Earlier this morning, Historic City News was contacted by Lincolnville resident, Ronald M Berben, who has announced his candidacy for Seat 4 on the St Augustine City Commission during this year’s election.
Since the resignation of Commissioner Bill Leary, halfway through his first term, former Commissioner Don Crichlow has been serving until the next election.
“I am determined to bring balance to the city commission,” Berben told Historic City News editor Michael Gold. “An elected servant is expected to participate in the decision making process — without a self-serving agenda, outside commitments, or the need to recuse himself from important votes.”
Berben, who just turned 70-years-old in December, has been a resident for the past ten years; moving to St Augustine from Westerlo, New York; where he served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for over seven years. He is a retired railroad engineer with over forty years of experience. He reports holding advisory and management positions within the transportation industry.
He is a father of four and a grandfather who stays current in all levels of civic affairs. Berben said that after serving several deployments in the Marine Corps, he gained years of law enforcement experience in the Washington DC area while employed by the Department of Defense.
Berben told Historic City News that he expects his time in office to focus on three fundamental areas; based on his personal qualifications, years of experience, and common sense approach.
1. Alternative transportation: advocating real parking solutions and working hard to bring a passenger rail stop to our city.
2. Public safety: maintaining excellence from our police and firefighters and striving to address public safety concerns for all areas if the city equally.
3. Public works: work diligently to remedy deferred maintenance and issues that have affected the delivery of water, sewer and sanitation services.
Over the course of his campaign, Berben said that he will listen to and learn from voters about additional issues that are important to them.
Berben told Gold that he has the integrity, principles and fiscal conservatism to serve the citizens of St Augustine well. He says it is important that the city exercise a policy of total fiscal transparency and responsibility with all public funds — including major spending decisions made by the commission.
Berben says he is the clear choice for Seat 4 and points to his ability to devote 100% of his time and energy to the work of the people he represents. Volunteers close to Berben’s campaign say the candidate “is one of us” and is here to listen to the needs of ALL voters.
As evidence of his commitment to accessibility to every citizen of St Augustine, Berben encourages anyone with questions about his campaign or who would like to discuss their concerns about the city to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org