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Newport Beach names Kevin Muldoon as mayor, Noah Blom as mayor pro tem

Incoming Mayor Kevin Muldoon, left, switches seats.
Incoming Mayor Kevin Muldoon, left, switches seats with outgoing Mayor Brad Avery during the final meeting of the year for the Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Say hello to Newport Beach’s new Mayor Kevin Muldoon and Mayor Pro Tem Noah Blom.

As part of the annual reorganization of the seven-member dais, the Newport Beach City Council named Muldoon as mayor unanimously. Muldoon will be replacing outgoing Mayor Brad Avery. Both the mayor and mayor pro tempore roles are largely ceremonial in nature, though that may change in the future depending on the voters of Newport Beach on the “Elect Our Mayor” ballot measure.

The mayor pro tem role was contested between Councilwoman Joy Brenner, first elected to the panel in 2018, and council relative newcomer Blom, with the latter receiving the title in a close, 4-3 vote.

A number of citizens offered words of support to Brenner and questioned why she has not been appointed mayor or mayor pro tem during her tenure on the council. One called attention to a recent backlash against Blom, who was elected to his seat in 2020, for drinking wine on the dais during council meetings.

Newly appointed Mayor Pro Tem Noah Blom, right, shakes hands.
Newly appointed Mayor Pro Tem Noah Blom, right, shakes hands with outgoing Mayor Brad Avery, as the council rearranges its seating at the dais.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Councilman Marshall “Duffy” Duffield nominated Blom for mayor pro tem and Councilwoman Diane Dixon nominated Brenner for the role, describing Brenner as “a councilperson with immense integrity [and] high ethical standards.”

“A point has been made that Corona del Mar — her district — has not been represented for the position of mayor pro tem or mayor since 2012 when Nancy Gardner last served,” said Dixon. “One of the speakers made a very important point that essentially, it’s marginalizing the important residents — about 12,000 residents in that district — and I think it’s important that Joy Brenner reflect that district as well as the entire city in her service.”

Muldoon was first elected to the Newport Beach City Council in 2014 and had a previous stint as mayor in 2017. He will be terming out of office next year.

“I would like to thank my colleagues for their trust,” Muldoon said. “It’s truly an honor to have been selected to serve again as mayor and this time even more so because you know what you’re getting. Our last couple of years, we as a city have faced together historic challenges and unforeseeable obstacles.”

“My hope as mayor is to lead a united city council and the city into the new year full of new beginnings and blessings. In my mind, there is no stronger shared symbol for renewed hope than the celebration of Christmas time and the new year,” said Muldoon, who also announced he and wife Heather are expecting a daughter in June.

City Council Member Joy Brenner embraces newly appointed Mayor Pro Tem Noah Blom.
City Council Member Joy Brenner embraces newly appointed Mayor Pro Tem Noah Blom, right, during the last meeting for the Newport Beach City Council for 2021.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

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