Grace Garner to become city’s first Latina mayor

PALM SPRINGS — Mayor pro tem Grace Garner will be sworn in to a second term today, Thursday, Dec. 15, and rotate into the position of mayor, the city’s first Latina mayor, along with the swearing in of newly elected Palm Springs City Councilmembers Jeffrey Bernstein and Ron deHarte.

Each will be sworn in the 5:30 p.m. City Council meeting. Mayor Lisa Middleton will swear in Garner who will become the 24th mayor of Palm Springs.

In November, Bernstein was elected to represent District 2 and deHarte to represent District 3. Garner was re-elected to a second, four-year term to represent District 1. Bernstein will fill the seat left vacant after Dennis Woods decided not to seek reelection. deHarte will fill the seat that Geoff Kors held. Kors did not seek reelection.

UR: What does it mean to you to know you will be the mayor of Palm Springs, an international tourist destination?

Grace Garner: I am most proud to be the mayor of my hometown. The international attention that the city receives is an added bonus. I look forward to welcoming visitors from the around the world and will work to ensure that our residents’ lives are improved as well.

UR: You will be the city’s first Latina mayor. What specifically does that mean to you?

Grace Garner: No response. (As an aside, she told Uken Report, “It’s just too big of a question.”)

UR: Does being the first Latina mayor come with added responsibility? If so, how and why?

Grace Garner: Being the first in any role comes with added scrutiny and responsibility. I want to ensure that I represent my community and Palm Springs in a positive light and serve as a role model for young people or anyone else interested in running for city council.

UR: What are your specific goals as mayor?

Grace Garner: I plan on implementing a parks master plan and working with a developer(s) on building housing on our city-owned residential lots that can be sold to residents for prices they can afford.

UR: You grew up in Palm Springs. Did you ever envision being mayor? Was it a goal?

Grace Garner: I have always been interested in politics and hoped to be able to run for office. I did not specifically hope to be mayor but always knew I wanted to be a part of the political process.

UR: Are there any new programs you’d like to introduce?

Grace Garner: My focus will continue to be on housing and community development. We have a great deal of projects that are already in the works such as park improvements, infrastructure upgrades to our library, and opening the navigation center. It is important that we stay focused on the tasks before us before adding too many new projects.


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