From left to right are Charlie Bean, Joe Bonino and Current 2nd Ward Councilwomen Linda Atkins.
The League of Women Voters hosted a forum at the Eureka
Rotary meeting this Monday. The Three candidates are incumbent Linda Atkins, challenger
Joe Bonino and write in candidate Charlie Bean. In the opening statements Linda
said she is focused on Police and Safety. She wants to continue on prosperity
projects and wants to work together with the community. Charlie says he has
lived on the North Coast all of his life and wants to promote business. He
would like to see a strong police department. Joe Bonino says he has lived in the area 25 years
and said he wants to retain the businesses we do have, support the Marina
Center and continue on with good tourism.
Question #1. How
would you fix the road conditions at 2nd and T & S Streets?
confused by the Question and to his defense, it was worded strange.
Joe did not have
much of an answer either.
that area was neglected and explained the priority goes to more highly trafficked
areas and traffic budget.
Question #2. Do you
support the Marina Center?
Joe said the
Marina Center is needed to give the Western side of the Boardwalk Project its
proper build out. The need for completion makes the tourist expansion complete.
Linda said “yes”
she supports the project. She explained that it is still going through the
proper planning and permitting process.
Charlie said that
he too supports the project. He pointed out that there were “games” being
played with the process, but did not elaborate.
Question #3. What separates
you from the rest of the candidates?
Linda pointed out
her years of experience on the council representing the 2nd Ward. She says she is there for all sides.
Charlie said he
has been involved with different parts of the community. He admitted to being
pushy on most things. He likes to push his ideas.
Joe said he was
not partisan and coachable. He says he has friends on both sides of the
Question #4. Do you
support the Occupy Movement?
Joe felt the
original intent was “Hijacked!” He felt
the message was defused and while he originally supported the actions, he is a
the original concept and message.
Linda agreed with
the original intent. Bank of America was ripping us off and needed to hear it.
But she felt health and Safety issues needed to be addressed and the area of
the occupier kept clean.
Question #5. How do
you address the Homeless and Transient issue?
Charlie said that
this is tough issue. He pointed out that there are people out there who do not
want to be helped. “The homeless need to
have more than just a place to eat!”
Linda said it is
hard to control our homeless population because of our temperate climate conditions
make this an ideal area with lots of green foliage. Felt we need homeless camp.
She would also like to look at partnerships with landlords and pointed out a
recent LA Times article with rentals being monitored by non-profits for ideas.
Joe pointed out
that the homeless were there by “choice, circumstance or drugs.” And felt each
case should be examined as such.
Question #6. How do
you feel about medical Marijuana and do you have a 215 card?
Joe does not have
a card and felt that all Marijuana dispensaries should be located either
somewhere else in the County or in Arcata. He talked to an unnamed heath
physician that told him that there are only about 200 real patient cases in
Humboldt County that warrant a 215 card.
Charlie also does
not have a 215 card. Felt the drug was used and abused. Wants stricter
regulations, but had no problems with having a dispensary in Eureka.
Linda does not
have a 215 card either. (What? Are these
the only 3 people in county with one?) She points out the Prop 215 was passed
by Californians and that lawsuits have been filed at many levels. She supports
an ordinance limiting grows and supports more regulation. “We are in the Wild
Question #7. How do
you feel about the Ridgewood Village project?
Linda said the
City and County need to work together and traffic issues need to be addressed.
Joe felt that the
project would be a nice addition if solutions to traffic were made. He wanted
to know who would pay for mitigation of traffic problem and felt a direct route
to highway was needed. The need for space to grow made this project ok.
Charlie had no
problem with the project and liked the idea of more affordable housing. He felt
developers should be covering the cost of mitigating traffic issues.
Question #8. Can you
get along with fellow councilmembers?
Joe said while he
might not be in lock step with council and would think as an individual, he
could also be a team player. Used an analogy of being a golf player and
individual, but has played tournament as team and can do both.
it was very important to work as a
team. You might disagree, but be friendly and respectful.
Linda felt it was
important to have different political views. “These are not my friends. I did
not know them when I was elected.” She says she has been cordial and feels the
Brown Act impedes knowing the other council members well. She felt the council
and her agreed on most issues and city issues were moving along.
Question #9. How can
you support Tourism?
that helping the Chamber of Commerce was a way. Feels that both ends of Eureka
gateway are ugly. Also felt we needed to promote more things to do to keep
Linda felt that
cleaning up our inter city parks was a must. She was worried about violent
mentally ill patients in places that are tourist destinations. When mentioning
Broadway she said “Ugh!” Wants the
Gateways to the city improved.
Joe wants Eureka
to be a destination instead of a stopover.
Feels the Marina Center can provide this. Wants to see our sidewalks and
Question #10. How do
you feel about Low Cost Housing?
Joe said we need
this for our Homeless issues. Mentioned a State Law Calculation mandate.
Pointed out single room housing that was in Old Town years back. Maybe a
up that the housing element does not include low low income, low income and medium
income. Has worked at the Housing Commission level. Felt infill could be done.
Linda this was
really needed and that the #’s weren’t that bad. She really wants to see a High
Energy user tax on Industrial Marijuana grows around Eureka. She pointed out
that homeowners were taking advantage of the situation and charging renters who
grow 3 times the houses worth on the renters market.
Question #11. What
are your top 3 priorities for this job?
Linda said her
first is the General plan and updating ordinances from the 50’s and 60’s. Her
second is the High Energy Tax and her
third is legalizing a Homeless Camp in Eureka. “So they can out of my
neighborhood.” (Linda live is Coopers Gulch, a homeless Mecca in Eureka.)
Joe listed Public
Safety as number 1. Finding a new City Manager as number 2, and hiring a new
police chief number 3. Said our current chief is one of the best ever.
out the General Plan as the blueprint to grow. Felt we need to go to businesses
to find out problems. His second
priority was law enforcement. His third was affordable housing. Just as a
kicker, he added a fourth, slow down traffic. (He mentioned about almost being
hit on occasion.)
everybody and said he supports a safer Eureka.
thanked people and said this was new experience for him and he was a little
nervous. Wants to be an ear of the people. Reminded everyone he is a write in
Linda pointed out the city has many challenges. Felt
local politics were at its very lowest. Wants to improve prosperity and will respond