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Received After Agenda Printed <br />April 9, 2019 <br />Mulvey, Jennifer Item No. 5 <br />Subject: FW: Letter sent to local media <br />From: <> <br />Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 10:19 AM <br />To: Dept - City Council<> <br />Subject: Letter sent to local media <br />Good morning, <br />Please see below a letter signed by 50 residents that will appear in StuNews today. <br />Copies have also been sent to other local news media as background information. <br />Thank you, Jennifer McDonald <br />We are shocked that Mayor Diane Dixon plans to create an election reform committee and appoint <br />two fellow Team Newport council members to it but not Jeff Herdman. Campaign finance reform was <br />part of the platform that got Councilman Herdman elected. He was on the original committee formed <br />in 2017 (which never met), and he's the one who asked for it to be reinstated. <br />It was also Herdman who called out the 44 campaign finance violations that appear to have been <br />committed in 2014 by Team Newport members Dixon, Duffy, Peotter and Muldoon, and their <br />campaign consultant and treasurer. They are currently negotiating a settlement with the FPPC. <br />Will O'Neill and Brad Avery are from the second wave of Team Newport and use the same consultant <br />and treasurer. They've been appointed to oversee campaign finance reform despite these ties, and <br />even though they have never, to our knowledge, expressed any interest in the issue. Why doesn't one <br />of them step aside and give his seat to Herdman, who's been talking to the community about this <br />since 2014? <br />The real concern for us is that Team Newport controls five of seven council seats (it was six until Joy <br />Brenner beat Peotter last year) and can use that majority to deny those who have challenged them <br />the chance to serve on committees that will impact future elections. This campaign finance reform <br />committee is only one example. They can also keep passing the mayor and mayor pro tem titles <br />around amongst themselves, which is what they've been doing since 2015. This gives them great <br />power over the agenda as well as commissions and committees. If this game of musical chairs <br />doesn't stop, longterm residents who want to serve on the council merely to give back to the <br />community, like Jeff Herdman, may just become too disgusted to run for office. <br />Maybe it's time for Newport to directly elect its mayor. Or perhaps residents simply need to rise up <br />and demand to see a new face in the mayor's seat next year - someone who's not part of any team <br />and will appoint fellow council members to committees based on their knowledge and their passion <br />rather than political alliances. <br />Jennifer McDonald <br />Nicole Reynolds <br />Bill Cool <br />Portia Weiss <br />