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What Do YOU Think: Where Should Newport Build Its City Hall?

“They forced us into it – we didn’t want to do this,” lead proponent Bill Ficker said.”If not listening to (Ficker) means not agreeing with him, I guess he might have a point,” said Hugh Logan, a leader of the opposition campaign.

For all the excitement over California’s Presidential Primary happening next Tuesday, there’s another ballot decision to be made that’s generating quite a bit of excitement in one OC city. Next Tuesday, voters in Newport Beach will be voting on where to build a new city hall.

Yes, that’s right… How Newport Beach votes on Measure B will decide whether or not Newport’s new city hall will be built on an empty stretch of land near the city library, sandwiched between Avocado Road and MacArthur Blvd in Newport Center. Proponents of Measure B say the new city hall should be built on this land, as the city already owns the land and this option would be much cheaper than trying to buy other property to build the new city hall. However opponents say that the real fiscally responsible option would be to buy a nearby parcel being offered by the Irvine Company, as that would be much cheaper than trying to level the steep hill at the vacant lot to build city hall there… And besides, that land was already promised as a new city park. Both sides claim that the other side is “wasting taxpayer money”, and both sides claim the other side would render the land useless… Either it’s too cumbersome to develop a city hall, or it’s too noisy to be a park.

So what do you think about Newport’s Measure B? Where should the city hall be built? Would it be cheaper to buy land from the Irvine Company, or reshape city owned land near MacArthur Blvd.? Would a bare hillside by a busy street fare better as a park or as city hall?

I want to hear what you have to say. Where should Newport build City Hall? Go ahead and have your say.