Insider's Guide

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Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Joint Meeting with the Finance Committee and the City Council Regular Meeting and Closed Session on May 26, 2020 


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During these unprecedented times, public participation is critical for good governance and accountability. To that end, the City has implemented an Information Technology solution to ensure your voice is heard. Using a program called Zoom, the City will livestream the meeting through its website ( and will broadcast the meeting on its cable television channel NBTV (Spectrum Channel 3 and Cox Channel 852). The Mayor and City Council members will be seen on screen as they participate in the meeting from their homes or other secure locations. In addition to providing written comments prior to the meeting, members of the public can call in to provide their comments for agenda items in real time. The telephone numbers are listed after agenda item titles on the Council agenda and will appear on viewers’ screens at the appropriate times. Consistent with in-person Council meetings, callers will have three minutes to provide comments on an agenda item.  

Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, May 26, 2020. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here. There is a Joint Special meeting of the City Council and the Finance Committee at 4 p.m. with the following items of note:

  • This year is an unprecedented year for the City’s finances.The City has already seen significant drops in some major revenue sources due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.Staff has prepared the budget with a number of reductions to and deferral of capital projects and operating expenditures.The City Council will discuss the proposed budget with the Finance Committee prior to budget adoption by the City Council on June 9, 2020.

The Regular Meeting begins at 5 p.m. with the following items of note:

  • We are recommending an award of a contract to improve water quality in the bay.  The storm drain located just off Old Newport Boulevard has long been an area of concern and is the last location to improve water going into the bay.  The City has also received a grant in the amount of just over $500,000 to make this much needed improvement.
  • Public Works will award a contract for Cameo Highlands Street Reconstruction.  This project will upgrade and repair these 1960’s streets. 
  • The City Council will consider an Emergency Ordinance to Fast Track Back to Business by allowing temporary use permits for businesses to use public spaces and parking lots to provide adequate social distancing.  If approved, the ordinance would go into effect immediately.

Due to the Governor’s order to stay at home, and to practice social distancing, there will be no members of the public in the City Council Chambers.  If you wish to comment, you may do so telephonically and the City strongly encourages you to send your comments via email to by Monday, May 25, at 5 p.m.

Thank you for reading.  Feedback is appreciated so please don’t hesitate to ask a question or offer a comment. 

Grace K. Leung
City Manager,

City Council Meeting Information

The Newport Beach City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of most months (the exceptions are August and December). Typically, there is a Study Session that starts at 4 p.m. Study sessions are times for the Council to take a deeper look at a specific issue, or hear a presentation, that might eventually lead to a specific and more formal action. A closed session often follows the Study Session. Closed sessions are typically to address legal, personnel, and other matters where additional confidentiality is important. The Regular (evening) Session typically starts at 7 p.m., and often has a specific listing of different items ready for formal votes. Items on the “Consent Calendar” are heard all at once, unless a Council member has removed (aka “pulled”) an item from the Consent Calendar for specific discussion and separate vote. If an item on the agenda is recommended to be “continued”, it means that the item won’t be heard nor voted on that evening, but will be pushed forward to another noticed meeting.    

Public Comment is welcomed at both the Study Session and the Regular Session. The public can comment on any item on the agenda. If you want to comment on a Consent Calendar item that was not pulled from the Consent Calendar by a Council Member, you will want to do so at the time listed on the agenda – right before the Council votes on the entire Consent Calendar (it’s Roman Numeral XIII on the posted agenda). If an item is pulled, the Mayor will offer that members of the public can comment as that specific item is heard separately. Additionally, there is a specific section of Public Comment for items not on the agenda, but on a subject of some relationship to the city government. If you cannot attend a meeting and/or want to communicate with the City Council directly, this e-mail gets to all of them: The City Manager also get's a copy of the email, because in almost all cases it’s something that the City Manager follows-up on.  

The Council meets in the Council Chambers at 100 Civic Center Drive, off of Avocado between San Miguel and East Coast Highway. There is plenty of parking in the parking structure. You are always welcome to attend in person, but you can also watch on TV, Spectrum channel 30 and Cox channel 852 or stream it on your computer.

This Insider’s Guide is not an attempt to summarize every item on the Agenda – just the ones that seem of specific interest to the City Manager. You are encouraged to read the full agenda if you wish.

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