Insider's Guide

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City Council Agenda items and other items of interest to the City Manager 

September 7, 2017 

A good Thursday evening to you.  And happy September!

Here’s what might be of interest to you that’s on the agenda for the Newport Beach City Council meeting planned for Tuesday, September 12, 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 with two presentations. It begins at 5:30 p.m.  Following closed session items, the evening’s Regular Session will start at 7 p.m. Here are the items that may be of interest to you:

  • There is a proposal to purchase the old/closed McDonald’s site along Newport Boulevard (near 28th Street) and to use it for a new fire station to replace the one off of 32nd Street. We’ve been looking at various paths to replace the station, including rebuilding at the same location, purchasing land nearby, and/or working with the parking lot across the street. The McDonalds’ site is a good opportunity to increase the footprint to make the station work better, with less backing up and more room for the equipment here. As folks know, this is one of just two stations that house a ladder truck. While some have expressed concern about having a station close to residences at 28th Street, fire stations can actually be pretty good neighbors. If anyone has concerns about this, please give me a call.
  • After having offered kudos to the Friends of the Newport Beach Library last time, it’s time to offer the same to the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation, as they are providing $155,000 to our great library system for materials, new computers, the literacy program, and more. NBPLF always delivers with great resources to further enhance our library system – thank you!
  • Following notice to over 22,000 households and a 45-day protest period, the Council will measure protest and consider whether to increase wastewater rates. This is never an easy decision. It’s one of the toughest decisions that elected officials have to make – on the one hand, they help keep our wastewater system functioning as costs to operate it continue to rise. On the other, no one likes new fees or rate increases. They can be burdensome on persons with fixed income. We worked hard to study the issue well and to propose something that’s tiered and modest. Please read more about the proposal, and how it might affect you, here. If you do choose to take a position as to supporting or opposing the change, you are welcome to do that too. The protest provisions are explained here.  If you support the increase, you can simply e-mail the City Council using this email address (

Some community notes:

  • As we watch our neighbors in Houston, Puerto Rico and maybe this coming weekend in Florida deal with natural disasters, two thoughts come to mind. First, this is a great opportunity to remind ourselves that each of us, in our own homes, needs to be prepared for up to three days of self-sufficiency. Our award-winning CERT program does some great things in this regard, and you can learn more about them (and what you should be doing at home) here. Second, the timing could not be better for our upcoming (this Saturday!) disaster preparedness day, held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on September 9, 2017 here at the Civic Center Green. The day is coordinated with the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s “Green on the Green” Expo.  More information is here
  • On a much lighter note, for the many Tijuana Dogs fans in town, they are back and performing at Marina Park this coming Sunday, September 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. More information is here. I think this is our first concert at Marina Park since it’s opening.  
  • As school gets back in session, there are a few changes out there.  These are especially around Newport Heights Elementary and Ensign Middle School – more sidewalks – yay! By now parents and students have been navigating them for a few days, but allow me to respectfully remind us all to be extra careful (and slow and attentive) when driving in school zones and especially these first few weeks as routines are being adjusted and established.  
  • Lastly, the ever-present subject of John Wayne Airport and new NextGen flight paths. Patience is really important in our dealings with the FAA, and I know that folks get frustrated with the pace of updates and changes. Please know that we continue to work regularly – daily most weeks – to protect your interests. Our goal is and has always been to get the FAA to keep the planes centered down the middle of the Upper Bay, avoiding homes as much as possible. If you have any JWA question at all, I am happy to personally answer them and work with you as we navigate through these challenging changes. Give me a call or shoot me an email, please.  

Enjoy your weekend, and thank you for reading. Please forward this Guide to family, friends and members of your HOA if you represent one. I always like hearing from you, too, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question or offer a comment.  

Dave Kiff
City Manager

City Council Meeting Information


The Newport Beach City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of most months (the exceptions are August and December). Typically, there is a Study Session that starts at 4 p.m. Study sessions are times for the Council to take a deeper look at a specific issue, or hear a presentation, that might eventually lead to a specific and more formal action. A closed session often follows the Study Session. Closed sessions are typically to address legal, personnel, and other matters where additional confidentiality is important. The Regular (evening) Session typically starts at 7 p.m., and often has a specific listing of 20-40 different items ready for formal votes. Items on the “Consent Calendar” are heard all at once, unless a Council member has removed (aka “pulled”) an item from the Consent Calendar for specific discussion and separate vote. If an item on the agenda is recommended to be “continued”, it means that the item won’t be heard nor voted on that evening, but will be pushed forward to another noticed meeting.    

Public Comment is welcomed at both the Study Session and the Regular Session. The public can comment on any item on the agenda. If you want to comment on a Consent Calendar item that was not pulled from the Consent Calendar by a Council Member, you will want to do so at the time listed on the agenda – right before the Council votes on the entire Consent Calendar (it’s Roman Numeral XIII on the posted agenda). If an item is pulled, the Mayor will offer that members of the public can comment as that specific item is heard separately. Additionally, there is a specific section of Public Comment for items not on the agenda, but on a subject of some relationship to the city government. If you cannot attend a meeting and/or want to communicate with the City Council directly, this e-mail gets to all of them: Please know that I get a copy of that e-mail, too, because in almost all cases it’s something that the City Manager follows-up on. It’s my head-start.   

The Council meets in the Council Chambers at 100 Civic Center Drive, off of Avocado between San Miguel and East Coast Highway. There is plenty of parking in the parking structure behind City Hall. You are always welcome to attend in person, but you can also watch on TV Time Warner/Spectrum 30 and Cox Channel 852 or stream it on your computer.  

This Insider’s Guide is not an attempt to summarize every item on the Agenda – just the ones that seem of specific interest to Dave. I encourage you to read the full agenda if you wish.

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