Council hopefuls square off at candidate forum

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Issues regarding economic development, fiscal responsibility, attracting tourists, and sustaining both business and the environment highlighted the bulk the conversation during a candidate forum hosted by the South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce Tuesday evening.

The forum, which was held at the South Padre Island Convention Centre, was open to all five candidates running for election on the South Padre Island City Council. Vying for Place 2, which is being vacated by Councilman Ron Pitcock, are Brandy Buntin and Kerry Schwartz.

For Place 5, incumbent Paul Munarriz is being challenged by Eva Jean Dalton and Thomas Bainter. And at Place 3, Joe Ricco is running unopposed. Ricco was not present at the forum.

After making brief introductions, the candidates answered a series of 10 questions posed by moderator Kathy Cunningham.

In the first, Cunningham asked how the candidates if they would support expanding the Convention Centre and how it could remain competitive with similar amenities in other coastal communities.

While all were supportive of improvements to the Convention Centre, several had concerns about needing feasibility data before making such an expenditure.

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