city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

mayor pro tem  v  newport beach, california

 

 

newsletter:  september 2011

 

 

 

OUTSOURCING
Outsourcing is a big buzz word in government circles, some seeing it as a panacea for all budget issues. Our residents are financially conservative, but they also expect a high level of service, so when we consider outsourcing, we need to anticipate the downsides in service as well as the upside in savings. An easy one: parking meters. The private company could do it more cheaply, AND we also got an upgrade in the type of meters (which now accept credit cards) AND got an increase in revenue in addition to the savings. As for service, since the companyís revenue is tied to meter production, itís in its interest to be diligent about any problems. Itís not quite the same with tree trimming. In the old days, for example, if your ivy was choking a city tree, you got a note to trim it back. Thereís no financial impetus for the contractor to do this, so in this case we get savings, but we lose an element of care. Itís important for us to remember that itís not just about the money.

AND SPEAKING ABOUT FINANCES . . .
Itís no secret that staff salaries and benefits are an issue, particularly pensions which will have a significant impact on city finances in coming years. The council has enunciated a compensation philosophy that proposes some fairly significant changes to rein in some of these expenses but which also gives us the tools to attract and retain top caliber employees. Change is always difficult, and there will be both angst and tension as we negotiate with the various employee groups, but it is important to institute these changes if we are to create a truly sustainable system.

BEACH TOMATO
I had not heard of Beach Tomato. If I had, I probably would have thought it was a site to view bathing beauties, but not at all. It rates beaches, and this year Newport Beach was rated the Number One urban beach. I know for some of us old-timers the term urban creates a twinge, but hey, number one is number one, and listen to this: ďWith gloriously golden sand, epic mountain scenery and buzzing beachfront cafes, Newport manages to effortlessly blend the best of both worlds . . . a classic Cali beachósun, sea, sand and cityólong live the American beach dream . . . with long stretches of crystal waters and manicured beaches punctuated with piers worthy of couture catwalks.Ē Itís almost beach porn.
 

AND HOW DO WE GET THOSE MANICURED BEACHES?
By picking up 100 tons of trash out of cans and 19 tons from beach cleaning this past year.

MARINA PARK
There was a letter in the Pilot the other day with some misinformation about Marina Park. Thatís the future park on the bay, next to the American Legion. In the letter, it was stated that the sandy beach along the site will be lost because a guest marina is being built. Well, a guest marina is being built, but it is at one end, and there will be plenty of beach. Go to the cityís web site, click on City Government, scroll to Current Projects, click Marina Park, and you will see the plan. Things have been at a standstill with the park because of lengthy discussions with the state about the tidelands boundary, but we seem to be on the verge of an agreement, and things should proceed at a better pace. Speaking of delays and parks, the Banning Ranch Conservancyís effort to overturn the Sunset Ridge Park EIR lost at the Superior Court level. They have appealed the decision which means more down time before those much-needed AYSO and Little League fields are constructed and available to our youth.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA, OR SO MUCH FOR GOOD INTENTIONS
There is a ban in many cities, including Newport, on medical marijuana dispensaries. This is not because these areas have no compassion for those who legitimately benefit from usage. Itís because there is so much abuse. A resident sent me The Rolling Paper, a 48-page booklet of ads for Orange County dispensaries. There are 110 listed (I counted about 130 regular pharmacies in the Yellow Pages). A quick glance at the ads: Happy Hour. . . Free Fridays . . . Free Gram (presumably from the Vargas girl in the nurseís uniform) . . . Mid and End of Month Blowout Sale. . . Free T-shirt. . . . Early Bird Special. I understand wanting to cheer the ill up, but come on. Iíve never had my pharmacist offer me a discount if I picked up my prescription before 5:30 let alone a happy hour while we all popped our antibiotics.
 

 

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FUTURE TOPIC SUGGESTIONS

 

This is a two-way process, so please donít hesitate to contact me with your ideas and opinions.

 

 


 

Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Gardner

QUALITY OF LIFE Advocate FOR NEWPORT BEACH

 

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

Phone:  949.644.3004    |    EMAIL: gardnerncy@aol.com

Copyright  2011   v  Nancy Gardner    v   All Rights Reserved