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Received After Agenda Printed <br />February 25, 2020 <br />Item No. 6 <br />Subject: FW: Thank you for the opportunity <br />From: O'Hara Mail <> <br />Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:17 PM <br />To: Dept - City Council<> <br />Subject: Thank you for the opportunity <br />Dear Mayor and Council Members, <br />It was a pleasure serving on the recently sunset General Plan Update Steering Committee for the Listen and Learn <br />process of the City's General Plan update. Thank you for the honor and opportunity, and best of luck moving forward <br />with the nuts and bolts of the Housing Element and overall General Plan Update. While the GPU Steering Committee's <br />tenure was shortened due to the pressing need to get going on the Housing Element Update (I agree with this <br />approach), staff and consultant did have time to hold a few public workshops for anyone in the community to attend, <br />learn and provide input to create a guiding Vision Statement for the General Plan update. In the end, the consultant <br />drafted a summary and a Values statement, which I assume has or will shortly be shared with the City Council. Staff also <br />solicited comments from members of the GPU Steering Committee. For your information, below are the comments I <br />shared with staff. The bold is emphasis added by me for this transmittal. <br />Again, thank you for the honor to serve my community and thank you for your generous service as well. <br />Sincerely, <br />Catherine O'Hara <br />Dear Ben, <br />Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the draft Listen and Learn Summary and Values documents. <br />While 1 don't have any specific suggested edits to the narratives, 1 do have some commentary to offer. <br />The Summary document seems to provide an adequate description of the process — kind of a no brainer. The Values <br />document doesn't say anything that 1 disagree with in terms of the takeaway from what little public input we received. <br />However, it also doesn't provide any new or insightful information that will materially add to the General Plan Update. 1 <br />am sorry to say that it appears that the Listen and Learn process was an expensive exercise that bore little fruit. 1 don't <br />fault staff or the consultant, this is just the reality of the difficulty of getting public participation and input on these types <br />of projects, especially in Newport Beach. <br />Knowing our city's culture and demographics 1 had low expectations for participation in the workshops but the turnout <br />was even less than 1 anticipated. Six hundred "contacts" (in person and online according to the Summary) is less than 1% <br />of the City's population. Accordingly, I have some concern that the Values document is not a valid representation of <br />Newport Beach resident's sentiment since it is so statistically insignificant. On the other hand, 1 do believe that it was <br />imperative for the City to have provided the opportunity for public participation. <br />Moving forward I think that the City's money would be better spent conducting a statistically significant survey for <br />more reliable feedback and input into the General Plan Update. I don't think we should continue to spend time, money <br />or effort on underutilized workshops that provide little input or benefit to the process. <br />Sincerely, <br />Catherine O'Hara <br />