"I remain a strong, positive voice in our community and I stand for integrity, honesty and accountability. With my role as Chief Strategy Officer of Community Advocacy with Desert Care Network, I bring a combination of health and government experience that assists in decision-making on a broad spectrum of topics. Strengthening our network beyond La Quinta offers additional opportunities to collaborate and thrive. My energy and desire to continue my service on the Council is greater than ever, and I ask for your vote to re-elect me as La Quinta’s Mayor."
ACCOMPLISHMENTS, ACTIONS & PRIORITIES
RESPONSE TO COVID-19
COVID-19 impacts have taken a toll on our economy – for our residents and our businesses. Our City quickly responded to help mitigate the impacts on residents and businesses by taking the following actions: development of a COVID-19 microsite on the city’s website with Federal, State, County, Regional, and Local resources for residents, businesses, and visitors; executed a digital marketing and education campaign with various COVID-19 information messages; development and implementation of the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Economic Relief Programs with an allocation of $1.5 million to small businesses; established a food distribution partnership and donated $40,000 to FIND Food Bank to provide food for LQ residents in need; started a friendly caller program to provide a social connection with residents to ensure their needs are met; utilized the La Quinta Museum for childcare (collaboration with the YMCA) for children of essential workers; manufactured face shields at Creation Station for local hospitals; provided financial support for local homeless shelters and programs; expanded Code Compliance service hours and coverage to better manage short-term vacation rental issues; and participated in various Federal, State, County, and Regional emergency management and COVID-19 update calls; and served as lead and advocate amongst Valley Mayors to County and State officials in providing status on hospital activity/surge to assist in decision-making for business re-opening. In my healthcare position, I assisted the County with the first drive-through COVID-19 testing site in the Coachella Valley by working at the site and facilitating the process for the first few weeks.
CONTINUED FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our Council successfully passed a balanced budget – during the coronavirus pandemic - without utilizing reserves. While this impacted some of our services and staff, it was necessary to appropriately alter our operations where State/County restrictions were put in place. Essential services, such as fire and police, remain fully funded but are under evaluation for cost saving measures that will be implemented during the 2020/2021 budget year. Our reserves remain strong, which allowed us to financially assist our small businesses. Our financial stability is a direct result of fiscally responsible practices, pursuing sensible economic growth, developing new revenue opportunities, and managing our expenses prudently. Our budget remains conservative for the coming year with a gradual revenue recovery process in place.
My number one priority is to ensure strong law enforcement and fire service protection, while managing contract service costs and annual increases effectively. Public Safety comes at a price, and our service and protection will not be compromised. Exploring support services to complement our law enforcement team may assist in ensuring additional outreach and safety, in a fair and equitable manner for all residents. We live in a safe city because of the decisions and commitment made by our City Council to protect our residents.
SilverRock is still a key factor to ensuring our cities financial future. Keeping that vision, even during these challenging times, is critical for our cities future. We are developing one of the ultimate destination resorts in our valley that will produce hotel, retail and property tax revenue for years to come. The Montage & Pendry Hotels are exceptional additions to an already diverse travel and resort destination in the Coachella Valley. Hospitality trends are indicating that resorts with open space and less density will recover faster than big city travel. La Quinta is well-positioned for this projected recovery. Vision Highway 111 - The City’s Highway 111 corridor plan will begin a restructuring with businesses and transportation options that will attract new experiences for consumers to our economy. And, with the completion of the Complete Streets Project (roundabouts), the aesthetics in the Village and Old Town area will allow for safer, slower, more pedestrian-friendly travel, with an artistic component for residents and visitors to enjoy. Roundabouts improve traffic flow, reduce car emissions, reduce maintenance demands on the roads, eliminate traffic signals, and provide the ability to display public art.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Preservation of parks, trails, dark skies and open space will enable La Quinta to preserve its charm while promoting a healthy community. As a hiker, I appreciate all that La Quinta offers and I’m proud to support La Quinta as a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) city. We added an outdoor National Fitness Court in North La Quinta near La Quinta High School, providing the ability for free exercise to everyone. The North La Quinta X-Park construction will be starting soon, and will provide a state-of-the-art experience for all ages. In late 2020 and 2021, La Quinta’s segment of CV Link will begin construction, providing alternative, safe transportation and additional access to our commercial corridor along Highway 111, the cities primary source for sales tax. The Short Term Vacation Rental Ad Hoc Committee was also formed over the past year to review the current program and offer recommendations to the City Council to ensure proper enforcement to address non-compliant operators. It’s essential to find a balance between maintaining our neighborhoods in a peaceful manner while retaining a vital revenue source for our city’s tourism and hospitality segment.