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Newport Beach

Volume 6, Issue 75  | September 17, 2021


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

One election on tap today, another one is in the works as signature gathering begins for Elect Our Mayor 

Tom new picLast week, former mayor and current City Councilman Will O’Neill introduced a potential ballot measure that, if passed, will allow the voters of Newport Beach to elect their mayor beginning in 2024.

Obviously, that differs dramatically from today where the council huddles together at the meeting in December and decides who will be the next mayor by a) drawing straws, b) the council members play a game of roshambo, winner takes all, c) they decide who hasn’t had a chance, or d) they vote among themselves on who’s deserving. 

Well, you might have answered almost any of them, because truly there really isn’t any rhyme or reason for the selection process. 

Here would be the biggest changes if passed that an elected mayor would bring. The mayor would then set the agenda, versus today where the city manager does so, and would make decisions and changes to the timing of when items would be heard. 

But remember, these decisions would be made by the person elected by the residents to do so.

O’Neill’s argument for introducing the measure and potential change to the City Charter, “we deserve a strong mayor who represents all of the city with a unifying voice, in good times and in crisis.”

Signatures are now being gathered to get the measure on the ballot. Residents are encouraged to check out the website Elect Our Mayor to more fully understand what’s at stake. Then, if one so desires after reading the measure that you want to support it, you can find out how to download a petition to assist in the signature gathering attempt, or to donate money to the campaign effort. It’s all available at www.electourmayor.com/.

• • •

Don’t forget, today’s Gubernatorial Recall Election Day. We’ll decide, do we want more Newsom, or no Newsom. 

If you’re still hanging on to a ballot that you need to deposit, four local locations are available until 8 p.m.: Bob Henry Park on Dover Drive, the Newport Beach Public Library on Avocado Avenue, the city parking lot in Corona del Mar at the corner of 5th Avenue and Marguerite Avenue (across from OASIS) and on the sidewalk at the corner of Avon Street and Riverside Avenue.

Vote Center locations can be found at the Civic Center Community Room at City Hall, or at Coastline College, 1551 Monrovia Ave., Costa Mesa.

The old joke “vote early, vote often” isn’t as funny these days with so many cries of voter fraud going on.

• • •

I’ve run into or talked with multiple members of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board and one thing they all share is an enthusiasm for the new superintendent hire of Dr. Wesley Smith. He’s expected to take over the reins in early October.

The thing that impresses me is that first off, he’s well-rounded, with backgrounds in so many levels of education, he’s a former sports coach, knows enough Spanish to be able to be conversational, is well liked by past communities he’s served, and he’s excited about getting out into our community.

Kudos to our Board of Trustees who have seemed to turn the District around in such a short period of time to a much more positive and inclusive feeling.

• • •

Who is Jasmine Roth? Well, she’s referred to as “reality TV’s latest home renovation darling” for turning “boring, cookie-cutter houses into custom masterpieces” while starring on HGTV’s Hidden Potential.

Why is this important? Jasmine is coming to Lido Village Books on Tuesday, Oct. 12 for a live author signing event.

Michelle Pierce, who owns Lido Village Books, has just made access to pre-order tickets available. So, for more info go to www.lidovillagebooks.com.

• • •

In late spring, Paul Blank became Harbormaster for Newport Beach. He’s a guy that has had a special affinity for the harbor for years…a boater and a past Newport Beach Harbor Commissioner.

This week on Thursday, Blank will address Speak Up Newport to bring us all up to date on the current dredging project, the status of the CAD disposal project, the responsibilities of the City patrolling the harbor vs. what are the Sheriff’s responsibilities, new regulations that users of the harbor should be aware of and new harbor projects on the horizon.

Here’s the cool thing, Speak Up is back to meeting in person in the Civic Center Community Room, while still simulcasting their meetings on Zoom.

There’s a reception prior to the program at 5:15 p.m…probably more enjoyable in person. The program itself begins at 6. 

If you’re planning on Zooming, go to www.speakupnewport.com/new-changes-in-the-harbor/ to register.

 No registration needed to participate in person, and everything is FREE.

• • •

If, as a kid, you liked playing in the old sandbox, I might have something for you. Although it’s still a couple of weeks out, The Commodores Club will put on the 59th Annual Newport Beach Sandcastle Contest on Big Corona State Beach. It happens Sunday, Sept. 26 and runs from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

There are lots of teams that do this year-after-year, but did you know that anyone can enter a team? You just need a bunch of friends, family, or co-workers, lots of buckets, shovels, etc. and an idea. You even get T-shirts for everyone with the meager entry fee.

This year’s theme is “Explore the World.”

And if you’re not moving sand, you ought to make certain you head down there for the day. There’s a bunch of wonderful “castles” built during the afternoon and all are on display.

There are contests, cash prizes, and you’ll see designers ranging from seasoned professionals to first timers…and a few people that aren’t first timers that still build “castles” like they are.

Anyway, it’s a lot of fun. B-T-W, Big Corona State Beach supplies the sand.

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