Palm Springs City Government Issues

Dear Mayor Rob Moon, Councilmember Geoff Kors and Councilmember J.R. Roberts:

          Many issues were raised by candidates and residents during the 2015 Palm Springs elections. While no candidate’s campaign platform included promised support for the entire spectrum of issues raised, most of those seeking election promised to listen with an open mind. You were among those promising open minds.

        The following are some of the issues raised and I’m now submitting them for your consideration as worthy of recognition and response.

1.   Social Services Commission

Creation of a new city commission to address ongoing Social Services needs in the community. Homelessness, mental health, underprivileged children and others in need would be part of the commission’s charter. Representation from the local school district should be an important consideration.

 2.   Budget & Finance Commission

Creation a new city commission to audit and review ongoing city finances and annual budget preparations, develop Measure J Funds spending guidelines and review/recommend policies related to Developer Fees and Hotel TOT Rebates, etc.

 3.  City Hall and City Council Availability

Actions to restore City Hall business hours to a full five day week. Palm Springs should be a year-round city and that includes scheduling regular city council meetings each month of the year (including the month of August).

 4.  District Elections, Campaign Spending, Mayoral Runoff Elections, Term Limits

Creation a task force to review and recommend appropriate actions with respect to each of the following:

  • A ballot measure establishing District Elections for up to six city council members;
  • Provide for an automatic mayoral runoff election when no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote;
  • Establish local election campaign spending limits, and;
  • Set term limits for city council members.

5.  External Affairs Policy Statements

Creation of an appropriateness policy that suggests when the mayor and/or city council should issue proclamations or adopt resolutions that support or oppose actions and issues that are not directly related to city government. (For example, the council acted in support of Same-Sex marriage issues but remained silent when SCOTUS overturned Voting Rights Act key provisions).

 6.  Government-Tribal Relations & Partnership

Creation of a task force to review partnership relations with the Agua Caliente Tribe and recommend appropriate actions that will serve to increase mutual understanding, respect and identify areas of common interests.

7.  Accountability & Transparency Issues

Councilmember Geoff Kors, in a recent Valley Voice op-ed, indicated readiness to start the process towards addressing Accountability & Transparency concerns that have been raised and his list, in my opinion, is one worthy of full support.

          It’s my sincere hope that you, our new City Council members, will seriously consider the issues outlined above and provide some type of forum for public input or other involvement with respect to each.

Thanks very much,

Bond Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.DesertObserver.com
The Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Twitter – @BondShands
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