CATHEDRAL CITY – Rita Lamb, a City Council candidate, is dodging public forum invitations and questions — and so is her press liaison. Miriam Alario.

In the absence of a major organization, like the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce, stepping up to organize  a  community candidate public forum ahead of the special August election, two citizens took the reins. One is Josie Diaz, a community activist from District 1; the other is Kimberly Krause, a resident of District 5.

Their idea was to hold a Candidate Public Forum at St. Louis Catholic Church, a neutral ground, where residents could see the candidates – Shelley Kaplan and Lamb — side-by-side.

Kaplan immediately said that was happy to participate in the pubic forum, Diaz told Uken Report.

Diaz and Krause proposed a forum for July 11 but learned Lamb would be on vacation. They have been trying to organize a forum for July 23, but both Lamb and Alario are dodging forum invites. It is now getting so late and close to the election, Diaz said any forum will need to be cancelled.

Diaz said she reached out to Lamb at both a City Council meeting and at a community Job Fair. Diaz said she also reached out to Lamb via Facebook messenger.

Both Diaz and Krause reached out to Alario, Lamb’s reported press liaison.

All of the reported attempts were met with silence.

“Nothing,” Diaz said. “No response at all.”

Uken Report reached out to Lamb via her land line, cell phone and campaign email. Lamb did not return repeated requests for comment on the proposed public forum.

Uken Report also reached out to Alario via phone call and email. Both were ignored. In May, Alario introduced herself as Lamb’s press liaison via a news release.

“I am disappointed that she did not respond,” Diaz said of Lamb. “Should she become the District 1 representative the concern is that she won’t respond to citizens’ concerns.”

The special election is aimed at filling the vacancy created by the death of former Mayor Gregory S. Pettis.

Ballots will be mailed out to all registered voters in District 1 beginning July 29, 2019. There will be no polling places for voting, this will be an all-mail ballot election.

There will be one mail ballot drop-off box at City Hall, 68-700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero, and one at the Registrar of Voters Office, 2724 Gateway Drive in Riverside.

All ballots must be postmarked by August 27, 2019 to be counted. The Registrar of Voters will have 30 days to certify the results.

The person elected in August will serve until November 2020 when the seat is up for election.





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