District 4 (Eastbluff, Santa Ana Heights, Airport area)
Incumbent, running against Mark Tabbert
Name: Leslie Daigle
How long have you lived in Newport Beach? 21 years
Occupation: councilwoman, businesswoman
Education: University of Denver, bachelor's degree in geography; Denmark International Study program at the University of Copenhagen, certificate in general studies
Previously elected or appointed positions: Newport Beach City Council, Newport Beach Planning Commission
Community organizations you belong to: Corona del Mar Aquatics Foundation Steering Committee, Friends of OASIS - Life Member, Palisades Tennis Club
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Newport Beach right now? Right now, I think municipal voters are looking to leaders to focus on running a safe and lean city that retains important services, is sensitive to the pain being felt by residents, encourages businesses here to survive and thrive, and stays focused on environmental issues we can manage and control such as water quality.
I've dealt effectively with completing the restoration of Upper Newport Bay, a major water quality issue. We need to continue the momentum into Lower Bay by dredging the harbor to improve navigability and water quality. We must continue to focus on our financial health.
I am sensitive to the fact that property remains a significant investment in the health of the community -- current and future. For the most part, I represent a built-out city but because of its special location, climate and god-given amenities, people still want to live here. As long as that is the case, there will be efforts by property owners to improve their properties as they age. That is good. Recent examples of refurbished property include the Pacific Club and Marian Bergeson Aquatics Complex. A city is either getting better or worse, no status quo. We either redevelop and stay fresh/current or we deteriorate.
The City Council and the community have long recognized airport impacts are, and will continue to be, the most significant threat to the quality of life of Newport Beach residents. We must remain vigilant in addressing impacts from John Wayne Airport.
With the John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement up for renegotiation in 2015, what should the city ask for to limit the environmental impacts to Newport Beach residents?
The city is prepared to spend whatever it takes to protect the curfew and the agreement.
How do you envision the future of Banning Ranch, and what should the city do to accomplish that?
A long time ago, there were advocates who wanted to stop all development at Castaways, Harbor Cove, etc. The developer agreed to ask voters what they want: to buy the land or let it be developed with big portions devoted to parks and open space (free to taxpayers). Voters decided against buying the land.
Today at Banning Ranch, not much has changed. The owner is willing to sell the property for 100% open space preservation. If acquisition is not successful, then per the voter-approved General Plan, the city will evaluate a proposal for development that now calls for 70% open space and preservation, and 30% development including amenities. The city has no plans to become the owner of this land or fund its purchase for permanent open space. As a councilwoman, I will act in the furtherance of the General Plan and not use zoning powers to effectively take private property.