Richard Gray Vies for 1 of 2 Seats on La Quinta City Council

LA QUINTA — Richard Gray, 75 and retied, is campaigning for one of two open seats on the City Council. Each is a four-year term.

He is up against two incumbents — Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Steve Sanchez.

Each was asked a series of identical questions. Following re Gray’s unedited responses.

UR: Why specifically do you want to be on City Council?

Richard Gray: La Quinta needs new structure and operations.  Council governance is stuck in photo-op / group-think mode.  Council districts and term limits create a more responsive and active council.  The mayor and council members limited to 8 years – 2 terms for council, 4 terms for mayor, or 8 years total.  Council districts connect the representative council member to a specific area.  Prosperity and more jobs require lower taxes and fees to make La Quinta more competitive and attractive.

UR:  What do you consider your greatest accomplishment ?

Richard Gray: Naturally my greatest accomplishment is being married to my wonderful wife for nearly 50 – soon to be completed this December. Next, of course, are my 3 grown children and their 5 children, our grandkids. In professional accomplishments perhaps the best was my tour of 3 years at the US Consulate-General, Naples Italy. I was able to bring about a significant number of changes in a $8 million remodel for more safety, better usage of offices, creation of more security measures for restricted areas, and creating better future safety conditions in case of fire or earthquakes. The biggest example was an escape stairwell down 8 stories to exit into a retaining wall landing one story level below the ground level. It took over 2 hours to convince the Washington architect on a visit to have the escape door terminate at ground level. His original solution would trap all fleeing a catastrophe while the final solution gave everyone a chance to open the door and escape the building.  Diplomacy, good sense, patience, and the ability to persuade without a rising conflict ambience.

UR: What is your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?

Richard Gray: See above for an official role as Consulate Management Officer.

UR:  How do you define leader and leadership?

Richard Gray: The leader is defined by vision, respect, and determination.  In fact, a true leader can follow and accept the good ideas, proposals, and achievements of subordinates, peers, and supervisors.  Leadership is defined by achievements and communication.

UR: Do you fit this definition?

Richard Gray: Yes, I believe I do.  Leadership is developed depending on courage and the situation.  With confidence I feel ready to enter nearly any situation where I can contribute, and where leadership is able to grow and develop.  I choose where, when and with whom to undertake challenges and relate to those involved.  My patience makes a genuine difference in the beginning and development of team work with a focus on specific goals.

UR: What are your top three goals for La Quinta?

Richard Gray: Council districts, term limits, more direct relationship between residents, businesses, and tourists with city governance.  A prime goal has to be security and safety – a bridge at Dune Palms/Wash; better and more public security at schools to eliminate “soft” targets; and. Better coordination with the Sheriff and others for better community policing at an achievable cost.

UR: COVID-19 has taken a toll on the Coachella Valley’s economy. What specifically will you do to help La Quinta rebound?

Richard Gray: Lower taxes and fees as possible – hopefully reducing the sales tax by at least 1% to attract more purchase in La Quinta. While following federal, state and county rules and laws, work with businesses to find ways to bring more and better foot traffic – sales, tourists events, celebrations, and other ideas to advertise and provide better commerce in La Quinta.

UR: You are all well-known. What is one thing people don’t know about you?

Richard Gray:  Too many things to mention.  Many don’t know that I speak Brazilian Portuguese at a native level and daily with my wife and family.

UR:  Tell us one good thing about each of your opponents.

Richard Gray: I do not know them well, but they appear to have served with good intentions during their term this last 4 years.



Image Sources

  • Richard Gray: Richard Gray