Learn candidate views at Tuesday’s forum

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Residents may have their one and only chance to hear from the candidates running for City Council in a forum-type setting next Tuesday, September 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at City Hall. The five candidates seeking one of three open seats on the Council are (in alphabetical order) Randy Bonner, Jordan Ehrenkranz, David Eilers, Larry Greene and George Middle.

Jordan is the only incumbent on the list. The other candidates, with the exception of Larry Greene, have previously served on the City Council or the CLPOA Board of Directors.

Will this new City Council be the one to see a breakthrough in Public Safety funding; or is it possible they will see bankruptcy and/or disincorporation of the City, with possible annexation to a neighboring city?

If the candidates deem continuance of the UUT necessary, how confident are they that voters will approve it or a similar tax when the current UUT ends 2020? And if voters don’t approve another UUT in 2020, what’s next?

Where do the candidates stand on the potential of developing BLM land within the City’s sphere of influence in order to bring in more property taxes? Do any of these candidates have a goal of reopening Station 60 in Canyon Lake?

With such important subjects on the table, citizens may want to take a closer look at this year’s City Council candidates and find out where they stand on these subjects.

The Friday Flyer invited the five candidates to answer a series of questions between now and the November 8 election. During this period, residents will have a chance to hear from their City Council candidates, learn how much they understand about the City’s current financial challenges, and discover what they believe to be the future of the City of Canyon Lake.

In addition, voters will have a chance to read about the past experience and qualifications of each candidate, and what they hope to accomplish if elected to serve a four-year-term on City Council. Residents who have a question they would like the candidates to answer in The Friday Flyer’s Q&A can e-mail their question to news@goldingpublications.com.

This week, The Friday Flyer asked each candidate the following question:

Question

In 400 or fewer words, please provide your background and why you wish to serve on the City Council.

Randy BonnerRandy Bonner

This year completes 20 years living in this “Bit of Paradise.” I was a Council member from 2010-2014 and Mayor in 2014. During this time I was chair of the City Finance Committee and chair of the City Public Safety Committee. I served as the City representative on the Riverside Conservative Authority and the Riverside Transit Agency, and was selected to be on the Riverside League of California Cities Board of Directors.

City accomplishments were numerous. Two Roundtables were established with enhanced communications. One Roundtable included representatives from the POA (General Manager and President), EVMWD (General Manager and Public Relations) and Canyon Lake Police (Chief of Police and Lieutenant). We discussed common goals for operational efficiencies and coordinated public safety effort.

The second Roundtable included representatives from the Chamber of Commerce (President), Merchant Owners Association, prominent Towne Center owners, plus the POA General Manager and City Manager. This group also included an executive with 40 years of IBM sales/marketing experience, and another who is a proven shopping center developer. Our goal was to provide a positive shopping experience for our City and neighboring communities.

This stopped two years ago with the City Economic and Development Committee substituting them. The Committee has not met in the last two years. Essential monthly communications became almost non-existant.

I served as the Treasurer of the POA in 2008-2009 and President in 2009-2010. During this time, I was the Board liaison to the POA Finance Committee and to the Appeals Committee. Overall we increased the assessment fee by a nominal $5 per year.

My activities in the community have been numerous. My wife and I made trips with the Travel Club to Africa and Mexico. We have both been members of the Canyon Lake Yacht Club. As a member of the Canyon Lake Association of Men (CLAMS), I’ve enjoyed the group’s dinners and selling ice cream and brats at Fiesta Day and the Car Show, which allows CLAMS to provide scholarships to deserving young people.

I hope to have in the future an opportunity to articulate, in more detail, the reasons for serving on the City Council.

The number one need is to find long-term solutions for Public Safety, i.e. fire and police. Idyllwild and San Jacinto seem to be taking the lead in developing a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to fairly distribute overhead costs among similar communities. Many local communities that are facing the same issues are becoming more interested in JPA opportunities.

Jordan Ehrenkranz

Jordan Ehrenkranz

Jordan Ehrenkranz

I retired as an air conditioning contractor after 45 years in business. I employed an average of 50 union members annually.

I presently serve on the Contractors Board of Directors. I am the chair of the Labor Committee negotiating all contracts with the union. I am co-chair of the Joint Apprenticeship Committee that overseas approximately 800 newly indentured apprentices.

I have served on our Contractors Board of Directors as local president, state president, national director and top arbitrator in labor/management conflicts.

I served five years on the POA Board of Directors, three of those years as president.

Why I want to serve?

I have had the privilege of serving the City for the last eight years as your Councilman and twice as Mayor. As we all know, we are faced with some extreme financial problems, and they are not going away anytime soon. When I was first elected in 2008, the City was very healthy and our reserves were strong.

I don’t believe that anyone could have predicted the deep recession that we entered into at that time. It is a very fragile time for our City, and it will require strong leadership from our Council. I believe that my experience is what is needed. As Council members we have to make difficult decisions at times and we must be able to understand all issues and base our decisions on what is best for the City.

