Making a Difference

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Election season hit big this past week in Newport Beach.

Campaign signs proliferated at an amazing pace with the medians of major thoroughfares and quiet neighborhood streets alike literally (or, to coin a phrase, “litter”ly) plastered with voter appeals.

Postal boxes overflowed with mailers – vote yes, vote no, support this, do not support that. And email blasts came from all directions: Friends in the know, homeowner associations, business groups, work associates, proponents, opponents.

The election buzz emanates from more than one issue – people expressing opinions about such diverse issues as expansion at John Wayne Airport, construction of the Civic Center, increase in dock fees, appropriate use of fire rings, road closures, traffic, civic debt, placement of community amenities, and more.

What’s apparent from all this election chatter is citizens are interested, have opinions and want to participate in the process. This election season will come and go on November 4, but that desire to make a difference remains.

One of the best ways a resident can make a difference in the City is by serving as an appointee to one of Newport Beach’s seven Boards and Commissions.

They include the Board of Library Trustees, Building and Fire Board of Appeals, City Arts Commission, Civil Service Board, Harbor Commission, Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission, and Planning Commission.

Participation allows residents to work together with the City Council and City staff and represent the interests of Newport Beach.

There are also a number of Citizens Ad Hoc Committees and Citizens Advisory Committees working at any given time in the City.

These Committees collaborate with the City Council on periodic issues like bicycle safety (Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee,) John Wayne Airport expansion (Aviation Committee,) and land development (Land Use Element Amendment Advisory Committee.)

Board, Commission and Committee applications are available from the City Clerk’s Office, 100 Civic Center Drive (Bay E, Second Floor). You can also call (949) 644-3005. The applications are accepted on a year-round basis and kept on file for a two-year period.

So yes, make a difference and vote on November 4, and continue to make a difference by applying to serve on a City Board, Commission or Committee.


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  1. I’ve been applying yearly for a commission for 8 years now and I don’t even get asked to interview anymore. I would like to make a difference, but because of internal politics, I cannot even get that opportunity.

    I think that I’ve proved with my columns that I love Newport Beach would love to make that extra difference.