Fair Game



Former Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff is assuming similar role for Laguna Beach

Former Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff is returning to the ranks of running a city, having this week accepted the role for Laguna Beach. Kiff’s confirmation will come about in Tuesday’s upcoming City Council meeting under an item recommending the adoption of a resolution calling for the “appointing (of) Dave Kiff as City Manager.”

For those of you who know Dave, I think you’ll admit how fortunate the City of Laguna Beach is to attract someone of that quality and it may be just what the doctor ordered.

Laguna Beach lost their City Manager Shohreh Dupuis last summer, and has most recently operated under the interim leadership of former Irvine City Manager Sean Joyce.

When Dupuis departed, the city seemed fraught with internal issues. Joyce, during his service seemed to right the ship and return calm to the city, something that Kiff should be able to successfully build on.

Kiff left the employment of Newport Beach on August 31, 2018. Many active in the community and staff inside city hall appeared saddened by his departure.

I asked Dave about his return: “I’m looking forward to working on important projects and challenges with the staff, community and council. Laguna is a great town and we’ve missed being a part of it. Tom (Lochner) and I are both excited to be coming back,” said Kiff.

Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf added, “Dave Kiff is an experienced city manager and as a former resident he has the added advantage of knowing our city well. Dave is a great choice for Laguna and I look forward to working with him for years to come.”

Courtesy of Dave Kiff

New Laguna Beach City Manager Dave Kiff who will be fully confirmed at Tuesday’s council meeting

Several Newport Beach leaders commented on the news:

–Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill added, “Congratulations to Laguna Beach on recruiting an experienced city manager who will no doubt bring stability. We look forward to a continued and prosperous partnership between our cities.”

Homer Bludau, former city manager of Newport Beach, who employed Dave for a number of years as his #2: “Dave is one of the absolute finest city managers and public officials I have ever known. His integrity is absolute. His compassion is vast, and he believes in public service and doing the right thing for the right reasons with all his heart.

“This is a great city manager appointment for Laguna Beach, as he knows the city so very well.”

–Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO and former Mayor of Newport Beach Steve Rosansky said, “The residents of Laguna Beach should be ecstatic that they have managed to hire one of the top city managers in the State of California.

“During the years I worked with him, Dave proved to be a compassionate and caring administrator who had the respect of the City Council, his co-workers and the people of Newport Beach. He’s always all-in on any task he takes on.”

–“Dave Kiff was one of the most beloved city managers in Newport Beach history. Laguna Beach residents are fortunate to have a city leader with his considerable experience, intellect and exceptional character,” said Nancy Scarbrough, successful business executive, long-time activist, instrumental member of SPON (Still Protecting Our Newport) and a 2024 City Council candidate.

But no one conveyed their excitement quite like Susan Skinner, an activist with residences in both Newport and Laguna, “WOO-HOO! Dave is an excellent city manager and Laguna is damn lucky to have gotten him. He listens well, seeks to understand and is one of the most ethical and honest men I know.

“The added plus is that his city updates are wonderfully amusing. I’m delighted that Laguna snagged him!”

Kiff is expected to start in early May, a date which should be shared following Tuesday’s City Council formalities.

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Sometimes the old inbox just seems to fill with more and more events, issues and news of goings-on in the city. This is one of those weeks. So, in an attempt to find more space on my computer screen and clear some things out, here goes:

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This Saturday (April 6) from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. is the next Newport Beach Police Department Mobile Café. You know the drill, this is where the community is able to get together with our PD to just say hello, express problems or concerns, ask questions and more.

It’s an idea to allow the community to get together with the police at times that are not surrounded by an emergency or an emotional situation.

In any case, coffee will be hosted at the Corona del Mar Farmers’ Market, located at 3201 East Coast Highway. In addition to coffee and conversation, you perhaps will also be enticed with a pastry.


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Speaking of our police, consider yourself “NOTIFIED.” After a number of years of using Nixle as the official community notification system, beginning April 12 (next Friday), the NBPD is officially moving to the Newport Notified system.

If you would like to continue to get crime alerts, traffic advisories, community updates and emergency notifications, please register for Newport Notified here.

For more information about the Newport Notified system, you can visit www.nbpd.org/what-s-new/newport-notified.

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Carol Crane, board president for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, has thrown her re-election hat into the ring officially. This week she announced her intentions with a save-the-date “campaign kick-off on Friday, April 24.”

Carol represents Trustee Area 3 which includes Eastbluff Elementary, Corona del Mar Middle & High School and Back Bay High School.

For more info, including time and place of kick-off, or to RSVP, go to crane4schoolboard.com.

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If you’re an organizer that provides community programs available to Newport Beach residents, or a “qualified event organizer” seeking financial support for a Newport Beach-based event, these may be for you.

The City of Newport Beach is offering potential funding through two programs – the Community Programs Grant and the Special Events Grant.

The Community Programs Grant offers a total of $60,000 in available funds to assist in enhancing programs or services offered for residents. These can be programs that serve the community specifically and/or those that pay or incur city fees.

The Special Events Grants are broken into two categories:

Community and Charitable Events that serve and/or benefit local organizations or causes, and/or provide recreational, cultural, or social benefits to residents.

Signature Events that are large-scale with 3,000 or more people, based in the city, that promote Newport Beach regionally, attract visitors and provide measurable, economic benefits to Newport Beach.

The rules and regs are as follows: the grant program is designed to assist special event organizers with costs associated in hosting an event in the city. It is a competitive process, and submitting an application for the grants does not guarantee funding.

Applicants are encouraged to review the information and program overview to gain an understanding of the program’s eligibility, qualification, and evaluation criteria and how the grants are funded.

For more information on all of the above offerings, go here.

The absolute deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 23 at 5 p.m.

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Speak Up Newport (SUN) provides valuable monthly programing to residents pertaining to issues facing the Newport Beach. Their goal is to provide an objective forum to review and discuss the challenges and opportunities for Newport Beach.

It’s comprised of a group of engaged volunteers. They operate on membership dues and one major annual fundraiser, that being the Mayor’s Dinner.

Additionally, Speak Up Newport provides one scholarship annually to Newport Harbor High School and one to Corona del Mar High School.

They are actively encouraging residents to join SUN as a member at a very nominal fee to help them continue to promote the common good and general welfare of the city. What is a “nominal fee” you ask? Try $50. But realize, those $50 memberships can help keep the organization solidly moving forward.

Find out more here.

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Good Morning CdM, a community and government affairs discussion group/continental breakfast gathering that’s held by the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, will feature City Manager Grace Leung at their April meeting.

Grace will discuss the current hot topics facing the city, offer a peek into the goal setting for the upcoming fiscal year which begins in July and more.

The meeting is free and no RSVP is necessary. It will take place at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club on Thursday, April 11 from 8-9 a.m.


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