Two newly elected city leaders are following the lead of county, state and federal officials by hiring assistants, albeit with their own money. And Councilman-elect Gary Proctor said he might propose city-funded aides for all council members after he takes office Tuesday.
"I think that the city should pay for [aides] for everybody," Proctor said. The position of City Council member "was designed as a part-time job and it is difficult to do the part-time job without the assistant."
Proctor's proposal, however, is unlikely to become reality because some council members oppose city-funded assistants.
"I prefer to read all my documents and all my packets without an executive summary [provided by an assistant]," said Councilman Tod W. Ridgeway, adding that he spends about 50% to 70% of his time on council-related issues.
Councilwoman Norma Glover, who has made city government her full-time job, said she would like things to continue as before.
"We like to think of [Newport Beach] as a small town," she said, adding that she kept a listed phone number to make it easier for residents to get in touch with her. "I wouldn't want somebody between me and constituents."
Also being sworn in Tuesday are Councilmen-elect John Heffernan and Steve Bromberg.
Heffernan said that he doesn't know whether he'd support city-funded aides.
Bromberg said he thinks council interns are an "excellent idea." But he added that he wants to try a volunteer approach first.