Iris Smotrich is the only one of the three incumbents on the Rancho Mirage City Council who responded to a candidate questionnaire from Uken Report — and did it immediately.
Smotrich, like all candidates, was told her responses would not be edited. Candidates were not given a word limit.
This is not the first time she has exhibited an independence from her colleagues G. Dana Hobart and Charles Townsend Vinci. Smotrich, along with Mayor Pro Tem Richard Kite, also attended the 30th anniversary celebration of the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert. Smotrich initially had some questions about the person being honored but once her concerns were addressed, she attended. Hobart and Townsend Vinci did not despite Kite saying he encouraged “everyone” to attend the celebration fundraiser.
Smotrich was first appointed by the Rancho Mirage City Council on July 7, 2011. In 2012, she ran unopposed and was reappointed by the City Council to serve for a two-year term. In 2014, she ran for office and won.
Uken Report (UR): Exactly why are you running or seeking re-election? Please be specific.
Iris Smotrich (IS): I want to continue making Rancho Mirage the city of great accomplishments.
UR: What quality do you have that you believe your opponents do not? In other words, what sets you apart?
IS: Over 50 years of successful business and real estate management as well as lifelong dedication to charitable and community work.
UR: How much do you expect to spend on your race? Keep in mind Your financial disclosure statements will be public.
IS: Approximately $20,000
UR: Who is your political role model and why?
IS: The great forefathers of our country.
UR: What are the three most notable endorsements you have received to date?
IS: Sheriff Stan Sniff… Helene Galen… Jamie Kabler.
UR: Who recruited you, encouraged you to seek re-election or did you decide to run/seek re-election on your own ?
IS: It was a decision made by my husband and myself.
UR: What one thing will you specifically do to eliminate the perception, real or imagined, that Rancho Mirage is becoming an isolationist city?
IS: I believe anyone who truly knows the City of Rancho Mirage admires our generous sharing of community amenities and do not consider us an isolationist City. I will continue to welcome all residents and visitors to enjoy the amenities Rancho Mirage provides, free of charge, to the public, such as: The Rancho Mirage Library, The Rancho Mirage Amphitheater, The Rancho Mirage Observatory and Rancho Mirage Emergency Preparedness programs.
UR: Do you consider yourself a liberal, conservative or moderate and what does that mean to you?
IS: I am an Independent and have always voted the person and the issues.
UR: Is it appropriate for Rancho Mirage City Council candidates to accept campaign contributions from outside Rancho Mirage and the Coachella Valley?
IS: It is up to the individual candidate to determine from whom to accept contributions.
UR: What is the single biggest challenge facing Rancho Mirage and why? Be specific.
IS: Continue supporting the decision made by Rancho Mirage voters regarding the CV Link and continue to provide our Residents and Businesses with less expensive and cleaner energy thru our CCA Program.
UR: What will you specifically do to address the challenge you just identified?
IS: I will continue to work hard and be honest and forthright.
UR: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about you? This is your chance to set the record straight in your own words.
IS: I don’t believe there are any misconceptions about me.