“Every promise, every opportunity, is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America.”
- Ronald Reagan, August 23, 1984
The County’s proposed General Aviation Improvement Project (GAIP) continues to dominate the community’s interest. On September 10, 2019, the Board of Supervisors approved the Request for Proposals (RFP) for two (2) Full-Service Fixed Base Operators as well as one Limited-Service Fixed Based Operator (FBO). Each of the potential proposers will now prepare applications to be considered for one of the Full-Service FBOs or the Limited-Service FBO. The City of Newport Beach has continued to advocate for the elements it believes will best protect our community by getting out in front of the application process and meeting with each of the potential FBO operators.
Good News! And a sign of the future, Delta Airlines began flying the fuel-efficient, quieter Airbus A220-100 aircraft on its five daily non-stops between JWA and Salt Lake City. In addition to improved fuel efficiency, the A22—100 has a higher climb rate and a quieter engine than the B717-200 aircraft it replaces. During its first flights out of JWA, the Delta Airlines A220-100 measured +5.0 to +8.0 dB lower than acceptable noise limits at some of the noise monitor stations. The regional jet is configured for 109 seats.
The U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General, has recently issued a report on the FAA’s progress in implementing its Metroplex Program (NextGen). The report concludes that the benefits for airspace users have fallen short of expectations. As you will recall, takeoff procedures are now governed by satellite navigation that is to result in greater precision and accuracy, thus improving fuel consumption and safety. What this performance based navigation doesn’t do, however, is take into consideration quality of life issues for those who live under the flight takeoff paths. The noise and pollution created by narrowing the flight takeoff path has been a major obstacle toward the full implementation of Metroplex (NextGen) for the FAA, now 4 years behind schedule. Delays have occurred largely due to increased community concerns about aircraft noise. NextGen benefits to airspace users have fallen well short of predictions.
So, in light of the above information, the Mayor and I are off to DC again next week to meet with our elected officials and various agencies and organizations. We have just one full day of meetings that have been arranged by our lobbyist - a day that will allow us to deliver our message of John Wayne Airport becoming the quietest airport in the country!
A New Way to Vote is On The Way
On the agenda for last Tuesday night’s City Council Study Session was a presentation by Neal Kelley, the Orange County Registrar of Voters, having to do with a new way to cast your ballot in the upcoming primary and final elections for the year 2020. Voting will take place at Vote Centers as opposed to an assigned polling place that we are all accustomed to. The changes in how you vote have been brought about by legislation (SB 450) which was authored as a result of the following findings:
1. Nine out of ten people prefer to vote by mail;
2. Those who prefer to vote at a polling place prefer to just drop off their ballot;
3. Voters are holding on to ballots longer before casting their votes.
Here’s how it will all work:
You will receive your ballot in the mail 29 days before the scheduled election.
You may vote on any of the 11 days before the scheduled election by dropping off your ballot at a voting Center.
You may cast your votes at any of the Voting Centers throughout Orange County of which there will be close to 200.
You may have a ballot printed for you at any of the Voting Centers throughout Orange County if you wish to vote at the Voting Center, if you do not have your ballot with you.
Voting Centers will provide you with more options for voting. Elections are no longer a one-day event. You can take advantage of marking your ballot at home over time, and can avoid congestion at the traditional assigned polling place by simply dropping off your ballot. A drive thru ballot drop-off, in person drop-off, returning your ballot via US Mail, or personally delivering your ballot to a Voting Center drop box are the options available to you. And finally, the volunteers who have manned polling venues will be replaced by part-time paid staff who will be trained in the operation of these new Voting Centers.
Questions may be answered via a telephone call to the Registrar’s office (714-567-7600), or online at ocvote.com/votecenter.
Short Term Lodging
I held my first Town Hall Meeting here on Balboa Island last Monday evening. I am serving on a council sub-committee having to do with the Short Term Lodging (STL) Ordinance in our City.
Resident complaints about STL’s have increased. At the conclusion of a recent Study Session on this topic the council decided to form this sub-committee. The specific reason for my particular Town Hall was to receive input from the community on amendments that this subcommittee will be recommending to the Council. Balboa Island and the peninsula have a high concentration of STL’s, so the meeting was very well-attended, and we (committee members) received some very valuable input. What we are trying to do is tighten up our STL Ordinance in order to allow this long-standing rental industry to continue in our City while at the same time making it a much more tolerable situation for residents who have sometimes awful experiences with STL’s in their neighborhood or next door. Thanks to all who attended, and because this was such an effective way of reaching out to my district constituents, I definitely plan on holding additional Town Halls as the need arises.
Councilwoman Joy Brenner will be holding a Town Hall this coming Saturday, October 26th, 9:00 a.m. at the new Corona del Mar Fire Station. STL’s are on her agenda, as well.
Wildfire Update/Press Release - City of Newport Beach
Due to the wildland fires in northern and southern California, the Newport Beach Fire Department has deployed two engines and a battalion vehicle with nine fire personnel as part of the California Mutual Aid system to assist with fire protection at the Tick Fire in the Santa Clarita area of Los Angeles County. Newport Beach fire personnel are part of multiple Orange County Metro Cities Strike Teams that have been deployed to the fire. Currently, Newport Beach has an additional engine with four fire personnel on stand-by ready for further mutual aid requests.
Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles stated, “Newport Beach Firefighters are actively engaged in structure protection in Santa Clarita. We are prepared and ready to assist our Los Angeles County neighbors in this time of need through the California Mutual Aid system. Our wildfire season is now year round and we need all Orange County residents to be prepared, vigilant and ready for any unexpected wildland fire.”