This will be my third newsletter/blog to provide you with an update on current Council business/activities in Newport Beach.
February 14th Study Session
In light of the ever growing Unfunded Liability to the Public Employment Retirement System (PERS), cities statewide are needing to address this issue head on. To that end, our City Manager, Dave Kiff, very wisely did a presentation after which the Council was asked to prioritize a number of capital improvement projects slated for the upcoming fiscal year. One of the projects discussed was the replacement of CdM Library and Fire Station. You may recall that bids received for this project exceeded the amount estimated by the City. At the conclusion of the Study Session the Council gave direction to postpone this project, however, the need for air conditioning, window replacement, and possibly some new furniture was encouraged from a number of community members in attendance. As a result, the Council asked staff to do their best to work these improvements into the 2016/17 budget. The CdM community has also been encouraged to look at the possibility of a public/private partnership in terms of funding for the library. The same is true for the proposed Jr. Life Guard Station on the peninsula – a public/private partnership. More and more of this will be needed as we see a decline in development and the subsequent fees that have for years, supported much of the capital improvement projects throughout out city.
Bayside Drive Traffic Calming
The community meeting held two weeks ago with close to 30 people in attendance representing the communities and neighborhoods adjacent to Bayside Drive went very well. Each of those in attendance had an opportunity to offer their input on strategies to help calm traffic on this thoroughfare. As a temporary “fix”, as well as an opportunity to gather additional data, increased patrol and enforcement of the speed limit has been initiated by the NBPD. Radar as well as a speed sign posting the speed of vehicles passing the sign was installed. City staff are in the process of incorporating all of the input gained from the committee members into a plan that will be brought back to the committee at a future date.
Museum House Project
With the Registrar of Voters having certified the referendum petition that would allow the citizens of Newport Beach to decide the fate of the Museum House Project, the Council accepted and filed the petition. I requested that this item be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of the City Council for action.
Annual Budget Development
This annual task is in process. Meetings will soon begin with the various city departments to prioritize expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year. The Finance Committee is hard at work dealing with the Unfunded Liability issue, capital improvement project prioritization, and getting the dollars to stretch as far as possible while maintaining the high quality services that our community has come to expect. Community member Larry Tucker serves as my representative on the Finance Committee. It is important to understand that many of the outstanding projects completed in our city over the past several years have been almost entirely supported through developer fees, not money from the General Fund.
Recent action by the Harbor Commission includes:
Approval of design criteria for waterside improvements on docks, gangways, bulkheads, etc.
Review of mooring rates, mooring transfer policy, mooring transfer fee, centralized location for posting of moorings for sale, and insurance requirements.
Proposed Tidelands Capital Improvement Plan and Program – with the dissolution of the Tidelands Management Committee, the Harbor Commission will be working with staff on harbor related repairs and improvements, and the budgeting and scheduling of the same.
Prohibition of Water Propelled Vessels Above Water Surface (Jet Pac) – recommended that these should not be allowed in Newport Harbor. The Council did take subsequent action at the Feb. 14th City Council Meeting that now prohibits the operation of these vessels in our Harbor.
As always, I can be reached by e-mail at: email@example.com, or by phone: 949/922-3594. Your input is always sought and appreciated.