city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

council member  v  newport beach, california

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council member

Nancy Gardner


City of Newport Beach

100 Civic Center Drive

Newport Beach, CA  92660





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LAST & FINAL UPDATE:  12/01/2014

So--the end of a particular journey.  I thought it would be a rather nice touch if city employees threw themselves on a funeral pyre in grief at my departure from city government, but they have been satisfied with shaking my hand and waving goodbye.  I should probably be happy with that.  Two more weeks and they'll have trouble remembering my name.  Since this is my last newsletter, I want to thank all of you who have read it and communicated about various and sundry issues.  I could have done without some of the communications ("Thanks for nothing . . . you personally disgust me.  ps:  your departure can't, and didn't come soon enough."), but those are rare.  For the most part it has been a dialogue marked by good nature, thoughtfulness and a shared love of the city.

When Debra Allen and Jan DeBay asked me for coffee eight years ago, I figured they wanted me to do something, but I wasn't prepared for what that was--running for council.  I can't say it was an idea that was instantly appealing.  Council meetings?  Yes.  Committees?  Sure.  Interaction with residents?  Of course.  Social events?  You mean, not sit home with my book?  Go out to some affair to which I would not be invited except for my title? Uhhhhh.  My husband convinced me it would be fine (meanwhile arranging his own schedule so as to be unavailable 90% of the time), so I agreed, and off we went, running a campaign that blatantly played on my most notable asset--being Judge Gardner's daughter.  Every other line I uttered began with some version of, "Judge Gardner, my father . . .”  which proved to be a winning formula.


Copyright  2014   v  Nancy Gardner    v   All Rights Reserved


I was right.  The Council meetings were interesting.  The committees involving.  The interaction with residents mostly rewarding (see "you personally disgust me" above, for the exceptions), but that other stuff . . .  well, it wasn't as difficult as I thought because the majority of the time, the rest of the people at the event were just as invested in the city as I and so we had lots to talk about.   And then there were my fellow council members.  When you think of seven disparate personalities who probably wouldn't be associating if they weren't on the council, it's amazing how well we worked together.  There wasn't a lot of ego.  If someone disagreed with me, I knew they were wrong, of course, but I also knew it was about seeing an issue differently, nothing else.  Even after some pretty sharp arguments, after the vote we put it behind us.  I'm really grateful for that.  I look at other cities and the acrimony they experience, and I don't know if I could have handled two terms under those circumstances.

We have four new council members coming on.  I wish a few of them had longer histories with the city and/or their district, but I'm sure they'll be quick learners who will serve the city well.  Certainly I feel good about the state of the city that they will soon be directing.

AND SO . . .
I feel like there should be some socko finish, some memorable closing words, but I am not Shakespeare or Auden or even W. C. Fields, so let me just say  to those of you for whom I didn't leave soon enough (see "you personally  etc." above), all right, already.  I'm leaving.  And for the rest of you, thank you for all of your support these eight years.  We have disagreed at times but often found common ground, and together we have accomplished quite a lot.