If you’re in need of a political fix, this is your stop. This week has been wild one in local politics with everything from election results and resignations to endorsements and more.
The Coachella Valley never disappoints when it comes to discussing politics. It is must-have fare.
♠ ♠ ♠
Former Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa is hosting a meet-and-greet on Saturday for Doug Hassett of LaQuinta.
Hassett is one of five Republicans seeking the nomination in the June 5 Primary to go head-to-head in November with incumbent Democratic Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz for the 36th Congressional District seat.
“Hosting Doug Hassett is giving him an opportunity to tell his story, his vision, his views,” DeRosa told Uken Report. As a nonpartisan, in my opinion, it’s important all views and voices be given consideration. Again, in my opinion, it’s important we stop soundbite voting and spend a little time learning about a candidate.”
Hassett’s most formidable challengers in the upcoming Republican primary are Dan Ball and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer.
♠ ♠ ♠
Two days after three incumbents were re-elected to seats on the Rancho Mirage City Council, City Manager Randy Bynder announced his retirement.
According to a news release, Bynder told City Councilmembers two months ago he planned to retire this year but did not set a specific date.
Once election results were in, he set May 18 as his departure date.
Bynder has been with the city more than 32 years.
You may read the entire news release about his resignation HERE.
That’s not the only resignation in Rancho Mirage. Library Director David Bryant announced he is leaving this month. The reason is not clear. Uken Report received an anonymous letter during the campaign that alleged Bryant was fostering a hostile work environment favoring one clerk over others. The letter hinted at shades of the #MeToo Movement.
None of the allegations could be immediately corroborated because the city can hide behind “personnel reasons.”
Does Bryant’s sudden departure signal anything?
♠ ♠ ♠
Speaking of Rancho Mirage, more than half of the eligible registered voters, 5,236, or 53 percent, participated in the April 10 election. That is a good turnout for a single issue election, especially since only 57 percent of the voters turned out two years ago.
In the April 2016 Rancho Mirage city election, there were 5,208 votes, for 57 percent, out of 9,109 registered voters, according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. In addition to electing members to the City Council, there were also four measures on the ballot, including one about the controversial CV Link. This time around, there was only the question of who will fill three seats on the City Council.
♠ ♠ ♠
Riverside County Fourth District Super V. Manuel “Manny” Perez continues to rack up endorsements from Coachella Valley elected leaders.
The entire Palm Springs City Council has endorsed him. Indio Mayor Pro Tem Troy Strange and Indio City Councilmember Lupe Ramos Watson have given him their support and now come more. This time support originates in Cathedral City where four of the five City Councilmembers have endorsed Perez. Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis and Councilmember John Aguilar came out earlier with their support for Perez. This week, Councilmembers Mark Carnevale and Shelley Kaplan added their names to the growing list of endorsements.
“Manuel Perez has been a great partner in helping Cathedral City reduce our homeless population, safeguard our most vulnerable residents, and honor the service of our veterans,” Carnevale said in a prepared statement. “Manuel has fought to ensure we are getting a fair share of funding from the both the state and county, and he has a proven record of working closely with our city’s leaders in order to get things done.”
Kaplan, also in a prepared statement, added, “I have been impressed with how Manuel Perez has assumed his position as County Supervisor for the Fourth District. He has been tireless in supporting individuals and organizations in need and responsive to the specific needs of the Coachella Valley, which is why I am proud to be joining with local leaders in supporting this important campaign.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Joy Silver, once described as a “political force” and a “dynamo,” is living up to the characterization and enhancing it. Her campaign for state Senate is hosting a Grand Opening for her official campaign headquarters in her run against Republican incumbent Jeff Stone.
The office launch coincides with stepped-up grassroots organizing efforts for Silver’s campaign, including phone banking, canvassing and community outreach, in the weeks leading up to the June 5 primary.
The grand opening of her office is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 in The Fey Building, 1001 South Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 103 in Palm Springs. The event is free and open to the public.
The office opening comes on the heels of growing momentum for Silver’s campaign. To kick off the year, Silver outraised her Republican incumbent opponent by 3-1 and in recent weeks Silver has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party, U.S. Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz and Equality California.
“The grassroots energy behind our campaign is incredible,” Silver said in a prepared statement. “I’m so grateful to our hundreds of volunteers and supporters from across Riverside County who’ve come together to fight for the change we need in Sacramento. Together, we’re going to fight for practical solutions, not political games, to the issues that matter to Riverside families – fixing our roads, reducing traffic, expanding clean energy to create jobs and tackling the homeless crisis affecting so many of our neighborhoods.”
Silver lives in Palm Springs, with her partner Atma Wiseman.
- Doug Hassett: Doug Hassett
- Supervisor V. Manuel Perez: Supervisor V. Manuel Perez