Laserfiche WebLink
RECEIVED AFTER AGENDA PRINTED <br />MARCH 13, 2018 <br />March 13, 2018, City Council Item 16 Comments <br />The following comments on an item on the Newport Beach City Council agenda are submitted by: <br />Jim Mosher ( ), 2210 Private Road, Newport Beach 92660 (949-548-6229) <br />Item 16. AB 2464 (Harper), Professional Services Agreement with <br />Schmitz and Associates, Budget Amendment <br />In my eight or nine years following Newport Beach City Council agendas, this is one of the most <br />opaquely noticed regular agenda items I can recall (to be sure, Study Session agenda items were <br />once very opaquely noticed, but that has since been corrected). <br />Based on a reading of the staff report, the item and action are clearly related to a push to create a <br />"Port Master Plan" for Newport Harbor, which is a novel matter of significant public interest. Yet <br />since the words "Port Master Plan" -- or even "harbor" -- appear nowhere in it, nothing in the <br />agenda notice would give even a well-informed citizen the slightest hint of what the subject is. <br />Considerable independent research would be required to discover that among the bills introduced <br />by Assemblyman Matthew Harper, "AB 2464 (Harper)" would add an as -yet imaginary "Port of <br />Newport Beach" to the Coastal Act, and "Schmitz and Associates" is a lobbying firm specializing in <br />coastal land use issues. <br />Even if there is no intentional effort to hide the fact that the Council is being asked to make a <br />decision to select a legislative advocate for a Port Master Plan, the fact remains that the subject is <br />completely hidden, in apparent violation of the Brown Act. <br />The proposed Professional Services Agreement is also unusual in that it contains no schedule of <br />billing rates. Although technically a "not to exceed" contract (due to the uncertain number of <br />months), the contractor is apparently entitled to $16,000 each month, independent of whether any <br />hours are spent on the effort, or not. <br />Without knowing more about this, I am strongly opposed to both the underlying proposal to pursue <br />a Port Master Plan and the choice of consultant. <br />I completely fail to see what the City is trying to accomplish by what seems to me a quixotic, and <br />likely undesirable, quest to have Newport Harbor be declared a commercial "port" under the <br />Coastal Act. <br />The third paragraph of the "Discussion" on page 16-2 of the staff report creates the misimpression <br />that Assembly Bill 2464 "would create the Port Master Plan concept in state law." As is apparent <br />from the following paragraph, the concept already exists and is applied to the deepwater <br />commercial ports of California — San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angles and Port Hueneme (San <br />Francisco Bay being under a different jurisdiction pre -dating the Coastal Act). <br />As indicated in California Pubic Resources Code Section 30700, an "existing recreation area" <br />(which I assume is all of Newport Harbor), as well as any estuary or wetland, is automatically <br />excluded, and Section 1 of AB 2464, as presented in Attachment A, does nothing to change that: <br />