Newport Beach City Managers Update: Longtime City Employees Retire, Big Canyon Home Fire

Grace Leung, City Manager of Newport Beach

By Grace Leung, City Manager of Newport Beach

In the next few weeks, two long-serving city councilors will be retiring. Laura Detweiler, Director of Recreation and Senior Services, is retiring after 20 years of service (14 years in her current position) and Tim Hetherton, Director of Library Services, is retiring after 24 years with the city (8 years in his current position). retire.

Laura first came to the City of Newport Beach in 1991 as the Community Services Program Coordinator for OASIS and served in that role for six years. She left the company to gain experience in other Orange County cities and returned to Newport Beach in 2008 as a department manager.

Head of Leisure and Senior Services Laura Detweiler

Tim came to the city in 1998 and served as the reference librarian, adult services coordinator and library services manager on his way to becoming director in 2014.

While we regret Laura and Tim’s departure, the loss of their talent is offset by the strength of the teams they leave behind. Both have done an excellent job of building outstanding teams that excel in their roles and provide a consistently high level of service to our community.

Library Services Manager Tim Hetherton

Recruitment of a new Director of Library Services is now underway and Tim will remain in his position until his successor is appointed sometime in May. The search for a new Director of Recreation and Senior Services has begun, with Associate Director Sean Levin serving as the interim director during the hiring process.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Tim and Laura all the best in their well-deserved retirement. You have both contributed a lot to the success of your departments over the years and we will miss you!

Firefighters put out a house fire in the Big Canyon

The Newport Beach Fire Department responded to a home fire in the Big Canyon area that broke out just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 20. Among other firefighting measures, the crews used an air ladder to extinguish the flames above the roof (see photo below). ). The fire was extinguished around 6 p.m

Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the fire. Damage was limited to a single home, which was marked uninhabitable.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Jamboree road construction starts

A project began this week to restore Jamboree Road and install a reclaimed water irrigation system for median landscaping, among other improvements.

This project is located on Jamboree Road between East Coast Highway and Ford Road. Civil works include installation of a new reclaimed water main and median irrigation system, landscaping improvements, replacement of a collapsed stormwater main, removal and reconstruction of damaged concrete sidewalks and curb access ramps, rebuilding of concrete center curbs, asphalt rehabilitation, and installation of new traffic signs and markings.

The construction work will take place until mid-August, Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Temporary lane closures are required.

Buildings at the end of Newport Pier

Demolition set for the vacant Newport Pier Building

The former restaurant building, which has been vacant for about a decade at the end of Newport Pier, will be demolished next month.

Demolition work begins April 27 and will be completed before Memorial Day weekend. Construction crews will remove the structure and restore the wooden pier deck beneath the building.

The end of the pier will be fenced off and closed to the public during construction.

Attempts to find a new tenant or a replacement restaurant were unsuccessful and the building fell into disrepair. In October, the city council voted to demolish the building and study facility to improve the McFadden Square area at the base of the pier, the adjacent parking lots, and the pier itself.

Has your council district changed? Experienced!

A new map for Newport Beach’s seven city council districts went into effect Friday, April 21.

The city council approved the new map in March after several public hearings to consider the community’s input on county boundary options. By law, council districts must be reassessed every 10 years after the federal census to ensure an even distribution of population across the districts.

To find out if your council area has changed, please see the new map:

Or search by address at

Telecommunications for public safety, volunteers, animal care honored

This past week, the Newport Beach Police Department had the honor of honoring multiple departments during National Public Safety Telecommunicationtors Appreciation Week, National Volunteer Appreciation Week, and National Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week.

Each of these departments is dedicated to serving the city of Newport Beach, building on our tradition of excellence while working as a team to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Scholarships for college-bound seniors and transfer students

The city is accepting grant applications from college-bound seniors and transfer students through 5 p.m. Monday, May 2 to earn up to $700 towards educational expenses.

The City of Newport Beach’s Ackerman Scholarship program was established to assist qualifying students in pursuing higher education. Funding for the program is provided by an endowment of the Ackerman Trust. Grants may be used toward tuition, books, lab, and/or tuition.

Eligibility and application information:

Help Newport Beach Rank #1: Make My Water Pledge Today!

On Friday, April 22, Newport Beach was ranked 7th among all cities in the United States in the Wyland Foundation’s 2022 National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. Help us reach #1 by accepting My Water Pledge today at

My Water Pledge is a friendly competition between cities across the United States to see who is the most “water smart”. Mayors across the country are urging their residents to conserve water, energy and other natural resources on behalf of their cities through informative, easy-to-use online pledges.

The pledge takes less than a minute and you are automatically entered into one of the many prizes. Last year, nearly 300 US city residents were awarded over $50,000 in prizes in the challenge. Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take up the challenge earn the Water Wise designation (in multiple categories based on population size).

The 2022 challenge runs until April 30th.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Team is now on call 12 hours a day, 7 days a week in Newport Beach to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed by mental health specialists and emergency responders, and works closely with the city’s police and fire departments.

This week the Be Well Team:

  • Transported two people to the shelter at the Costa Mesa Bridge.
  • Helped an elderly person in a mental crisis.
  • Provided first aid to two homeless people.
  • Conducted 33 outreach interactions with residents and people affected by homelessness.

homelessness update

The City of Newport Beach is providing a comprehensive response to address homelessness through a coordinated effort of city employees, contractors, partner agencies and nonprofit groups.

This week, the city’s homeless awareness and relief teams:

  • Secured permanent housing for an elderly woman who was homeless in Newport Beach for 7 years.
  • Referred several unprotected individuals to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter for temporary housing and services. As of this week, 19 people who were homeless in Newport Beach are being housed at the facility.
  • Registering a person for services and completing an apartment valuation.
  • Registering two people for the services of the Orange County Healthcare Agency.

Serve your community! Apply now for vacancies on boards, commissions

The City of Newport Beach is currently accepting applications to fill the following upcoming positions (all terms are for four years ending June 30, 2026):

  • Library Board of Trustees (one seat)
  • Board of Appeal for Buildings and Fire Safety (two seats)
  • Municipal Art Commission (one seat)
  • Public Service Board (one seat)
  • Port Commission (three seats)
  • Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission (two seats)
  • Planning Commission (one seat)

All seats will become vacant upon expiry of existing terms of office on June 30, 2022.

All applicants must be qualified city voters, none of whom may hold salaried office or service in the city government (Section 702 of the City Charter).

The application deadline is Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 12:00 p.m. For application materials and more information on the boards and commissions, visit or call (949) 644-3005. The application and information on the committees and commissions can also be accessed through the City’s website at

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