city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

council member  v  newport beach, california



newsletter:  july 2010




When Esquire picks the best bars in America, should Newport be left out? Not if we’re true to our roots. And the Newport bar that made this impressive list? None other than Blackie’s, “an authentic beach-front dive if there ever was one.”

Different magazine, different award, but Peter Bohlin, head of the firm that has designed our new civic center, just won the American Institute of Architects gold medal for 2010. Guess our architectural committee knew what it was doing when it made that selection.

CNN somehow discovered that Newport Beach has a high percentage of successful singles, a finding so newsworthy, they sent a reporter out from New York to cover the story. Now something tells me that if Sandusky had an equally high percentage of singles, the story would have gotten a pass. After all, would you really want to be embedded in Ohio in the summer? But since it was Newport . . . the reporter covered the beach, shooting from Inspiration Point, went on to cover a bar or two, back to the beach, and then went home and put in for hardship pay. Look for the story on CNN Money.

We passed the budget. Staff did a great job of finding savings in light of lower revenues. There’s a belief among some segments in the city that staff is careless, if not profligate, when it comes to public funds, but that hasn’t been my experience. Before each Newport Bay Executive Committee meeting, for example, I sit down with staff to review the agenda, and they often find something I’ve overlooked that is not cost effective for the city. The unions have also been responsive in light of changed circumstances, but like other cities, we’re still going to have to wrestle with the long-term challenge of pension costs.

As reported before, the city has hired a consultant, Dave Myerson, to troll for funds to purchase Banning Ranch. Dave helped put together the Tejon Ranch agreement, so he knows his way around such deals; however, the response to Banning Ranch has not been encouraging. On his first pass, the general tenor was that the property was too pricey, especially when there was a developer ready to preserve half the property as open space. At a recent Coastal Coalition meeting, I heard that Prop. 84 funds had finally been released and asked if there was any chance of Banning Ranch qualifying for those funds. Dave reported back that the projects that will get funding have been on the list for two to three years already and are ready to go, not the case with Banning, and again, that the price tag is a big negative. We will continue to look.

Our new civic center will have a dog park, and there is a proposal to extend the hours when dogs can be at the beach. As a dog owner, I understand the appeal, but I worry about that small percentage who try to ruin it for everyone. We have a pocket park next to my house, and recently there was an outbreak of poop. Since the city’s sign had no effect, I put up my own: “Pick up after your dog.” Didn’t make any difference. A neighbor, perhaps feeling a little warmth would help, added: “Please. Children play here.” Still no response. Someone then affixed a roll of poop bags to the sign to take away any excuse–and there still was a problem! We dog owners are going to have to cover for our non-compliant peers if dog parks and extended hours are to succeed.

A plug for fruit trees. I have several, and to go out and pick really fresh fruit – even at farmers’ markets it’s hard to get that level of flavor, and contrary to popular belief, fruit trees are very little trouble. Local nurseries know the right varieties, so plant up! Your taste buds will thank you.

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




Council Member Nancy Gardner



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

Phone:  949.644.3004    |    EMAIL:

Copyright  2010   v  Nancy Gardner    v   All Rights Reserved