CATHEDRAL CITY —Rita Lamb, co-owner of Think Vast Consulting, a real estate consulting business, and a retired Elementary School Administrator with Desert Sands and Coachella Valley Unified School districts, is seeking the District 1 seat in the August special election.
She is one of two people seeking the seat left vacant following the death earlier this year of Mayor Gregory S. Pettis. The other person seeking the seat is former City Councilmember Shelley Kaplan.
Uken Report posed a series of identical questions to both candidates. Following are Lamb’s unedited responses.
Uken Report (UR): Age?
Rita Lamb: 55+
UR: Why specifically are you running?
Rita Lamb: I moved to the Coachella Valley in 1981 and have been a Cathedral City resident for 19 years. The city is at a turning point and I want to put my experience in balancing budgets, community outreach and strategic planning to work in managing our city’s resources and representing all residents.
UR: City Council races are typically nonpartisan, but locals races of late have been highly partisan. This is your chance to set the record straight and speak for yourself. Are you liberal, conservative, or other and what that means to you and your constituents.
Rita Lamb: I am a progressive democrat and support policies that promote our common welfare and bring out the best in all of us. The office of city council is a position of public trust and to my constituents, “The test of our progress is not that we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
UR: What is the most pressing issue in District 1?
Rita Lamb: The cannabis industry has significantly impacted District 1. As a new voice for Cathedral City, I want to manage those resources to enhance public safety by maintaining strong police and fire departments, fill the vacant spaces and bring back local shopping and retail, and improve infrastructure. As a steward of the entire city, the council must continue to progress toward our shared goals and ensure the health, welfare and safety of our residents.
UR: With what issue, ordinance, project do you want your name to be most associated?
Rita Lamb: That I performed the duties of the office with honesty, integrity and demonstrated character, competence and compassion in executing my responsibilities.
UR: Do you have any local government experience, serving on boards, commissions, etc
Rita Lamb: I served as a commissioner on the Cathedral City Public Arts Commission for five years and during my tenure, secured sculptures for the Art in Public Places program, held concerts for the community with the Cathedral City Jazz Band and Folkloric, and hosted, “Our Community in Black and White,” an art show promoting the creativity of Cathedral City Elementary School students. I currently serve on the board of the Cathedral City Senior Center at the request of their Executive Director, and am on the marketing committee for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSUSB.
UR: What sets you apart from your challenger?
Rita Lamb: I am a wife, mother, educator and business owner, and as a single mother for many years, know the benefits of a well-run and supportive community where our children are safe, our seniors are respected and all of us thrive.
UR: You are running to fill the vacancy created by the late Mayor Gregory S. Pettis. Do you feel any obligation or commitment to the issues he championed? If so, what specifically and why?
Rita Lamb: Cathedral City is friendly, livable, affordable, diverse and inclusive. We can ensure that future by creating career pathways for the next generation of business owners and professionals by partnering with local educational institutions.
UR: Depending on your answer above, how will you chart your own course and carve out your own identity?
Rita Lamb: I look forward to working with council to ensure the long-term sustainability of our city in a spirit of cooperation and respect with honesty and integrity.
UR: Do you support banning Safe and Sane Fireworks in Cathedral City? Why or why not?
Rita Lamb: I support the current Safe and Sane Fireworks policy in Cathedral City knowing that proceeds provide much needed extra funding for several community non-profits. As an educator, I would look for ways for our community to be part of the 4th of July national celebration of liberty and freedom, and would invite residents’ input to maximize this opportunity for civic engagement and pride.
UR: Do you support a police substation on the north side of the city? Why or why not?
Rita Lamb: Yes. Cathedral City residents depend on the support of a strong police force; a substation on the north side would serve to increase flexibility as growth continues along Highway 10.
UR: Do you support hiring AMR to serve as the city’s ambulance service? Why or why not?
Rita Lamb: Cathedral City maintains it s own ambulance service and I will continue to support those services.
UR: If you win, you will fill the remainder of Pettis’ term, which would end in December 2020. Would you seek re-election?
Rita Lamb: Yes.
- Rita Lamb: Rita Lamb