Kate Spates has Started a Petition Drive to Change Meeting Times of the Rancho Mirage City Council

RANCHO MIRAGE — Kate Spates, who ran a high-profile and vigorous campaign for City Council in 2018, has started a petition drive to change meeting times of City Council. Her petition also  calls for elections to be inclusive.

Spates has started the Petition on Change.org.

Petition: Change Meeting Times in Rancho Mirage

Kate Spates

“I’ve been saying this for years… how can this council hear from its constituents with a meeting time of 1 p.m., unless they are retired,” Spates told Uken Report. “And having special elections not aligned with state and federal elections is costly and confusing to voters, leading to lower turnout and voter participation.”

According to the petition, Spates states that there is concern about lack of civic involvement amongst the residents of Rancho Mirage. The demographics of our city are changing with an increase in young families and working couples moving in.

Current city council meetings take place at 1 p.m. — a time when most people are at work and unable to participate — suppressing and disenfranchising voters, according to Spates.

“It is well past time to change the time of day that our Council meetings are held. Changing from 1 p.m. to after general business hours is a vital step to engage our citizenry in this important process,” Spates write in the petition. Most surrounding cities have times that are more convenient and conducive to participation.”

Palm Springs City Council meetings, for example, are typically held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.

The Rancho Mirage City Council should change its general meeting time to 5 p.m. or later and align our election date with federal and state election cycles in the hopes of being more inclusive and giving our citizens as much of an opportunity to participate as possible, according to the petition. (It’s also cheaper to not run one election one month after a federal election.) There is no good reason for not making these changes, unless the city council wishes to have minimum citizen participation and only hear from those that have the luxury of attending a meeting in the middle of a workday and remembering to vote in an easy-to-miss special election.

Image Sources

  • Change.org: Shutterstock