Robert Mueller is one of three candidates challenging three incumbents in the April Rancho Mirage City Council election.

He graciously responded to Uken Report’s questionnaire, an opportunity afforded all candidates in the race. Each candidate was given identical questions, no word limit and the promise that their responses would not be edited. This is their opportunity to speak in their voice without having their comments shortened or filtered.

Uken Report (UR): Exactly why are you running or seeking re-election? Please be specific.

Robert Mueller (RM): Rancho Mirage is a great place to live. It’s an affluent town of gated communities and private country clubs.  But there’s one five member private club unavailable to most residents, called the City Council.  More than a fresh voice, Rancho Mirage needs the experience, drive and vision to take it forward.  More of the same is no longer an option.

UR: What quality do you have that you believe your opponents do not? In other words, what sets you apart?

RM: Evidence-based decision making has guided every step of my five-decade career and should guide Rancho Mirage policy. Unfortunately, the current Council extols the virtues of the city but misrepresents to its citizens many of the city’s realities. The council portrays the upcoming election as a single-issue dialog, to distract voters from more pressing matters overdue for Council action like property crime, fiscal accountability, transparency and vision.

UR: How much do you expect to spend on your race? Keep in mind Your financial disclosure statements will be public.

RM: Our campaign budget is $25,000.

UR: Who is your political role model and why?

RM: I greatly admire Barack Obama for his unfailing patience and leadership.

UR: What are the three most notable endorsements you have received to date?

RM: Christy Holstege, J.R. Roberts and Robert Gross

UR: Who recruited you, encouraged you to seek re-election or did you decide to run/seek re-election on your own?

RM: Though several friends were very encouraging, ultimately I decided to seek election on my own.

UR: What one thing will you specifically do to eliminate the perception, real or imagined, that Rancho Mirage is becoming an isolationist city?

RM: There’s little question Rancho Mirage is now pitifully isolated. Incredibly, this ridiculous isolation is portrayed to residents as an admirable strength.

It takes no talent to say, “NO”.

Of course, CV Link is dead but the City Council’s isolation has unfortunately stalemated regional solutions to coordinated traffic flow, affordable housing for seniors and homelessness, among others.  I have the career experience to appropriately collaborate with surrounding communities to make Rancho Mirage – and the Valley – a better place for ALL residents.

UR: Do you consider yourself a liberal, conservative or moderate and what does that mean to you?

RM: I’m a fiscal conservative. That means responsible, accountable stewardship of taxpayer resources with proper safeguard policies and practices in place.

I’m a social progressive. That means balanced, even-handed, inclusive methods of governing. I strongly believe in community involvement and participative processes for ALL residents.

UR: Is it appropriate for Rancho Mirage City Council candidates to accept campaign contributions from outside Rancho Mirage and the Coachella Valley?

RM: Yes.

UR: What is the single biggest challenge facing Rancho Mirage and why? Be specific.

RM: The correct answer is certainly not “CV Link”.

Besides getting the City’s house in order by tackling excessive property crime and fixing its financial scandals, the City’s greatest long term challenge is grasping its reality and building its reputation, putting taxpayer assets to work.  Unlike other valley cities, Rancho Mirage real estate values still have not recovered from the 2006 market collapse. The solution is restoring the city’s global reputation through outbound marketing and creating family resident appeal by fixing Rancho Mirage’s broken educational system., among others

UR: What will you specifically do to address the challenge you just identified?

RM: The current council’s inward focus has caused them to overlook excellent available options.  I have the career experience to help Rancho Mirage blossom to its full potential.

UR: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about you? This is your chance to set the record straight in your own words.

RM: I’m Rancho Mirage’s own Robert Mueller.  The other Robert Mueller in Washington is doing a great job there. I’ll do a great job in Rancho Mirage.