CATHEDRAL CITY — Mark Carnevale is seeking a second term on the City Council, representing District 3.
District 3 includes the neighborhoods of Rio Vista, Verano, Rio Del Sol, Tapestry, Aldea, and Montage. It also includes the Desert Sands Mobile Home Park and Caliente Sands Mobile Home Park.
In addition to Carnevale, Juan Carlos Vizaga is also seeking the lone seat. Vizaga did not respond to numerous requests for responses to the questionnaire.
Carnevale his wife, Rhonda, have owned and operated Nicolino’s Famous Italian Restaurant for more than 34 years. They have two children, Karrie and Nico, and five grandchildren all living locally.
Following are a series of questions posed to all candidates and Carnevale’s responses.
Uken Report (UR): Age:
Carnevale: 68 years young, but I feel like I am 48.
UR: Do you support or oppose Proposition 6? Why?
Carnevale: The three letter word TAX receives such negative reactions from almost everyone. Tax this, tax that — where does the money go, you wonder? I probably have voted no on most every tax increase that came my way.
In my opinion SB1 is a horse of a different color. Cathedral City, Coachella Valley, Riverside County and the state of California needed road safety, pedestrian safety, bridges, traffic and congestion relief. The most common complaint I hear in our fair city is, “When are you going to do something about filling potholes and repaving our streets?”
The way in which repealing SB1 would affect Cathedral City, for instance, is at the corner of Date Palm Drive and Dinah Shore. The intersection has been in terrible condition for years and right now it is being repaved to last another 30 years. And, Dinah Shore going west will be repaved all the way to the bridge that connects us with Palm Springs. All this is done with SB1 funds.
If SB1 is repealed, these roads will be in the same condition for many years to come. So the question (A) is, do you want to pay a little extra for your local roads to be better and safer? Then, the answer is do not vote to repeal SB1; do not repeal Proposition 6. You all know what question (B) is. I, myself, have to go with A. Remember a YES vote on Prop 6 is a NO vote on Public Safety.
UR: City Council races are typically nonpartisan, but this particular race seems highly partisan. There are public calls to maintain a progressive majority on the Council, Party registration information is being posted on social media and more. This is your chance to set the record straight and speak for yourself. Are you liberal, conservative, or other and what does that mean to you and your constituents?
Carnevale: I have been a registered Republican for most of my life but recently changed the designation to Non-Partisan. I am a fiscal conservative. I watch how pennies are spent and work to see how to solve problems without spending more. However, I am a social activist for human rights, whether we’re talking about women, LGBTQ, homeless, low-income workers, or children. We need to help right the wrongs of the past regarding laws that discriminate — and we need to help those who are less fortunate. I am proud of my record on both fronts — try to spend less; help those who need assistance.
UR: Cathedral City has a significant LGBTQ community. What specifically have you done as a leader in the community to address the needs this segment of the population?
Carnevale: I have been active in learning the various aspects of the LGBTQ community and what the needs are. I support the research, development and distribution of necessary medications, I support and attend the ribbon cuttings and openings of LGBTQ-owned businesses, I voted to approve the Rainbow Flag crosswalk in front of City Hall, I have attended all Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfasts, and I am an advocate for LGBTQ teens who have been thrown out of their homes. My restaurant, Nicolino’s, is one of the most gay-friendly restaurants in Cathedral City.
UR: With what issue, ordinance, and project do you want your name to be most associated?
Carnevale: I am proud to be an advocate for housing, both temporary and permanent, for our homeless families, workforce housing, and LGBTQ homeless teens. I serve on the Homeless Task Forces under the auspices of the Cathedral City Police Department and I am creating a task force of residents in the community who can help as well. Workforce Housing is a must.
UR: What sets you apart from your challenger(s)?
Carnevale: Without sounding to critical, just about everything. First and foremost, I have attended two Ethic Classes as required by the city, that for sure Juan Carlos Vizaga has not. My experience with local government surpasses Vizaga’s by years of being on the City Council and my community involvement. I have chaired the Cathedral City marketing Committee, I co-chair the Riverside Animal Control Committee, I was presented a Life Time Appreciation Award from the Cathedral City Boys & Girls Club and am a Proud Rotarian. I serve on the Coachella Valley Association of Government’s public safety and homeless committee. Over the years I have attended League of California Citites Conventions, I attend the Desert Builders Association keeping up on updates on the growth and construction of the Coachella Valley. I am honored to be endorsed by Fourth District Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez, Mayor Stan Henry and the entire Cathedral City Council, Cathedral City Police Officers Association, council members from Palm Springs to La Quinta and Desert Hot Springs. I have been endorsed by the Palm Springs Board of Realtors. My wife and I have donated pasta dinners both Senior and Cathedral City Boys & Girls Club raising thousands of dollars for each organization.
Close to my heart is having a relationship with Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, working hands on with Tom Cox. It gives me pleasure to help the CVRM and Officer Hodge interact with the homeless to find a place for them to reside or get back home to their families.
I have lived in the desert since 1979, have lived in Cathedral City since 1999, have owned a family business since 1984 – I know Cathedral City. I support small businesses coming into the community and the Casino and Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre.