The City’s fiscal year is quickly drawing to a close, and with it comes the budget development process for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017. At our most recent City Council Study Session we received an early look at the 2017/18 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). This program includes a focus on maintaining top quality existing infrastructure. Included in the proposed CIP is a $4 million General Fund investment toward infrastructure maintenance and repair, a $1 million General Fund Investment to update the Newport Beach General Plan, increased investment in the Harbor (dredging, seawalls, bulkheads, and improved amenities for harbor users and mooring permittees). Further investments include traffic management modernization, efficiency, reliability and safety. I think you will agree with me that Newport Beach has some of the finest beaches, harbors and facilities, and we must protect our investments in these resources.
The City’s CIP Program’s major expenditures cover Facilities ($8.5 million), Streets and Drainage ($7.2 million), Transportation ($1.2 million), Parks, Harbor and Beaches ($2.0 million), Water ($1.6 million), Wastewater ($300,000), Water Quality and Environment
($300,000), Corporate Yard Refuse Station Repairs ($125,000), and General Plan Update ($1 million).
Given the City’s Unfunded Liability issue with the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) that looms over our head like a dark cloud, all of the above recommended expenditures are receiving a close financial analysis by the Finance Committee which is hard at work on developing recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year. Council expects a first look at the 2017/2018 budget next month. This being my first experience with the budget development process, I am anxious to see how the community will come together on a final product.
As for my specific activities since my last posting, I’ve been a busy guy, and continue to completely enjoy every aspect of my new responsibilities. With the Council having approved funding for the Newport Beach Animal Shelter in February, the day after approval I made a visit to the Shelter and was very impressed with the facility and staff. Much of my energies of late have been spent on working with city staff and community/neighborhood representatives on traffic calming measures on the stretch of Bayside Drive between PCH and Jamboree/Marine Ave. Also, a committee has been formed to work on the renovation of Marine Ave. on Balboa Island (the main street). Work on this project will more than likely commence with the completion of the Park Ave. Bridge (Little Balboa Island).
Having been assigned to two committees that deal with water quality, I have “submerged” (no pun intended) myself into learning about what the city, county and region has done over the past 30 years to improve and maintain the water quality of our upper and lower bays. I am finding out that we are way ahead of the game in comparison to other harbors throughout the state, and I support keeping our harbor second to none. I had no idea that there are so many agencies, and entities who deal with the issue of NB Harbor water quality on a daily basis, nor the steps taken to monitor and regulate the quality of our bay water. I’ve learned all about Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and the regulations that protect our bay water against sediment buildup, nutrients, pesticides, toxics, and bacteria.
I’ve greatly enjoyed some speaking engagements at the St. Andrews Church Men’s Breakfast, the Big Canyon Master Association Annual Meeting, and the Newport Beach Kiwanis Club. I’m also working with the Balboa Island Museum Executive Board in their efforts to find a permanent home for the Museum on Marine Ave. A feasibility study is currently being conducted. And finally, mark your calendar, and plan on attending the annual Balboa Island Parade scheduled for Sunday, June 4th starting at 11:00a.m. Following the parade is a terrific after-party featuring live music in front of the Fire Station. A great way to welcome in the summer season!
All is well, life is good, and as always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns, questions, or input.