CATHEDRAL CITY – Minutes after Gregory S. Pettis was sworn in as Mayor of Cathedral City on Dec. 10, he set forth an aggressive set of goals.
“It is our goal to continue as the last Council – as a team, respectful of each other, work for the betterment of the community and to share their excitement for Cathedral City to everyone they come into contact with,” Pettis told the standing-room-only crowd.
In January, the City Council will hold a 1 ½ -day retreat to plan goals for the coming year, Pettis said.
With that, Pettis unabashedly announced some of his own goals he will bring to the table. Among them are:
- Establish a Kindergarten to College program similar to other cities such as San Francisco; St. Louis, Mo.; and Oakland, Calif. The program helps secure college funding for thousands of children from low-income families. The idea, according to Pettis, is to help teach young people the importance of banking and saving.
- Support a Gun Buyback Program that Police Chief Travis Walker will hold on Saturday, Dec. 22.
- Plant 1,000 shade trees over the next two years throughout the city to continue to clean the environment and provide residents opportunities to cool off in summer.
- Bring a World Naked Bike Ride to Cathedral City. Pettis said he will hear public comments on this issue at the regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
- Partner with the Cathedral City High School band and choir as they prepare to travel in 2019 to New York City and the Bahamas respectively.
- Strengthen the city’s Sister City Program working with the new task force.
- Work with community members and faith-based organizations to provide a hot meal for those in need at Easter and Christmas in 2019.
- Celebrate that the unemployment rate in Cathedral City is down to 2.3 percent, but also recognize that there are 238 homeless students who attend Cathedral City High School.
“We must do more,” Pettis said.
“I know that is a lot for one night,” Pettis said of his goals. “But as Council discusses, and we roll out these and other projects we will continue to (put) all our efforts to propel Cathedral City to the top of all cities in Riverside County.”
In addition to the goals, Pettis set forth, the City Council is also expected to review park assessment fees on homeowners in the Century Park and Panorama Park areas. The city parks are used by all residents but only homeowners in the area are assessed the fees to help maintain the parks.
The parks are located in the districts of Councilmembers Mark Carnevale and Raymond Gregory. Both councilors have expressed concern about the fees.