Catalina Island
Clear sky
Clear sky:
71.6 °F
Reported on:
November 25, 2017 - 8:51am

Articles by Charles M. Kelly

The incumbents are in. Avalon voters re-elected Mayor Anni Marshall and sitting City Council members Richard Hernandez and Oley Olsen.

Christy Lins ran unopposed for re-election for the city treasurer’s office.

Marshall won 57 percent of the votes in the three-way contest against Councilwoman Cinde Cassidy and former council member Ralph Morrow. Cassidy received 26 percent of the vote and Morrow 14 percent.

The city will send a letter asking the California attorney general what Avalon needs to do to ensure multiple freight carriers are allowed to deliver goods to Catalina. City Attorney Scott Campbell will draft the letter next week after he returns from his vacation. The exact wording of the letter will be subject to the approval of Councilman Joe Sampson and Mayor Anni Marshall.

Visitors generate $11 mil

Figures show tourism increased city’s tax, fee income in 2015

By Charles M. Kelly

Avalon’s 2015 end-of-year report  shows visitor-driven revenues increased by almost $11 million last year, a 9.7 percent increase over the previous year. The Chamber of Commerce report is based on city data, according to the Chamber president.

Correction: When this article was published, it incorrectly reported that Southern California Edison will make a decision about whether to change the current level of water rationing in June. The article should have said that if Edison determines a change from 25 to 50 percent rationing is necesssary, the change will be implemented in June. We regret the error. The article has been updated.


Islanders recently received a letter from Southern California Edison announcing plans to close Edison’s business office on Catalina.  Edison is waiting for approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. Edison expects the commission to make a decision later this year.

Twelve Avalon residents filed to participate in the April 2016 city elections. According to City Clerk Denise Radde, the list of candidates will not be official until the county has verified their signatures. Once she receives verification, the candidate may begin campaigning.

City Treasurer Christy Lins is running unopposed for re-election.

Mayor Anni Marshall will be challenged by mayoral candidates Cinde Cassidy, a current council member and Ralph Morrow, a former councilman who was voted out of office in 2014.

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, the Avalon City Council will discuss whether and how to regulate medical marijuana. Even though the council approved a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in 2013, recent state legislation has brought the matter back to the council.

According to City Attorney Scott Campbell, the legislature has given California cities until March 1 to enact their own medical marijuana regulations or the state government’s regulations will go into effect.

“It’s basically about local control,” Campbell said.

The Avalon City Council fired City Manager Ben Harvey this week, following a performance evaluation Tuesday that was closed to the public. Harvey said he wasn’t fired for cause and no reason was given. He said that basically, three council members decided they would rather have a different leader.

Council members Joe Sampson, Richard Hernandez and Mayor Anni Marshall voted to terminate Harvey. Council members Oley Olsen and Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy voted against firing Harvey.

Southern California Edison has filed a letter formally asking the Public Utilities Commission for authority to  postpone Stage 3 water rationing on Catalina.

According to Lauren Bartlett, senior project manager for the Media Relations Team at Edison, the letter requesting the rationing delay was filed last Friday.

As previously reported, Edison officials want to defer water rationing because of winter rain forecasts and because the new desalination unit on Pebbly Beach will increase water production.

Southern California Edison will ask state officials for permission to put off Stage 3 water rationing. The utility company is asking for the delay in expectation of winter rains and in anticipation that the Catalina’s new desalination unit will go online in November.

“Southern California Edison will be asking the California Public Utilities Commission for permission not to implement 50 percent water rationing, also known as Stage 3,” according to Ron Hite, Southern California Edison district manager for Catalina.