city council district 6 v corona del mar & newport coast
councilwoman v newport beach, california
On March 24, Council spent the better part of a day determining our priorities for the year. We had all submitted a “Top Ten” list in December, and our task was to synthesize them into one list. Since I assume that everything we do is fascinating, I was surprised that there were only a couple of residents attending . . . just kidding.
Why waste a Saturday listening to the seven of us natter?
But we do want feedback on the priorities, so here they are:
Implement the new General Plan
Resolve city hall issue by June 30
Create master plan of capital improvement products by June 30
Develop traffic management plan which includes signal synchronization, roadway improvements, etc.
Create an ongoing process of evaluation of cost of services (Organizational Performance Improvement)
Provide for parks with an emphasis on active and water-oriented facilities
Address recovery homes
Minimize impact of JWA and implement airport policy
Optimize revenues by reviewing and updating fees, improving systems
Improve and protect water quality via a water quality master plan
Improve communications quality with residents by providing more information in more ways
The next step is for staff to come back with proposed steps for each of these for Council to review and then for some sort of public process–of which you are getting a sneak preview.
The Council will focus its attention on these priorities, but there is a second tier that will receive consideration. These include:
Improving customer service from city staff
Obtaining a development agreement on Banning Ranch
Developing Council policy on key staff hiring
Becoming more pro-active in regional issues
Feel free to weigh in on things you feel we have left off the list or included erroneously.
2. Code Enforcement
One of the things I’m looking forward to is a study session on code enforcement. A not-uncommon complaint is that our codes are not enforced uniformly which leads to particular bitterness when you are the one who is cited.
As an example, in residential areas, unless something is clearly a hazard to public safety, enforcement tends to be complaint-based. This makes sense since most residents probably don’t want city staff snooping around searching out every minor violation.
However, this approach does lead to certain inequities. Example: a man in Corona del Mar had a house directly across from the commercial district. He planted a hedge to screen that side. A neighbor complained; code enforcement determined he was in violation of height restrictions, and he had to cut down most of the hedge. Meanwhile, he could walk around town and see dozens of other houses with the same kind of violations, but since no one complained about them they were ignored. We had several interesting conversations about that.
At the last Media and Communications Committee meeting we had a presentation from AT&T which is expanding its fiber optics network so that it can introduce TV/video service and compete with cable. They position this as providing choice and potential savings to customers.
However, the new service would require new, above-ground cabinets next to the existing cabinets which could be an issue for residents in proximity. The company said that there is some flexibility in the location of the boxes but insisted that putting them underground is only possible where there is room for a large, accessible vault.
4. ELVIS HAS NOT LEFT THE BUILDING
I recently attended the Employee Awards Breakfast. This year’s theme was Viva Las Vegas, and the highlight, at least for me, was our city manager in full Elvis regalia–white leather body suit, cape, and aviator glasses.
¯¯ You rock, Homer ¯¯
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Be sure to give us your feedback on the list of priorities that Council has identified for the coming year.
Future Topic Suggestions
This is a two-way process, so please don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas and opinions.
Councilwoman Nancy Gardner
QUALITY OF LIFE Advocate FOR NEWPORT BEACH
City of Newport Beach - 3300 Newport Blvd - Newport Beach, CA 92663
Phone: 949.644.3004 - EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2007 v Nancy Gardner v All Rights Reserved