CATHEDRAL CITY —  The reaction was swift, unrelenting and unforgiving after former City Councilmember Shelley Kaplan claimed his husband, Alan Carvalho, “stepped down” from the Public Arts Commission. The uproar begged for a fact check.

Kaplan, who stands by his statement, made it when announcing that Carvalho would be seeking a seat on the City Council in the Nov. 3 election.

Critics cried foul. They included former Mayor Kathy DeRosa who said Kaplan’s statement did not need to be true, it simply needed to be believable. Another was Antonio Baciu who worked on Kaplan’s last campaign. The list goes on.

They argue that Carvalho did not simply “step down.” He served two, three-year terms on the Public Arts Commission and was technically prohibited from seeking a third term.

“Not sure what the issue is,” Kaplan told Uken Report. “He termed out after six years on the Commission, so, yes, he did step down at the end of his term.”

Despite the term limits, Carvalho, an arts enthusiast, submitted a formal application supported with letters of recommendations. for a third term. City Manager Charles McClendon told the City Council it could make an exception for Carvalho.

According to this fact check, the City Council unanimously chose not to appoint Carvalho to a third term.

Councilmember Mark Carnevale, who described Carvalho’s work on the Commission as “fabulous,” said there were several other applicants and Councilors thought they should give other residents an opportunity to serve.

“The Council was interested in appointing new members to broaden and provide more community involvement from our city,” Mayor John Aguilar told Uken Report.  We had a ton of applications for many different Commission appointments this round, including the Arts Commission; as a result we appointed three new members to the Arts Commission, DeeAnn Hopings, Scott Colwell, and John Nagus who will all do an awesome job.”

The Public Arts Commission advances performing and visual art in the community. It makes recommendations to the City Council on the selection, acquisition and installation of public art paid for by developer fees; support and production of concerts, readings and other live arts performances; sponsor programs; development and use of facilities for arts projects; and cooperative ventures with other art organizations throughout the Coachella Valley.



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  • Fact Check: Shutterstock