Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon last week received a shellacking from some of his City Council colleagues for writing a letter of support on city stationery in support of Richard Grenell for U.S. Ambassador to Germany.
The letter, which Moon wrote to Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris in September 2017, surfaced on the Internet. Ultimately, contrary to Moon’s plea, neither Feinstein nor Harris voted in favor of Grenell’s appointment.
Moon’s injecting himself in such a politically charged issue seems to run contrary to stances he has taken on issues in the past, prompting some to question whether Moon, elected to a four-year term as mayor in 2015, has a double standard when it comes to politics.
In January, as the Resistance March/Women’s Rally gathered momentum in Palm Springs with former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny Perez speaking, Moon told Uken Report he would not attend.
“I am a lifelong Democrat, and I was an elected delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia,” Moon told Uken Report at the time. “However, no, I will not be attending. I am not a political activist and I do not normally attend political demonstrations.”
Then, in March, Moon refused to sign a proclamation declaring March 24 as March For Our Lives Day in the City of Palm Springs.
Moon took to Facebook on Sunday explaining why he refused to sign the proclamation and told Uken Report on Monday that he stands up his decision.
“For the mayor to unilaterally sign a proclamation is to politicize the office,” Moon said in a telephone interview. “I am not willing to speak for the entire City Council on an issue that has political overtones. This is not a political position. It is not a Democrat or Republican office. Some of my City Council colleagues want to use their positions to advance a political agenda. I don’t. That’s me. To support something with political overtones is an inappropriate use of this office.”
At the rally, Moon was booed and chants of “vote him out” erupted during the “March for Our Lives” Rally in the community on Saturday as an estimated 2,000 people gathered to protest gun violence in the nation.
Despite the mayor’s refusal, the students were still able to secure their requested proclamation courtesy of Councilmember Geoff Kors, who was also elected to a four-year term in 2015.
Kors not only signed the proclamation but also certificates of appreciation for the student speakers and organizers.
“I believe it is important to recognize the March and their leadership,” Kors told Uken Report at the time.
Anyone on the City Council can sign a proclamation but the person requesting it almost always sends it to the mayor, Kors said.
So, does the controversial mayor play by a double standard when it comes to his pet projects or favorite people? Grenell supported Moon in the 2015 mayoral election.
The issue now has nothing to do with Grenell and everything to do with whether Moon is consistent in his policies.
Moon is standing by sending the letter and refusing to the sign the proclamation.
A proclamation is done in the name of the city of Palm Springs, Moon told Uken Report.
“In contrast, a letter on my mayor’s letterhead stating my personal position on an issue is my opinion and mine alone and is stating the opinion of the mayor alone. That is a major difference. An exception is when I write a letter at the request of the full Council. In those cases my letter on my mayoral letterhead would state that I am writing “on behalf of” the Council. If I say my position or opinion is my personal position or opinion that is permissible. It falls under the First Amendment and I do (not) have to clear that with anyone. We all love and fight for that First Amendment!!! ”