PALM SPRINGS – Adrian M. Alcantar, 36, owner of Adrian Alcantar Hair Studio & Spa, is one of three people who have filed a Candidate Intention Statement to seek the open seat in District 2.
The others, to date, are Peter J. Maietta, 51, an interior designer; Carlton (Carl) A. Baker, 57, director of Legal & Legislative Affairs for Desert AIDS Project.
Those who have filed a California Form 501 to win the District 1 seat are Les Young, 67, a retired banker, Summer H. Morris, and Grace E. Garner.
Geoff Kors, 57, Mayor Pro Tem of Palm Springs, to date is the only person who has filed a Candidate Intention Statement for District 3.
Uken Report offered each resident who has filed a Candidate Intention Statement an opportunity to answer a set of identical questions and a deadline. To date, Garner and Morris have declined to submit responses.
The questions are not designed to be an all-encompassing look into their campaigns but, rather, an initial look at each of them and how they views their campaigns as they begin their political journey. Think of the questions as a benchmark.
Voters in Districts 1, 2, and 3 will be eligible to vote in the November election. The newly drawn district map is available by clicking here.
Uken Report (UR): Why specifically are you running?
Alcantar: As this is our first district election, it is a very exciting time for our community. As both a resident and small business owner in District 2, I feel that I can bring a different voice to the City Council. I want to bring common sense back to our decision making by focusing outcomes on the betterment of our residents and the profitability of our small businesses. Small business works for Palm Springs – I want Palm Springs to work for small business!
UR: City Council races are typically nonpartisan, but local races of late have been highly partisan. This is your to set the record straight and speak for yourself. Are you liberal, conservative, or other and what that means to you and your constituents?
Alcantar: I like to think of myself as a middle of the road kind of guy. In my opinion, city council decisions should not be Democrat or Republican. Decisions should be approached from all sides and ultimately put the health, safety and happiness of our residents first. I want to make sure everyone’s voice is at the table when decisions are made because, as a good friend of mine says, “Palm Springs works best, when Palm Springs works together.”
UR: What is the most pressing issue in your specific district?
Alcantar: In my opinion, one of the most pressing issues in District 2 is road safety.
- We have very long stretches of road that are poorly lit and have no crosswalks or sidewalks for pedestrians to walk safely.
- A young family has recently moved to a house on our street and I have become more aware that people drive too fast through our neighborhoods. I want to make sure that our streets are safe for people getting their mail, walking their dogs and kids just being kids.
- While the City has recently addressed road quality (stemming from a study by an outside consultant) concluding that streets ranked the worst will be the first to be repaired. It is my commitment to the residents of District 2 that we will continually evaluate the health of our roads, adjusting repair schedules in a manner that makes the most financial sense and to stop the practice of differing maintenance of our roads, so we are not faced with the situation in the future.
- For many years we have talked about building bridges on Indian Canyon, Vista Chino and Araby Drive. Due to the Valentine’s Day flood, it has become vital to construct bridges on our major arterials. We need to make sure our residents, visitors and first responders have adequate access in and out of the city in the event of extreme weather or other emergency.
I would love to begin a dialogue with the residents of District 2 about the other pressing issues in our district. Please feel free to email your ideas to email@example.com
UR: With what issue, ordinance, project do you want your name to be most associated?
Alcantar: One of the issues I would like to focus on is the approval process for new development and redevelopment projects within the city. For far too long residents and small businesses have had to endure projects that have been approved but never started, never finished or have been completed years beyond the original completion date. Some examples include the new downtown development, the Serena Park project (the City Council will be discussing the temporary moratorium on the conversion of golf courses at the March 20 meeting), the hotel redevelopment next to Rick’s Cafe, and the stalled project near Mesquite and South Palm Canyon.
I would like to see a process that gathers more input from residents and surrounding businesses, proof of funding before the project is approved, a realistic timeline from developers, fair incentives that are tied to meeting project milestones and contingencies in place that will protect and empower the City to revoke incentives if contractual obligations are not met.
Other aspects to this idea include equal incentives to help our already established businesses (for example: TOT or sales tax rebates for advertising, renovations or hiring more staff), creating a quarterly welcome seminar for new businesses, mandating that all new housing developments must have a certain number of affordable options for middle class working families.
UR: Do you have any local government experience, serving on boards, commissions, etc.”
Alcantar: I may not have experience in local government, but I do know what it takes to build and maintain a successful business. From recruiting and developing talent, formulating a budget, and knowing that sometimes you must make difficult decisions. Over the last 10 years, it has taught me to talk less and listen more, accept criticism and remain courteous, and know when to compromise to achieve the best results.
UR: What sets you apart from your challenger(s)?
Alcantar: While I can only speak for myself, if elected, I will listen to the concerns of our residents, be an advocate for our small businesses and help to create a Palm Springs that is safe, financially strong and a place people want to build a family.
- Adrian M. Alcantar: Adrian M. Alcantar