My approach to governing:
I will listen to your views and take them into account in making decisions. We may not ultimately agree, but I will listen to you. And it is on that basis that I can proudly say I have built a broad base of supporters in the community. I expect how that will play out is that I will find ways to incorporate people’s concerns most of the time - and that will lead to better decisions. But some of my supporters and I will have to agree to disagree on a few issues.
My three top priorities as a council member:
1. Accelerate / Pay down the city’s $571 million long-term debt.
2. Limit government spending.
3. Protect and enhance our quality of life.
On the city’s debt and unfunded liabilities:
I believe we should pay down the city's long-term debt and pension liability as quickly and as financially prudent as possible. I'm open to using the sale of unused city-owned property and some of the city's capital reserve to accomplish this.
On the airport:
I support the settlement agreement and the extension that has been agreed upon by all the stakeholders. However, I also believe we should not rest, but keep working on the issues of noise, the flight paths, acceleration, etc.
I support more noise monitoring, enforcement of violations and continued alerts.
It's also very important for the residents to continue to speak up and work with all the levels of government involved. What has been accomplished in the settlement agreement and other forums over the years has been a direct result of active citizenship, and it must be continued or we will lose the ground we have gained.
On the proposed city-subsidized water taxi/water bus program:
I do not support a city subsidy for a new service that will compete with existing businesses.
On the dock tax:
If I had been on the council when the dock fees were raised, I would have voted “no” because of the process that led to it.
Dock owners I have spoken with are not opposed to contributing to the maintenance and improvement of the Harbor, but they want to see how much that actually costs - transparency!--and develop an equitable system for paying for it.
They did not necessarily oppose raising fees to market rates, but they want a measured, gradual approach, not a sudden 1000 percent increase in their bills.
I believe that if the city had been more open and flexible with the affected property owners, a lot of hard feelings and discord could have been avoided.
On Measure Y, to amend the General Plan:
I am glad this issue is on the ballot for a vote of the people - that is not only appropriate, it is vital to forging and maintaining public support for the General Plan and the direction we as a city are going to take into the future.
As a resident and voter, I plan to vote “yes” on Measure Y, but I urge all voters to look at the facts of the matter - not the spin, not the arguments, but the facts - and come to their own conclusions.
I will be perfectly willing to implement whatever decision the voters render. I will be diligent to ensure that the appropriate planning review takes place as specific projects are brought to the city for approval.
That said, let me tell you why I will be voting “yes.”
First, three general statements of principle:
1. I support property rights - for both residential property owners and commercial property owners.
2. I also firmly believe that the interests of business and the interests of residents are not opposed. A strong local economy supports the property values of all, as well as providing the tax base that allows the city to maintain high standards and quality of services for all.
3. I support responsible planning for conservative development in Newport Beach, as outlined in the General Plan.
As for the facts of the proposed General Plan amendment:
1. It would reduce the number of car trips on our streets at build-out by about 3,000 per day, versus what is allowed at build-out under the current General Plan.
2. It would essentially trade 1,000 hotel rooms on the Newport Coast (imagine the Anaheim Marriott at Coast Highway and Newport Coast Drive) for the equivalent of another office tower in Newport Center, where the infrastructure already exists to absorb the people and traffic.
3. An office tower in Newport Center will attract high-paying jobs, and employees who will buy goods, services and in many cases homes in Newport Beach, bolstering the local economy in a ripple effect.
The bottom line, for me, is that the amendment is a good deal for both the commercial property owners involved and the residents of the city.
On rehab homes:
I believe, I think a person with an addiction problem should be in a medically supervised environment, in a state licensed facility - not in a dorm-style residence a block from a liquor store.
The city’s ordinance in many ways goes as far as any city can to control a problem created by federal and state laws. However, I would like to see the enforcement provisions strengthened. It’s now basically up to residents to enforce the ordinance by reporting and documenting violations. The city needs to be able to be much more aggressive in dealing with violators.
I fully support the defense of our ordinance before the Supreme Court with the top lawyers available.
On dredging and maintenance of the Harbor:
I will work with the city staff and state department of fish and game to resolve the eel grass mitigation issue.
I strongly support dredging on a consistent and regular basis.
We will work to find a balance to protect marine and estuarine habitats and community’s need for a safe and navigable harbor.
I support implementation and enforcement of the local coastal plan.
On water quality:
I support efforts to ensure our water quality is protected - in the Harbor, in the Back Bay and along our beaches. These efforts should include increased testing and appropriate treatment of water entering the Back Bay, in concert with upstream cities and the county.
On reducing crime in West Newport and the Peninsula:
I’d like to see more feet on the ground and law enforcement visibility. I think the police are doing a great job, but I want more resources to be made available to them.
On what the city should do with the former City Hall site:
I endorse the current plan for a high-quality boutique hotel on the site, and I want to work to see it realized as quickly as possible. I would have preferred that the City sell the land and get out of the development business.
On raising the Balboa Island sea wall against the threat of rising sea level:
I support a middle-ground solution that protects property values and the safety of our residents with a practical approach that minimizes cost.
Fortunately, the process has begun, with preliminary engineering and scoping. But it will take a lot of study and discussion, and the outcome is not known.
I will take a good hard look at this issue, and my focus will be to listen and work with the community to agree on a solution. I’d like to see short- and long-term options that address affordability, design and engineering challenges, minimize or eliminate view obstruction and are developed in a collaborative process.
We don’t need a massive federal public works project designed for 100 years - we can build in a phased manner to meet the needs of the next 30 to 50 years.
On earmarking a portion of developer fees for a city “art in public places” program:
I think there's an opportunity for us to look at how we divvy up developer fees and decide where the need is greatest. It could be art and culture, it could be transportation, it could be something else. We need to look at this. I would like to see more private/public partnerships to support our arts and culture programs.