Robert Sylk is founder of Concerned Citizens of La Quinta
LA QUINTA — Mayor Linda Evans will face two challengers — Alan Woodruff and Robert Sylk — in her bid for a fifth term as mayor in the Nov. 8 election. The mayor is elected every two years.
Sylk, founder of Concerned Citizens of La Quinta and an Army veteran, ran for mayor in 2020, but lost to Evans, netting about 18% of the vote.
Uken Report reached out to all mayoral candidates with identical questions. Following are Sylk’s answers.
Uken Report (UR): Occupation:
Sylk: Businessman, philanthropist
UR: Who or what motivated to run for mayor at this time?
Sylk: I was thinking about our City of La Quinta with all the years of delays of implementing a reasonable plan. You see folks, I do not believe our future can wait for the future. It all comes down to this: It is not enough to promise the citizens a future when you cannot deliver one. You must find it now. This should be the passion that has driven us since we were formed in 1982 but is lacking in our present leaders to discover the crucial answers that do not exist today. SilverRock Resort by itself should have been the catalyst for a “New La Quinta” but the delays are not acceptable, and the plan has changed.
UR: What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
Sylk: I believe we all have the same goals and great ideas, but I can tell you that I feel it’s important to see and meet candidates in person. Listen carefully to their statements. Ask pertinent questions and evaluate their answers. I have always made myself available to the voters and I will answer questions directly and with transparency. I will speak with authenticity and defend my answers. You don’t have to wait if you’re concerned now about a specific issue. Contact me now and I will respond quickly and give you the facts and figures.
UR: What can you bring to the mayor’s office that is currently missing?
Sylk: A plan for the next decade. La Quinta should begin attracting technology and other new companies and can retain its position as the gem of the desert if the city’s policymakers invest in intellectual capital. How La Quinta grew from a desert stop to one of the top destination resorts in the United States should be a keynote presentation.
La Quinta can re-emerge as the dominant player if our leaders see the light and are successful in attracting technology companies that would support the region.
Our seasoned Mayor and Council are looking at yesterday’s metrics to look at tomorrow’s productivity and at statistics that our grandfathers fell in love with without paying attention that the world has changed. The new generation of consumers and industry employers are well connected with technology and focusing on them should benefit La Quinta in the future. I brought this up during the last election on deaf ears. We also have the land for development. Let’s not fall further behind by not acting now.
UR: What is the single most important endorsement you have and why?
Sylk: People are calling me frequently and asking me to run and tell me to make a difference. It’s hard to win here as a non-incumbent as 60% of the voters do not get the Desert Sun or watch local news and think because our weather is great and it’s another nice day that everything is fine and vote for those in office. That is why we need to raise funds to get the word out. There are many issues that need to be discussed and if there is no one to do that, then what is left is what we have today. My greatest endorsement are those people.
UR: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?
Sylk: Besides raising my three kids and getting them all thru college, at the time back then, after my college days it was probably completing US Army Basic/Advanced Training for Vietnam. Also, I have never forgotten my part helping all the hundreds of thousands of displaced people from WWII Europe to arrive in Israel and the Mid-East to begin a new life. And to this day I speak at The Rancho Mirage Tolerance Center about those turbulent days after the War. All of this can be accessed by clicking here. I am also most proud of my three (3) Presidential Appointments from Honorable President George Bush Sr., Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. The second appointment reads “In the Name of the President of The United States Barack Obama and on the highest Recommendation of The Governor of California Jerry Brown, because of your demonstrated patriotism, fidelity, and abilities you are hereby appointed by the United States Director of the Selective Service System as the representative Board Member for the State of California, and for Riverside County, California.”
UR: What is the single biggest issue facing La Quinta and why?
Sylk: I strongly believe our city needs a new beginning and I am looking forward to a new City Administration that remembers above all that the ‘people’s good is the highest law’ over their own personal ones. We must “Take Back La Quinta” to “Make La Quinta Great Again.”
Too much at stake here to let it all go to waste.
Folks, these are serious times in La Quinta, and there are serious issues needing our attention. We all need, firstly, to insist upon a basic standard of truth from our elected officials of which is lacking. And secondly, we must cultivate a commitment to that truth to show our young people and children that it has to start here with us.
As you know, the City of La Quinta recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary. La Quinta, The Gem of the Desert, is not moving forward and is stuck from a lack of vision and lack of leadership. My observations over the past eight years are that literally every decision made by the current Mayor and Council is a reactive position. Rarely do we find the current council leading or out in front of any issue. They won’t make a decision or lead without consensus. La Quinta has lost its vitality and energy and should be one of the leading cities in the Coachella Valley. Help us raise the visibility of La Quinta in this valley and restore the “can do” attitude La Quinta once enjoyed.
I have not lost my faith in our great city. Like you, I believe in La Quinta. That is not just a campaign slogan —it is a deep-seated belief that comes from growing up surrounded by the best we have to offer. Strong families, strong communities, strong faith, and a strong work ethic born of a sense of personal responsibility. On the campaign trail, I have met with people who have lost their jobs, their savings, their homes, their businesses, even their way of life. But they have not lost their hope! They truly believe, as I do, that if we restore La Quinta’s promise things will get better. I will run for Mayor of the City of La Quinta to do just that — restore La Quinta’s promise. I swear to you I will do this.
UR: Is there one decision with City Council has made with which you strongly disagree? If so, what was it and why?
Sylk: I disagree with the changes to Arnold Palmer’s and former Mayor Don Adolph’s plans for SilverRock Resort. The original concept was perfect with a Convention Center and the second Hotel all near the 2nd golf course. We had over 9000 members and with about 50 retail stores, Paddle boats in the lake, Hiking trails, Golf cart trails, Bicycle trails, a Performing arts center this would be the lynch pin for a downtown La Quinta enhancing all of La Quinta. Even with the changes to memberships the number still is high at about 3500 members today. I do not care for the name change to Talus.
UR: You are all well-known. What is one thing people don’t know about you?
Sylk: I do not think that most know that I led two major events in La Quinta. First, the 18-month effort to rid Southeast La Quinta (Trilogy) of the 40-acre CABio/Mass plant which was on its way to being like the Love Canal in Niagra Falls, NY. We had that entire plant shut down and The Desert Sun printed all of this in the paper and at the time their magazine. Secondly, with Ellie Marks of the California Brain Tumor Association I also led the effort to rid the La Quinta Middle School at Park and 50th of the cancer producing sub-power plant located there. This was all written in Sam’s book on Epidemiology. An entire chapter just on this school.
Photo caption above:
Robert Sylk was the guest speaker at “The Stand with Israel Night” in Palm Springs, along with the Mayor of Jerusalem and Glenn Beck.
- Robert Sylk: Robert Sylk