Living in Newport Beach has always been a live and let live type of existence. We have 7 or 8 distinct so-called Villages. Hillary Clinton probably thought of us when she said: “It takes a village!” The point is that if you live in West Newport by the Huntington Beach City border or live in Newport Coast with the richy rich everyone seems to have different issues. When you hear about someone that lives near the 19th Pier and their beach walkways or agricultural outcroppings those of us here in the Corona del Mar Village may be too worried about parking spots or vector control of Buck Gully. Sometimes it is hard to grasp that Mariners Mile with a bunch of Commercial Business could co-exist with the little shops on Balboa Island. After a while, you start to wonder why tidelands, yachts, commercial fishing boats and a bunch of seedy bars could possibly have anything in common with those high rollers on the cliffs overlooking Corona del Mar Big Beach or all the celebrities that live on the beach side of the Pelican Hills Golf Course. (Recently listed as the finest Golf Course in America!)
Every Easter Week, there are still drunken sots of college and post-college party hearty types winding their way down the beach streets from the Newport Pier in both directions for miles. The cops come out in force and lots of drunks go to jail. All these folks never see the high and mighty of Newport Heights and their adjacent location to nearby Goat Hill – Costa Mesa. Newport Beach is as diverse as any place you might find when it comes to the style and premise of a village. Things are complex in Newport Beach, we have Federal Tidelands, State Tidelands, County Tidelands and even City Tidelands. Sometime they all get mixed up together as in the case of the American Legion Post 291 on 15th Street. The American Legion there even has a yacht club….which has to deal with City Leases and tourist boaters launching on a ramp right next door.
So, when a diverse city of only 86,000 folks (seems no matter how much land we get – we can never get over 100,000 and the big Fed money!) has a problem, there are usually some attorneys working the system. Recently, the City fathers and City Manager came to the conclusion that all those folks who have boat docks in front of their businesses – should probably pay “their fare share” and join the rest of the Boating Communities in California and pay the going rate. As you can imagine….the screams were deafening. But, if you think that is silly – try this – some local homeowners that live on the water and have boat docks that extend in some cases over 150 feet out into the bay have put together an organization to fight “possible forthcoming fees” for residential properties. Bob McCaffrey is no stranger to political in fighting. He and a few others have started: Stopthedocktax.com and is the latest machination of McCaffrey’s thought that tax breaks for the rich should continue…..forever!
Meanwhile, just try to find a buoy or a whisper to hook your boat up to in Newport Beach. The Buoy’s have a 20 year waiting list. Let’s just say the City figures that it is about time to get their due, in these tough economic times. We always wondered where Webster Guillory – the Tax Assessor was in all these debates. How much do landowners with docks pay every year in Assessed Valuation? How about in Dana Point? How about Huntington Harbor? How about Newport Beach? Shouldn’t all these fees be similar – at least? Hey, at least the Commercial Businesses with Docks are paying City License fees and in many cases a big proportion of their profits each year. So, why do the residential people get the pass? Well, we wish all the parties well and hope that folks that live in Fountain Valley, Tustin, Fullerton, Anaheim and Villa Park don’t pay much attention. After all, they don’t have docks or tidelands or beaches like we have in Newport Beach.
Then there is Paul Glaab. You know Paul….don’t you? He is the Chairman of the OCTA. He recently wrote an open letter that appreared today in the Daily Pilot of the LA Times suggesting that bloggers and floggers and citizens throughout “The OC” were getting it all wrong about the Toll Road concept for the 405 Freeway. Glaab says that NO Measure M money is being used for this process…Alternative #3. That’s the one that will give Single Drivers the opportunity to use a HOV lane for about $3 bucks for 3 miles – if they want to! Of course, if you have at least 3 people in your car or if you have a bus or shuttle – well then, you can still travel for free! How long would that option last Glaab? We know you are the Mayor of Laguna Niguel and that worries us a bunch – since you still have those dreaded “Red Light Cameras” which are going the way of the “Buggy Whip”. No Glaab, your twists and turns and mouthwash are not cutting it. We don’t need to sell $400 million in Public Bonds to build your 605 to 73 White Elephant…….no chance! We will just go with Alternate #2…..that is completely paid for and for which we will not have to get into your “bate and switch Alt. #3 – cement time share”. The most telling tale from Glaab was his statement: “To accommodate traffic on the 405 in the next 20 years – we will have to double the size – which is not possible!” OK, one Toll lane is going to make up for doubling the size of the 405? Ya think mom will buy that?
So, What’s up Dock? Ooh…#2….OK? Don’t you just love progress? Dreamers? Folks without another agenda? Those public servants always looking out for the public good?