near the bottom. After all, bonfires have been around since the caveman, but Mother Earth never had air quality problems until the Industrial Age arrived.

Richard Reinbolt

Huntington Beach

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