BACKGROUND: Ron Paganini, 67, is running on the Democratic line. He is running on a ticket with the New Wave Dems, including running mates Elizabeth Treston and Karen McInnis. He has lived in Long Beach for 62 years and is a retired 30-year Long Beach city employee. He worked as a dispatcher and a driver for the city’s Department of Transportation. He served as vice president of the city’s CSEA union and previously worked as a mailer for the New York Daily News. He has volunteered for the Long Beach Historical Society for six years and as an officer and trustee of the city’s Landmark Association of historic houses and streets.
ISSUES: Paganini said he wants to run an honest government and oversee the city and commissioners. He said the city needs to cut $1 million in overtime and waste after overtime projections were increased in the last budget. He said the city needs to reduce overstaffing in high-paying departments and cut duplicated positions. He said the city should use parking meters to generate revenue and solar panels at the city’s ice rink to save energy costs. He said the city should explore grant funding from the governor’s office and cut some city events to save the city additional expenses. He said he does not support layoffs. He said union workers should start paying for benefits. Paganini said the city needs to hire a permanent city manager locally, who lives in Long Beach and is willing to work with the City Council. “I am the representative of the people,” Paganini said. “I plan on running a better government without corruption. If I get in, it’s going to get done because I’m not a politician.”