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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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March 4, 2016     The Catalina Islander
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March 4, 2016
 

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Open Letter to the Citizens of Avalon My name is Ralph Morrow. I am running, once again, for the Office of M ayor. l have held this position on 4 prior occasions. I have been a coun- cilmem’oer 2 times. Why am 1 running again? , To answer this question, I feel I need to re—introduce my- self to those that know me and educate those who don’t to earn their vote. The limited opportunity to explore the backgrounds of each candidate make it more difficult for the voters to choose the best person for the job. This is why I am taking this op- portunity to dedicate the time and expense to do this right. I apologize in advance for the length of this letter, but I’ve been around for a while. I have lived through, and been a part of things in my life, that my fellow candidates can only read about in history books. i I proudly served my country in the US. Navy. - As an electrical engineer, I helped put a man on the moon. ‘ - I have run businesses here and employed many. - I have run Marathons, Triathlons, and other races. I have served my community in many ways and have dedicated myself to the betterment of Avalon and Catalina Island. ' In short, I am a proven asset. Am I too old for this? Some peoplethink so. I don’t. Who else is going to do the job that" needs to be done? Who has the experience? There I was, out to pasture (at least I thought 50), retired, and enjoying the fruits of my labor... when our City leader- ship, once again asleep at the wheel, started with the same old misguided nonsense that got me into politics years ago. Their poorly thought out decisions placed Avalon, already in a serious situation, into critical one. Guys like me, from where I’m from, don’t tend to sit on the sidelines and wait for things to get better. I’ve always been the guy that gets off the couch and gets involved. Ihave the energy to do the job and know what I am getting into. Ex- perience counts a great deal. What does the gray hair get you? Experience, a proven track record, long term relation- ships with the people who get things done, and the wisdom to know what works and more to the point, what doesn’t. I’ve seen the mistakes of the past and know where the pitfalls lie. My experience can help Avalon get back on its feet and serve well its residents and visitors alike. Life before Avalon ‘ l was born in Los Angeles and my family lived in Comp- ton. I grew up in an area of East Los Angeles as a minority in a predominantly Hispanic community. I attended Cantwell High School. After serving my country in the US. Navy as a flight crew member and on the USS Midway. I left the Navy, I graduated from West Coast University with BS in Electrical Engineering and began my career in aerospace. I married the love of my life, Patty and we began our life together. Also during that time, I attended Western State University College of Law. I worked as a Design and System engineer with McDon- nell Douglas Spacc Systems Center on the Apollo and Skylab Programs. 1 was involved in Apollo and Skylab launches, . working directly with our Astronauts, and the best and bright- est scientists and engineers of our time. That experience proved to me that nothing is impossible and no task too great to undertake. If you wonder where my “can-do” attitude comes from, there it is. Falling in Love with Avalon As my aerospace career wound down, my family always Enjoyed our visits to Avalon and my wife Patty and I worked to find a way to move here. In 1967, we bought a rental prop- erty on Eucalyptus Ave. and in 1972 became full time resi- dents and property owners in Avalon. We never looked back and never considered making a life anywhere else. Aval " " We purchased the Catalina Department V Store (where the Avalon Grill is today) and went into business. We learned the many lessons of what ~ it takes to survive in busi- ness, make payroll, and employ numerous people. We received the support of Avalon residents and visitors alike and were able to earn a living here. The people we worked with became our closest friends and extended family. Along the way I made the mistake of fixing my friend Paul M cllroy’s TV and a TV repair service was born. Catalina Electronics provided services to the residents and visitors to Avalon for over 20 years. Catalina Electronics lead to fixing a few TV antennas at the time and Catalina Cable TV Co. was born. We provided services to the community that in turn lead to Catalina Cable TV and High Spebd Internet. We were granted the Cable TV franchise by the City in 1985. We brought the internet to Avalon in 1991. 