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The Political Landscape:

Tax group endorses DeVore

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s president says assemblyman is on side of hardworking Californians.

October 13, 2009|By Brianna Bailey

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore might have one heck of a fight against former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina for the Republican nomination in the 2010 Senate race against incumbent Barbara Boxer, but at least he has the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. endorsement locked up.

“Chuck DeVore has been a strong ally for taxpayers while serving in the California Legislature,” said association President Jon Coupal in a written statement released this week. “Through every budget fight in Sacramento, he has stood firmly on the side of hardworking Californians. With numerous bailouts and endless government goodies now being doled out in our Nation’s capitol, we can count on Chuck to go to Washington and take a stand for taxpayers.”

In its endorsement, the group commended DeVore’s sponsorship of legislation that would consolidate the state’s two largest tax collection agencies into an entity called the California Tax Commission.

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NEWPORT BEACH LOOKS TO OUTSOURCE STREET SWEEPING

Newport Beach is considering outsourcing its street sweeping program in an effort to curb spending in a time of slumping tax revenues.

“Everyone I know is looking for ways to cut costs, that’s our challenge with city government as well,” Councilwoman Leslie Daigle said. “We don’t live in a bubble — we have to look at our costs.”

Newport Beach spends about $1 million a year for its street sweeping program; the vast majority of that money goes to employee salaries and benefits, as well as equipment upkeep and maintenance, according to a city report on the matter.

The city is considering a 12-month pilot program that would put contracted street sweepers in select areas of the city five days a week.

The pilot program could begin as early as January.

CIVIC CENTER PLANS MOVE FORWARD

Councilwoman Nancy Gardner posed the $100-million-question Tuesday night to City Manager Dave Kiff about plans to build a new Newport Beach Civic Center.

“Are we confident we’re not galloping so down the path we can’t pull back if we feel it would better to wait and that sort of thing?” Gardner asked at this week’s City Council meeting.

The latest set of plans for the large-scale project include a 15,000 square-foot add-on to the Newport Beach Central Library and a roughly 4,900-square-foot emergency operations center. Preliminary estimates put the cost of the Civic Center project as high as $100 million.

Kiff reassured the council members they had up until construction bids for the project were submitted to decide on whether to hold off on the multimillion-dollar project.

The latest estimates on how much the project will cost should be available in November, he said.

A still-stagnant building market is good news for the city, because bids for large-scale public projects statewide are coming in as much as 50% below engineering estimates, Kiff said. Contractors are hungry for work, he said.

“It’s a great time to build a building like this or build a park like that,” Kiff said.

Architects will speak about the latest revisions to the design at the next Civic Center Design Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Newport Beach City Council Chambers, 3300 Newport Blvd.

The meeting also will be broadcast live on NBTV, available on Time-Warner Channel 3 and Cox channels 30 and 852 or at www.newportbeachca.gov.


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