Name: David Brown
Occupation: Dry cleaning manager
1. When you stand at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon Road and Palm Canyon Drive, and look northwest, what comes to mind?
At first glance? Construction. Hopefully, when they’re completed, it’s going to be a nice, completed project. Right now, when I look at it, you’re seeing construction, framework, ironwork and a big crane. All that’s kind of distracting from the mountains, but at the same time, hopefully when this project is done, what they’ve built … is a nice project for the city. We have not seen a model master, which would be nice.
2. Does Palm Springs have a crime problem? If so, what should be done about it?
They need to have more law enforcement. I know that they’re down probably 13 officers, and they’re going to have some lieutenants and such retiring at the end of the year. On the north area of Palm Springs, I think the whole area needs extra officers. Let the neighborhoods work more with their community policing officers.
3. What, if anything, should be done about alleged corruption in Palm Springs city government? Be specific.
A lot more transparency on government spending. I would encourage the citizens to be more a part of asking questions and going to see documents. I think that certain documents like budgets and other things (involved with) city spending need to be put in a format to where it’s easy to understand for all the residents—I don’t want to say like a kindergarten language, (but) written in a language that is not so much where you look at something, and it has to be defined by an attorney. … There was also a question on candidate transparencies, whether a candidates’ 460 forms and 700 forms should be posted on the city website. My comment on that would be yes, they should be, for better transparency; at the same time, that’s like an extra 10 pages—I don’t know how many pages you’re adding to the city website. My idea would be post a link, because it is public record; you can walk into City Hall and get those forms, but you can also go to the secretary of state and get those same forms. My recommendation would be to put the links to the secretary of state on the city webpage.
4. What specific steps will you take to help solve the city’s homelessness issue?
My thoughts on that would be to look at some model cities that have an influx of homeless, to look at the programs they’ve done, to look and see how they’ve handled it as far as resourcing and programs they’ve adapted. Other thoughts I would have on that would be to network with the community organizations here within the city to build a bigger and stronger bond with the community to help fight this problem, because it is an ongoing problem, and we have to address it. The other issue that follows along with that would be possibly working with the county and state as far as mental-health issues go—trying to get more mental-health personnel and those types of resources and counselors here in the valley, or somewhere to help deal with that. Some of (homelessness is due to) mental-health issues, and there are some people who … want to be homeless. That’s their way of life, and they refuse the help.
5. Do you support electing City Council members by district, or do prefer the current at-large system? Why?
Right now, I kind of like the current at-large system, but at the same time, I like (electing) by districts, because I think there would be better representation. It would probably cost the city a lot more, but that really doesn’t come in to play—whatever would work best with the city. … Maybe they’re not too familiar with what’s going on in the north end of Palm Springs. It’s better representation for the city, for those areas, is what I’m trying to say. The north end, I feel that they should get a little more acknowledgement.
6. If you were not running for this office, which of your two opponents would get your vote? Why?
That’s a tough one. I guess my first choice would probably be Paul (Lewin), because he’s a little knowledgeable … because he’s got a little experience of what he’s doing. I would probably pull for somebody who’s been on a commission, because I, myself, came from a commission. I spent three years on the Human Rights Commission. At least (commission members) have a little bit of knowledge, but just because you have those big degrees and titles and backgrounds doesn’t mean that someone (else might not) do a better job. That’s kind of like giving the underdog or somebody you wouldn’t expect a chance. They’re a person. Why not? That’s my open-mindedness coming into play.
7. A dear friend is in town for just one night, and asks you where to go for dinner. Where are you sending this dear friend?
Considering I live in the north end … a lot of my friends are older, and they’d probably like Billy Reed’s. It’s kind of a laid-back atmosphere. I like the atmosphere.
8. Name one business or service that you wish Palm Springs had (but currently does not have).
Maybe something for the younger youth, like a skating rink or something. We have a bowling alley; we don’t have a skating rink. I don’t know how that would fly in the community … but it would also pull people from the valley, just like the bowling alley does.
9. Which annual Coachella Valley event or festival is your favorite? Why?
Probably the Date Festival. (I like the) food, and you get to meet all different types of people. I’ve always had to work (during) the music festivals, so I’ve never had the opportunity to go to those.
10. If the FBI was about to raid your home or office, which personal item would you grab to make sure it didn’t get broken
My pictures. Old family pictures.