The most important endorsement Deborah McGarrey has might surprise you

LA QUINTA — Deborah McGarrey, who has a rich history of working with local governments, is looking to get even closer by serving on the City Council.

McGarrey is among four City Council hopefuls — Joe Johnson, Brian Hanrahan, and Richard Gray — and one incumbent to have qualified to appear on the November ballot, according to a public records request to La Quinta City Clerk Monika Radeva. Council members are elected at large, so the top two vote-getters will win the council seats.

Incumbent John Peña, a member of the City Council since 2014, is seeking another four-year term. Peña served as mayor from 1988 to 2002.

The other incumbent up for re-election, Robert Radi, is not seeking re-election.

Mayor Linda Evans will face two challengers — Alan Woodruff and Robert Sylk — in her bid for a fifth term as mayor in the Nov. 8 election. In La Quinta, council members serve four-year terms, the mayor is elected every two years.

Registered city voters will also decide whether to approve a ballot initiative to prohibit short-term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods. You may read the city attorney’s impartial analysis by clicking here.

Uken Report (UR) reached out to all City Council candidates with identical questions. McGarrey’s answers follow.

UR: Occupation:

Deborah McGarrey: I have been with SoCalGas for 13 years as a public affairs manager, servicing the Morongo Basin, Eastern Riverside County and Imperial County Region. With over 20 years in external affairs, I’m experienced with working with local governments, public safety professionals, and customers resolutions. I hold leadership roles that focus on addressing food insecurity, housing needs, land conservation and promoting economic development.

UR: Who or what motivated to run for City Council at this time?

Deborah McGarrey: I have been a resident of the Coachella Valley for more than 30 years and made La Quinta my home 22 years ago. My career has given me a suitable professional background for serving on the La Quinta City Council. I serve in various leadership roles with several organizations across the valley, that   provide critical services to residents in need of food, those engaging in advocacy for communities, businesses, and our beautiful yet fragile ecosystem. My husband Michael and I love La Quinta and I’m committed to providing continuity in maintaining the community’s quality of life, service, and financial stability. My decision to run for city council was well thought-out and it will be taken seriously.

UR: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent(s)?

Deborah McGarrey: I am not running for City Council as my next career, but I am running because I sincerely believe I can utilize my expertise of working regionally, understanding the issues facing the city, and having the knowledge and relationships to address those issues.

UR: What can you bring to the City Council that is currently missing?

Deborah McGarrey: I can bring a regional perspective! I know the issues the city is facing, on so many levels, such as the states unfunded mandates, environmental mandates, in addition to the relationships I have developed across many jurisdictions and government agencies. My career has given me a suitable professional background for serving on the La Quinta City Council.

UR: What is the single most important endorsement you have and why?

Deborah McGarrey: The most important endorsement I’ve received is my husband, Michael.  I am also grateful and humbled to have received early support and endorsements from the La Quinta City Council.

UR: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?

Deborah McGarrey: My greatest accomplishment has to be my involvement within the community. Supporting organizations that provide critical services to residents in need of food, organization that support our beautiful and fragile ecosystem or making a difference with those in need of support for cancer care.

UR: What is the single biggest issue facing La Quinta and why?

Deborah McGarrey: The biggest issue facing the city of La Quinta will be addressing the deferred maintenance of an aging electrical infrastructure and the future decisions on how to deal with the increases to businesses, residents and developers that have already received approval for the service.  This issue has been a conversation of the Coachella Valley’s East Valley Cities over the last several years.  This will be a significant issue to navigate.

UR: What will you propose to do about it?

Deborah McGarrey: I would work closely with our community leaders from each of the impacted communities to support a regional approach to resolve the issue.  Fortunately, I have close relationships across the Valley, and I have been monitoring this issue for a while therefore the learning curve will be minimal.

UR: Is there one decision with City Council has made with which you strongly disagree? If so, what was it and why?

Deborah McGarrey: Not at this time.  Again, I am fortunate to have a greater understanding of the issues cities are facing today. My occupation main responsibility is to be the liaison to the local cities, county and official for the Desert Region. I am also the liaison to the League of CA Cities (CA Cities). This gives me the opportunity to monitor and participate in various policy committees where local officials discuss the issues facing CA Cities and how to address them.



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