I spent this morning at a great breakfast featuring Mayor Rush Hill, of Newport Beach, and Mayor Jim Righeimer, of Costa Mesa. Both Mayors were gracious enough to spend their morning with a group of young Realtor’s in the Orange County area.
Mayor Righeimer discussed some of the challenges and updates effecting Costa Mesa. He is trying to put a stop to the runaway pensions that are affecting the long term budget and help transform Costa Mesa into a charter city rather than the general law city they are currently. Becoming a charter city would help streamline the local government and allow them to pass their own laws and even outsource jobs and projects to the private sector if it would save tax payer dollars.
Costa Mesa also has some exciting projects in the works. They are rehabbing most of the major traffic arteries in Costa Mesa below the 405. Harbor Blvd, 19th St, and 17th St are all undergoing makeovers. You might have noticed the construction. They are re-paving the streets and updating medians and sidewalks with new plants and trees.
In Newport news, Mayor Hill has been hard at work. Currently, the city has one of its largest reserves in history and Mayor Hill has implemented new pension laws so that employees that work for the city are putting in their fair share towards their retirement. This is going to prevent some budget problems down the road.
Newport has some great projects in the works in the coming years. Most of you have seen some major road work here as well. A lot of the streets are being ripped up, because they are finally working on updating our 100 year old sewer system. Also, Sunset Ridge Park is under construction on PCH and Superior, a great use of the space that all the residents can enjoy. The city is replacing 2 fire stations, moving the police station to West Newport and working on a West Newport Community Center. West Newport has been in need of a face lift recently, and he was happy to announce that they are in negotiations to build a Beach Boutique hotel where the old Civic Center used to be. Also, Lido Village was purchased by DJM Capital Partners, which are the same owners as Bella Terra in Huntington Beach, so expect some great things.
Mayor Hill is also focusing on his 3 main initiatives for his tenure. The first priority will be the Harbor. He is looking to remove the mooring cans and replace them with floating docs with electricity and water. This would allow more room in the Harbor for recreation. He is also looking at the possibility of water taxis on the public docs, and eventually the implementation of an Uber type system with boats where you could be picked up from a Harbor side restaurant and dropped off at a friend’s home on their dock or anyplace else along the water.
His 2nd initiative will be building of a 18 hole golf course on the landfill, right below Sage School in Newport Coast. This golf course will be similar to Torrey Pines; it will be a world class golf facility where residents would receive a discount.
His last initiative is already in place and expires the 2nd week of December. This is the Newport Beach Dividend Project. This is of great value to homeowners in that it removes city permit fees for remodeling and maintaining a home. Lots of homeowners have already taken advantage of this savings program. It’s a great way to no longer postpone any major repairs or upgrades home owners have been thinking of doing on their property.