We may not agree on everything, but we must present our views so that all understand that we have researched the issues and have made our decision on the facts that are presented to us. Council members must remember that they are trusted to be prudent in all financial matters and cannot cater to any specific interests.

They must be available at all times to work with the local businesses and organizations. They must be familiar with local laws of our City and be able to communicate with officials from our neighboring cities. For several years I have been working with the Merchant Owners Association and the Chamber of Commerce to see what the City can do to improve business. This has been very difficult, as we have to work with what is available to us.

Although it is difficult financially at this time, I believe the City will endure with the proper guidance. I ask you to vote for me and I will be part of the team that provides that guidance. I will, as I always have, serve with honesty and integrity, and represent our community with great pride and pleasure.

Dave Eilers

Dave Eilers

Dave Eilers

As a finance director in the automotive industry for 20 years, and the past 18 years as an independent marketing representative, I have gained valuable experience in financial/business management that can be applied to city management.

I have been a Canyon Lake resident for 13 years and have been heavily involved in the community, serving four years on the POA Board and holding positions of President and Treasurer. During my tenure, the Board completed a number of projects including upgrading parks and playground equipment, replacing public docks, Golf Course Turf Reduction Program, Lodge remodel and acoustics improvement, to name a few. More improvements than any time in the past 15 years was accomplished during that time.

I have been and continue to serve on the following: Emergency Preparedness Committee for 10 years, and for the Property Owners Association’s Finance Committee and Facilities Review Committee. This experience has provided me with insight into what is essential in the needs of the community and in keeping Canyon Lake a desirable city.

It is my desire to see Canyon Lake continue as a city. We are facing a number of important issues in the future, including public safety (i.e police and fire), development of BLM land, vacation rentals, lake management, and continuation of the Utility User Tax (UUT), to name a few.

Positive results for these issues can only be accomplished if our City Council works as  a team. I feel the relationships I have built with the continuing Council members will make this possible.

Larry Greene

Larry Greene

Larry Greene

My goal as a 39-year resident of Canyon Lake is to give back to my community the benefit of my years of experience, knowledge and leadership style. I have an extensive career background in Fire Service and Public Safety. I am a proponent of local control by a strong City government.

My education includes a B.A. in management from the University of Redlands, attendance at CSULB Masters in Public Administration program, Santa Ana College Fire and Health SCI, Monterey College Fire Command and Administration, and graduate Executive Officer Training at the National Fire Academy, with many professional certifications and awards.

I spent 31 years as a municipal fire professional, which included positions as division chief of operations and EMS, fire marshal and assistant fire chief for a large Orange County city, and six years as a consultant.

I have developed a keen awareness of the requirements to be an effective City Council member. These include problem solving and the ability to provide viable solutions to complex, challenging issues as well as being a team player skillful in establishing positive working relationships with other Council members, community groups, residents and business representatives.

I have a strong emergency services background and have negotiated JPA agreements, county cooperatives and auto-aid contracts.

I currently am president of the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee, and am a CERT trainer and a BLS/CPR instructor.

My vision for Canyon Lake is to keep our citizens safe, providing essential services. I will work to promote and develop an atmosphere that creates a sense of ownership in our community.

George Middle

George Middle

George Middle

I am, first and foremost, a family man. I have lived in Canyon Lake since 1989 and have seen changes since the City was incorporated; one of those is the Council closing Fire Station 60.

I am currently the owner of ME Business Brokers, a business opportunity brokerage and business appraiser, commercial and residential broker (license #01065847), a past forensic and real estate grievance investigator, and a member of SRCAR.

My academic qualifications are Doctor of Philosophy, with a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

I have considerable background in start-up medical companies and have many patents issued. This information is given to illustrate my “out of the box thinking.”

I am an elected Riverside Commissioner with Riverside University Behavioral Health under direction of Supervisor Jeffries, (Riverside Mental Health Board).

As a past Canyon Lake POA Director, I understand many of the issues facing the City and homeowners of Canyon Lake. I was recently appointed by the POA Board an alternate on the Appeals Committee.

I am a member of Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce, a significant player within the City.

I support and/or have been involved on the board of directors of many Canyon Lake clubs such as Choraleers, Canyon Lake Community Theatre, Canyon Lake Lions, Tennis Club and CLAMS. I am a longstanding member of the Men’s Golf Club.

  • My experiences will enable me to understand the City economics. I have the expertise to reduce expenses, offer solutions to our critical issues and save potentially $500,000 per year.
  • My platform – Most importantly, I will try to set up a Paramedic Service in Canyon Lake as a 92-percent ratio of our needs are medically related. Those who want to know about this plan to install Paramedic/EMT-trained personnel ambulance service, please contact me at gmiddle@ca.rr.com.

With the City collecting over $1 million of Utility User Tax (UUT) per year, this candidate will put a budget together demonstrating that we can open up the station and install this service, and still leave significant monies for the general fund. There will be a need to maintain this tax after the time span voted on is reached, but it will be for the continuation of medical urgency responses that Canyon Lake citizens voted for.

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Donna Ritchie