In this season of giving thanks, Uken Report reached out to community leaders throughout the Coachella Valley to see for whom and what they are grateful.
Some responded; some did not.
Their responses are as diverse as their personalities and leadership styles. Some relied on brevity; others relied on the sacred gift of the First Amendment to fully express themselves.
Each is a public servant but each of them is also a person. They are not meant to be human pin cushions. We give thanks for them.
The responses from those who agreed to participate are printed in their entirety in no particular order. You will find they are just like those they represent though they live their lives under an often critical and harsh spotlight. They give thanks for family, friends, health and God. They love the communities they serve.
In Coachella, Mayor Steven Hernandez gives thanks for advancements in the community. “We are thankful for progress. On almost every corner throughout the city, progress is being made, from the new library in downtown to the new Department of Public Social Services building, new Catholic Church, our first hotel and 16 miles of roadwork, Coachella is rapidly transforming. We are grateful for our staff and our community for working to make Coachella a better place to live, work and play.”
La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans said, “I’m thankful for my health and the health and love of my family. I’m thankful to God for giving me the strength to serve my community and to help others in need. I’m thankful to be working and living in a beautiful, caring, supportive community. I’m thankful to have earned the confidence of La Quinta residents to allow me to represent them as mayor. I absolutely LOVE our city and its people. The friends I’ve made and the people I’ve met are a precious gift. I feel blessed every day.”
Indian Wells City Councilmember Dana Reed is giving thanks for living in the 21st Century in a way only he can say. “Like everyone else, I am thankful for my family and friends. But I am also thankful to be on this planet at a time when technology and innovation produces constant changes in our daily lives. Our forefathers and foremothers were born, worked and died, all on the family farm. Today, few among us are living where we were born or doing whatever we were doing ten years ago. Technology and innovation have given us options beyond our wildest dreams, and I love every minute of it.”
Indio Mayor Michael H. Wilson outlined a list of items for which he is giving thanks.
“First, without an incredible wife and family that have been supportive of my leadership role in Indio, as the current mayor of Indio, I could not serve or be as effective, so I am extremely thankful for my wife and my family.
“I am incredibly humbled, blessed, and it has been a profound honor to serve the residents of the city of Indio for 21 years as a mayor and councilmember. So, I am thankful to the residents of Indio for having the confidence in my leadership and supportive of the initiatives I have championed which have made Indio a much better place to live, work, and play in.
“I am thankful for our incredible business community that has taken chances, stuck with us, and now are seeing the vision and benefits of having their businesses in Indio and are seeing the results from a city on fire as Indio currently is.
“I am thankful for our Indio staff as they have been the glue and the workaholics that have taken Indio from a middle-of-the-pack city to a great city. They are the unsung heroes of Indio’s success and should be recognized for such.
“I am thankful for my colleagues on the City Council and those that serve on Indio’s Committee’s, Commission’s, and other appointed/elected positions. They are the policy advisers and makers that make the entire governmental process work. While I am extremely thankful for Mayor Pro Tem Troy Strange, Councilors Glenn Miller and Elaine Holmes, I am also thankful for my other colleague for keeping us on our toes and for seeing and understanding the opposite of good public policy.”
Uken Report reached out to Rancho Mirage Mayor Richard Kite who outlined it all in his Thanksgiving message to residents. “May we give thanks for our loved ones, our health, and our living in this great country and community where we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Indeed, we have much to be thankful for. We live in a beautiful city with an unparalleled quality of life. While many people are bracing for an exceptionally cold Thanksgiving, we are challenged with the difficult task of deciding between hiking, biking, golf, tennis, swimming, and the many other outdoor activities at our disposal. Perhaps the best part of that decision is knowing that in the coming months we can accomplish them all.”
Cathedral City Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis packed a great deal of thanks giving into few words. “This year has been a good time — taking care of my health, finalizing some deals for the city and preparing to become mayor in December. I’ve been blessed with having so many friends that care and not afraid to show it.”
We at Uken Report give thanks to and for our public servants at all levels.