By Roger Gitlin – EYE ON DEL NORTE – April 26, 2022
Tonight’s first candidate forum was hosted by the United Methodist Church, Pastor Dana Gillport and KFUG Community radio.
Featured tonight were the three candidates running in Dist. 3 (Smith River Hiouchi and Gasquet):
* Joe ” Hank ” Akin
* Chris Howard (INCUMBENT)
* Frank Magarino,
in order on the dias.
After each read a two minute mostly biographical introduction, panelist Triplicate managing editor Dan Schmidt broke the ice and asked each for their individual goals and objectives for the next four years.
* Akin: Transparency on issues, Del Norte destination not pass through community, more private property tax revenue, additional sales tax unsustainable. Voted NO on Measure R sales tax increase and supports Constitutional public effort to repeal tax on November ballot.
*Howard: Last Chance Grade priority, but not optimistic project will finish soon, and supports least expensive alternate route, supports Sen. McGuire wrap-around services for mentally ill calling it a crisis, supports Measure R sales tax which was barely passed by voters and opposes repeal. Supports more funding for children’s services services. ” Every child deserves hope.”
Magarino: calls Homelessness Crisis drug-fueled, opposed Coastal Inn and Suites converted to Legacy Homeless Shelter in the heart of Crescent City. Supports Accessible Dwelling Units (ADU) for properties large enough to accommodate these building projects, Supports easing of restrictions, asking County Community Development to provide free plans to those considering ADU projects.
Other panelists included Monique Camarena of Redwood Voice, Jessica Cejnar-Andrew’s of Lost Coast Outpost, and Community activist, Mike Thornton, who questioned the candidates on, in his words “horrendous conditions” at the Jail.
Panelist Schmidt asked each candidate on community expectation for little or no consequences for continued criminal behavior.
* Akin: “The County has more power to enforce laws than it uses.”
* Howard: “(Criminals) have no respect for law.”
*Magarino: ” …must have consequences for criminal behavior.”
Candidate Magarino questioned the term limits which he believed was a limit of two terms.
Howard retorted it’s actually three term limit as voted by the public. Howard was less that candid when he said he was seeking his third term, but neglected to mention that he, Chris Howard, has exempted himself for any term limits…he’s the only Supervisor who may run for as long as he wishes, four, five or more, etc terms.
Chris Howard was less than honest with his response to the question on term limits for Supervisors.
*Akin identifies himself as an independent Constitutional candidate who fights for individual rights. He’s a quick start learner.
*Howard expresses his pride in his Japan trips and his family’s $25,000 personal cost to, as he puts it, ” …placing Del Norte County on the map. He works to ” …get children out of living in cars “
*Magarino: “…I’m a common sense businessman, compassionate for those who suffer from drug abuse and mental illness, and is resolute in addressing long-standing blight issues. He is a very astute student of history.
With Howard serving on the Board for almost eight years, he held a decided advantage over the other two candidates, but his record falls short of satisfactory.
For candidates Akin and Magarino, each handled themselves well. I would rate the results as follows:
* Joe ” Hank” Akin (1)
* Frank Magarino (2)
* Chris Howard. (3)
It was a most interesting presentation by Pastor Dana Gillport, United Methodist Church and KFUG radio
I look forward to the District 4 forum, next Tuesday. May 3.