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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Politics

27 Sep 2015
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Name: Ron Oden Age: 65 Occupation: Nonprofit executive/former mayor Interview: In person 1. When you stand at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Road and Palm Canyon Drive, and look northwest, what comes to mind? The future, and that future involves change. Those decisions have already been made, so it’s a matter of adjusting to the new normal. That’s looking at the physical development, but there’s a whole other level, I think, that represents the gap between the future and the past, and how we adapt to that emotionally is going to really be the challenge. You know? And I think that’s where leadership is going to really step in, is to work and bridge that gap between the past and the future and pull the…
27 Sep 2015
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Name: J.R. Roberts Age: 54 Occupation: Planning commissioner/entrepreneur Interview: In person 1. When you stand at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Road and Palm Canyon Drive, and look northwest, what comes to mind? It’s a mixture of excitement and disappointment. The excitement is that I’m a planning commissioner, so I’ve been fortunate enough to have my hand in what that is, and what it will become, and we have molded it into something that I think’s going to be great. The disappointment comes in that some of the decisions that came about were taken away from the planning commission, and the council took them—specifically, the three story building that sort of hangs over directly on Palm Canyon. In that building, we had actually approved the…
27 Sep 2015
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Name: Mike Schaefer Age: 77 Occupation: Former attorney, financial analyst, securities investigator, real estate manager and San Diego city councilman. Perennial candidate for offices in California and Nevada; he most recently came in 12th (of 14) in a Los Angeles City Council primary earlier this year Interview: Phone 1. When you stand at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Road and Palm Canyon Drive, and look northwest, what comes to mind? I’m at the (Welwood Murray) Library, and I might want to go in there and use computers, is my first thought. My second thought is: The stuff we’re debating that they’ve already got under construction, let’s finish it up! I’ve seen buildings that sit like skeletons for years, like the Fontainebleau on the Strip in…
27 Sep 2015
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Name: Bob Weinstein Age: 50 Occupation: Attorney/businessman Interview: Phone 1. When you stand at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Road and Palm Canyon Drive, and look northwest, what comes to mind? Well, I’m not happy with the development. There have been too many waivers and too many variances granted with that particular project, without much input. I’m in construction myself and have a lot of developments around Coachella Valley, and I know that sometimes going through changes and variances, where change was never quite the plan, things change a little bit here, and a little bit there. But … you have height issues; you have frontage issues, setback issues. It not only goes up to the sidewalk, but it overhangs into the street. And it…
27 Sep 2015
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Name: Ricky Wright Age: 66 Occupation: Former principal at Palm Springs High School Interview: Phone 1. When you stand at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Road and Palm Canyon Drive, and look northwest, what comes to mind? What comes to my mind is that the development is a lot different than what we have around it. That’s what I see. I mean, frankly, it doesn’t seem to fit, but that’s what was approved, I guess. It’s not what I perceived it to be when they were talking about it, and I never saw the plans or anything, but I thought it would fit a little better. 2. Does Palm Springs have a crime problem? If so, what should be done about it? Yeah. I don’t…
25 Sep 2015
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It was a simple, four-step exercise: 1. We came up with a list of 10 questions—five serious, issue-based questions, and five questions that are a little more light-hearted—to ask all of the candidates for city office. 2. We set up interviews with all of the candidates. 3. We asked the candidates the 10 questions. That’s exactly what Desert Hot Springs resident Brian Blueskye did over the last couple of weeks. He interviewed eight of the nine Desert Hot Springs candidates (two mayoral candidates and seven City Council candidates)—everyone except Jeanette Jaime. Brian called her twice and emailed her twice; he even accepted help from another candidate who offered to put in a good word. No dice. Now, comes the last step. 4. Report the answers…
25 Sep 2015
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Name: Scott Matas Age: 44 Occupation: Marketing, DHS City Council member Interview: In person 1. Describe the city’s current budget situation. How do you plan to balance the budget and take care of the city? The city has obviously been through a financial crisis over the past couple of years. Politically, I think it was taken out of context. There’s $2.9 million in our cash-flow account, which is to pay the bills. That’s basically what our city manager said earlier this year and said, “I need you to make sure you have enough in cuts.” We believe that the tax revenue coming in from medical marijuana is also helping. In December, we get another push from property tax. In January, we’ll do a mid-year review…
25 Sep 2015
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Name: Adam Sanchez Sr. Age: 57 Occupation: Mayor of Desert Hot Springs Interview: In Person 1. Describe the city’s current budget situation. How do you plan to balance the budget and take care of the city? We have $1.5 million in general cash flow. We also made sure we had $1 million in case of an earthquake, or all the rain we’re going to get this year; we don’t want to be in the position to where we (need) to ask for money from the county to make repairs from a flood or earthquake. It’s our responsibility as a city to manage ourselves. We don’t want to borrow money. Our priority was to make sure we balanced the budget, had money for cash flow—and financially…