Four candidates are vying for a City Council seat each in District 4 and District 5 in Dana Point.
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Mike Frost and Gary Newkirk are running in District 4, the Lantern District, and Benjamin Bebee and Michael Villar are competing in District 5, Capo Beach. Frost has raised the most money of all candidates for his campaign, according to his financial disclosure statement.
As Dana Point faces issues pertaining to homelessness and lack of tourism revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, all candidates have expressed their campaign priorities.
Frost has a career in business with a background in finance. He has been serving on Dana Point’s financial review committee since 2019, and served on the city’s traffic and parking sub-committee in 2013.
According to his candidate statement of qualifications, Frost’s experience in business and financial analytics “directly relates to what [the] city needs now to move forward, including strict fiscal management, business and tourism revitalization, and encouraging the right size development in our city.”
Newkirk worked as a stockbroker, financial analyst, and photographer. He served on Dana Point’s residential building height task force in 2005 and served on the Planning Commission from 2009 to 2015, acting as the chair for one of those years.
Newkirk’s campaign website highlights his attention to issues of zoning/high density development, parking shortages, short-term rentals, group rehabilitation homes, homelessness, the city’s projected financial shortfall, public safety, and city government transparency.
Bebee has experience in the restaurant industry working as a general manager, and earned his resident insurance producer’s license this past year.
Bebee expresses his passion for serving others in the community and strong sense of family values on his campaign website. He has “a sincere desire to be a good man, a man of conviction and character, who leads by example and lives the positive change he hopes to affect around him.”
Villar, a retired U.S. Marine Corps pilot, has been serving as a coach and board member of the American Youth Soccer Organization and a coach for Dana Point Youth Baseball.
Villar’s campaign website says he “will focus on preserving the Capo community’s friendly, small town feel, preserving residential neighborhoods, enhancing beautification, public safety and cultivating economic recovery.”
For the period of Jan. 1 through Oct. 17, Frost has fundraised nearly $20,000 for his campaign, Newkirk has taken in over $11,000, and Villar has raised over $6,000. Bebee has filed a form 470, acknowledging that he did not expect to raise or spend more than $2,000.