Getting to Know Councilmember Jeff Herdman

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Newport Beach City Councilman Jeff Herdman. — Photo by Sara Hall ©

By Lynn Lorenz | Special to the NB Indy

While our lives are being somewhat put on hold by the Coronavirus, it is a good opportunity to get a little better acquainted with one of our Newport Beach Council members, Jeff Herdman.

I met Jeff when he was running for Council almost four years ago and was immediately impressed by how congenial and communicative he was, two important qualities for that position.

We both came from the same background (education), and for that reason, I found him  particularly interesting to talk to.

Having devoted 39 years (he had me beat by 2) to that field is a considerable amount of time. He worked both at the elementary level and as an administrator across all levels.

Clearly, Jeff is proud of his large family which consists of seven children,17 grandchildren and his wife Sally. Three of his grandchildren are heading off to prominent universities in the fall, paving the way for the rest of the grandchildren to follow.

They, no doubt, love visiting their grandparents on Balboa Island in what must seem to them like a fairy tale environment. Jeff’s childhood was similarly charmed by his visitations to the family’s summer house on Balboa and in adulthood by his inheritance of his hardworking father’s home.

Before running for City Council in 2016, Jeff followed in his father’s footsteps as a leader in Newport Beach. He served as President for seven years on the Little Island Property Association founded by his father, after which he threw his hat into the ring to run for City Council in 2016.

He also served as President of the Balboa Island Improvement Association, where he put together a dynamic board of directors, a group of people whom Jeff describes as most giving and responsible. He is also extremely proud of his service, worship and involvement at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

On City Council, Jeff’s excellent communication skills and his conscientiousness have proven very useful in accomplishing the goals he has set out for himself. He is particularly proud to be the one who made the motion to defeat the construction of the Museum House Condominium project.

He is chair of the Aviation Committee and as such has been challenged to work with the FAA, John Wayne Airport, pilots and airlines to try to solve quality of life issues for those within our city who are affected  by airport noise and pollution.

Being on City Council has afforded Jeff the opportunity to help people, which is what he enjoys most. Becoming advocates for his constituents and steering them in the right direction to solve their problems is what Jeff has valued in the various positions he has held. To him, it is all about “making a difference.”

This very week the Council has been working with businesses, encouraging them to take advantage of the recovery resources being offered by the city due to the damage of the COVID-19 quarantine.

Jeff can also personally take responsibility for many accomplishments, including Completion of Bayside Drive traffic calming program, water main replacement on Balboa Island, Park Avenue Bridge completion, Grand Canal Dredging, replenishment Swim Platform installation at Ruby Beach, Island seawall extension project, Big Canyon Habitat Restoration project, Short Term Lodging Program ordinance revisions, and many others.

Thank you, Jeff Herdman.

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