Kiff: Insider’s Guide to Newport Beach City Council Meeting

(Editors Note: Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff publishes a regular email column alerting residents to what’s coming on this week’s city council agenda. It’s a meaningful effort by a city manager to inform the citizenry of what’s coming, from an official perspective and we’ve chosen to highlight it. We hope every city manager across Orange County follows suit.)

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the Newport Beach City Council meeting planned for Tuesday, August 8, 2017.  I don’t summarize every item, so make sure you look at the City Clerk’s agenda page to read the whole agenda if you’d like.

The study session is short, and begins at 5:30 p.m.  One item is a presentation about the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Orange County, which has been a wonderful program that assists neighborhood families following a significant traumatic event, such as an accident or a crime.  For more information about TIP and what it does, click here.

Following closed session items, the evening’s Regular Session will start at 7:00 p.m.   Here are the items that may be of interest to you:

  • Senate Bill 1 was passed into law earlier this year, and raises the gas tax, vehicle license fees and fees on electric vehicles.  The funds raised are intended to be (in part) returned to local communities for additional road work.  We have identified about $480K in immediate new revenue in this fiscal year that can go towards roads here, including fixing the remainder of MacArthur to the 73 tollway.  About $1.4M is expected for the community next year from SB 1’s changes.  These revenues are intended to supplement (versus supplant) our existing expenditures on roads.  So one item on the agenda asks the City to identify what projects the City intends to make eligible for SB 1 funds.
  • Speaking of roads, the next phase of reconstruction Irvine Avenue (this time between 16thand Santiago) is up for design funding on Tuesday.  Construction is expected to be underway in this fiscal year (17-18).  Additionally, the Council will consider awarding a design contract for the now-approved plan for Bayside Drive’s improvements.  Recall that the Bayside Drive approved plan is a four lane roadway (two in each direction) that includes some additional median and landscaping work.  Consider this your advanced warning that both projects will be constructed in the not-too-distant future.  J
  • Council is asked to weigh in on a working group’s amendments to various Council policies.  These are the guidelines and approaches that Councils (over many years) have asked staff and commissions to follow as we address issues that don’t fall under the Newport Beach Municipal Code.  Please take a look at the staff report and its “summary of changes” if you’d like to read more.
  • Lastly, for our Balboa Island friends, a more formal discussion for the Council and community about the upcoming Balboa Island sea wall effort.  The current approach is to add 9” to the walls (which are of varying height now – so adding 9” keeps the variations but just raises the walls) to address storm surges and King Tides as well as any increases in sea level.  Grand Canal and Little Island are already at the correct heights.  This is about a $2M item.  Staff report is here.

I’ll note too that there is a once-a-year formal meeting of the Newport Beach Public Facilities Corporation – where the Council acts as the corporation – that is also open to the public and that starts at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8th (also in the Council Chambers).  This annual meeting is associated with regular reporting on the Certificates of Participation (COPs) that were issued to construct the Civic Center and to refund the Central Library bonds back in 2010.  The agenda for this issue is here.

Some community notes:

  • The Central Avenue public pier is coming to, well, Central Avenue.  Expect construction to start by late next week.  This is the new public pier going in near the Elks’ Club and Nobu, off of that little street that kind of parallels the Newport Boulevard bridge (on the eastern side).  We hope that the pier will be installed this fall.
  • Two weeks ago, the Council authorized moving forward with a Prop 218 protest hearing on our wastewater rates. That means that, possibly, increases could be coming down the, um, pipeline.  In the spirit of transparency, I’ll note again that this issue is worth your reading and your attention.  Information is on the City’s website here.
  • Two Concerts on the Green will have occurred between now and the next time I write.  One is this Sunday, August 6th – that’s the Tijuana Dogs.  Then on Sunday, September 3, it’s Night Shift (Labor Day weekend).  All concerts start at 6:00 p.m. and end by 7:30 p.m. here at the Civic Center.  Bring food and chairs and blankets but no booze.  For more information, click here.

As the City Council has only this one meeting planned for August, the Insider’s Guide is taking its usual summer break until shortly after Labor Day.  You’ll see something from me on Friday the 8thor so, as folks are back in school, back on the freeways commuting, and yet (I’m sure) the warm summer weather will persist.  As Newport folks know, September can be the best time of year as crowds are smaller, weekends a little less hectic, and beach time is still terrific.

Dave Kiff,  Newport Beach City Manager.

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