• The other 13 candidates

    An impressive group of 15 candidates applied for the two vacant positions on the PG City Council. All care for the city, and each has something to contribute. Many have said that they will consider running for the city council in November, 2010. Here’s a look at those candidates and what they said on their resumes. Watch this space when filings begin for the 2010 elections. We present them in the order they were presented to the city council, which was a random choice by the deputy city clerk and the city attorney.

    Jonathan Wizard is a Pacific Grove firefighter. His stated objective in applying for the appointment to City council is “to become an effective and productive member of the city council and make a positive contribution that positively affects the residents, guests and employees of the city as well as the city as an entity. He graduated from Pacific Grove High school and has an AS in Fire Science, plus California State firefighter II certification and other related certificates. In his oral presentation, Wizard said he would like to see a “change in the way Pacific Grove does business.” He believes that younger, working people and new citizens are effectively disenfranchised and that a “younger representative” is needed on the city council.

    Darlene Billstrom was chair of the Architectural Review Board from 1997-2002 and from 2005-2008. She was a member of the Historic Resources Committee from 2003-2008 (and chair of that committee from 2005-2008). She is a member of the Heritage Society and served as its vice president from 2004-2006 and president from 2006-2008. She is currently the foreperson of the 2009 Civil Grand Jury, which will hold its final meeting in November. Billstrom states that her work on the HRC and ARB gave her valuable experience and knowledge of the city’s General Plan.

    Richard Ahart, Jr. is currently the president and CFO of Gold Country Foods, Inc. He also has background in real estate and has done business with large companies including Citicorp, Bank of America and Chevy’s, Inc. His resume includes restaurant management/ownership, land acquisitions, leasing, tenant improvements, and residential and commercial development. His education includes undergraduate studies in business law/administration of justice.

    Michael Gordon has more than 30 years of management experience, including strategic planning and operations, market identification, financial development, performance analysis and development and implementation of management reporting systems. As a current partner in a management consultant firm, part of his scope of work includes identification of non-traditional revenue resources and negotiation of partnering agreements. His wife is a teacher at Pacific Grove High school. He has a BS in Business Administration. Gordon told the city council that he believes it is time for the citizens to become involved in the governance of Pacific Grove. He believes that Pacific Grove can be “updated” without losing its “eclectic nature.”

    Daniel Miller points to his combination of institutional knowledge of the city of Pacific Grove and financial acumen which he believes will contribute to the city council. He says that he has attended more than 100 Planning commission meetings and 250 city council meetings, and that he worked reviewing the city budget and brought to light many problems that had plagued the city and have since been corrected. Miller graduated from Monterey Peninsula College and attended UCLA Film School where he majored in Economics and Film. As at many city council meetings, Miller stated in his oral presentation that he wants to bring the fire department back to Pacific Grove.

    Cynthia Garfield has a business and social service background. She has worked as program coordinator at the county level, and has many years of experience in education. Garfield has an MBA with concentrations in entrepreneurship and finance. She states that she believes her experience in the support of teams and her mediation training will support the collaboration processes and outcomes at the city council level.

    David Haugen is an engineer and an attorney. He says that he has “met the challenge of balancing interests using limit resources.” He is currently a vice president, general counsel and corporate officer at Fox Factory, inc., responsible for the legal existence and operation of a $100 million+ company.

    Ed Lake has more than 30 years of human resources recruiting and managing functions, chiefly in software/hardware engineering and product management for networking and wireless industries. He is currently a research specialist at Monterey Peninsula College. He is also a Pacific Grove Code Enforcement Officer. He claims strong communication and organizational skills, with an ability to develop and implement initiatives effectively. Lake told the council that he wonders if Pacific Grove is too restrictive and if that is a factor in the problems gaining and retaining downtown businesses.

    Robert Carp has 34 years of public service. This includes fourteen years with the Pacific Grove Police Department. He retired as a sergeant in 2006. “I have a good knowledge of the city and a reputation of being fair and honest. I am a good listener and a strong problem solver.” Carp has served as treasurer for several organizations, including the Pacific Grove Police Officers’ Association, Z-Ranch Water Company and the Salinas Chevy Classic Car Club. He wants to make the city better and financially stronger. Carp favors a two-tier retirement system for new hires for the city but believes it needs to be CalPERS.

    George Cullinan currently serves as chairman of the Pacific Grove Recreation Committee. He has been the CEO of several companies, including Savant Enterprises, Inc., Transpac Electronics, Fiber-optics and Telecommunication, and Machine Industries, Inc. He cites these skills, along with leadership and fundraising skills as qualifications for a council seat. Cullinan has done various forms of community service from 1976 to date. Cullinan retired in 2003. He stated that while he likes the Farmers Market and sees that it is established, he thinks it should be moved from Lighthouse Avenue in deference to business who complain about it.

    Henry Leinen is a member of the Pacific Grove Traffic Safety Commission. He has lived most of his life in Pacific Grove. He has worked as a letter carrier and has served on the Feast of Lanterns Board and as Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America units within the city. Leinen transferred to the U.S. Treasury Department and served a the last Port Director for the Port of Monterey. Since retiring in 2005, he has taught at the police Academy and is pursuing a Juris Doctorate degree. “I have no agenda that I wish to pursue with the exception of bringing more revenue into Pacific Grove, and to help develop a cohesive planning process by mandating that all applications be reviewed by the other relevant boards and commissions in the city.”

    Rudolph (Rudy) Fischer‘s goal is a significant role in helping the city of Pacific Grove become a better place to be; with a balanced budget, fiscal reserves and a city council that has a reputation for forward thinking. His work experience centers around human resources, most recently at Pulse Link, Inc. “With over 28 years of business experience, I think I can be sensitive to the needs of the business community in Pacific Grove.” His civic experience includes service on the library board in Mountain View, the Lakeshore Homeowners Association and the Station West Homeowners Association. He quoted Congressman Tom Campbell, paraphrasing David R. Berman, saying that “politics is the art is satisfying the irritated while not irritating the satisfied.”

    James E. Quinn has owned property in Pacific Grove since 1997 and resided here since 2000. He and his wife have a number of real estate investments in other parts of California and Arizona. He has experience in the private sector as an executive at General Electric and as an owner of small businesses. He plans to be very visible in the community, meeting business owners and attending events. Quinn is involved in PG Rotary, the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, and writes for a local publication.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 1, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News, Marge Ann Jameson


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