city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

councilwoman  v  newport beach, california






The County has been looking at divesting itself of some responsibilities/expenses by shifting them to cities. One of those mentioned was the Harbor Patrol. This apparently did not sit well with the Sheriff’s department. Special legislation is being pushed in Sacramento that would mandate that in Orange County (and only in Orange County), the Sheriff’s department has sole responsibility for the Harbor Patrol. That’s not enough, however. A representative of the union met with City Manager Homer Bludau and said, in effect, if your city doesn’t disavow any interest in taking over the Harbor Patrol, we will go after your city council and get involved in local politics. Not getting the reaction they wanted (mine was unprintable), they then went to Mayor Rosansky, showed him the flyer and made essentially the same statement: “Say you don’t want the Harbor Patrol, or we’ll mail this.” The Mayor explained that the first threat hadn’t sat well with his fellow council members, and he didn’t think this would either. So they mailed it.

The Daily Pilot asked the Council to answer the question, “Should the City take over the Harbor Patrol?” My response: “In the short time I’ve been on the Council, this has not been a topic for a study session or a future agenda, so at this point I don’t know if there is any valid reason for the City to take over the Harbor Patrol. What I do know is that the Sheriff’s department, or at least its union, has not tried to conduct a reasonable discussion of the issue with the City but instead has tried to intimidate us with threats about going after the Council if we don’t toe their party line, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say that whatever we decide, it will be based on what is best for our City and will have nothing to do with their bully-boy tactics.”

The Pilot printed only my first sentence, leaving out everything in italics. They also edited Mike Henn’s response. After both of us objected, it was explained that they didn’t have room for our entire response. Funny they cut out the part about the Sheriff’s department.

The surveillance cameras have been installed for Big and Little Corona, Pirate’s Cove and the Wedge. These will alert the police to anyone entering those areas after the beaches have closed. I am hoping that the cameras not only will be a valuable tool for the police but that as word gets out their presence will discourage people from coming into the beach areas after hours.

The Media and Communications Committee hasn’t officially declared a position, but I doubt that we’ll be recommending Wi-Fi. According to an expert that we brought in, companies haven’t figured out a way to cover a city and make a profit, primarily because Wi-Fi’s not very fast compared to DSL, and it’s all about speed today. Since cable companies are entering the business and already have the infrastructure, we will probably recommend waiting for this.


The Council turned down a proposal from Rudy’s Pub and Grill to run the concession stand at Big Corona (although inviting Rudy’s to resubmit) and asked Mayor Rosansky and me to revise the Request for Proposals before sending it out again. Rudy’s proposal was for a restaurant with seating on the sand, open the same hours as the beach, with the possibility of selling alcohol at some future date. The alcohol was shot down immediately.

Nearby residents expressed concern about the hours, feeling that if the stand kept beach hours (6 am to 10 pm), they would be exposed to noise from employees arriving before six and noise from employees and customers leaving after ten. At the same time, other residents thought an upgraded menu and particularly some sort of morning hours when they could have a cup of coffee on the beach would make the stand more attractive to locals.

The compromise: No restaurant, no tables and chairs on the sand, no alcohol, an option for the concessionaire to upgrade the menu if he/she wanted and to have longer hours, but late enough in the morning and early enough at night (8:30 pm in the summer, dusk in the off-season) so that residents won’t be unduly impacted.

Staff of the California State Water Resources Control Board has suggested a proposal that would essentially ban storm water from entering an ASBS (Area of Special Biological Significance) because storm water contains pollutants. I think everyone knows that I’ve spent a lot of time working on ocean issues, and I have a special affection for the Little Corona area. I support everything we can do to reduce and control urban runoff.

Storm water is a different issue, however. I just don’t know what we can do with it. We can’t divert it to OCSD because the district doesn’t have that kind of capacity. The kind of infrastructure that could contain all the water from a big storm–where would we possibly put it?

Also, I have a concern about sediment transport. Little Corona gets all its sand from Buck Gully, and the sand gets moved to the beach by storms. Because of the development of that watershed, there is less sediment available than in the past which makes it all the more important that what there is makes it to the beach. If we capture the storm water, we would interrupt this natural process, and I wonder whether that might just as detrimental as the storm water. The City will be working on this issue with the Regional Board to see if we can come up with a viable solution.






Be sure to give us your feedback on the list of priorities that Council has identified for the coming year. 





This is a two-way process, so please don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas and opinions.




Councilwoman Nancy Gardner



City of Newport Beach - 3300 Newport Blvd - Newport Beach, CA  92663

Phone:  949.644.3004    -    EMAIL:

Copyright  2007   v  Nancy Gardner    v   All Rights Reserved

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