CATHEDRAL CITY — John A. Rivera, an architect who has served on multiple city boards, is looking to win a seat on the Mother of them all — the City Council in the November election.
Rivera, 58, is vying for a seat in District 4. He has three competitors: Ernesto M. Gutierrez, Enrique “Rick” Saldivar, and Sergio Espericueta.
District 4 includes Desert Princess Country Club, Outpost and the Dream Homes.
Espericueta did not respond to questions submitted to all candidates.
Following are the questions and Rivera’s responses.
Uken Report (UR): Do you support or oppose Proposition 6?
Rivera: I’m against Proposition 6 Why? Infrastructure as a whole has been put off for decades and while some progress was made during the recession under President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, SB1 has provided the funding to pick up once again nine years after the ARRA. We need safe roads, highways, bridges as well as improved utility infrastructure. On a local, everyday level roads in disrepair create added wear and tear on cars, delivery trucks, busses, etc. that sooner or later cost us in the form of vehicle maintenance and higher costs of goods that are delivered every day. We can pay now or pay later at a higher cost.
UR: City Council races are typically nonpartisan, but this particular race seems highly partisan. There are public calls to maintain a progressive majority on the council, Party registration information is being posted on social media and more. 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.
Rivera: I’m a Democrat and proud of it, but I’m not running for City Council to push a Democratic agenda. I’m running to get the job done that my constituents expect to get done. Truth is truth, fairness is fairness, it has no political affiliation and I’m simply running to get the job done, not widen the divide between good people of all political ideologies.
UR: Cathedral City has a significant LGBTQ community. What specifically have you done as a leader in the community to address the needs this segment of the population?
Rivera: It’s a simple answer. When I’m speaking with anyone or any gathering of people, I simply speak with them honestly, respectfully and without judgement. I have never known a stranger, but I have met new friends for the first time. When assisting or working with anyone, I do so with the same conviction I would with everyone. There are no boundaries, no hesitations and every voice is heard. We are all God’s children and I am no one to judge.
UR: With what issue, ordinance, project do you want your name to be most associated?
Rivera: Moving into the future with a new kind of city for millennials. Their time has come. It’s in my nature as an Architect to dream of the greatest things that may come.
UR: What sets you apart from your challenger(s)?
Rivera: I’ve been involved in one form of public service or another for 25 years. I have served as a Planning Commissioner for six years and as an Architectural Review Committee member for the past 11 years where I still serve.
I served on the Historic Site Preservation Task Force and scripted the draft Zoning Ordinance for that future commission. I served for 10 years on the Palm Springs Design Review Board. My active involvement with City Hall and my professional career in the private sector as an architect with 40 years of experience in dealing with clients, developers, builders and working through a myriad of government agencies through cities, counties and the state as well as utility agencies and Cal Trans has given me a solid background in working through the system and knowing where improvements can be made.
One of my current projects in which I am the project architect involves the master planning and execution of a new City Center for the City of Adelanto in the high desert. This project will include a new Civic Center, sheriff station, fire station, medical center, residential housing, and hotel with retail and dining. This one project includes all the agencies listed above and all the red tape that goes along with it. While each of the other candidates have excellent credentials in their respective fields, none compare at this level to my experience.