PALM DESERT – In his first turn serving as mayor of Palm Desert, Sabby Jonathan, first elected to the City Council in 2014, is growing in the position and having so much fun he is already setting the stage for a second, four-year term.
“I’m having a blast,” he said. “Boy, if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?”
The mayor’s post rotates among all members of the City Council.
His kickoff party is set for Wednesday, May 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Casuelas Café in Palm Desert. In his typical, teasing manner, Jonathan posted a “Save the Date” notice on his Facebook page. He posted the time and place, adding, “Could be Sabby’s Kickoff … Just Sayin’.”
He eventually came clean to announce that he will indeed seek re-election in the Nov. 6 City Council election.
As mayor, Jonathan has for the first time introduced a monthly feature called, “Coffee with the Mayor.” Each month he invites residents, visitors and members of the business community to meet him for complimentary coffee and conversation. He chooses a different place each month. He has already held sessions at The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens and Desert Willow Golf Resort, and this month he has asked residents to join him at the McCallum Theater.
In another signature post on his Facebook page, Jonathan said, “Who knows? There might be a special VIP backstage tour for those that attend. Just sayin’.”
It is abundantly clear in his actions that he’s loving what he’s doing and he’s having a ball bringing people into his world.
He exudes an air of transparency and inclusion. Just sayin’.
Next on the mayor’s coffee schedule are the Desert Aquatic Center and the Palm Desert Library. His goal is to make interacting with the mayor convenient and comfortable.
“Our city is such a special place,” Jonathan said. “Our council is cohesive, but there are plenty of 3-2, 4-1 votes. We have passionate discussions but we listen to each other, respect each other and work to arrive at a compromise that is in the best interest of everyone.”
As mayor, he is cutting ribbons, giving opening remarks and more new experiences in his mayoral role.
“I’m meeting so many great people,” Jonathan said. “It’s a golden time in the city of Palm Desert.”
The effervescence in his voice is a telltale sign of a passionate leader.
Jan Harnik’s term on the City Council also expires this year. Harnik, elected in 2014, is currently challenging Manuel “Manny” Perez for the Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor seat. The winner will be decided on June 5.
Harnik is currently focused on winning the seat.
In the event she does not, Uken Report asked her about Plan B. She stopped just short of saying she will seek re-election to the City Council.
“I love working for, and in, the community and will continue doing so,” Harnik said. “Working to make the community better, today and for our future, is my passion.”
The nomination period formally opens in July.
Other members of the City Council are Gina Nestande, Susan Marie Weber and Kathleen Kelly.