La Quinta — Robert Radi, a businessman and business and management educator, who was first elected to the City Council in 2014, is making a bid for a second term in November.
Radi, 47, has lived in La Quinta for 13 years. His professional life revolves around teaching in higher education as a professor in business and management in undergraduate programs.
He also operates Integral Advantage Inc., a strategy and management advisory group founded in 2015 that operates primarily in private equity.
Radi is one five people vying for one of the two, four-year terms. The others are:
Mayor Linda Evans is unopposed in her bid for re-election.
It is a well-known fact that Radi is a life-long Republican, specifically a Reagan Republican, he said.
“I am fiscally conservative and a constitutionalist,” Radi said. “I subscribe to liberty of the individual, free market economics, and I am pragmatic on social issues as I subscribe to the constitutional doctrine of equal protection, and wall of separation between Church and State. I also value the principle of balancing the equities.”
In listening to Radi speak of La Quinta, he talks of the sense of community and service that run deep in La Quinta. He leaves little doubt as to why he seeks re-election.
“We are a great city well on our way to becoming exceptional,” Radi told Uken Report. “I love the city of La Quinta and the community at large; hence, I desire to keep serving in this capacity for another four years. By continuing to provide proactive and thoughtful leadership, I will continue to make a positive impact and shape policies designed in function of our vision as a city and as a region. I am always willing to fight for what I love, for what is right, and I do love serving my community.”
Following is series of questions that Uken Report posed to all five La Quinta City Council candidates. Here are the responses from Radi.
(Uken Report): What is the single biggest issue facing La Quinta?
Robert Radi: Arguably, one of the most significant challenges facing La Quinta is the continuous rising cost for police and public safety, which will be further aggravated if the Board of Supervisors decides to enact full-cost recovery. Nonetheless, we have mindfully and actively managed the resources and the contract with the Sheriff Department. We have been proactive in researching technology to alleviate these increases and enhance public safety. Our resolve is tested and this is the challenge of our time we must respond accordingly. All options are on the table.
As a fiscally responsible city, we are on solid grounds. In an independent report released on March 14th, 2018, La Quinta ranks 18th out of the 482 California’s cities in Financial Soundness, based on our 2017 audited financials. This speaks volumes of the past and current leadership and management at the City of La Quinta. Yet, our Capital Improvement Project plan contains a series of critical projects (including upgraded drainage) that need to be methodically executed by leveraging our resources as well as grants opportunities. Hence, we must remain vigilant and proactive.
UR: Where (in what area) do you think you can make the biggest difference?
Radi: I approach my job as a member of the La Quinta City Council holistically. As a function of time, the jobs evolve and so do I. My number one priority is to continue to promote a safe and vibrant community. I have a proven and holistic track record as a proactive leader in matters of budgeting, strategy, organizational effectiveness and in harvesting efficiencies and synergies while curtailing redundancies. I have bought to the job the professional experience, thoughtfulness, negotiation & implementation skills, and overarching perspective that only comes from casting a wide net of extensive educational and business experience. I hold a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School. As a businessman, and as a business educator, I believe in streamlining government processes and regulations to lessen the burden impacting both business owners and employees. I will continue to promote these values. We have made significant and substantive progress in all areas of city’s business and services, but this is not a time to rest.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin “If better is possible, good is not enough.” I will continue to develop policies that are cohesive and holistic in nature for the benefit of the entire City of La Quinta. Developing our next generation of business leaders and public servants in La Quinta and the Coachella Valley is one of my high priorities; along with civic engagement, as I maintain a high level of engagement with caring members of the community, by actively listening and integrating valuable insights in my advocacy.
UR: What separates you from your challengers?
Radi: Prior to seeking election to the La Quinta, I have been passionately involved in civic affairs and community service for many years. I bring my love for our community a young family perspective and an authentic care for all citizens of La Quinta and our extended community in the Coachella Valley. I have a proven track record as a consensus builder and in providing the necessary leadership to turn challenges into opportunities. I have sho humility, but also courage in undertaking the necessary measure to ensure we do protect the city for generations to come through thoughtful, well-planned growth. I have used my time on council wisely in order to maximize my effectiveness in advocating, and in gaining the valuable experience.
I have built a reputation as an effective advocate thoughtful and authentic leader in city and regional issues. I have been effectively representing the City of La Quinta as a councilmember, mayor pro tem, chairman of the Housing Authority, chairman of CVAG Transportation Committee, board member at SunLine Transportation Agency where I also serves on as vice chairman of the Finance and Auditing Committee and as chairman of the Taxi Committee, as board member at Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, commissioner at Riverside County Transportation Commission (2014 – 2017), La Quinta Economic Development Subcommittee and in several other capacities.
UR: What qualities do you have that prepares you to serve on the City Council?
Radi: I am a broad system thinker with an insatiable intellectual curiosity. My enthusiasm, engagement and energetic approach are qualities that have been proven effective in serving as a councilmember. My perspective that no organization is an island onto itself is valuable in crafting policies at the regional level, as policies must be judged by the outcome they provide and not by their intent. My sense of community is a strong quality, and it goes to the root of having worked professionally in highly networked ecosystems. Prior to my election to the La Quinta City Council, I have served on the Steering Committee of the La Quinta Cove Neighborhood Association (2007-2014) where he was proactive in meeting and collaborating with city staff in solving a variety of community issues.
When dedicated Eagle Scout Andrew Davis proposed the 9-11 Memorial to the City Council in early 2011, I arranged and paid for the shipping of the World Trade Center’s steel artifact from New York, and also donated my time and talent in designing and developing the Memorial. Dedicated in 2013, the La Quinta 9.11 Memorial is visited by many at the La Quinta Civic Center. As part of the 9.11 Memorial’s legacy he collaborated with the La Quinta High School Blackhawk Brigade in fundraising efforts for the Wind Symphony resulting in the Wind Symphony performances at Carnegie Hall (New York) in 2015 and at the Chicago’s Symphony Center Orchestra Hall (Chicago) in 2016.
As a firm believer that our trails are an economic engine for our community as they drive visitors to our businesses and restaurants, my wife Charlotte, my 9-year-old Max, and I, regularly participate in cleanups of La Quinta trails. When budget cuts were implemented in 2012, my wife and I donated the necessary funds to the City of La Quinta to maintain two community parks.
Passionate about creating education opportunities for others, I have served as a member of the Board at the World Affairs Council of the Desert (WACD). The organization’s mission is to educate adults and students in the Coachella Valley in international affairs. Academic WorldQuest is an active youth program sponsored by WACD, consistently engaging the participation of teams from every single private and public High School in the Coachella Valley. I have also served a two-year term as an Executive Board Member of Scholarship America + California, the nation’s largest private sector scholarship and educational support organization. During my term on the Board, the organization awarded $ 985,000 in scholarships to students at UC Riverside, Cal State San Bernardino and College of the Desert. Additionally, my wife and I have collaborated with the La Quinta Arts Foundation and the La Quinta Museum. We both served on the Board of the La Quinta Historical Society.
It takes humility to lead. In the words of Darwin Smith, CEO of Kimberly-Clark, “I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job.” I have the energy and the desire to serve our city and our community at large for another four years with the same enthusiasm and engagement I have offered in my first term.