5-years before ATSLT. In 2012, I sold Catalina Cable TV to Catalina Broadband Solutions and have now retired from that business. I own my Lori. aim Miss Pat. Nick infijonl qr the Catalina Department Store own building. I don’t owe anybody or have an agenda ( other e than Avalon) to be responsible for. I have no conflicts of in— terest and can vote on any issue. Promoting Other Businesses Doing business and promoting business is at the base of my involvement in Avalon. We are all in this together. The success of one business often carries over to others. For example, the Island Company and Chamber of Com- merce have spent millions in advertising money in promoting Catalina Island to our potential visitors. Every visitor they attract will spend dollars at other businesses in Avalon. Raising a Saniin My wife and I raised two children here. My son, Nick and daughter, Lori both went to Avalon Schools. Both are grown and now live on the mainland. They enjoyed what Catalina Island had to offer and the experiences gotten here and nowhere else. My gandsons, Gus and Cole have a love for the Island and are fast becoming involved in what Catalina has to offer as well. Property Owner, Builder 8 Contractor My family has invested in Avalon. My parents owned property here. I own the building at 222 Metropole. My wife and I bought a run-down property and built our home and the home of our business, Catalina Cable TV. I was the contractor on the job and learned what it takes to build something in this town. I have seen the planning process from the builder and City Government sides of the equation. Getting involved in Avalon A constant theme with my family is to give back to Avalon. I have been successful in this town simply because I had the support of you the resident and the many visitors who love Avalon. Without you, I would have never had op- portunity to enjoy the life we have built here. Just a sampling of the groups and causes I have sup- ported over the years: VFW Post 4682, Rotary Club, Friends of the Library. Toastmasters International, Avalon Hospital Board of Trustees, Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce, member and board member. Tuna Club, Honorary member since I994. Tuna Club Foundation Committee member, Chil- dren‘s Dental C linic, “R-Tap” Water treatment, reclamation, & conservation group. Jazz Traxx: Art Goode / Jazz Traxx Music Festival. Numerous athletic events, races, and events that bring people to Avalon. Don’t forget Avalon’s Commu- nity Swimming Pool Project... Since 1976! Patty My wife Patty, known to many as Miss Pat, has been my best -fiiend, harshest critic and great- est supporter. She was my great— est asset in every endeavor. My successes are her doing. She was a force of nature in this town, involved in supporting so many worthwhile endeavors. Junior Golf, Kids at Play, Kid Ventures, and the Preschool Auction and so much more. She was active in the Women’s Forum as well. This will be my first campaign without her. I have been told more than once, many votes I received in prior elections were only cast for her. I humbly accepted that endorsement. Miss Pat, suffered a stroke and battled Alzheimer’s. She continued to live an active life in Avalon till a second stroke caused her death in 2012. During that time, I acted as her caregiver. Also during that time, I received again, the full support of this community. For that I am truly grateful. That experience and loss has taught me to never take a day for granted and value every person that comes into your life. You never know. Politics is often about relationships Over the years I have cultivated relationships with our residents, City Government, State and Federal Government, private citizens, and those who get things done for Avalon. These relationships have helped get the needed resources to our door. ' ' - Nothing gets done by itself. It takes three votes. I have worked with many people, Councils, and City managers over the years. Only with cooperation can anything get done. The good old days ' There are old guys like me and many Islanders that ro- mantically wish for the “good old days” to return. The 30’s, 40’s and 50’s... pick an era. Thing is, the old days, when Avalon was a shining jewel are long gone And the old days are when all those attractions were brand new and state of the art at the time. I think we overlook that fact. Avalon is still a special place. But we need a little face lift. Ralph it Miss Pal 1 know what it takes to be Mayor. After serving this community as mayor and as a Coun- cilmember, I know the job is a full time one. This is an im- portant job. The Mayor of Avalon sets the tone and direction for the Council. Simple as-that. Avalon deserves a mayor who can dedicate their full-time and attention to this job. Es- pecially now. My worth to this community and my qualifications to hold the office of Mayor are based upon the sum total of my experiences and proven track record in Avalon for Avalon. I am running for mayor because I have decided that enough is enough. Our situation is, critical. I can no longer afford to sit by and watch. Avalon needs a leader with a plan and the experience to make it happen. I believe I am that leader and need your vote to do it. My door is always open. Let me know what you think. Ralph Morrow Cell: (310) 991-2067 ralphmorrow@catalinaisp.com PO Box 465, Avalon CA 90704 PAID FOR MORROW FOR MAYOR ‘ "elegy; Mates '21". idioms"