Mayor Keith D. Curry praised a Harbor View Elementary student as “an example and inspiration to all of us” during a speech at the annual Mayor’s Dinner held Friday night.
The sold-out dinner was hosted by Speak Up Newport and was held at the Newport Beach Marriott at Fashion Island. Curry’s keynote speech included praise of police, the Citizens Emergency Response Team, current City Council members and past mayors.
He also said the state of the city is “financially strong, economically vibrant and united it its efforts to move forward.”
Curry praised the new Civic Center and park complex, and projects including dredging of the harbor and a $6 million traffic signal synchronization project. He mentioned a new Newport Beach mobile app that will be introduced this spring that will let residents report graffiti, connect with city services and more.
“We want to make accessing the city easy and fun for all of our residents,” he said, adding that he will reintroduce Meet the Mayor events that began in 2010.
The city faces challenges as well, he said. Pension costs are an ongoing concern, he said, and services like residential trash collection and jail should be considered for contracting out.
He encouraged the audience to get involved by joining Neighborhood Watch groups or supporting the Library Foundation or other civic causes.
“Find a way to serve others,” he said.
“Now more than ever in our nation’s history, our fellow countrymen need the help of those of us so fortunate to live here,” he said. “Aren’t you proud to read of the individual efforts of our exceptional local students who catch a vision of service bigger than themselves and with an entrepreneur’s skill, create a plan to meet the needs of others. Students like 10-year old Vanis Buckholz, of Harbor View School, who became concerned about the level of trash in the community and started a recycling business in Corona del Mar. He donates a portion of his proceeds to less fortunate children. Vanis and students like him serve as an example and inspiration to all of us.”