Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Curry, the Mayor of the City of Newport Beach, Gets it

Posted by CotoBogzz 02-23-2010 06:00 PM

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – The mayor of Newport Beach gets it. 298 Orange County City Hall council members do not get it. During his State of the City address Friday. Mayor Keith Curry unveiled an initiative creating a new “gold standard for customer service” to be implemented by City Manager David Kiff. Part of this new gold standard requires city employees to return calls, whether the residents are so-called disgruntled residents or not, within 24 hours.

The new initiative goes into effect this week.

According to Kiff, Building and Safety and General Services generally receives the most calls and or e-mails per day. We like mayor Curry’s initiative for a number of reasons. More importantly, this supports our assertion that public safety, is primarily a function of residents and local governance, not law enforcement: Whether that city is considered the safest city or not, is mostly a function of the leadership displayed by city hall - such leadership includes vision and a willingness to engage with residents, supporters and critics alike – adopting LEEEO, for example

L – Leadership - refers to local governance and community leaders
E – Engineering - refers to infrastructure, lighting, signage, etc.
E- Education – inspiring and educate residents on the importance of respecting law and order,
E – Engagement – coordination between law enforcement agencies and residents
O – organization

Take for instance the leadership demonstrated by the cities of Lake Forest and Mission Viejo: Lake Forest's ordinance issuing a 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city or the Mission Viejo City Council pioneering work with underage drinking, being the county's first to pass the Social Host ordinance. Certainly these two cases illustrate a more cost-efficient and proactive approach to public safety than say the AVOID program final 2009 Holiday results which required three law enforcement agent for every arrest.

On the other hand, it is no secret that Coto de Caza’s local government is not welcomed in San Juan Capistrano (California Highway Patrol offices) or that the local government has strong support from DUI defense attorneys. Even the OCSD representatives were called extortionists in open board meetings by the president of the Coto de Caza board of directors. Consequences? According to OCSD figures, Coto de Caza has the highest crime rate of all times. Consistent with Winstren’s Law: Crime goes where it is welcomed and stays where it is well treated.

Curry’s initiative tells his constituents that as compared to 298 Orange County City Hall council members who outsource public safety to the OCSD, his administration gets it. He does not outsource public safety to the OCSD. He understands he is a civil servant and his constituents are entitled to the best services their taxpayer money can buy: Curry 1) gets it 2) He measures it 3) If he measures it, he can manage it.

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