Council to consider commission, committee appointments, fee collection through tax roll, art donation, public safety helicopter services agreement

By SARA HALL

The Newport Beach City Council will hear a variety of items at their meeting tonight.

At tonight’s meeting (June 25), council will make a number of appointments to various city commissions and committees; collection of certain sewer and recycling fees and charges through the property tax roll; donation of a mixed media piece of artwork for placement in the central library; contract for helicopter services and an inter-agency instructional services agreement.

During current business, council will consider a number of applicants for open seats on various city commissions, committees and boards.

Per city policy, a council ad hoc committee interviewed applications and made nomination recommendations (with the exception of the Civil Service Board which, pursuant to city charter, were nominated by the police and fire associations). Some nominees applied for more than one group.

On the Board of Library Trustees, Meghan Murray and Jenny Williams have both applied for the single vacant seat.

The city received only one application, from Kenneth Kasdan, for the Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals, which has two open spots.

There are also two vacancies on the City Arts Commission and the council will choose between four applicants: Shireen Amin, David Anastos, Heather Ignatin and Vanessa Moore.

Police and fire associations provided five nominees for the two seats available on the Civil Service Board: Incumbents Howard Herzog and Brian Moore; as well as Matthew Parisi, Zoë Tapie and Amy Waunch.

Councilmembers will consider three nominees for the one open seat on the Harbor Commission: Kevin Kramer, John (Jock) Marlo III and Gary Williams (incumbent).

Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission also has one vacant spot, with the applicants Robin MacGillivray, Drew Teicheira and Amy Waunch.

The Planning Commission has two vacancies and four nominees: Thomas Downes, Curtis Ellmore (incumbent), Jonathan Langford (incumbent) and Ekta Naik.

Earlier tonight, during the only public hearing of the night, council will consider the collection of certain sewer and recycling fees and charges through the property tax roll.

The city provides water, sewer and recycling to most residents and businesses in Newport Beach. However, certain areas of the city are provided one or more of these services by other surrounding cities or special districts. According to the staff report, there are approximately 5,600 sewer and/or recycling customer accounts that do not currently receive a water bill from the City of Newport Beach. State code allows local agencies to collect certain annual fees and charges, including sewer and recycling fees, through the property tax roll.

“Enrolling these types of charges on the property tax roll is a common practice, particularly in instances where a customer is not receiving water service from the billing agency,” the report reads. “Because these customers do not receive a utility service from the city that can be disconnected for nonpayment, the collection rate can be significantly increased by collecting these fees on the property tax roll. Such charges are billed as part of the normal property tax billing process as an add-on charge.”

In 2022, Newport Beach began collecting certain sewer and recycling fees through the Orange County tax roll for these accounts. To ensure the city continues to receive timely payment for services rendered, staff proposes to again place these fees on the county tax roll for fiscal year 2024-25.

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Art by Pierce Meehan/Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Council will consider donation of the mixed media artwork “Indivisible” by Pierce Meehan from the Newport Beach Sister City Association

Earlier in tonight’s meeting, on the consent calendar (items considered routine and usually voted in one motion without discussion unless a councilmember pulls the item), council will consider donation of the artwork Indivisible to the City of Newport Beach.

If approved, the action will accept the donation from the Newport Beach Sister City Association into the city art inventory, and approve the placement of the piece in Central Library.

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 In honor of the 40th anniversary, Newport Beach’s sister city friendship with Okazaki, Japan, NBSCA commissioned artist Pierce Meehan to create Indivisible, a mixed media piece of artwork.

At their June 13 meeting, the Arts Commission approved the acceptance of the piece into the city art inventory. On June 17, the Board of Library Trustees agreed to install the piece in the passport office located in Central Library.

The Association commissioned Meehan to create a set of companion pieces, which are made of foam, resin, fiberglass and pigment. Each piece measures 40 inches x 40 inches x 3 inches. They are white and red, representing both the American flag and the Japanese flag seen together in unity and are the only two pieces with this design and colorway.

In early June, a 15-member delegation from NBSCA (including Councilmembers Robyn Grant and Erik Weigand) traveled to Okazaki to celebrate the milestone anniversary. The visit included a presentation and gifting of one of the works of Indivisible to Okazaki Mayor Yasuhiro Nakane. Its companion piece will be presented to the council at tonight’s meeting.

Also on tonight’s consent calendar, council will consider the contract for helicopter services between the cities of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.

The service will support local police, fire and marine safety operations.

The current agreement ends on June 30 and the Newport Beach Police Department is requesting council approval for a new three-year agreement in the amount not to exceed $800,000 per year, for a total of $2,400,000.

According to the staff report, either party may terminate the agreement without cause upon 60 days prior written notice.

Newport Beach has contracted with HB for helicopter services since 2011.

Also on the consent calendar, council will consider an inter-agency instructional services agreement with Rancho Santiago Community College District. The district is acting on behalf of the Santa Ana College Criminal Justice Academies.

The five-year agreement is for an amount not-to-exceed $525,000. The contract will enable SAC to compensate the City of Newport Beach for California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) training courses conducted by the police department. The agreement allows payment of fees up to $105,000 per fiscal year, for a total of $525,000 over five years. Staff estimates training courses already planned in the first year of the agreement will generate new revenue of $78,000, with additional eligible courses under consideration.

The council agenda is available online here. The regular meeting will begin at 4 p.m.

The meeting can be watched live on the local NBTV channel (Spectrum 3 or Cox 852) or on the city’s website here.

Members of the public may speak in person in council chambers (there is not a remote or online option to participate).

Questions and comments can be submitted in writing for City Council consideration by sending them to the city clerk at cityclerk@newportbeachca.gov. To give the council adequate time to review comments, comments were submitted by 5 p.m. on June 24 (the day before the City Council meeting). Correspondence received by this deadline were uploaded to the agenda packet by June 24 at 5:30 p.m. and can be viewed here.

Material received after the deadline and prior to 2 p.m. today (the day of the meeting) will be provided to the council in hard copy and will be available to the public at the meeting.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


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