Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Police Association announces endorsements for City Council – Noah Blom, Sara Weber and, in somewhat of a surprise, Nancy Scarbrough

It’s been fairly quiet early in this campaign season in the races for Newport Beach City Council’s three open seats this fall. That is, up until last week.

First a little background. In District 2, incumbent Brad Avery is termed-out; his open seat offers the biggest challenge to date with Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustee Michelle Barto up against longtime activist Nancy Scarbrough.

The other two seats, at the present, have only one announced candidate each. Sara Weber is a long-time resident but political newcomer who’s announced her desires to replace a termed-out Will O’Neill for District 7, and former Mayor Noah Blom is running for reelection in District 5.

A month and a half or so ago the first official endorsements came out with little fanfare, primarily because no news release was sent out announcing them. The Newport Beach Firefighters had endorsed Noah Blom, Sara Weber and Michelle Barto. It was a great get for each of them.

For those of us who regularly watch city politics and these types of announcements, there was no real surprise with that. However, last week came the shocker when the Newport Beach Police Association announced their endorsements. They, too, backed Weber and Blom, but they surprised most everyone by coming out in support of Nancy Scarbrough.

With their announcement, the association released the following statement: “Nancy is a trusted leader who is dedicated to equipping the Newport Beach Police Department with the essential tools to maintain our community’s safety.

“As a current Newport Beach Finance Committee member, she possesses a deep understanding of city operations and we are excited to endorse Nancy for City Council.”

Some will say the Police endorsement can be where elections are won and lost, it’s that important. So, with the endorsement, Nancy suddenly becomes much more formidable in District 2.

And with that endorsement, it will be interesting to see if Scarbrough can make it translate to campaign donations.

And that’s the major difference at this point…money. Scarbrough showed minimal money raised on her end-of-the-year (2023) Campaign Disclosure Statement, while Barto at that point had more than $75,000 in the bank.

So, in the coming weeks and months, fundraisers become hugely important.

That being said, Weber, Barto and Scarbrough all have upcoming events.

Weber, who with the support of both police and fire, is reported to have almost $135,000 raised and appears well on her way. She has a fundraiser planned for Thursday, June 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Muldoon’s. RSVPs should be directed to sarafornewport@gmail.com.

Barto told me she is planning a fundraiser for Thursday, June 20 at an as yet to be announced site.

Scarbrough has a fundraising reception set for Tuesday, May 21 at The Cannery beginning at 5:30 p.m. and hosted by Jill & Sandra Ayres. RSVP to @quimbygroup.com.

All the candidates have impressive qualifications and reasons for running. Whether it’s through the above announced fundraisers, or the certain-to-be-announced candidate forums as the election nears, I encourage each of you to get engaged, to find out who best fits your desires for city governance.

You can find out more about each three new candidates on their websites here:

Michelle Barto – www.bartofornewport.com

Nancy Scarbrough – https://nancyfornewport.com

Sara Weber – www.sarafornewport.com

• • •

The Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACC-OC) hosted its Leadership Summit and Golden Hub of Innovation Awards on Wednesday, May 8 at the Hyatt Regency in Garden Grove. More than 200 stakeholders, including elected officials, county representatives, nonprofits, business partners and service providers gathered to celebrate the installation of their 2024 Board of Directors and to recognize exceptional leadership and innovative achievements across Orange County.

There were a host of Orange County leaders celebrated, including Newport Beach’s own Fire Chief Jeff Boyles. Chief Boyles was recognized at the First Responder of the Year.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

(L-R) City Manager Grace Leung and Mayor Will O’Neill flank Fire Chief Jeff Boyles who was honored as First Responder of the Year

“Awards and recognitions such as these are indicative of our organization as a whole. Sound leadership principles encourage us to surround ourselves with team players who are smarter and a bit more talented than we are. This allows for the organization to flourish and continue to grow. I am fortunate to be surrounded by an incredibly supportive boss (City Manager Grace Leung), City Council under Mayor Will O’Neill’s leadership and world-class department directors,” said Boyles.

“The only credit I’ll take is having the wherewithal to hire and promote amazing people who have a true commitment to our community and dedication to our organization and profession. For they are the ones who innovate, create and deliver lifesaving services every day. It is humbling to be a part of the great work they do.”

Congrats Chief…and well said!

• • •

The Corona del Mar Residents Association (CdMRA) will hold their monthly community meeting this Thursday (May 16), 7:30 a.m. at OASIS Senior Center.

CdMRA’s guest speaker will be Newport Beach Deputy Harbormaster Matt Cosylion, who will share updates on current and upcoming harbor projects.

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Courtesy of CdMRA

Newport Beach Deputy Harbormaster Matt Cosylion

District 6 Councilmember Lauren Kleiman will also provide reports on current city business, along with Newport Beach Police Area 4 Commander Lt. Gary Clemente, who will share an update on public safety issues.

All CdM residents are invited to attend. It will be held in person at OASIS Senior Center’s Room #2, 801 Narcissus Ave., Corona del Mar.

RSVPs are requested; please visit CdMRA.org and register no later than 12 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, May 15).

This event is also posted on CdMRA’s social media channels (Facebook @cdmra or Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) @cdmra92625).

• • •

If you have young kids, do I have an upcoming city event that will raise you to hero status around your household. This Saturday, May 18 is “Touch a Truck” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Balboa Pier parking lot as part of the celebration for National Public Works Week.

The morning will be a hands-on opportunity to get your little ones up close to heavy duty trucks and equipment and to learn how they’re used to keep Newport Beach well maintained.

There will be trash trucks, backhoes, loaders, street sweepers and more, along with informational booths.

The first hour, from 9-10 a.m., will be a no honking or lights time, for those with sensitive eyes and ears.

Add to all of that Irv’s Burgers and Kona Ice trucks and you have a winning day with the kids.

• • •

Also beginning this Friday, May 17 through Monday, May 27, is one of the truly most patriotic events that takes place all year in and around Newport Beach. The Exchange Club of Newport Beach will host their 15th Annual Field of Honor in Castaways Park, at the corner of 16th Street and Dover Drive.

Their always overwhelming display numbers 1,776 American flags that honor men and women who have served our country, including our first responders.

The Field of Honor will display red, white and blue along the park’s walkways which overlook the Newport Harbor. Yellow ribbons list those honored by their families. Some others will have such tributes as “In Honor of Those Who Served.”

The community is invited to dedicate a flag for $50 per honoree, with 100% of the proceeds donated to families of servicemen and women, along with other Americanism projects and youth charities in Newport Beach. To dedicate a flag, go to https://exchangeclubofnewportharbor.com/field-of-honor/.

• • •

And just in case your calendars still have open dates, here are some upcoming events scheduled at the Central Library by the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation:

May 15 at 7 p.m. – Spotlight on Science: Digital Tools for Projecting Coastal Erosion and Flooding featuring Dr. Brett Sanders, a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCI This event is free. Register here.

Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. – Medicine in Our Backyard: Understanding Aging and Your Lower Spine featuring Sohaib Z. Hashmi, M.D., director of Spine Trauma for the UCI Health Department of Orthopedic Surgery. This event is also free. Register here.


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