Four Questions for City Council

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Indy writer Richard Simon recently posed four questions to the seven Newport Beach City Council members. We recently shared the responses from council members Tony Petros and Mike Henn.

This week: council members Nancy Gardner and Keith Curry.

Keith Curry:

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Keith Curry

 

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face as a City Councilperson?

The biggest challenges are the statewide economic and tax environment that discourages business and constrains our otherwise strong underlying economy. We need to build a strong state surplus that will allow the income and sales tax increases from 2012 to expire. As a city, we need to get the state out of the business of dictating local policy on fire pits, toll roads, group homes, massage parlors and a host of other issues.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Keep the city financially strong and secure, avoid increases in crime due to the state realignment program and protect Proposition 13 against efforts to reduce its taxpayer protections in Newport Beach and state wide.

Q: Why do you want to be on the City Council?

Newport Beach is a very special city. In the past few years we have remade the basic structure of government, reduced the total number of employees, reformed our city charter and achieved pension reform. What is most satisfying is that we have provided a complete new infrastructure of public facilities including , the Civic Center, OASIS Senior Center, Newport Coast Community Center and five new parks either completed or underway. We will also leave the city financially stronger than when we began. That makes it very satisfying to serve on the council.

Q: What is it you like the most about Newport Beach?

I love the fact that our city is known throughout the world as the place that best represents the California dream. It truly is the very best place in America to live and to visit.

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Nancy Gardner:

Nancy Gardner — Photo by Sara Hall
Nancy Gardner

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face as a City Councilperson?

A: One of the hardest things to deal with is the reaction of people on the other side of an issue. When you do not agree with them, probably because of the wide-spread cynicism with which most people view any elected person, it is automatically assumed that either you are willfully refusing to listen to “the people” or you have base motives. This can make it difficult to have a real dialog.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish this year?

In this final year I’d like to get loose ends tied up, things that have been inching along–often for years.

Q: Why do you want to be on the City Council?

I had no desire to be on council. I was involved with the city because of my work with Surfrider and then on the Coastal/Bay Water Quality Committee and the General Plan Amendment Committee. Some people approached me about running because they felt a change was needed and nobody else would run, and I agreed to do it.

Q: What is it you like the most about Newport Beach?

What I like most is that there is still some of the “old” Newport I grew up with. Underneath the somewhat glitzy image that some have of us, there’s a beach community with the casual attitudes and ways associated with that.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Keith I remember being on the opposing city hall in the park fun and games with you, and I think you got on the wrong side, after all look where your sitting. “Perpetuity” flew right out the window on your watch, you all bowed to The Irvine Company for its urgency to build-out Fashion Island at lightning speed. How much are those development fees anyway. we never see that in print for some reason?
    Folks just want the “whole” truth, not the “back bay shuffle”.
    Sorry Nancy but I guess you really don’t get it do you? You don’t lie to dedicated members on city committees, you don’t make ad hoc committees to keep folks out of discussion of city projects, and you don’t coattail-ride! I’m sure you ran ducking for cover when the fire ring adventure blew up in your face. We’d love for you to come clean with all the back room politics that went on as you nervously smiled at you constituents.You call it “cynicism” that just political jargon for folks that don’t see it your way.
    I know part of you has a heart, but also having an ego to be “famous” which makes it more about you. Your cautions regarding heated issues isn’t what we needed to guide us through the thick stuff. I’m glad you have your name in bronze all over the city for taking a position where nobody really voted for you.
    You guys really let many of us down, and it hurt! Maybe it’s the way our city is changing, It’s just hard to see our city losing a long deep loving beach life soul that many still try holding close to their hearts.