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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Politics

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…
25 Sep 2015
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Name: Russell Betts Age: 57 Occupation: Retired small-business owner Interview: Phone 1. Describe the city’s current budget situation. How do you plan to balance the budget and take care of the city? The budget is balanced, and the city’s financial status is stable. I know there are people out there trying to tell people otherwise. We’ll finish up the year with $2.5 million in the bank as reserves. It’s not $2.5 million spent anywhere else, but extra money sitting in a bank account. It’s a complete turnaround for the city. 2. Aside from hiring more officers, what can be done to tackle DHS’ crime rate? What’s critical right now is to hire more police officers. By January, we will have our police department at full…
25 Sep 2015
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Name: Larry Buchanan Age: 67 Occupation: Retired/president of historical society/secretary of the DHS Rotary Club/Economic Development Team 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? It’s dismal. We already knew that going in, and we have had to make extreme cuts in services to the point where we were in a real service deficit. My biggest concern is the cuts to the police department. The pay is not competitive with the rest of the cities in the area. We have a really small police department; we’re getting new people in; and we’re losing people at the same time. It’s not adequate, and we need to do something about it.…
25 Sep 2015
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Name: Richard Duffle Age: 34 Occupation: Stay-at-home dad/planning commissioner of Desert Hot Springs Interview: Phone 1. Describe the city’s current budget situation. How do you plan to balance the budget and take care of the city? There has been some recent movement in a positive direction in the budget. Obviously, there’s a whole lot more that can be done. In order to help with what we currently have with the budget, I believe whoever is sitting up there on our next City Council needs to dig down deep into our contracts that we hold as a city, and current expenditures that may have not been looked at for several years. I’m sure some money can be found in those to support some of the underfunded…