Catalina Island News

2014 Avalon City Council Candidates

2014-03-14
City of Avalon

April 8, 2014 the residents of Avalon have the opportunity to vote for the Mayor and Council Members in the Municipal Election. Robert Kennedy and Ann Marshall are running for Mayor. Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy, Ralph Morrow, Michael Ponce, Burney Ramming, Joe Sampson, Alexander Sanchez and Tim Winslow are competing for two of the four City Council seats.

The Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce developed a list of six questions for the candidates.  The candidates have responded and their answers were submitted electronically and copied exactly as submitted. The Chamber urges you to not listen to rumors flying around town or on the Internet but to read the candidates' responses yourself and make up your own mind about who should be elected to the City Council.

Candidate Forum

Thursday, March 20 the Chamber will host a Candidate Forum at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers at Avalon City Hall. Each candidate will be given 5 minutes in which to make a statement, followed by questions from the audience. The Candidate Forum will be televised live on local Cable TV Channel 3, streamed live on the City of Avalon, and streaming on this news item the following day.

Questions submitted by the Candidates:

  1. What do you think are the two biggest issues facing the City of Avalon in the next two years, and what are your thoughts for dealing with them?
  2. The City of Avalon currently has a budget deficit in excess of $1 million.  How do you propose to balance the City's budget?
  3. The City of Avalon needs a qualified workforce just as do local businesses.  Many businesses complain that they cannot compete for workers with the City of Avalon because both wages and benefits are higher in the public sector than they are in the private sector.  This forces businesses to pay through their taxes for wages and benefits for public workers that they cannot afford to give to their own employees.   How would you go about establishing appropriate salaries, benefits, and retirement plans for public employees?
  4. Without significant rainfall in the next several weeks, Avalon will be entering Stage 2 Water Rationing, which will require residential water customers to reduce their water consumption by 25% and will require most hotels to use no more than 20 gallons per guest per day.  Many will find this standard very difficult to meet.  What are your thoughts for a long-term solution for providing an affordable and adequate fresh water supply for Avalon?
  5. Some members of our community would like to see fewer visitors come to the island, others want more visitors.  Describe your thoughts about an appropriate balance of visitors and residents.  What is the role of the City of Avalon regarding the visitor experience?
  6. For the past four years, the Chamber has been working on a project to bring a cruise ship berthing facility to Avalon, with the conviction that the existence of a berthing facility will result in a significant increase in the number of cruise calls enjoyed by the City.  Do you support the installation of a minimally environmentally impactful floating pier at the Mole, provided it is financed and is self-amortizing with no financial burden on the citizens of Avalon?

Answers to Questions:

Robert Kennedy
Ann Marshall
Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy
Ralph Morrow
Michael Ponce
Burney Ramming
Joe Sampson
Alexander Sanchez
Tim Winslow