city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

mayor pro tem  v  newport beach, california



newsletter:  november 2011




Council members read the same documents, listen to the same presentations, hear the same public comments and yet often come to different conclusions. When I’m on the wrong end of a vote I may wonder how my fellow council members can go through the same material and come to such different (and obviously misguided) conclusions, but I can’t complain about the process. I had my opportunities to speak and try to persuade them, and I didn’t prevail. The same thing holds with residents. Many’s the time an individual goes to a city committee, commission or the council, presents his/her position, gets turned down, and then insists the system is flawed – if not corrupt. It’s important to remember that the system doesn’t guarantee the outcome. It guarantees – or at least tries to – the process. And just like Buckwheat, sometimes you lose.

Many think of Newport Beach as the home of the big and the brash, and we certainly have our share of big, brash boats, but the city, with many helpful suggestions from the Harbor Commission, has made a concerted effort to not only preserve but enhance access to the harbor. One of these efforts was the inclusion of a public dock by Sol Cantina and Three Thirty Three during the development of Balboa Marina. This was jolly for the restaurants, but not so jolly for nearby residents who complained of late-night noise from happy patrons fetching their boats from the public tie-up. The Commission worked on a proposal which shifted the public dock a bit and put into place new regulations for better control, but now there is a new idea – to move the public docks all the way over to where the Reuben E. Lee was berthed as part of an expansion of the marina. This would provide an increased number of public tie-ups as well as provide greater distance between the dock and residences. The concept will be presented to the Harbor Commission and the Tidelands Management Committee to get some initial reaction.

No, not Miami and their record this season, but the topiary in the medians at Marguerite and PCH in Corona del Mar. Like a great deal of the country, they are obese – to the point that there is some suggestion that they are not actually dolphins but maybe manatees or even pilot whales. Clearly, a little weight loss is in order, but you can’t just go in and shear away the rotundity. Trimming topiary takes the skill of a good plastic surgeon except that one errant snip doesn’t mean simply a bad nose job. It can mean the death of the bush. The CdM BID (Business Improvement District) has taken on the responsibility of finding the right tree surgeon to restore the dolphins to their svelte natural state.

At a council meeting a couple of years ago, Mark Harmon, our director of Municipal Operations, was reporting on some difficulty involving the fire rings at Big Corona. This wasn’t the first difficulty there had been, and I said, without much thought, “If they’re that much trouble, maybe we should just get rid of them.” OMG, as they text. You’d think I had suggested pulling down the Statue of Liberty. Within days there was a Facebook page to save the fire pits, TV stations wanted to interview me, and I was inundated by emails – both for and against. It was a very inflammable issue (sorry), one that promised to take up a lot of time and energy, not just for me, flitting around to all my media appointments, but much more important, for the city as a whole. Since this was the same period when we were addressing budget shortfalls, it was felt wisest to douse the fire by tabling the subject for the time being. I sent that information to those who had communicated to me, with a promise that I would let them know if and when we took it up again. Recently, Huntington Beach got slapped with a half million dollar lawsuit for a fire-ring injury, and it seemed time to revisit the issue. The Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission has appointed a subcommittee to review the subject and come back to the commission and ultimately the council with their findings and suggestions. I sent the information to the email list as promised, and at least so far it hasn’t generated the same sparks.


At the recommendation of the city attorney, I will be using a city address for city business: Don’t worry if you forget it. I’ll still be using the AOL one, too.



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




Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Gardner



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

Phone:  949.644.3004    |    EMAIL:

Copyright  2011   v  Nancy Gardner    v   All Rights Reserved