President Ken started a bit early today to accommodate our speaker’s schedule, with Richard Swinney providing the invocation and Dr. Bob Wood offering the pledge to the flag of our great country.
Ed Romeo’s photo on the front page of the local paper was explained in detail by Ed, who was just answering the phone. “Age is a number. Aging is a process.” Ed also noted that our Field of Honor will be on
the cover of Oasis News for the May issue.
Gina Lesley introduced her guest, Sharon Paxson, shown here .
Introduced by George Lesley, Joe Stapleton , our new Commissioner in Newport Beach. “Joe is not exactly new to the City Government. He served as the Harbor Commissioner for a number of years and on the Finance Commission for a bunch of years. I’ve known Joe a long time through the Commodores of the Chamber of Commerce as a Past Skipper. He’s also started a number of organizations and among his accomplishments, he ran the Boston Marathon in 2013, got to 25 miles, but the next year he went back and finished the whole race. He’s the only person I have ever known who ran the Boston Marathon twice.”
George, as you mentioned, I am Joe Stapleton and have the pleasure of serving as one of the newest City Council members from Newport Beach. It doesn’t take long to sit at the BCYC and look out at the beautiful city that we have and be reminded of how blessed we are to be in the City like Newport Beach, and looking around the room, whether it’s Diane or Seymour or George or Gina or any of you is not unnoticed by someone like me. I’ve made it my passion. My life moved from Ambition to Contribution, to making a positive difference in my community. I know what it means to make payroll, and I know what it means to have the ambition to live in a City like Newport Beach. All of you have made the city better than you found it. I spoke with a few of you in the past when I was running for office. I had the pleasure of winning on November 8, District One, Peninsula, Lido and Newport Shores.
What I thought I’d do today is talk about some of the projects we’re working on and some of the things I’m focused on personally. But before I get started, I want to acknowledge that I am one of the co- founders of the Newport Beach Foundation. We’re a 501c3 and we are currently going out looking for applications for our next class. We started what we call our “Distinguished Citizens Program,” so it’s an opportunity for the next generation to get engaged in Community Service, because I’m doing all I can to help pressure the next generation to help “pass to baton”. So we’re graduating 225 people from the program. It’s a four-week class, meets every Wednesday night in May, and every Wed night in October. Two hundred and twenty-two people have come through the program, it’s something I’m very proud of. What’s the youngest age? A. high school students.
I’ve got a strong background in the Harbor and a strong background in the finances of the city. We’re fortunate that each one of us brings something different to the table. Some of the top focuses for me are #1, public safety, #2 infrastructure, #3 quality of life issues, #4 homelessness, #5 physical strength, and last but not least, #6 Harbor improvement. Those are the six things.
Homelessness. Not everybody wants the services. You start thinking about mental health, addiction and related issues. Some things are outside our control because, for example, the Transportation Center in Fashion Island owned by the County. Our Police have two full-time staff members. Tents there have gone from 91 to 64. It’s a regional problem with regional solutions, transition from temporary to permanent housing. We want to be able to enforce camping laws.
I have six RV’s parked in front of my house for three years. I live on the peninsula at 56th Street.
Superior Avenue has a big parking lot built for Sunset Ridge Park. Bridge to connect parking lot to be completed 2024.
Lower NH dredging has been approved by the Federal Govt for 20M$. This is the last comprehensive dredging project, and will put us where we want to be.
McFadden Square: make it a destination. Room for improvement. Pier is old. New pier is in planning. Lifeguard HQ... don’t need a restaurant at end of pier or Lifeguard HQ.
Balboa Branch Library and Fire Station. Begin Construction 2025, similar to CdM Fire Station.
Another thing I’m passionate about is the Balboa Fun Zone. Never a reason to go to the Fun Zone. Tear it down, build it back up. That will improve the entire area. Ten to 15 years. Will maintain same aesthetics.
Beach erosion. Anyone been on beach lately after these storms? I’m chair of water quality. Quality of water has never been better. Fed govt used to dump sand. Cut funding. Phase 13 has been OKd, will happen soon. Dumping a lot of sand. About a million cu ft. sand replenishment at 61st Street.
Eight council meetings, not one of them has gone for longer than an hour, except for fractional ownership. Issues in my district are fractional owners. They are generally 20% over market. We are banning fractional ownership. Prices are 1.2 or 1.5 million $ for 12 weeks. If it’s under six beds, they’re protected by the State. Threat to quality of life. Twelve beds will turn out to be not allowable, no fractional ownership.
Two final things: So Cal Edison...salt water getting inside the boxes, causing the street lights to go out. We have an aging infrastructure, only one line for power.
Balboa’s Ferry. Signed a letter to Sacto. Letter published? Yes, public record.
Charter State...Why not join HB suing the state? Saw no path to victory in suing Sacto.
Airport area ripe to redevelopment. That’s the direction we’re heading.
Heart goes our to residents on Galaxy.
Thank you for the Flags on Memorial Weekend for 15 years.
Thanks, Joe for the update! (Ed. Wood)
Apr 13 - Georgine Bruce, Downey Center
Apr 20 - Nancy Gardner, Incorporating State Housing Element in Newport Beach’s General Plan
Apr 27 - Business Meeting
We will meet at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. You will be emailed an invitation two days before the meeting. Please notify Richard Swinney by Wed 2 PM if you are planning on attending.