(Editor’s Note: Indio Mayor Michael H. Wilson was unanimously named chairman of the Executive Committee of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments. He was not immediately available for comment as to what it all means, his goals and more. Here, Wilson shares his opinion for what it all means and the respect he has earned.)
The unanimous support shows respect among many things. I have shown over 21 years that I’m very strong on policy. I don’t make mistakes. At times people may see me as controversial in the sense that I argue and lobby hard for what I believe is right for our community, either locally or regionally, and people know where I stand on the issues.
Most people respect that from an elected official, even if they don’t agree with you versus someone who sits on the fence and plays the political card on which way the wind is blowing.
I don’t shy from the fact that I’m strong in my beliefs as that’s how I was raised. As far as my thoughts on an agenda, I haven’t gone too far into that process yet. One item that I think is important and that I will be pursuing is to bring the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) back together as a body to work collectively as strong agencies that work for the region.
We know over the past several years there has been a split among some cities that CVAG has never before witnessed in its history. All members of CVAG expect its membership to debate issues vigorously and there are many times when people simply don’t agree on issues.
What’s been different in recent years is that normally after each issue, debate and vote, members move on to the next issue respecting the ultimate decision and vote on prior items.
In the past few years some have taken issues to the extreme, even after final super majority votes. They have carried the mantel of being obstructionists. Some have also at times crossed the line, attacking CVAG staff both personally and professionally which is absolutely wrong. These actions and behavior need to stop immediately.
There is healthy debate and disagreement — and then there is making issues personal, which crosses the line. It is time to come back together and heal. It is time to collectively respect the opinions of each other — and respect the democratic process. That means you win some and you lose some.
I hope that history has shown we are better and stronger when we work together and respect the process. It will show real leadership when those that sought seclusion come back to the CVAG family and agree to disagree but move on, so that we may be the strong group we were prior to the CV Link project.