Mayor Lisa Middleton responds to College of the Desert President Dr. Martha Garcia regarding feasibility study for West Valley Campus

Late Thursday, Dec. 16, Mayor Lisa Middleton received an email from Dr. Martha Garcia, the College of the Desert’s recently appointed Superintendent/President stating that a needs assessment was indeed conducted for the college’s long planned West Valley Campus in Palm Springs. The issue of whether or not the college prepared the necessary feasibility study has been widely reported in the local media. In the interest of transparency, the city of Palm Springs would like to provide the public with Mayor Middleton’s email response to Dr. Garcia. It follows.

Dear President Garcia,

Thank you for sending this along. While I have yet to fully review the assessment, my initial review confirms what the City of Palm Springs has believed all along—that prior College of the Desert administrations have taken all of the steps necessary to bring to fruition the West Valley Campus.

The West Valley Campus was promised to the voters of the Coachella Valley when they approved Measures B and CC. The leadership of our region and my city came together in support of the broad vision for College of the Desert that would be inclusive of the entire Coachella Valley. As we all know gaining and sustaining support for public education is as important as it is difficult. One of the many unique features of our region has been the long-standing broad support for public education and higher education across the region and across the political spectrum.

As an elected leader, I would be negligent were I not to be clear that the broad public support that the College of the Desert has earned and held for many years is at risk. Public trust is at issue.

The City of Palm Springs remains committed to taking all action necessary to see that the promises made are kept. The approved vision of the West Valley campus was a transformative community college campus. A campus that would provide our region’s community college students learning experiences and opportunities typically found only in university settings. It is a campus that builds on the unique synergies of Palm Springs and the west valley. We hope that the current College of the Desert administration shares this vision and will work with the City of Palm Springs and leaders across our region in those efforts.

Lisa Middleton
Mayor, City of Palm Springs

Image Sources

  • Lisa Middleton: Lisa Middleton