The day I decided to run for City Council
When the trees came crashing down in front of Ensign School during nesting season, no elected leaders were there to show concern, responsibility, or even empathy for the neighbors. I was there, however, to witness every aspect of a disastrous day with what seemed to be extreme insensitivity to people who live nearby and care so much. On that day, it became clear to me, that I could be a better representative for my neighborhood and others like it.
My life up to now has prepared me well for the many aspects of government for which Council Members are responsible. I have been fortunate in where I lived and grew up. My interest in government and the needs of people began as I grew up in Covina in a household dedicated to the community. My father was an enthusiastic elementary school principal and my mother a full-time volunteer for the Girl Scouts. I learned about the community through my family and Girl Scouts. I was active in Girl Scouts through Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors. Scouting called for building leadership skills and in my senior year, I was President of the Senior Planning Board for the Spanish Trails Council. Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout. I have been able to help in various capacities including mentoring Senior Girl Scouts in career-related activities for several years as my own career allowed.
Fortunately for me we live in an amazing area where any education we seek is available night and day and even on-line for those who must work. My mind became more and more set on the idea of starting my own business although I had to get a job as soon as I could. After High School, I went to Cal Poly Pomona for general education classes and then transferred to UCLA for Environmental Design and Business Management. By attending classes at night I was able to work at a design firm in Irvine. Five years later I opened my own interior Design Firm, Scarbrough Design (now called Space Squared.) That was in 1986. I have been in business for 34 years now. We prepare space plans and construction drawings, specify materials and assist our clients in managing the construction of their projects. The majority of our work is healthcare and the balance is corporate office. Most of our projects are in the Inland Empire. I do not currently have, nor have I had in the past, any projects in Newport Beach. As a result of my work, I am knowledgeable about building codes and construction and I have extensive experience in project management and the operations of a small business.
I was fortunate enough to have met Charles Klobe in 2001. He has lived here since 1991. We had common interests and between the 2 of us, we had 4 boys to raise. In 2005 I moved to Newport Beach; a city I had visited regularly from the time I was in elementary school. Charles and I bought a cottage-like home in Newport Heights. The charm and atmosphere of the neighborhood, the salty breeze from the ocean, and the nearby schools were just the kind of place we were looking for to raise our children who then attended Newport Heights Elementary, Ensign Intermediate, and Newport Harbor High School.
Once having established my business and seeing the boys through school, I began to look for opportunities to become more involved in the community. Over the past several years I have been involved in and attended numerous meetings regarding the General Plan Update, various housing issues (accessory dwelling units, 3rd-floor massing, cottage preservation), airport issues, election reform, homeless issues, short term lodging issues, the closing and opening of Newport’s beaches and businesses, to name a few. I participate actively in the Newport Heights Improvement Association, the Protect Mariners Mile group and the Good Neighbor Policy Advisory Committee, in addition to Still Protecting Our Newport (SPON).
As the owner of a small business, I have experienced struggles over the years. I have developed skills for dealing with outside influences through creativity, deftness and trial and error. I have prevailed through 3 minor recessions and the “Great Recession.” None of it was easy. This experience has provided me with the skills that could only come from owning a small business. I understand what it is like to sign the front of the check more often than the back of the check. I have been responsible for the livelihood of many employees, and I have shared the joy of our successes and frustration of our setbacks with my co-workers and colleagues.
I am confident that my project management and business experiences have equipped me with a broad array of skills and knowledge to tackle the problems faced by the Council. My temperament, interpersonal skills and leadership abilities make me an excellent candidate for City Council. If elected I look forward to 4 years of working hard to be sure that you are heard and represented. I am not part of any voting bloc. My team are the residents and businesses of Newport Beach. I intend to be the most informed member of the Newport Beach City Council.