Linda Evans dishes on a ‘delicious’ secret many don’t know about her
LA QUINTA — Mayor Linda Evans, one of the hardest-working women in the Coachella Valley, will face two challengers — Alan Woodruff and Robert Sylk — in her bid for a fifth term as mayor in the Nov. 8 election. The mayor is elected every two years.
Evans has lived in La Quinta for 19 1/2 years.
Uken Report (UR) asked all three candidates identical questions with the same deadline for responses. Woodruff did not respond.
- Mayor, City of La Quinta (since 12/2014 & City Council Member from 6/2009-11/2014)
- Chief Strategy Officer of Community Advocacy for Desert Care Network (Desert Regional, JFK Memorial, Hi-Desert Hospitals)
UR: Who or what motivated you to run for mayor at this time?
Linda Evans: I’m honored to serve as Mayor of La Quinta. I’m seeking re-election because our city continues to focus on growth and COVID recovery efforts for both the city and our businesses and residents. We have several large projects underway, and the continuity of knowledge and solid decision-making is critical for LQ in the years ahead.
UR: What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
Linda Evans: I’m dedicated to our city and its residents. I have a proven track record with the voters as evidenced by the outcomes. I work to ensure the city is safe, clean, has a strong financial position, supports local businesses, balances growth and the environment, and provides amenities for residents (parks, trails, Wellness Center, recreation) for an outstanding quality of life. I’m elected to represent our residents for the greater community.
UR: What can you bring to the mayor’s office that is currently missing?
Linda Evans: Being a voice of the people and encouraging input and feedback is a strength of mine. I always welcome ways to be more accessible than I am currently.
UR: What is the single most important endorsement you have and why?
Linda Evans: I have completed a few questionnaires and await their response. In general, however, I have not actively sought many endorsements the last few elections as they have become controversial to some. I prefer “supporters of Linda” for my Mayoral race.
UR: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?
Linda Evans: While the easy answers are obtaining two Masters Degrees, being married for almost 27 years, and becoming Mayor, I feel that my role with the hospital in recruiting physicians to our valley has met a greater community need. When I think about the various primary care and specialists that moved to establish practices in the Coachella Valley over the years, and all of the patients they have and continue to care for, the babies delivered, the kids and adults treated, the lives saved (surgical/ER), improved health overall (ortho / joints – walking again) – it brings me joy to think that I had a part in improving the health status and access to care in our community.
UR: What is the single biggest issue facing La Quinta and why?
Linda Evans: Measure A – The ballot initiative that, if approved, will ban short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) (about 792 as of 6/30/22)), thus creating a loss of revenue for the city while the rentals continue without permits or resources to enforce them. I do not support the ban and I will vote NO on Measure A because of the long-term impact on our local businesses, jobs, police and fire, capital improvement projects in our community, and city revenue ($6.1m in 2021). Our Council has made significant improvements to the STVR program – based on input from our residents – and the balance is working to ensure quality of life for all while visitors experience all that we love about our GEM of the desert. Please learn more by reviewing the FACTS by clicking here.
UR: What will you propose to do about it?
Linda Evans: If Measure A passes, it’s important to have a Mayor and Council with experience and knowledge about the city’s finances. With the loss of revenue, prioritization of services will be needed to minimize the impact on public safety, roads/improvements, city services/staff, and local businesses.
If Measure A is defeated, it is also important to ensure adherence to our STVR ordinance, including fees/fines/enforcements so the balance and reduction in complaints continues. Our businesses rely on our tourists (who are paying the occupancy taxes, not our residents) to keep people employed and keep their doors open. And, the city can continue to support permits in the zoned, allowable areas while maintaining the current program elements.
UR: Is there one decision the City Council has made with which you strongly disagree? If so, what was it and why?
Linda Evans: The Council extended a Conditional Use Permit and Site Development Permit for the 5th time and the 1st extension for the Tentative Parcel Map for the undeveloped property on the NE corner of Washington and Fred Waring. The project was initially approved by Council in March 2009 (before I joined Council) as a commercial and medical office complex. The owner then wanted to add a grocery store, then he wanted to convert it to a hotel, entertainment and other uses. The continued requests were for changes in trends and economy, yet other developments in La Quinta were happening and there was no progress being made. I voted no (the final was 4-1 and I was the no) to extend the permits further since the owner/developer could not present a concrete plan, timeline, or use of the land, despite his claims to do so. There is still nothing happening on that property.
UR: You are all well-known. What is one thing people don’t know about you?
Linda Evans: My mom is a baker and I loved licking the extra cake batter from the bowl. I also loved licking the beaters when she made her homemade chocolate frosting. People love my brownies, but mom’s cake and icing are the BEST!
- Linda Evans: Linda Evans