CATHEDRAL CITY — In November 2022, Measure K, which would have provided money for parks and recreation, received majority support from Cathedral City voters but it did not reach the required two-thirds level for adoption, but the City Council isn’t giving up. A proposed half-cent sales tax increase appears to be on horizon.

When all ballots were tallied, 6,980 residents, or 55%, supported Measure K, a ballot question that proposed to charge property owners a tax to pay for the city to join the Desert Recreation District. But it was not enough. Some 5,808 voters, or 45% rejected the measure.

City Manager Charlie McClendon told Uken Report at the time that he was encouraged by the broad support Measure K received.

“With nearly 55% of the people supporting it, that’s a strong endorsement and shows me that residents are interested in having these services,” McClendon said. “The voters sent us a very clear message.”

He said he wanted to explore ways of getting the same benefits from the Desert Recreation District but perhaps via a different route.

“There is always a way,” he said. “The voters sent us a message.”

It appears that way is via half-cent sales tax increase.

This City Council has made it abundantly clear that parks and recreation is a priority. The 2024 Strategic Plan approved on Feb. 14 includes the following:

  • City Council to support a measure to provide funding for parks and recreation services through the DRD and other resident priorities including streets and enhanced Fire Department services.

Last month, the City Council unanimously approved a $42,500 budget amendment to provide public opinion polling services of residents on whether the city should pay for parks and recreation services through the Desert Recreation District.

This week, the City Council will be asked to authorize a budget amendment for $29,250 in FY 23-24 and $29,250 in FY 24-25 to cover the cost of a contract to provide public education consulting services. It’s really a technical vote since work began in February and will continue through November 2024 unless the city decides to terminate the contract earlier.

Lew Edwards Group, a professional consulting organization, was hired. The group has done work for Cathedral City over the years and most recently prepared public education materials for residents in early 2021 prior to the vote on Measure B related to short-term vacation rentals.


Image Sources

  • Ocotillo Park Splash Pad: City of Cathedral City