By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
Last week I had the pleasure of providing a City update to an engaged audience at the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Wake Up! Newport forum. I presented an overview of the City budget, including trends and projections, an update on capital improvement projects, and a discussion of current issues.
Some highlights included:
- An update on City revenues. Thanks to the strength of our local economy and the Newport Beach housing market, all major City revenue sources are up to record levels. Property tax revenue increases reflect higher median home prices and assessed value growth. Sales tax revenue has rebounded strongly from a pandemic-related dip, due to higher auto sales, retail sales and restaurant activity. An especially strong comeback can be seen in transient occupancy tax revenues, reflecting higher room rates and increased occupancy in our hotels and short-term rental properties.
- An overview of capital projects. With increased local revenues, federal recovery funds and private donations, the City is investing in several capital improvement projects to upgrade critical infrastructure and improve the quality of life in our community. These projects include the Junior Lifeguard Building, the Library Lecture Hall, Superior Avenue Bridge, Balboa Island drainage, and utilities infrastructure upgrades.
- A discussion of current challenges facing the City, including employee recruitment and retention, the General Plan update, implementation of the recently approved Housing Element update, and climate change resiliency.
For those who missed it, you can view a PDF of my presentation here: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/home/showdocument?id=72620&t=638030904936086120.
You can also watch the presentation as a video on the City’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5Yw9l-F_w0.
2022 General Municipal Election Information
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8! Vote Center and Official Ballot Drop locations can be found at www.newportbeachca.gov/2022election.
City Staff Members Save Distressed Seal Pup
Two staff members from the City’s Public Works Department recently helped save the life of a distressed seal pup they discovered on the beach near the Newport Pier.
Public Works Supervisor Mike Auger and Crew Chief Jimmy Villa spotted the young seal on October 27, in the early morning. They called the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC), which advised them to keep the pup warm (they used safety vests) and place it in the back seat of their truck while a rescue team was dispatched. When the PMMC rescue team arrived, the pup was clinging to life.
The City has since been informed that the seal pup (now named Sweet P) is a Northern Fur Seal, which are rare in Newport Beach. Sweet P is still in the ICU but is expected to make a full recovery and be returned to the wild.
The City learned of the rescue from a resident who wrote us to describe the incident and commend Auger and Villa for their quick action to rescue the seal pup.
City Hotline Provides Updates on Sports Fields, Trail Conditions
With the rainy season upon us, City staff regularly monitors weather forecasts and tracks the impact of rain on the condition of City fields and hiking trails.
Staff evaluates the safety and playability to determine if temporary field closures are necessary. Updates are available by phone through the “mudline” or by text and email.
Call (949) 718-1860 to hear the latest report. Email: Recreation staff at [email protected].
For more information please visit the City’s web site at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/how-do-i-/learn-more-about/field-conditions-mudline.
Tickets Now Available for Nov. 16 OASIS Thanksgiving Luncheon
The OASIS Senior Center will be holding its annual Thanksgiving Luncheon at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 16. A traditional Thanksgiving lunch will be catered by 24 Carrots and coffee, drinks and dessert will be included. Come and enjoy holiday-themed music, a raffle drawing, and the opportunity to give thanks.
Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased in the OASIS Administration office or by calling (949) 644-3244.
New State Building Codes to Take Effect in 2023
The City of Newport Beach will be adopting the 2022 California Building Standards Codes this year. The 2022 California codes will become effective on January 1, 2023.
The last business day for projects complying with 2019 California codes to submit plans to the City is Friday, Dec. 23. The Permit Counter will be closed for the holidays, beginning Monday, Dec. 26 through Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Abandoned Small Vessels to be Auctioned November 18 at Marina Park
The City will auction abandoned small vessels to the public on Friday, Nov. 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the Marina Park Sailing Center, 1600 W. Balboa Boulevard. The auction will include small dinghy vessels, stand-up paddle boards, and kayaks.
Viewing will open at 9 a.m. and the auction will begin at 9:30 a.m. Vessels are sold as is, for cash only, and the minimum bid varies with each vessel. Payment (cash only) is due immediately after the auction. The winning bidders are responsible for removing their vessels by 5 p.m. November 18.
Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update
The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and EMTs, and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.
Last week the Be Well team:
- Assisted an older adult with suicidal ideations.
- Responded to an older couple’s home to address memory loss and confusion issues. The couple accepted resources from the team to follow up with a care plan.
- Transported one person to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter for an intake appointment.
- Transported one person to the Be Well sobering station for treatment.
- Transported nine people to services, shelter intakes, and appointments.
The City of Newport Beach provides a comprehensive response to address homelessness through a coordinated effort by City staff, contractors, partner agencies, and nonprofit groups.
Last week, the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:
- Continued to shelter people. Twenty people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
- Transported a client to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter for an intake appointment.
- Assisted an older veteran with an application to low-income senior veteran’s housing in Newport Beach. The man was awarded a housing voucher through the Veterans’ Administration.
- Completed referrals to the Yale Navigation Center’s wait list.
- Collaborated with the CalOptima Medical Response Team to provide treatment for an older adult experiencing homelessness.
- Transported a client to Share Our Selves to enroll into its medical services for care.