PALM SPRINGS — Geoff Kors, 57, Mayor Pro Tem of Palm Springs, to date is the only person who has filed a Candidate Intention Statement for District 3.

Thus far, seven people have filed a Candidate Intention Statement to seek a seat in the newly drawn districts.

Those who have filed a California Form 501 to win the District 1 seat are Les Young, 67, a retired banker Summer H. Morris and Grace E. Garner.

Those filing for the District 2 seat are Peter J. Maietta, 51, an interior designer; Carlton (Carl) A. Baker, 57, director of Legal & Legislative Affairs for Desert AIDS Project; and Adrian M. Alcantar.

All candidates have been given identical questions and the same opportunity to answer. To date, Garner has declined to respond to repeated requests. Alcantar and Morris were the most recent contacted and have not had sufficient time to respond.

Voters in Districts 1, 2, and 3 will be eligible to vote in the November election. The newly drawn district map is available by clicking here.

To introduce candidates to the public, Uken Report has submitted each of the seven a series of identical questions with a deadline. Following are the questions and Kors’ unedited responses.

Uken Report (UR): Why specifically are you running?

Geoff Kors: When I first visited Palm Springs 30 years ago it was love at first site and that love has only grown stronger over the years.  Three years ago my campaign platform focused on enacting strong ethics and transparency laws, economic development including revitalizing downtown, and economic and environmental sustainability.  I am proud of the accomplishments our City Council has achieved in each of those areas and the work I have done to draft ordinances on these and other issues.  I’m also proud of my work, along with my colleagues, on increasing diversity and inclusion, promoting local businesses, housing more than 200 homeless residents, and fully staffing police, fire and emergency medical services for the first time in over a decade.  Moving forward I want to continue my work in these areas as well as focus on our parks, library and recreation programs, enact a long-term affordable housing plan, continue to build a strong and inclusive economy, enact our 100% carbon free energy program, and much more.

UR: City Council races are typically nonpartisan, but local races of late have been highly partisan. This is your chance to set the record straight and speak for yourself. Are you liberal, conservative, or other, and what that means to you and your constituents?

Geoff Kors: Local elections do not list a candidate’s political party which is what makes them officially nonpartisan.  That said, political organizations and elected officials do endorse in these races and have for as long as I have been involved.  I am honored to already been endorsed by so many of the elected officials I work with including Councilmembers Christy Holstege, Lisa Middleton, JR Roberts, Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz, Supervisor Manny Perez and Palm Springs representatives on the College Board,  School Board and Desert Healthcare District, Fred Jandt, Tim Wood, and Les Zendle.  I’m also very honored to be endorsed by Senator Barbara Boxer, President of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Awards Gala Harold Matzner, Chair of the Palm Springs Hospitality Association Aftab Dada, and CEO of Wintec Energy Fred Noble.   This list of early endorsers is made up of leaders who, like me, put Palm Springs first.  They are Democrats, Republicans and Independents who support me because I, like them, am focused on moving Palm Springs forward to benefit our residents and businesses and create a welcoming environment for people to live, work and visit.  I am a progressive Democrat who has spent my career working to advance equality and justice, improve the environment, and promote inclusive and transparent government.

UR: What is the most pressing issue in your specific district?

Geoff Kors:  I think the issues in District 3 are similar to issues Citywide although there are some differences.  District 3 has the highest percentage of renters and multifamily housing.  Most of the Central Business District and many of our wonderful parks are also in District 3.  I want to continue my work to transition more residents who are presently homeless into permanent housing, protect and expand our rental and affordable housing, invest in our parks, increase our recreation programs, and continue to promote our local businesses as I have with our new Uniquely Palm Springs Campaign.  I also want to make sure all residents are part of a ONE-PS Neighborhood Organization as so much great work happens through these organizations.

UR: With what issue, ordinance, or project do you want your name to be most associated?

Geoff Kors:  I have worked on so many ordinances on issues ranging from cannabis, to ethics and transparency, to vacation rentals, to gun safety, to equal benefits to name just a few.  If I am re-elected I will continue to take on challenging issues and work with the community to find solutions that allow us to move forward in the best way possible.  Over the next few years it will be imperative that we sustain our economic growth and continue to build a reserve so that we don’t have to reduce essential services in the event of an economic downtown and that the pension reserve I created with the support of the Council continues to be funded.

UR: Do you have any local government experience, serving on boards, commissions, etc.?

Geoff Kors: I presently serve as Palm Springs Mayor Pro Tem.  In this role I serve on numerous committees for the City.  I also serve as Vice-Chair for the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, Vice-Chair for Desert Community Energy, liaison to the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, PS Resorts, Palm Springs Hospitality Association, and all of our tourism organizations.  I also serve on the Board of Directors of both the Palm Springs Boys & Girls Club and the Mizell Senior Center.

UR: What sets you apart from your challenger(s)?

Geoff Kors: I have decades of experience in law, government and legislation at the federal, state and local levels.  I have a record of success in addressing issues of concern to our residents and businesses and look forward to continuing my work on behalf of the community I love.

Image Sources

  • geoff-kors: Petrelis Files